Nobody owes Carlos Celdran anything. He made a name for himself going up against the mighty Roman Catholic Church. But this is something many Filipinos have already been doing in manners that do not get them in trouble with the law.
In this context one’s gotta take with a bit of bemusement what “thought leader” Elizabeth Angsioco has to say about Celdran’s “legacy” and a call to action she proposes on the back of this…
Carlos left because he was going to be punished for a “crime” under [a] Spanish-era law that is completely biased towards religion. He went on voluntary exile. Carlos loved his country. He loved Manila. He pursued social justice, human rights, and women’s rights. He was uprooted because of the “offending the religious feelings” law that allows and reinforces bigotry. Such was used against him.
Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code must be repealed. We owe it to Carlos Celdran.
Angsioco describes Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code as “a Spanish-era law that is completely biased towards religion”. That is, of course, true. But if she is going to go on a crusade against that law and what it stands for, she needs to step back and take stock of the far simpler things that could be done to dismantle the power of the Church on Filipino minds. Simply stopping believing everything its clergy says, for example, will pull the rug from right under their feet.
One need look no further than the manner with which Angsioco’s camp are quick to latch on to the dishonest words of the top honchos of this Church, the men in robes of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). An example is the list of “fake news” sites that they issued back in 2017. The list, predictably enough includes Get Real Post. I wrote back then…
The CBCP has exhibited neither the transparency nor the humility to subject itself to the same critical scrutiny that Filipinos demand that their other leaders be subject to. The hypocrisy in the way the CBCP conducts itself and regards the public in this regard is nothing short of astounding.
If Angsioco wants to be a truly credible and honest representative of righteousness, she should take some steps to be less selective in who she chooses to fashion as “victims” of the tyranny of the Roman Catholic Church.
Celdran broke the law when he mounted his Damaso stunt back in 2010 and he should have gone to prison for it with the dignity of a true activist with personal conviction. There are many of us who mount similar campaigns to call out the Church for the dishonest institution that it is. But we do it through legal means and by competing in the free market of ideas with far less of the whiney manner with which Celdran practiced his “activism”.
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