18jun28 – Duterte better drop subject of religion

POSTSCRIPT / June 28, 2018 / Thursday

Duterte better drop subject of religion

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is not doing himself, and the country, any good by attacking the Bible and the Catholic Church, getting into an unnecessary dispute over religion that could cause serious damage all around.

Three days after antagonizing a wide swath of the dominantly Catholic population by calling their God stupid, he continued his tirades before advisers convinced him to open a dialogue with the bishops and other religious leaders.

Until yesterday, all the frogs in the Palace pond were in full chorus trying to drown out the rising voices of the heretofore silent majority. Can their croaking soften what the President already said about Creation and a supposedly stupid God?

Duterte, a prosecutor in his salad days, has tried clarifying: “What I said was your God is not my God, because your God is stupid. Mine has a lot of common sense.”

Why doesn’t he just drop the subject? His remarks have already been fully recorded and broadcast all over the planet, bolstering negative things that critics and skeptics have thought of him all along.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the team going to dialogue with religious leaders includes him, Pastor Boy Saycon of the EDSA People Power Commission and Foreign Undersecretary Ernesto Abella, a former presidential spokesman.

But the President continued to be unapologetic despite the upcoming dialogue with the bishops led by his friend Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, the new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Duterte claimed his remarks were taken out of context and that they were just in reaction to Sister Patricia Fox’s engaging in partisan politics. (But the recording of his controversial speech in Davao did not mention the 71-year-old Australian nun.)

Addressing last Tuesday some 2,000 barangay chairpersons in Region X at the Atrium Convention Center in Cagayan de Oro City, he insisted: “I said your God is not my God. Why do you bind me with something stupid? I am given a brain to think.”

He challenged the inspired authority of the Bible and mocked beliefs based on the Michelangelo painting of the Last Supper:

“I said not everything in the Bible is true. Who published that Bible? Do they have printing press then? And even the Last Supper. Who are the idiots there? They just turned those who were depicted in the painting into saints — San Isidro, San Pablo, Saint Jude, Santo Rodrigo, just about anyone.”

Still, Duterte professed: “I believe in a Universal Being. I believe there is Somebody up there. Because if not for that Being, there are billions and trillions of stars, then sumabog na tayo dyan.”

 CBCP veep reacts to Duterte’s blast

LISTEN to the reaction of Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David, CBCP vice president, speaking in Taglish so more Filipinos can understand the message:

“Ang binatikos ng Pangulo ay ang sarili niyang interpretasyon sa Bibliya. Hindi naman ganoon ang turo ng pananampalatayang Katoliko. Sigurado ako hindi ganoon ang turo sa Catechism ng mga religious education teacher ng Ateneo at San Beda. Baka absent siya nung in-explain ng teacher.

“Ang Adam and Eve story ng book of Genesis ay nasa Bible, hindi lang ng mga Katoliko. Nandun din ito sa Jewish Bible, Protestant Bible, Orthodox Bible, INC Bible. Nagkakaiba lang sa interpretasyon. Yung paraan ng interpretasyon ng Pangulo ay may pagka-Fundamentalist. Napakalayo tuloy sa ibig ipahiwatig ng malalim na palaisipan na nakapaloob sa salaysay ng Genesis Chapter 3.

“Tungkol ito sa taong nilikhang malaya ng Diyos at may kakayahang gamitin ang kalayaan sa mali. Palaisipan nga kasi ang kuwento. Alam din ng manunulat na walang ahas na nagsasalita sa totoong buhay. (The text is literary, not literal.) Matalinghaga ang linggwahe niya. Wala ring sinabi ang Bible na nilikhang ‘perfect’ ng Diyos ang mundo. Hindi rin sinabi na pinadala ng Diyos ang ahas para tuksuhin si Eba. Saang Bible kaya niya binasa iyon?

“Ang kasalanan ay hindi lang tungkol sa pagkain ng isang bawal na bunga (wala ring binabanggit na mansanas sa kuwento) na nagdulot daw ng malisya. Ito ay may kinalaman sa pagnanasa ng tao na ‘maging katulad ng Diyos,’ o ‘magdiyos-diyosan.’ (Genesis 3:4-5 ‘But the snake said to the woman: You certainly will not die! God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil.’)

“Dito madalas natutukso at nahuhulog ang tao. Ganito ang nangyayari sa taong nahuhumaling sa kapangyarihan. Imbes na matulad sila sa Diyos, mas lalong nalalayo sa anyo ng Diyos.

“Itong karupukan na ito ang taglay nating lahat sa ating pagkatao. (1 Corinthians 15:22 ‘For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life…’) Ang bagong Adan para kay St. Paul ay si Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:45 ‘So, too, it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living being, the last Adam a life-giving spirit.’)

“Sa pagpapakumbaba at pag-bubuhos ng sarili lamang nakakatulad ng tao ang Diyos (Philippians 2). Ito ang ibinigay na halimbawa ni Kristo, ang Anak ng Diyos na nagkatawang tao, at naging bagong Adan, huwaran ng bagong sangkatauhan.

“May ikinuwento ang Pangulo sa Korea na nang-abuso sa kanya noong bata pa siya. Baka kailangan niya ng tulong para ma-process yung trauma na naranasan niya at nagiging dahilan para maging ganoon ang pananaw niya sa relihiyon, sa Katoliko, sa mga pari.

“Meron naman talagang mga makasalanan sa Simbahan, pero meron ding nabubuhay sa tunay na kabanalan at kabutihan. Ang mga nang-aabuso ay dapat papanagutan. Pero hindi tama na kundenahin ang buong Simbahan sa pagkakasala ng ilan.

“Paano siya magiging Pangulo para sa lahat ng Filipino kung wala siyang paggalang sa mga mananampalatayang Katoliko? Karamihan sa supportersniya ay Katoliko din, di ba? Igagalang naman siya ng mga Katoliko kahit hindi siya sumang-ayon sa pananampalatayang Katoliko. Pero ang hindi pagsang-ayon ay hindi lisensya para mang-insulto.

“Iginagalang ng mga Katoliko ang Tungkulin ng Pangulo, at ang mandato niya bilang pangulo. Sana igalang din niya ang mga Katoliko kahit hindi siya sumang-ayon sa doktrina ng Katoliko.”

 

(First published in the Philippine STAR of June 28, 2018. Follow the author on Twitter as @FDPascual.

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One Comment

  1. Nonnie Pelayo says:

    Tatang Dik’

    Here is something from the Holy Bible:

    If the fool holds his tongue, he may pass for wise; if he seals his lips, he may pass for intelligent–Proverbs 17:28 The Jerusalem Bible

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