It was just a hunch that is proving to be true. I knew that the initiative of Congressman Raymond Palatino of the Kabataan Party-List to remove references to religious belief in government offices and premises was prompted by a group known as the Filipino Freethinkers (FFt). The strange title of the bill is “Religious Freedom in Government Offices Act”, and it seeks to ban religion, hence the title should be “Religious-free in Government Offices Act”, if that isn’t pure and simple deception I don’t know what is. It’s the same as the slogans “Reproductive Health Bill” which seeks to institutionalize contraception or “Pro-Choice”, there is only one choice really, to abort! What wily critters these are!
This is a small group of noisy, young-ish, wannabe intellectuals who have too much time on their hands that they make it their life’s purpose to attack belief (more like the Catholic Church really). In one instance, Cong. Palatino was interviewed with FFt president Red Tani, a newly out-of-closet homosexual and known fabricator of calumnies against the Catholic Church, regarding their (common) position in getting the RHBill passed. At their FB page, they are posting a trailer of an upcoming interview with Palatino by their very own group… we can’t wait to watch it ……Yawn.
I have no hard evidence to make the connection directly as the FFt does not publish a list of its members but like a married woman who suspects that her husband is sleeping with another woman, I think I will be on the mark.
Why is this significant and why does this draw so much attention in our country? Well for one, Filipinos are a very tolerant, forgiving and at times too docile. Heck the family of the man who plundered our country for 21 years is still here living it off in total freedom. This tolerance and docility is reflected in a way that even if Christian religious symbols and services dominate government offices and premises, there is almost absolutely no record of this causing any kind of animosity between people of different faiths. In fact the bigger problem we Catholics have is an almost seeming indifference to the faith.
I say seeming because in actuality, Filipinos are just not very flamboyant in showing their worship except within their sphere of comfort, i.e.: in church, prayer meetings, within the family and among close friends.
I bet that if one were to ask people of other faiths if the presence of religious symbols and services in government premises bother them, most will shrug it off. Why, because as it is, Filipinos, regardless of their religious beliefs, are either served or deprived of services equally. There is no preferential treatment based on religious belief, based on social status maybe, but religion, NO! The only ones affected by this are the ones who believe in nothing and I cannot figure out what is so offensive with a crucifix or an image of the Blessed Virgin on the wall or a group gathering for prayer during lunch, after work or during break time. I can’t understand how praying before the start of an office day or of Congress or Senate is in any way repulsive. For heavens sake, our constitution preamble starts with imploring almighty God and they say that these acts are unconstitutional?! it is not as though these politicians or government workers base their day to day decisions on the bible or wait in prayer for answers before providing services to people.
Customer:”I want to apply for an NSO certificate and here are my papers”
NSO official: “Before I give you your document I want you to say three “Hail Mary’s, and bow before that crucifix behind me”
NSO official: “Are you Catholic? No, oh sorry no certificate”
Sheeeeesh outright ridiculous, right? Yet this congressman sees it fit to make an issue out of an imagined problem of a practice that has preceded even the founding of the Philippine government, all the way back during the Spanish colonial period! This is one nut job that another Freethinking nut is just more than willing to coddle.
Certainly the FFt has a stake and this is to diminish religious consciousness in the workplace. They figure that if they can maneuver to remove Christian symbols and services in the workplaces, this will serve as a precedent to slowly get religion out of the public square because they want a society that is free from the constraints of any God-given moral absolutes. They want a society where the only morality is a personal one. When one listens to the FFt’s boss Red Tani, one can’t help but imagine the kind of society he envisions. Under our noses, they are trying to influence morally weak politicians into their secularist agenda. Check out this early post of a seminar that he gave at a Catholic school and the lies and fabrications he attributes to the Catholic Church. This is the kind of person that an elected Congressman, I suspect strongly, is going to bed with!