By William M. Esposo (The Philippine Star)
The Catholic Church in our country is so messed up that it cannot...
by Kenneth Keng
You may have heard about Pro-Life Philippines’ recent filing of their new congressional party list, ANG PRO LIFE. Perhaps you wondered how this camp, with high profile supporters like Golez, Pacquiao, Sotto, and Enrile, who have managed to delay reproductive health legislation for more than a decade, could realistically be called ‘underrepresented’ (a basic requirement for establishing a party list group). Maybe you were even concerned about how the running of this obviously religious group would violate the separation of church and state under our Constitution.
Apparently, you have nothing to worry about! But don’t take it from me, take it straight from the lips of Pro-Life president Eric Manalang himself. After briefly joining the Catholics4RH in their protest outside COMELEC this morning, myself and a couple other Filipino Freethinkers attended the actual party list hearing for ANG PROLIFE. Here is a transcript of Mr. Manalang’s (EM) first few minutes on the witness stand after being sworn in under oath, with the Hon. Lucinito Tagle and the Hon. Elias Yusoph serving as presiding justices (PJ).
PJ: What sector do you intend to represent with this party list of yours?
EM: This sector intends to represent the structure of families in the Philippines and the youth that belong to them, and more particularly the OFW families who are the most dysfunctional part of the family structure of Philippines, by the very nature of them, about 10 million of them having their parents or spouses abroad, and this is the sector we wish to represent as they are not yet represented.
PJ: Is it true that you are related to any religious group?
EM: I’m a Catholic of course and I won’t deny it, though they (nodding to the Catholics4RH contingent across the room) claim they’re also Catholics, but I would say I’m not part of CBCP or any form of formal Catholic brand organization.
By Red Tani
Whenever I listen to Senator Sotto on the RH Bill, Manny Pacquiao on homosexuality, and the CBCP on pretty much everything, one word uncontrollably comes to mind: bigot. The impulse is almost as strong as God bless you! follows a sneeze.
In Catholic Philippines, it seems that some people can’t help sneezing, the most recent being former beauty queen Miriam Quiambao. And always, freethinkers everywhere can’t but say bigot! in response.
Recently, some conservatives have gone on the defensive, because intolerance is no longer as fashionable as it used to be back in the good old Dark Ages. Conservative cohorts of the CBCP are arguing that anti-LGBT Christians are being called bigots just because “it’s so cool” (it’s actually so mainstream that it’s not) and that their accusers are equally deserving of the accusation:
But you know, it’s so ‘cool’ these days to call Christianity bigotry… It’s funny, though, how those who scream and call for tolerance are the very same people who are the first to call ‘foul’ when their own beliefs, behaviors and/or lifestyles are challenged…
Let’s face it, anti-Catholicism/anti-Christianity is the last acceptable prejudice. Tolerance is only real when it goes both ways. The LGBT crowd have their own beliefs, let Miriam have hers.
In other words, calling out Christian bigotry is just as intolerant and prejudiced as being anti-LGBT in particular and anti-conservative-Christian in general. Thus, the critics themselves have become the bigots…
by Red Tani
Some of your bishops have challengedCorona’s accusers to sign his waiver. Bishop Pabillo said that “there is really something wrong when they want a person to disclose his dollar accounts but his accusers refuse to do the same or don’t want to be transparent.” Your former president, Oscar Cruz, clarified that your message was to let people “know who have no sin and [let them] throw the first stone.”
You are saying that only those who are blameless can challenge others or throw blame. Since you have challenged Corona’s accusers, you must think that you yourselves are blameless. In the terms of Corona’s waiver, this means you think you have no ill-gotten wealth to hide. But you are mistaken.
No one knows ill-gotten wealth like you do, because you have founded your Church on ill-gotten wealth. Literally. Your organization wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for the billionsyour predecessors stole from the Philippine government.
In case you’ve forgotten, I’ll remind you. When your former colleagues, the Spaniards, colonized us, they stole lands that belonged to Filipinos and gave it to your friars. These friar lands allowed you to control everything: business, education, politics, etc. So aside from money and property, you also gained power. You used this power to further amass wealth that went beyond the original value of the lands that were stolen.
When the first Philippine Congress was established, one of their first plans was to take back what was rightfully ours — to confiscate the land that was stolen and then redistribute it among Filipinos. But unfortunately, their plans were thwarted by another colonizer: the Americans. They would eventually give us back our freedom, but they didn’t give us back our property — well, not really. Instead, they did what capitalists do best: sell it to us.
Read the rest of the article on the Filipino Freethinkers website.
Location: Starbucks, Anson’s (across The Podium), ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig
Date: Sunday, May 27, 2012
Time: 2:30pm – 5:30pm
- Are forced sterilizations ever ethical?
- Is the open criticism of religion bigotry?
- Chief Justice Corona’s Challenge: Should all his accusers reveal their assets?
After the meetup we usually go for dinner and drinks somewhere nearby. If you’re not a meetup regular and can’t make it for the meetup but would like to go for the post meetup, please indicate on a post in the wall or comment so we can contact you.
Got questions about the meetup? Contact us at +63 927 323 3532.
* Newbies are welcome.
* Look for the FF sign (or the group of smart, sexy people).
* There is no required age, religion, philosophy, or IQ level.
* Discussions are informal yet intelligent (most of the time).
* You don’t have to talk; you can just sit in and listen.
By Bruce Li
I often facepalm hard whenever I see news outlets try to present “balanced views” on their programs. Usually they pit expert and scientific opinion (by giving them 5 minutes) vs the views of the Average Joe (and giving them the rest of the program), and then ask the viewers to “decide for themselves”, as if all opinions are of equal merit.
Unfair as it may sound, not all opinions are equal. When you want to build a house, do you ask a random guy on the street, or do you ask an architect? How about when you’re sick? Or need to have a contract checked? Do you ask the experts or do you ask random people?
It’s called “False Balance”. It may sound good and egalitarian, but giving airtime to those who have very little understanding about a specific subject is a great disservice to the rest of us. Not all views and opinions are valid, and some are more valid than others.
When Fox News (surprise!) gives moon landing hoaxers or anti-vaccination nutjobs a platform to spread their inanity, it gives them false credibility as an equal and valid opinion. When Larry King gives UFO conspiracy theorists airtime, the general public will likely perceive that both sides have equal merit.
I’m sorry to say, Andy, that when I read “Middle Ground”, I saw False Balance written all over it…
Read the full article on the Filipino Freethinkers website.
By Red Tani
“The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country.” Church leaders, anti-choice groups, and many others have made this a mantra, some using it to ward off the specter of secularism, others to respect their religious roots, and most out of mere routine — they’ve just heard it and said it so many times that it feels unnatural to think otherwise.
But is it true? It depends. What does it mean to be a predominantly Catholic country? For some, it simply means that Philippine citizens are mostly Catholic. In this sense, it is true: around 80% of Filipinos do identify as Catholic. But what that Catholic identity implies is another story.
What bishops and anti-RH individuals think it means — or would like it to mean — is that as a country of Catholics, the Philippines is led by Catholic bishops: the Philippines is their Church, and they are its pastors. This interpretation — or some version of it — is the reason organizations such as the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) are still respected even by established institutions.
Unfortunately, one of those institutions is the Philippine government. Although secularism is enshrined in its Constitution, politicians pander to the Church out of the belief that bishops are also representatives of their Catholic constituents: Pandering is the respect paid by one representative to another.
This pandering is most apparent during elections, when candidates cower in fear of the Catholic Vote. Although many have shown that it is a myth…
By Tania Arpa
So former Bb. Pilipinas titlist Miriam Quiambao has been taking a lot of criticism from the pro-LGBT crowd for her anti-gay statements on a tv show and on her twitter. I regret that I too have tweeted some pretty angry messages about her regarding this issue. I should have taken my own advice about not tweeting when angry, because I now wish I could take back what I’ve written about wanting to take a shower after reading this Rappler article.
Yes, Ms. Q has shown herself to be a homophobe. But it’s not her fault. Not really. Because she loves God — the one who says that the gay lifestyle is evil — and therefore she has to believe that homosexual behavior is immoral. She obviously doesn’t want to believe this — she says she loves the LGBT folks — but since her god tells her that gay sex is wrong, she clearly doesn’t have a choice. If a Christian saves a bunch of orphans from starvation, do we give them our gratitude for it? Of course not — you give thanks to the Chrisian God. Being a Christian, they didn’t have a choice but to save the orphans. In the same way, we can’t blame Ms. Q for her actions or her opinions. She was doing her duty. Like she said: don’t shoot her, she’s just the messenger…
See the rest of the photos on the Filipino Freethinkers site