Pinoys and Religion: Blind Faith Without Spirituality

Pope Francis has left the Philippines after his much welcome concern for the less fortunate citizens of our dear country. But while his presence and intervention on behalf of the victims of poverty and Typhoon Haiyan was something to be appreciated, a question hangs in the air: Where do we go from here?

Yes, the Philippines has been long known for being predominantly Catholic as mentioned in a few other articles. However, what this translates to in our society isn’t all that encouraging. While we follow the many trappings of what the Catholic Church espouses such as going to church regularly, praying the rosary and observing the many feast days of saints, do we really understand what our religion is trying to teach us? Do we even really understand what religion is in the first place?

prayer_filipinosWell these are questions that plague many, if not all, countries. Religion has been with humankind since time immemorial. Ever since our primitive ancestors began to notice the change between night and day and the cycling transition of the seasons, we accepted that there may indeed be entities too powerful for us to comprehend as mortals. To this day, people continue to argue over the existence of God, Their nature, what They have in mind for us humans and what people think They want us to do. Wars have been fought and continue to be fought over these arguments and only time will tell who’s actually right or if all of them are wrong and just wasting their time, lives and supplies of lead and explosives.

Anyway, back to the Philippines. While we may not be the only people who have a problem with religion, it’s clear that one of the sources of our problems such as poverty, corruption, overpopulation and general ineptitude can be attributed to some degree with how we take religion. Religion, or the misinterpretation thereof, might not be responsible for all our woes but it certainly plays a part along with our rotten politics, preposterous media and generally self-defeating mentality.

We may choose to follow the directions of religious texts like those found in the Bible, the Qu’ran, the Torah, the Veda, Dianetics or even the Commandments of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but do we actually know the spirit of what these ancient (and not so ancient) scriptures are trying to teach us? Sadly, I don’t think many Filipinos understand what religion often tries to espouse on them.

Here are some common misunderstandings that I notice:

God Wants Us to Multiply and be Plentiful

Okay, this particular topic has plagued the Philippines since it became apparent that the country is getting overpopulated. While yes, there have been changes as the Church has began to moderate its views on contraception but, unfortunately, many continue to counter these valid points and many still are unaware of them. There is nothing wrong with sex and the desire to have sex. It is a drive ingrained in the human mind and body just as hunger, thirst and the need for air is. Unfortunately, we are all too often too irresponsible in how we go about it and continue to multiply in droves.

Well, the question of overpopulation is also open to debate as there are those who say that there is still plenty of landmass on the Philippines for its citizens to live on. The thing is, this sounds incredibly shallow in the long run because will we have to wait until our cities are overrun until we do something about it? Even if there is still plenty of landmass in the Philippines, are they viable places to live on and raise a family? If so, why are there so many squatters crowding into Manila and other major cities in the country if there are still viable places to live on?

The point is, while it is mentioned in the Bible for people (and animals, mind you) to procreate, it was said in a time when the civilizations of the world were still taking shape. In those days, the death rate among children was quite high, leading to a lot of childless couples who could only lament their loss. It was considered a waste in that age for people to not get married and make babies together.

Today, things are a little bit different. The advances in medical science have steadied birth rates over the decades and many children can be safely. Medical science has also served to counter the many diseases that afflict children and things like chicken pox, measles, mumps and small pox can just be bumps on the road for a family rather than the serious threats they once were. This makes the issue of multiplying like crazy an obsolete idea because people can now support a family of the right number. Unfortunately, this often flies way over the head of some couples and continue to justify having so many children with “because the Bible/our elders said so” even though they lack the resources to support them.

Now, I have always believed that people have a right to love who they want to love and have as many children as they want. However, considering the condition of the country today, would you really want to make so many children with the numerous problems piled against the Philippines? What’s worse is that it is all too often the poor and uneducated who multiply like rabbits despite the fact that they lack the resources to support their children.

Being Poor is Good

While the beatitudes do in fact state something about “blessed are the poor”, this isn’t just about the poor being good guys all the time. Yes, it’s true that we should try to help the poor but that doesn’t mean that they’re right all the time or that we should strive to be poor ourselves. The media helps in confusing the people with ideas like the poor are always the victims of the rich and the rich are always greedy and driven by self-centered goals.

In truth, it’s probably this mindset that continues to keep the Philippines well below the poverty line. It’s as if our society glorifies the very idea of poverty rather than doing something to control it. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for this is because the poor aren’t exactly smart voters, making them easy prey for greedy politicians who seek to take control of the country. These same politicians find it profitable to keep the masses dumb with mind-numbing programming on TV so that it will be easier for them to manipulate the people, especially the impoverished masses.

Do take note that the Bible often teaches us to be kind to the poor, but it does not teach us to tolerate their bad attitude either. While there are people who certainly need help, I also notice that there are a lot of people who are poor because of their own doing and refuse to do anything about it. If the poor we’re trying to help are too busy using the money we give them to buy liquors to numb their senses, women to make babies with and drugs to waste themselves into oblivion, then I don’t think we’re really helping them at all.

God Will Always Help You… With Miracles

Look, I’m a believer too. I believe in a God and that They do indeed help us every now and again. However, I can’t help but notice that there are still a lot of people who believe that God will help them literally. That somehow, God will perform a miracle for them like food will suddenly rain from the sky or that they’ll find gold coins in their toilets. And don’t even get me started on the people who find faces of Jesus on their bathroom floor and openly worship it…

This mentality also ties in with the second item above because I have met a number of poor people who continue to believe that God will help them even if they continue to sit idle and do nothing to improve their situation. They seem to believe that God will somehow miraculously solve their problems as if God can make the father stop being an alcoholic, the mother stop being a compulsive gambler and the children stop being idiots.

I know another saying: “God helps those who help themselves.” This means that while helping others is important, helping ourselves is essential if we really want to get anywhere. If we want a solution to poverty, corruption, overpopulation and all the other problems of this country of ours, then we should get up and look for it. I think that God sometimes does favors for us, but it is entirely up to us to make the best of those favors.

[Photo courtesy AsiaNews.it.]

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Post Author: Grimwald

I came that you may know PAIN and have it in abundance…

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49 Comments on "Pinoys and Religion: Blind Faith Without Spirituality"

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Tristan Paul Creed
Guest

This is exactly why even though atheists tend to thrive despite all the negative image conjured by the church.

Tristan Paul Creed
Guest

I meant we tend to thrive despite the negative image and all. Damn auto coerect.

Jeremy
Guest

I saw a big barrier between the rich and the poor with this post. Maybe next time you can discuss why there’s a separation of church and state.

Robert Haighton
Member

God wants us to multiply and be plentiful
I really cant imagine that all those teenagers that are pregnant, wanted to get pregnant. Somewhere here or elsewhere I read that the number of teenage-pregnancy in PH is 200,000 annually.
I really think it has to do with lack of knowledge about how our bodies work in relation to sex. Or do PH-teenagers fuck daily with each other?

I just cant emphasize this enough, but is nobody wondering why West-European countries (and many other countries) are not dealing with such high numbers of teenage-pregnancies?

Sid
Guest

Education, Education, Education. Also, poor access to other outlets to seek recreation and pleasure. Idle fun parts and all.

On the flip side of the coin, Developed nations are struggling to keep up birth rates since having a child is seen as an emotional and economical burden these days, no matter the age spectrum.

Robert Haighton
Member
Sid come on, please give me a break. Everytime someone puts his penis inside a vagina, both parties will think that nothing can happen? Its not a rocket science. You draw me a picture that when being poor in PH that person (or those persons) are also having an IQ (plus EQ & SQ) of an autistic child? We are not struggling with birth rates. Most couples want much smaller families (1 or 2 kids) and others focus completely on a career in which there is no space, no room & no time for a kid. All the above decisions… Read more »
Sid
Guest

I don’t know what fantasy land you’ve been living but a simple Google search of EU birth rates led me to this:http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=ee&v=25

10.17 births/1000 for 2014. Not dreadfully low but enough to see a downward trend to dwindling native Europeans. Plus the increasing surge of immigrants is skewing the consensus. I’d think you would know that much.

Robert Haighton
Member

We are not struggling with birth rates, means that it is no issue for any couple. Each couple will decide if they will have kids (and how many) or not.

I know the rate is declining. So what?

Pls give me a (good) reason why a couple should have kids?

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/07/24/no-kids-no-grief/
The case against having kids
They can hurt your career, your marriage, your social life, your bank book. Why bother?
by Anne Kingston on Friday, July 24, 2009 12:20pm – 652 Comments

deerless
Guest
Like what Sid said, there’s definitely a lack of education. Just from my own personal experience, parents don’t delve into informing their children about sex. Schools don’t either, even though many first world countries have it on their curriculum e.g. as part of PDHPE. Additionally, contraception can be taboo. There’s a certain sense of shame if you use contraception like you’re some kind of sex addict. And it can be inaccessible for poor people. When you’re poor and barely surviving, it’s not exactly at the top of your to buy list. There’s also the continuing attitude embedded in many Filipino… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Deerless, this is what you wrote but I cant see it here anymore: “deerless commented on Pinoys and Religion: Blind Faith Without Spirituality. in response to Robert Haighton: God wants us to multiply and be plentiful I really cant imagine that all those teenagers that are pregnant, wanted to get pregnant. Somewhere here or elsewhere I read that the number of teenage-pregnancy in PH is 200,000 annually. I really think it has to do with lack of knowledge about how our bodies work […] Like what Sid said, there’s definitely a lack of education. Just from my own personal experience,… Read more »
Dave
Guest

Regarding the comment about the lack of knowledge about condoms, I recently had to explain to (university-educated) acquaintances what vasectomy is. They’d never even heard of the idea.

I checked Google and couldn’t even find any information on vasectomy clinics in my city, there’s only a volunteer mission that visits once a year to give some for free to the poor. The front page of their website begins by debunking ‘common’ myths about vasectomy causing impotence and lack of arousal.

Why are they so ignorant about this?

archie
Guest
200,000 annually because stupid noytard believe the so-called pro-life priests. Filipinos don’t have access to sex education and talking about proper reproductive health is taboo on most filipino families. It’s ok if teenagers want to fuck as long as they know their duties should get impregnated. As with European countries having low number of teenage pregnancies, Noytards don’t give a damn, they just want to go to mass every sunday and listen to those inspirational dumbness about go forth and multiply. Stupid poor people even think that having many kids is a blessing. And you know what other stupidity Francis… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member

Archie,
if only you knew what kind of questions Pinays ask me all the time.
“Why arent you married?”
“Why dont you have kids? You hate kids?”

Such questions are really a sign of mental and emotional poverty.

jameboy
Guest
if only you knew what kind of questions Pinays ask me all the time. “Why arent you married?” “Why dont you have kids? You hate kids?” Such questions are really a sign of mental and emotional poverty. ======== Or sometimes there could be intelligence in those kinds of questions. Let me explain. A “why aren’t you married” question to a guy would suggest that it is an indirect inquiry or peek to the sexual preference of the guy. Is he gay? Or is he still on the process of looking? Looking for a woman, girl or a boy? I mean,… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Okay point(s) taken. So then I tell them that I had multiple GFs (not simultaneously of course). Then they ask me why not married to one of them? As if it is impossible that a relationship ends. And you know what? Who do you think is asking me such questions? Pinay women who have kids and being abondoned by their pinoy BF or pinoy husband. How ironical, dont you think? If only they started using the internet in a far more wider way then they could read some foreign newspapers (online) and notice how we live here in the West.… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member

Why am I hurting your feelings, Grimwald? Are you a pinay? Was I talking about you?

jameboy
Guest

And you know what? Who do you think is asking me such questions? Pinay women who have kids and being abondoned by their pinoy BF or pinoy husband. How ironical, dont you think? – Robert
========
Pinay women with kids asking you loaded questions? First off, why are you with abandoned women with kids? Are you doing some kind of voluntary work for them or something? Are you friends with them?

Robert Haighton
Member
“Pinay women with kids asking you loaded questions? First off, why are you with abandoned women with kids? Are you doing some kind of voluntary work for them or something? Are you friends with them?” – I dont mind the loaden questions at all – I am not with them. They are the ones who sent me a FB friend request (may sound arrogant but thats the way how it goes). I accept their request and I will see how things will evolve from there. After x-months, I will delete them from my FB by lack of being able to… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member

I understand Grimwald.

Here are a few other remarks made by pinays:
– I will look after you; I will take care of you

As if I am bound for the rest of my life to a wheel chair (Grrrrrr) being autistic and not being able to feed myself.

jameboy
Guest

Okay, Robert, I get you. There’s no face to face contact, hence, misimpression is possible on both sides. I think you remain friends with them if you like and you may cease stories using their ‘stories’ here for whatever thoughts you may have. Who knows, they maybe be taking you for a ride or something, we don’t know. 🙂

archie
Guest

If a person wanted to be single let them enjoy their decision, right?

Even male Noytards ask that stupid question, Robert. You can also add it as a sign of regret. They want their colleagues to suffer their problems raising kids so they force their single friends to join the club. I have 2 kids but when poor friends with 4 to 6 minions approach me and ask me why I don’t want to reproduce again, I know that deep inside it’s eating them with insecurity that they can’t provide enough for their family.

Robert Haighton
Member

Sorry, I forgot to mention some other things.

It really is stupid to listen to a guy, who is not married and has no kids (I am refering to Mr. Jorge Bergoglio), telling the flock what to do.

What was his latest statement? “Dont fuck like rabbits”?

Dave
Guest

I wonder where all these horny teenagers (and adults living with their parents) even go to do the deed, when the whole family shares one room or even one bed?

How do teenage boys find the privacy for their number one hobby in that environment? No wonder they’re so repressed.

jameboy
Guest

Ever heard of motels, hotels?
😉

Toro Hayden678vb
Guest

Religion and spirituality are concepts, Filipinos cannot understand them…so, they fall on all kinds of false beliefs…

Sea Bee
Guest

To a large extent, religion is irrelevant in Filipino society. If it were gone tomorrow, little would change. It is a vestigial structure in the body politic.

Psychology, social work, counseling and community activism can replace religious magic.

FYI: http://www.salon.com/2015/01/18/bill_maher_is_right_about_religion_the_orwellian_ridiculousness_of_jesus_and_the_truth_about_moral_progress/

JustineD
Guest
Regarding the part on “being poor” and Phil TV – we all recognize that TV plays a big part in shaping societies, and how Phil TV has failed this country. But is that enough? I think we need to take it one more step further. I think it is time to name names, to enumerate the culprits. Time to shame these producers, writers, directors. Make them accountable. Expose how their products are dumbing down pinoy society. I am clueless who to blame, I don’t watch Phil TV. We can’t simply blame Marian and Dingdong, nor their fans. They are mere… Read more »
bulutongboy
Guest

About God’s statement, “Be fruitful and multiply” – He told that to Noah and his family, after, mind you, AFTER DROWNING ALL THE BAD PEOPLE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD.. He doesn’t want irresponsible people multiplying, far from it..

jameboy
Guest
However, I can’t help but notice that there are still a lot of people who believe that God will help them literally. That somehow, God will perform a miracle for them like food will suddenly rain from the sky or that they’ll find gold coins in their toilets. ======= Of course, that’s a bit of a distortion. While I agree on the general idea of the article, most Filipinos understand their religion; follow the rituals and trappings therein and absorb with gusto the spiritual aspect of their faith. But having said that, yes, Vatican, we have a problem. 🙁 Let… Read more »
Sick Amore
Guest

‘God Wants Us to Multiply and be Plentiful’ ‘Children are a blessing’

I don’t think the “poor and uneducated” even think of that when they want or are having sex. Let’s get real here. It’s not for that reason why Filipinos propagate like rabbits. It’s the fact that they are poor and uneducated.

Sick Amore
Guest

It’s more like a lame excuse when you want to justify your many children and can’t support them.

XXI
Guest

Ah. When I was a child I actually thought that God would help me literally. After years of that not happening, I gave up on religon. I am now an atheist who despises religious extremists.

jameboy
Guest
To a large extent, religion is irrelevant in Filipino society. If it were gone tomorrow, little would change. It is a vestigial structure in the body politic. Psychology, social work, counseling and community activism can replace religious magic. ======== I don’t think so. In fact, religion is so relevant that we’ll all die and it will survive us. I don’t see religion disappearing on the face of the country (PH) in my and my great-great-great grandchildren’s lifetime. Nothing can replace religion in our country. Remember, we are Filipinos because of our religion. There was no Filipino before the ascension of… Read more »
Sea Bee
Guest
@ jameboy; My statement had nothing to do with the popularity of religion. “Relevance” means: “appropriate to the matter at hand” and “being connected in a way that makes it useful.” How useful has religion been in helping to solve the great problems that face our country? How has religion helped over population? How has religion helped poverty? How has religion helped social injustice? If anything, religion like television (another wildly popular preoccupation) is conservative by nature and stands in the way of progress and positive social change. The clergy has always had an intimate relationship with the wealthiest and… Read more »
jameboy
Guest
So you know where I’m coming from. I’m a Catholic. A non-practicing one. On matters of religion, during discussion I often, if not always, veered towards the view that is more atheist than a believer. Catholics often cross with me for I do not share the same passion as they do about the faith. I understand them and most of the time I do not agree with them. The same goes with atheists. The beauty of my position is I can see where people are coming from and the focus of their views about religion or absence of it. The… Read more »
Sea Bee
Guest

P.S.

On a personal level, religion is often the search for a deeper meaning and significance that exists in life, and things that happen to us. We often attribute to things that happen to us, a power greater than ourselves, rather than ourselves. This distracts us from a frank analysis of the nature of the problem and who or what stands in the way of resolving it. Bahala na (If God wills it) typifies this mindset.

jameboy
Guest

On that, we’re on the same page. 🙂

Sea Bee
Guest
My question was “has religion (organized faith) helped to solve those problems?” Organized religion is one of the key institutions in this society. If it is not a force for positive change in these desperate times, it should disband and hand its power over to those that can help. Your answer is that religion and the Church are separate. If that is so, then why do devoutly religious lawmakers hinder those that are attempting to solve problems like over population? (see the recent efforts to kill the RH bill) Are they acting out of personal conviction or are they minions… Read more »
jameboy
Guest
My question was “has religion (organized faith) helped to solve those problems?” ======== Originally you don’t have a question. What I commented on you is your declaration about religion as irrelevant in Filipino society. You only asked questions after my comment. And I answered you on that. If it is not a force for positive change in these desperate times, it should disband and hand its power over to those that can help. ======== I wish that is possible but it is not. Disband a religion that made this country in the first place? How will you do that? When… Read more »
trixie888
Guest

I beg to disagree.
Filipinos are poor,just like the Africans (or NOT) because we simply don’t have enough opportunities. We are cursed by geography.And whatever wrongdoings committed against us, we all leave it all up to GOD. Which is good! Because at the end of the day,its better to be happy & free.
Because Happiness, even those perceived as fake, results into less Psychotic People.

Robert Haighton
Member

Trixie,

you are telling me that Filipinos want to stay poor even if they get the chance for a financial better life?

Sid
Guest

Living in constant denial iisn’t any better. You’re trading one shit sandwich for another.

pt
Guest

“As with European countries having low number of teenage pregnancies”

Also, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong.

Jane Doe
Guest

Japanese people don’t have sex, especially those in their early 20s because they’re too busy working. Their population is decreasing. So is Hong Kong, from what I’ve heard.

d_forsaken
Guest

The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.

maria
Guest

May religion be as pure as the message in the tune and lyrics of this one (mine too): Be Thou My Vision:

wpDiscuz