by Ricardo Gacayan, Jr.
An impediment to economic-socio-political well-being of the Philippines are organised religions. If we assume that asphyxia from the callous hands of morphed Sadducees, Essenes and Pharisees – has been, we need to think again.
Organised religions were, and are obstacles for proper governance in the Philippines. History books and current events have encyclopaedic examples where they wanted to dictate on how the State should govern its people. This is not new news, but if the State will not keep her eyes on the ball, they are waiting patiently to seize the day.
The Philippines in spite of her achievements and laid-back attitude about life, is still at the fingertips of those standing behind the rostrum on weekends. One of them is the richest in the world only rivalled by Mohammedanism and the other one demands strict compliance of Old Testament concept of tithes.
Some areas where organised religions have the upper hand over the State:
Taxation. In general, they are exempt from financial reporting and disclosure requirements that likewise apply to other not for profit organisations. And it turns out that such exemption produced an unintended undesirable consequences.
Population. According to the Department of Health in 2010, our population was 93,135,102. This year it will reach 104 Million. How many ‘kaban’ of rice are needed to feed 104 Million? Population density per square kilometre in the Philippines is 358.
Death is a self-inflected design flaw and to rectify this we cultivate our desire for immortality. Immortality is being presented in different guises and different packages by different organised religions. We are spoiled for choices, aren’t we? For this reason that we are doing everything to secure a policy insurance and willing to pay a high premium.
One of the guises of immortality that relates to politicos in the Philippines is that their names will be etched in the lexicon of the country’s history, in the meantime, enjoying the power that goes with it and the capacity to amass large amount of Benjamin Franklins (not all of them of course).
Am I against organised religions? All I can say is this, the State via her elected government officials MUST exert her inherent powers and square up with the YIN’s (as opposed to YAN). Our Government is as if a legless Mercury against a version of performance enhancing would be drug taker Hussain Bolt. Those inherent powers should be utilised to balance the realm and having equal the playing fields – the very essence of fair play rule.
The adulterous relationship between the organised religions and the majority of elected government officials is an open secret. This is a blatant violation of the ‘wall of separation between Church and State’. Thomas Jefferson explains this in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
The nagging question is, “When will we (the sovereign Filipino People) eventually able to separate the State from the wimps of organised religions?” Your guess is as good as mine. Our history that was written in the bloods of Katipuneros, Illustrados and Mestizos should be our gold standard. They will all rise from their graves (if that is all possible) out of frustration that everything they fought mutated into a new form, to the same adverse result for our country.
The ink to write our history is not yet dry.