For the second edition of the article “The Separation Of Church And State In The Philippines Is Dead“, we will tackle how the Church violates the constitution regarding the Separation of Church and State.
If we go back to what I wrote months ago, according Section 7 of our 1987 Constitution, “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.” This defines that the State and the Church or any religious order in the Philippines are two different institutions, and should not meddle or influence each other. It is also supported by the Bible when Jesus said “..Pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.” as stated in Mark 12:17.
We should always remember that; Religion is personal and is spiritual while the State is collective and temporal or material.
But in practice, the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines still exerts considerable influence on Filipino politics and public opinion. This arrangement is a vestige of the Spanish-era “frialocracy,” where clergymen had varying degrees of temporal power and control over the secular economy. Recent examples of the Church’s continued presence in public life are the 1986 People Power Revolution and the current debate over the Reproductive Health Bill. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state
As proper authority in religion, religious leaders such as Bishops and Priests should obey to what the lord said. Yet, for unknown reasons they do the opposite. Not practicing what they preach is a grave crime to the person who is a “Vicar of Christ“. More like a hypocrite than a respectable representative of a god.
Just like the controversial House Bill 1799 or the “Divorce bill“, the Church yet again meddle to the State affairs whenever “RH Bill” is prioritize. In my old posts, I discussed the objective of the bill which is :
“This bill if becomes a law will enact as a way that, this will give the couple especially the woman of freedom and guidance on how to control their growing family without the prejudice or discrimination from other groups of society. Thru this bill, they will have access on government funding in distribution of artificial methods of family planning. This bill will not alienate the Natural method of family planning which the Church supports but this will broadens its support, not any more just as principle but now as codified law that the State supports both forms of family planning, the natural and artificial. This bill also re-iterates that this will not support and tolerate abortion but will help those women who undergo abortion procedure thru counseling. With this bill, it will educate the citizens weather in the higher, middle or lower class on how to properly manage a better and healthy family lifestyle in regard to reproductive health. This bill will also help to minimize the ballooning population of the state which is one of its objective. And help to decrease the mortality rate of birthing mothers and her unborn child.“ – https://darcxed.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/why-i-support-rh-bill/ and https://darcxed.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/rizal-the-church-the-rh-bill-and-the-state-2/
Yes, as citizen of the republic the religious people like bishops have the right to approve or oppose. But as a religious servant, they don’t have the right at all in regard to state affairs, as an authority in religion they don’t have the right to influence the State decisions. As a religion, as a whole, they don’t have any right in “meddling” in State affairs for some reason, one of this is; they don’t pay taxes as an individual or as an entity. But, as we all know, yes, they cannot influence directly the State, but they can influence those people who are in power, which are the politicians. Thus, influencing the State. The example of this is when Inquirer reported that the “Bishop says Church has the numbers in Congress to defeat RH Bill in a vote.” Is this not a form of meddling or influencing the affairs of the state when this bishop confidently said that “Church has the numbers in Congress“?! Is this bishop or group of bishops imposing their will on elected politicians? They maybe are gods representatives if that’s what they think of themselves, but they are not elected representative for the state. They as religious authorities have the power over spiritual concerns but not temporal which is for the State alone.
If they will use the reason of they are just guiding their laity for spiritual sake (saving their souls for torments in hell), which some of the politician are part of, then, they are just crossing the line. Guide them, save them if you want but never ever influence them or worse threaten them like excommunication or that they will burn in hell if they (the politicians) go against your whim. Let them chose (the elected politicians) what they really think is right and good for it’s people! That’s the rule, “Separation of Church and State“, no one is above the law, even the Church, because if the law of the Church is above the law of the State, then we are not living in a democratic state, we are living in a theocratic state! Maybe that’s the reason why those conservatives, traditionalists and Catholic zombies are proud of telling every one that the Philippines is a “Christian [Catholic] State“. They want The Philippines be identified as a “Catholic Nation“, “the same way warlike theocracies such as Iran and Israel identify themselves as a ‘Muslim Nation‘ and a ‘Jewish Nation‘, respectively” as what Alex Almario who wrote an article titled ” The Catholic Republic of the Philippines vs. The RH Bill“. They, the Church leaders are making a conflict against the State
“as demonstrated succinctly by Archbishop Ramon Arguelles’ aggressive reaction to President Aquino’s brief mention of the RH Bill in his SONA: “Aquino declared an open war, a head-on collision against us and against the Catholic Church.” This perceived ‘WAR‘ is not really a war waged by government against religion, nor it is a war waged by pro-choice against pro-life; it is a war waged by modernity against traditionalism. And traditionalism is an idea that the Philippine Catholic Church will fight for to the death, because it is the only idea left that gives them any sort of relevance in this country that is fast realizing the dubiousness of their supposed monopoly on truth.” – http://www.thepoc.net/thepoc-features/buhay-pinoy/buhay-pinoy-features/16638-the-catholic-republic-of-the-philippines-vs-the-rh-bill.html
Alex also states that “The church’s fight against the RH Bill is really a fight for their relevance, which has been eroding since the time the Propagandistas called out the friars for holding down their people and depriving them of the light of modernity to the present day when Indios are one of the most active people in social media. It is a desperate fight, which explains all this invocations of ‘war‘ and rallies marked by banners that say ‘No to Safe Sex‘. This is an institution that will never concede defeat; they were too important, too powerful to be suddenly relegated to a non-decision-making role. They used to run this country. They’re responsible for People Power. They’re kingmakers, authors of public policy, the voice of the people, and the voice of God. They see no reason why The Church of The Philippine Republic has to kowtow to the modern world and all its immoralities.”
Sad to say, but, this Church has been influencing “may be” not directly the State, but the people who represent the State, the people who controls the State. And the State and the populace has no counter against it except one… The people unless learn how to vote wisely should elect a politician who is not made into an instrument any religious group. Yes, they have rights of religious liberty which they can use to side with the Church and its dictates. But the elects should ALWAYS remember that they are not voted alone by the members of a specific religious organization, but a diversified people. So as an elect, they should be responsible to every one and obligate to no one.
As what “Aespinosa” who wrote an article titled “Is the Catholic Church acting like a political party?” :
“I am not saying that lawmakers disavow their religious beliefs, nor refrain from voicing their conscientious objections. We do not elect public officials on the basis of their baptism. But we do elect politicians on the basis that they vow to protect and defend the citizens and uphold the Constitution. Our Constitution is where everyone, including lawmakers, must devote all efforts and minds. If there is an apparent conflict between conscience and national interest, then they should resign.
Obviously the Bishops do have the luxury and commitment that lawmakers don’t. They can easily refuse to cooperate and insist at the same time their teachings are correct. The nature of religious doctrines dictates they should defend them at all cost, even if it means going to war. The Church sees its enemy as ‘heretics’ and considers all human laws subservient to God’s. To this end, the Catholic Church started a campaign much more insidious than a political party.” – http://aespinosa.blog.com/2012/08/16/is-the-catholic-church-acting-like-a-political-party/
Here the reality strike, due to Filipinos’ ignorance and irresponsible voting, they just elected if not all, some, who is “for the whim of the Church” than for the “will of the People“. Example of this is Lucy Torres – Gomez, a model, actress, TV host turn politician (like MANY other actors turned politicians here in the Philippines like the now controversial Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, an actor, musician, television personality), Leyte’s 4th District Representative to Congress and a Catholic. She will vote against RH Bill for one sole reason, due to her OWN faith, as what she said; “As a person, we have religious convictions. We can’t take away our faith and say, I’ll be really clinical about this and I’ll decide based on facts. It cannot be. Religion especially here is an integral part of our society. It is an integral part of you as a person and I cannot [talaga], in conscience, decide for or vote for the RH Bill.” In short, Leyte’s 4th District Representative Lucy Torres – Gomez will vote due to her own conviction and not for the people whom she represents. Not representing the DIVERSIFIED PEOPLE but the Catholic Faith alone.
And so it does, if the Church prevails against the State, then I’m really convinced that “The Separation Of Church And State In The Philippines is Dead“, the religious are hypocrites and The Philippines is not living in a democratic state but in a theocratic in disguise as democracy, no real democracy at all.
- The Separation Of Church And State In The Philippines is Dead (darcxed.wordpress.com)
- Why I Support RH Bill? (darcxed.wordpress.com)
- Fundamentalists And Extremists Are Made Up Of This Kind (darcxed.wordpress.com)
- Real Democracy : Don’t Force Your Belief Unto Us (darcxed.wordpress.com)
- Rizal, The Church, The RH Bill and the State (darcxed.wordpress.com)
- Non-Catholic groups recognize value of RH bill to maternal health (bulatlat.com)
- Pro-RH lawmakers seek 10 changes (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Bishop says Church has the numbers in Congress to defeat RH bill in a vote (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Mis-informing the Flock (rojan88.wordpress.com)
- A lambasting to the Catholic Church’s propaganda against RH Bill (chynnita.wordpress.com)