Imbak para sa separation of church and state

The INC Delusion

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , , , , , on Agosto 29, 2015 by Blue Dela Kanluran

The biggest piece of news for the day is the vigil/rally that members of the Iglesia ni Cristo held on EDSA last night. The mass of people was so immense that it caused a gridlock in Manila’s busiest high-ways; trapping people on the road.

This is causing so much controversy online that it’s almost impossible for people not to get passionate on either side. Personally, I’ve always been averse to religious groups demonstrating on behalf of their faith, especially when it hampers the lives of people who don’t have a stake in what the group is fighting for.

Now, living in Manila for 25 years has made me numb to the inane need for the faithful to proclaim their beliefs – mostly I just ignore them – as do most other people. But, the INC take their shenanigans to a completely different level that ignoring them is just impossible.

The group already has an infamous reputation for helping form the political culture of the country through their practice of bloc voting, which they of course deny. It’s, however, displays like this “vigil” that prove what most people already suspect about the group and its members – they just do whatever they’re told.

Granted, I do say that anyone referring to a faith-based system of belief for guidance on EVERY aspect of daily life have no ability to think for themselves. But, to the credit of other religions there’s at least an attempt at trying to understand the issues confronting its members. No such attempt is ever made with the INC, and it’s given its members a warped understanding of reality – or an even more warped version of reality anyway.

The main point of contention stems from the purpose of the rally. A few days ago some ex-ministers of the church filed a complaint with the DOJ about mis-treatment from current ministers.

http://www.mb.com.ph/ex-inc-minister-files-criminal-complaints-before-doj/

As its their directive to investigate complaints filed with them, the DOJ went about its job…which is wrong apparently.

Most of the rallyists claim that the investigation is a violation of the separation of Church and State and that the government should leave the internal politics of the INC alone. This not only betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of Separation of Church and State, it also displays how idiotic people can get en masse.

FIrst of all, yes the Separation of Church and State is a concept that supposedly prevents religious institutions from exerting influence over government to prevent the corruption and prejudice of European monarchies in the past. Likewise, governments can’t dictate what its citizens should believe.

The reason why this case is NOT a Separation issue is because THIS IS NOT A MATTER OF FAITH! It’s one person lodging a criminal complaint against someone else. This literally happens everyday. The only reason this is an issue is because the defendant is an INC official and he wants the charges dropped.

This is one of the most blatant examples of corruption in recent memory, and the biggest tragedy is all the people at that rally are more than happy to oblige. But, the most brain dead thing about the whole issue is how the members actually try to defend this idiocy.

There have been some attempts to liken this protest to the People Power Revolution

Not even close

The problems with this are obvious. People Power is about defending human rights from a dictator after years of censorship and oppression. The INC rally came together because they got a text massage to go there.

The location of the protests doesn’t even make sense. The DOJ is on Padre Faura, Malacanang is in San Miguel; Why the hell are you protesting on EDSA? This all reeks of nothing more than using the masses to exert pressure on the DOJ.

It’s sickening, stupid, and corrupt. This is the definition of herd mentality and the very reason why democracy continues to fail in this country. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, religion dulls the mind and the world will be better off the sooner it’s gone.

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CBCP disowns Arguelles

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , , , , on Nobyembre 29, 2012 by Blue Dela Kanluran

Two days ago I wrote an inflammatory comeback to wordpress about Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles for telling people to vote for political candidates who were “true christians” and kick out candidates who wnet “against” the teachings of the church. An example of a religious leader attempting to control freedom to vote towards a religious agenda by using his influence and guilt tripping anyone who takes him seriously.

Unfortunately a lot of people take the words of an Archbishop seriously. Fortunately smarter heads prevailed (although it really doesn’t take much to be smarter than this guy). Senator and lawmakers (probably sensing the threat to their own seats of power) rebuked him for his statement and denied that there was any such thing as a Catholic block vote, most prominent of these was Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Most of them reminding him of the constitutional provision of separation of church and state as I have stated previously.

Arguelles remained adamant saying that the responsibility of remaining separate was the states alone. Stating the example that the only thing that the constitution provides is that the state cannot impose any test of religion to those seeking office. Which is true, if we were talking about the American Constitution. Section 6 of the Philippine Constitution (and anybody correct me if I’m wrong here) merely says “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.” That’s it.

And smarter heads seem to still remain within the CBCP as CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma (a man I’m not particularly fond of) effectively disowned Arguelles saying “it’s up to the people to make their own decisions” which is how it’s supposed to be.

The only thing I have with this statement is that he followed it up, in attempt to salvage some of Arguelles’ dignity, by laying the blame on the reporter “The paper misinterpreted the statement of one of our bishops in CBCP… there is a misunderstanding on the part of the reporter.”

Oh yeah, when in doubt blame the media. Nobody misinterpreted anything. We all saw and heard what he said. He was stupid and he said something even more stupid, end of story.

Getting Back on the Wagon

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , , , , on Nobyembre 26, 2012 by Blue Dela Kanluran

I haven’t written anything in the last three months and I didn’t even notice. My time has been stocked with nothing but reading books and cases; activities of the frat; quality time with my girlfriend; and just trying to keep up with the daily news. I haven’t even thought of exercising and have the growing gut to prove it.

So, this is an attempt to try and get back on the writing wagon and hopefully display some of whatever talent I had squandered by neglecting to hone it for so long, and I can’t think of a better way to get back to what I love doing the most than by systematically bashing a stupid move, statement, or policy by a status quo institution like the government or the church (whichever commits one first) and the big winner is *ding* *ding* no other than the backward moaning of self-righteous prelates out to revert whatever social advances mankind has achieved back to the middle ages.

Was that too harsh? Ok, maybe not the middle ages but definitely colonial Spain. Don’t believe me. Then let’s discuss a recent little thing that has propelled modern society into a system of better governance and acceptance for the general populace of the world but an otherwise nasty thorn for established religion more specifically the Catholic Church, the separation of church and state.

The separation of church and state is a vague concept to many and very few really understand what it means, even those few have a hard time trying to explain it to those who don’t. The idea was first introduced at the birth of the United States of America during the signing of the Declaration of Independence by a faction of founding fathers most notably Thomas Jefferson. Solidified in the provision that stated no religious test be required for the holding of office.

The separation of church and state came about as a practical divergence from the way of government of the Empire of Great Britain because the founding fathers saw how a system wherein a religion integrated into government could easily corrupt. Pretty easy to understand if you consider that the Catholic government system is basically authoritarian in nature.

The writers of the Malolos Constitution realized this as well when they decided to use the same policy when we liberated ourselves from Spain (another country with considerable theocratic influence). So what does this all mean? So many questions. Does it mean the church has absolutely no say in government policy? Will public officials be forced to leave their faith at the door? etc.

No and no. The church, like all parties in a democracy has a say in the government process. Also we cannot expect people to simply discard what they consider as their values when making decisions concerning government. So where does the separation actually take place? Where is the line drawn?

Many people bemoan the constant nagging of the Catholic Church concerning the RH bill and the supposed moral issues it conflicts with. However (and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this), what they’re doing does not violate the separation of church and state. Yes they have made a very strong oppository stance to a proposed bill. They have that right. Yes they have campaigned and protested against it, also their right. They’ve even spread a lot of misconceptions about the bill and a lot of misinformation about the science around it. No matter how amoral, under-handed and dirty as it may sound it is also their right to do so and does not violate the separation. In such cases it is up to each of us to sift through all the information and (based on the science) identify which is true and which is false.

We cannot fault politicians who make decisions based on their values. We can only assume that they are only doing what they think is right.

The church has (rather unknowingly) toed the line between acceptable behavior given their complicated relationship with government and policy making, that is until now. In a rather nasty turn of events the Catholic Bishops Council of the Philippines (CBCP) actually told people who to vote for.

“If there is a candidate who does not follow Church teachings, we should reject this candidate. We must use the Catholic vote and show them what the real Catholic is. There are fake Catholics here, they are the ones ruling in our country,”

This is the most bare-faced, hair-brained piece of filth I have seen in a long time. Archbishop Ramon Arguelles’ brains must consist of complete horse shit still warm from the beasts ass crack! The only reason I can think of for him to say something so inebriated is that idiocy was bred straight into his DNA. He is basically saying that anyone who even dare challenge the church should be kicked out of office and replaced with those who would cow-tow to their every word.

And if any of you were wondering, yes this is a violation of separation of church and state. The man (and the CBCP) are spitting on the seeds of democracy. Our government was founded on the idea that its leaders would be decided by the choice of the individual, not that individuals parish priest. No one and I mean  no one  has the right to order people who to vote for, especially not the church.