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WHO is the hypocrite now? After bashing, cussing and cursing God, the Catholic and Christian religion, and lambasting the priests as stupid and hypocrites, the President created a panel composed of men of checkered background to hold talks with the Catholic Church and other Christian groups “to start the process of healing and moving forward.” The President, it should be recalled, drew ire and criticism from various groups following his blasphemous remarks against God and Christianity. The President, who had earlier cursed the Pope for causing traffic when the latter visited the Philippines, had this time called God as stupid and questioned the story of creation, the concept of original sin, and lately, calling the disciples as “idiots” who had no reason to join Christ in the Last Supper. The President creating a panel to hold talks with the Catholic Church and other Christian groups displayed further his arrogance and ambidextrous character by sending lapdogs to cushion the damage when all he had to do is to apologize because he had placed God’s name in vain and offended the religious belief of almost 90 percent of our Christian population, almost 80 percent of which are Catholics, minus, of course the mindless 16 million Duterte fanatics. Brother Eddie Villanueva of the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Christian congregation said bluntly that such affront by the President is a violation of the Constitution. “It’s very clear – to me, for the sake of argument, that is already a violation of the Constitution, because the very Constitution, the soul of the Filipino people, believes in God,” Villanueva said in a TV interview. Villanueva stressed that the Preamble of our 1987 Constitution includes the name of God, as it states clearly: “We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.” Well, if one reads closely the Preamble, the President has already been violating its every word even before the “God is stupid” brouhaha hit us like a thunderstorm from hell. Fr. Joseph Galdon, S.J. in one of his sermons spoke about religion – our religion that Duterte jeers at. The Jesuit priest said it hurts when people misinterpret it for one’s whims. He said religion binds us all together as brothers and sisters and when people misuse it, much more malign it, the bridges that ought to link us together are destroyed. The wells of life are poisoned and they force man backward and reduce him to no more than an unthinking animal. Religion, he says, is simply the way a man and a woman looks at life. It is the way that we experience life – not superficially, because religion is not a superficial outlook in life; not as a matter of fact, but as a call to personal commitment. Fr. Galdon also talks about faith as a supernatural virtue by which we believe not because of the intrinsic truth of things, but because of the authority of God who tells us they are true. The Council of Trent said that faith is absolutely necessary for salvation. Without faith, we cannot please God. Maybe is it us who are stupid, like Duterte and his minions, but not God. As Christians, we should believe what God tells us because of what He is, according to Fr. Galdon. Our God is a faithful God. We believe what Christ tells us in the Gospels because we know the kind of person He is. He is a good and loving person. We believe Him because of what He is, and no one can tell us to set Him aside because He is a stupid God.

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