The CBCP’s fake idea that the poor are “blessed” is the reason the Philippines remains poor

To Filipinos, rich people are “evil” and a life focused on the acquisition of money is a life to be ashamed of. And so there really is no reason to continue wondering why Filipinos remain an impoverished people today. The very idea of aspiring to be rich seems, to Filipinos, to be a thought to be purged from their minds.

Rather, Filipinos justify their poverty using the very Catholic idea that to be poor is to be “blessed” before the eyes of God. Indeed, if I were to choose one fake idea ingrained by the Roman Catholic Church in the mind of the Filipino that did the biggest damage to their psyche, it would be that one. Unfortunately for Filipinos, such wealth-destroying ideas continue to be peddled by their Roman Catholic Church. Filipinos are subject to a constant bombardment of poverty-blessedness drivel everywhere they tune their eardrums and plant their eyeballs — in the Catholic masses they troop to every Sunday, the telenovelas and Filipino films they are addicted to, and the victim-heroes their “activists” and politicians put up for worship.

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The irony that seems to fly above the heads of Filipinos’ poverty-worshipping and wealth-demonising “activists” and politicians is that it is the highly-focused pursuit of capital accumulation (a.k.a. wealth creation) that enabled human civilisation to build the very devices and Web services that allow them to Tweet and Share their poverty porn. Contrary to popular belief, Silicon Valley’s titans are no latte-sipping liberals whose idea of “making a difference” in the world is sitting in a Starbucks café waxing poetic about “world peace” and sending relief goods to war refugees. Bill Gates wanted to dominate our desktop PCs with his software, Steve Jobs wanted to make computers that appeal to affluent artsy people, Zuck wanted to pickup chicks on the Internet, Jack Dorsey wanted to build a Facebook-killer people could use from their mobile phones, and Sergey Brin sought to organise humanity’s collective knowledge into a giant database.

In case I missed some kind of Catholic pastoral letter on the subject, I really can’t see what is so “evil” about what these five brilliant — and mega-rich — human beings did.

Indeed, as much as Filipinos would like to attribute everything that is wrong with their society to the “evil” devices of 16th-Century Imperial Spain, it was Spain’s pursuit of gold that brought their ships to the beaches of Cebu and the building of the city of Vigan (among other architectural wonders) that Filipinos now put up as the “pride” of “their” tourism industry. Perhaps, in some fairness to the Catholic Church, there is some evidence that the Spanish conquistadores found the natives of the islands in pretty much the same state as the way Filipinos are even today in 21st Century Philippines.

In his Inquirer column, Ambeth Ocampo writes how painfully-relevant the observations made by the Spaniards on the natives they found in the Philippines are to this day…

When I was a student, everything bad in our character was blamed on the colonial experience: on Spain, the United States and Japan. Reading Legazpi made me wonder if we had always been the way we are:

“These people declare war among themselves at the slightest provocation, or with none whatever. All those who have not made a treaty of peace with them, or drawn blood with them, are considered as enemies. Privateering and robbery have a natural attraction for them. Whenever the occasion presents itself, they rob one another, even if they be neighbors or relatives; and when they see and meet one another in the open fields at nightfall, they rob and seize one another. Many times it happens that half of a community is at peace with half of a neighboring community, while the other halves are at war. They assault and seize one another; nor do they have any order or arrangement in anything. All their skill is employed in setting ambuscades and laying snares to seize and capture one another, and they always try to attack with safety and advantage to themselves.”

To some degree this revelation that Filipinos already possessed the Poor DNA before the “evil” Spaniards arrived absolves the Roman Catholic Church of some accountability for why Filipinos are imprisoned by impoverished thinking today. But armed with all this hindsight that guys like Ocampo are kind enough to share with us today, there really is no excusing the Catholic Church and its henchmen in the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) continuing to propagate its brain-damaging fake ideas today.

There is much to be done. As the old cliché goes, you gotta think rich to become rich. Filipinos need to purge their culture of memetic relics that contribute to impoverished thinking — that money and rich people are “evil”, that wealth is more a result of swerte (“luck”) than of hard work and clever ideas, that complex ideas articulated in English cause “nosebleed”, and, of course, the old Catholic notion that the poor are “blessed”. There is nothing “blessed” about being poor. Being poor sucks. As Mae West was said to have said: “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, and rich is better.” To be fair, Filipinos who, as a people, have never been rich probably wouldn’t get it. Yet.

10 Replies to “The CBCP’s fake idea that the poor are “blessed” is the reason the Philippines remains poor”

  1. Actually what Jesus said was “Blessed are the poor IN SPIRIT”… which means a rich person can still be poor in spirit and a materially poor person not necessarily poor in spirit.

  2. I’d watched this video when BBC Anchorman Stephen Sackur interviewed the Manila Archbishop Cardinal Tagle and his answers are really contradicts to the true & genuine changes & development in our country. And the irony of it, and truly this really reflects the legacy of the Spanish colonialism in our country that our Catholic Church is truly the king… or I mean, the DICTATORS & BRAINWASHERS of our country.

  3. “Blessed are the poor for they will inherit the Kingdom…” This is what the Church, the Catholic Church NOW doing to Her faithfuls all around the Christian world, and the Philippine people are one of them – they remain to be poor. This limitting belief, is to be “poor” and they believe it. No wonder they remain so up this day. The Bible is infested by limitting beliefs and this being “poor” is one of them. Filipino and other Christians all over the world never question WITH respect the veracity of many of the beliefs handed down to them. I think these Christian believers just accept them as they were falsely given during the time and keeps accepting with “blind faith” and “false” obedience. My family, for instance are a clear example of this “false” belief.

    Anthony de Mello, a Jesuit priest and many other priests and religious people were and are firmly attacking the Church of Her way of “manipulating”, “controlling” and “frightening/scaring” Her followers, or else they will go to (you know which place I’m talking about) – YES, to Hell! It was not like this during the time of the 12 Apostles. WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW?
    _ _ _ _ _ _
    Ross Gala´n, Ph. D
    NLP Spiritual Life Coach

  4. by George Sison
    Christianity emphasizes constantly that God loves the poor. It has come to a point that seems to imply that God does not appreciate the rich as much.
    I do not know whether this was done deliberately by the Church or was adopted for convenience from the writings of philosophers who proclaimed that religion was really the opium of the poor.

    The Church often quotes one of the beatitudes that says, “Blessed are the poor… for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In my young student days at the Ateneo, I used to feel much guilt about the wealth that my parents had; my father, having been a rich agnostic, began to look like the very devil himself.
    It was only when I realized that the actual wordings of the Beatitude was, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In metaphysics “poor in spirit” means humility and not lacking in money.
    Also, I finally understood the Parable of the Talents which in Matthew 25:29 says, “To those who have, more shall be given and to those who have a little, even the little will be taken away.”
    At first I thought, what an unfair God we must have, but then, when understood metaphysically, I realized Matthew was not just talking about material possessions but also “our thoughts and our feelings.”
    I was so relieved to know why the rich get richer, and why it is difficult for the poor to free themselves from poverty. The rich clearly think in terms of abundance and, therefore, attract ideas that bring more riches. The poor, on the other hand, come from thoughts and beliefs in lack and limitation, thus producing poverty.
    Furthermore, think about this: To those who have a lot of worries and fears, more shall be given and to those who have little to worry about, even the little shall be taken away.

    Read more
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

  5. What’s keeping you from being rich? In most cases it’s simply a lack of belief. In order to become rich, you must believe you can do it, and you must take the actions necessary to achieve your goal.

  6. Organized religions, promotes false religious dogmas and teachings, that imprison the mindset of their followers. Poor people are “blessed” by God…so, we remain poor .

    The Spanish Conquistadors, were accompanied by Spanish Friars, during their conquest in the Americas. They looted the treasures, golds and silvers of the : Mayas, the Incas, the Aztecs, etc…

    Then, they taught the conquered people, to be poor and blessed by God. The Spanish Conquerors and the Roman Catholic Church, become rich by looting gold and silvers, of conquered/Christianized people…. The conquered people become poor, are then : “Blessed” by God, they taught…

    They look down upon their conquered subjects, not as humans, but sub humans…for more than three centuries, we endured this suffering. Our mindsets were changed , to fit the Conqueror’s needs…it was slavery, forced labor, and dehumanization.

    After the Spanish Colonizers were gone; the Americans came…more exploitation, Fake News and Fake Information.

    When the Americans were gone…the Filipino Feudal Oligarchs, took over. More Fake News…Fake information…Fake History.

    We are, what we think. If we think, we are trash, garbage, and good for nothing people…then we become, what we think. By changing our mindsets, we can change ourselves and our country…the change begins with You…

  7. Isn’t it interesting, lots of trouble created by a misquote? Similar to that “money is the root of evil,” when it should be “the love of money is the root of evil.” It’s been said, misinformation is one of the greatest weapons.

    On the other hand, when it comes to information that’s reliable, those gems from Ambeth Ocampo are priceless. His writings support the point we’ve been making in GRP since the start: the Filipino is his own worst enemy. Well, as Ocampo himself guessed, either he or Legazpi would be the subject of people calling them “trolls” and blaming them for spreading “fake news,” simply for stating a painful truth.

  8. Must live in a different country because all around here are people pretending not to want money, but in reality seething with jealousy over anyone who has even a small amount (a few drinks loosens tongues). Pretending cos the reality of such a massively failed society means the vast majority can never have it, bar stealing or cheating their way into it – so that happens a lot of course. And if they can’t take it by any means (generally without actually earning it, so less effort to pinch someone elses hard-earned), they absolutely don’t want others to have it – no way…

  9. Clearly, you misunderstand the Church’s teachings. It means -blessed are you who choose detachment from material wealth; Happy are you who’s happiness is not dictated by your desire for money or material things. You may find answers to your confusion from Bishop Rpbert Barron’s Catholicism series – episode on The Beatitudes. It will give you freedom…and peace in your heart.

  10. Juan Bonifacio: George Sison is a LP Supporter. Just Saying.

    Without the Catholic Church we cannot do the following habits:

    1) Stop going to universities.

    Did you know that the university was a Catholic concept? In fact, the University of Bologna, the world’s oldest university, received authority to run its operations from a Catholic monarch in 1158. Since then, the Roman Catholic Church has become a focal point in the development of the university in the Old World, and it transcended overseas.

    Università di Bologna.

    Here in Filipinas, the oldest university can be found in —where else?— Spain, hehehe! Anyway, since the university is a Catholic abomination, it doesn’t matter if you enroll in a similar institution in, say, New Era in Quezon City or along Taft Avenue in Malate. So long as they are universities, the Catholic education imprint will forever remain: colleges, courses, commencement exercises, etc.

    2) Refrain from using calendars.

    While it is true that the Catholic Church did not invent the calendar, the one that we Filipinos are using right now is called the Gregorian calendar, the most widely used civil calendar in the world. And true to its Catholic origins, it was named after the pontiff who introduced it in 1582: Pope Gregory XIII,

    Disgusting, isn’t it? Better if we all go back to using sundials.

    3) Start using sign language.

    To put it more bluntly, all the languages of Christianized ethnolinguistic groups in the country (Tagálog, Ilongo, Ilocano, Bicolano, Cebuano, etc.) have been augmented via Hispanization, all this courtesy of the evil Spanish friars who performed not only as custodians of the soul but conduits of culture. Because of new tools which the wicked friar had introduced to the country, new concepts emerged among the natives, concepts that didn’t have any equivalent in the native tongue (for example: the cuchara and the tenedor didn’t have local equivalents because they were novelty items). Thus the borrowing of words began. To wit: Tagálog alone has acquired more than 5,000 Spanish root words because of this unnecessary and foul Hispanization. Furthermore, the cruel friars studied and wrote grammar books about the various languages in Filipinas. If not for these friars’ “Dark Ages” zeal, our local languages would have remained stunted, backward, and awkward. Which was a good thing, anyway.

    Because the Catholic Church had a hand in developing native tongues (via those heartless friars), one way to fight their influence to is to remove all Filipino words rooted in Spanish such as mesa, silla, polo, para, lunes, enero, libro, calle, aparador, escuela, and thousands more. But since that move will definitely paralyze our native languages, it would be much better if we just use sign language. All the better to annoy Church authorities!

    4) Shun civilization altogether.

    Going back to those culture villains (i.e., the friars). Weren’t they the ones who gathered the peaceful forest dwellers into one compact community under the sound of the bell, thus disturbing their peace? Christianity aside, weren’t these wicked friars the ones who created towns for the indios to live in? Didn’t they teach them agriculture and food production? Didn’t these friars introduce new crops and fruits such as tomato, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, potato, corn, tobacco, chico, guava, and a host of others? Didn’t these friars teach us how to cook paella and adobo and afritada and mechado? Didn’t they teach us how to sing choir music and play the guitar and the piano and the violin? Didn’t they teach us how to dress to the nines by donning americanas and baro’t saya? Isn’t it true that it was they who taught us book and paper culture? And didn’t they bring with them the chisel and the canvas and the paintbrush which resulted in majestic works of art?

    The answer to all the above questions: affirmative. Conclusion: the Roman Catholic Church destroyed our lives. Solution: throw away everything they taught and gave us. It’s much better to live inside a cave and worship a piece coconut husk (with a beard to match).

    5) Forget the Bible.

    Where did it come from in the First Place?(Clue: Definitely NOT the National Bookstore)

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