In the dark: Why we Filipinos love religion

When you think of the Philippines, what’s the first thing that comes into your mind? Have you ever given it much thought? Do you imagine white beaches, tranquil waters, and unique wildlife? Congratulations, you’re a tourist. Do you imagine chaos, poverty and corruption? If you did, you’re a realist. But if all you think about is love, respect, and god, well, you’re the target of this article.

Religion is to Filipinos as Water is to a sponge. According to Marx, he said “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” You can see that he puts religion as the essence of humanity, and in a way, it is. Opium back then was legal, but it was also addicting, the cause of wars, and something that brought power and might to the people who wielded it. Religion is power. By controlling the beliefs of people, you hold them and their values. You bring fear into their hearts and strike them by using the two greatest fears of the human race: The fear of a higher being and the fear of death.

We’re all afraid of death. We want to know that there’s something beyond death and something waiting on the other side. We also fear something higher and greater than we can ever be. In a way, it makes sense. Primitive man was always trying to avoid death, yet death was so normal that he had to find something to appease his fears. Man, as a social animal, had to follow the chain of command, he had to follow his alpha, be it to glory or to death. You can plainly see how the promise of an almighty lord and his paradise is so appealing to us. And I respect your belief in it, whether or not you truly believe.

But the thing is, is religion becoming a hindrance or a means of support? The question that should be pondered by officials making laws should be “Will this work?” not “Will the people be satisfied?” When BF did changes in Marikina and the Metro, did he wonder whether or not it was moral? Squatters beg for their homes not to be destroyed, but is it moral? Should there be justification to a higher being? The answer is simple: No.

Don’t bow down to something who doesn’t take any part in anything. If God was really there for us, it would be up to you to decide. The thing is, we make HIM decide. We make the deity whose entire “book” is vague and free for interpretation. If the bible was so foolproof and true, why is there so many religions and sects interpreting and rearranging facts and opinions? We put our faith in ministers and priests, but really, has it worked out in the past?

Admit it. In the Spanish era, it was clear that religion was a weapon. The early Filipinos believed he would save and redeem everyone, but in truth, weren’t they being used? “Indulgences for a few pesos!” “Offer something and be freed from one year in hell!” “Offer us your body!” Doesn’t that seem quite corrupt? Even up to now, faith is still a weapon. Let me take into account the RH bill. Rational people say it’s bad because of economic factors, loopholes, and cost. But still, so many people still think that morality and the catholic bible is such a valid excuse. Try saying that to a judge. “Your honor, her death was God’s will! She is a adulterer! She didn’t deserve any help or medicine for her AIDS! She took up her cross for God, and now she is with him! I did her a favor!” Faith truly is blind.

Look at the Constitution’s preamble and read on how the constitution invokes God’s name, power and grace. A few pages later, the constitution says that the Church and State should be separated. And in the entire bill of rights, catholic morality was also used as a basis. Here’s a fun fact: There were TWO catholic priests who helped in the writing of the constitution. Wow. They would’ve added another one to represent the holy trinity, but that would’ve been to obvious.

Ride a jeep and take the route passing by a church. Chances are that some of the people riding with you will do the sign of the cross.Faith isn’t just blind, faith by its very definition ignores everything contrary to it. When I was in my religion classes, all I saw was blatant hypocrisy. People answered the teacher with solid agreement, but they can’t even find the time to go to church. They talk about how YFC changed their lives, but it’s blatantly obvious they do it just for the girls. I once went to a church and saw the Shroud of Turin’s picture. It was labeled “God’s self portrait” and people started blessing it and wiping their handkerchiefs on it.

Grow up! In the church’s teachings, and based on what the priest says, images are not gods. They have no power. They are NOT goodluck charms and they are NOT all miracles. The Shroud of Turin itself is highly-doubted, even by some Church Officials, and it’s entire existence has been used by atheists as a way of explaining Jesus’ resurrection. (When embalming, the blood from the wounds is removed and the body is cleansed, and if there’s still blood on the shroud, evena fter cleaning him, it means he had a heart beat. In other words, he didn’t die.)

People tout themselves as clean and call onto the power of these things, yet it’s taught that they shouldn’t. The same church is also frequented by vendors, most of them selling in front of the church and even in it’s courtyard. Remember, Jesus told all of the vendors in the temple to get out. He even did it with a whip. Isn’t that serious enough?

Filipinos would do anything for there faith. Some people say it’s an asset, but they clearly have no idea on the repercussions of faith. Things change and become more complicated. As I said earlier, morality is changed and turned into the only thing we care about, even though it’s alternative is worse.  Annulment is just a longer version of Divorce. Annulment would make you have to render a marriage invalid, and find reasons for it. Divorce is the same thing, but with a shorter process, and it only removes the union. But to the church, it seems that annulling a marriage is way better.

Is there a good side to religion? Yes, there is. There always is. Religion is the bliss and a way of life. Religion gives purpose, and without it, we wouldn’t have a lot of things. Before, religion was the driving force to advancement, but now, is it still? To me, religion won’t ever stop. We have to live with it, but we can’t let it be the one controlling us. Religion was made to guide the people, but it was not made to BE the people. We were not made for the religion and we have the choice. We shouldn’t hand it over, we should make the decision ourselves. Because in the end, who should profit from laws? The people or the church?

 

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About linewave

Student, writer, and a patriot.

Post Author: linewave

Student, writer, and a patriot.

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16 Comments on "In the dark: Why we Filipinos love religion"

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bulutongboy
Guest
“If the bible was so foolproof and true, why is there so many religions and sects interpreting and rearranging facts and opinions?” So many religions and sects are interpreting the bible and rearranging facts and opinions because there are lot of ignorant people who would follow them – followers means money for self-indulgence. Ignorant people arose in the Philippines because people do not study the bible. That’s a fact: majority of Filipinos do not study the bible or even read it. So whenever they hear someone talking about the bible, even if they really don’t, they believe them – like… Read more »
Lightzout
Guest
To quote George Carlin’s skit (not accurate but close enough). “In the bullshit department, you can’t take the candle off of a clergyman. Big time, major time bullshit, you’ll have to stand in awe in the number one in the bullshit department, religion. NO CONTEST. Religion, has actually, convinced people: That there’s an invisible man, living up in the sky, who watches you everyday and eying your every move. The same invisible man who made a special list of 10 commandments that you must follow. And if you break any of those in the list, he’ll put you in place… Read more »
sancho alconce
Guest

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

bulutongboy
Guest

“A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.”
– Mohandas Gandhi

Hyden Toro
Guest
I went to a Technical Seminar…and I heard this story from a noted Theoretical Physicist: During the French Revolution. There were three condemned men, to be executed, during the Reign of Terror. One was a Priest; the other was a Lawyer; and the last was a Physicist… The Priest came first. They put his head on the Chopping Block. Then, pulled the Rope holding the Guillotine Blade. The Blade stopped, just to nick his neck…the crowd grasped: ” This is a Holy Man, we are executing.” So, they freed the Priest. Then, came the Lawyer. They put his head on… Read more »
brianitus
Guest

LOL. That rule doesn’t apply just to physicists. Timing is everything.

kangkungan
Guest

Typical Filipinos are superstitious not religious. But they like to call themselves religious and morally upright and all that. Especially when an outsider is around.

ChinoF
Member

Religion can never be removed since many people hold on to it as a basic need. That’s why those who aim for the elimination of religion from human civilization should think twice. Such a drive may actually do more harm than good.

flax
Guest

religion is the reflection of society. The mores and norms of society is reflected in the system of morality imposed by the religion to the faithful. When religion seems to be bad, pure of hypocrisy, contempt, malice, and paradoxes, it speaks much about a society in distress.

SK
Guest

European Renaissance was born from Protestanism. This was the basis as how the West advanced their culture and economy to progressive social democracy.

K3
Guest

Religions reinforces beliefs, reassurance, hope.

However, it must be free and it must compel followers to live a good life that does not impede on the rights of others.

TJ
Guest
Hi. I’m someone who personally believes in God. I’m a Christian (though I’m not a Catholic). And am really amused by this blog. I would like to share my thoughts on this. First, faith is not equal to religion. This is one thing most people overlook. Based on Bible teachings (not Church teachings), religion = beliefs plus doing a set of traditions, rituals, etc. to achieve or attain righteousness and salvation. Faith = trusting in God for Salvation based on what he Has done, not on what one can do (good works, traditions, praying a redundant rosary). The thing is,… Read more »
foreign guy
Guest

priest says to teacher “you keep them dumb then i will keep them poor”

situation in my northern european country in 1950’s.

glad we shrugged that of our shoulders but the PI is still here

Dont get me wrong i love the people here but Pi is the last retarded country in the world where there is no seperation between the state and the church. state equals church.

One good thing though…i converted my catholic gf into ….an atheist………99million pinoys to go

Aisha_Goddess
Guest

I’ve been reading Benigno, FallenAngel and the rest of the bloggers here in GRP, and this is the very first article where grammatical error reared its ugly head.

Tsk tsk…

lkj
Guest

there is no doubt about the correlation between mental impoverishment and a belief in God. A writer in very poor English writes above that people do not need religion they need faith…or as he states “godliness”. Actually people need faith in goodness and to practice goodness and nothing.

ironically speaking
Guest
I’m puzzled by the purpose of this blog. I guess like any other blogs, it’s basis is merely a persons opinion. Maybe a little bit of facts here and there. But we will call it for what it is, a personal expression. Unfortunately, this entry is as bad to read as it is to interpret or understand. Nagging about how Filipino people are push over to Religion, specifically the Catholic Religion. But at the end you will say that you have to live with it?? you yourself embody hypocrisy. Anyway, how can you generalize that Catholics or Religious people as… Read more »
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