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’Â 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.Â 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?