Friday, December 7, 2012

An Angry God

"Hala ka, magagalit si Papa God niyan!" An elder used to say to make us behave when we were kids. The warning always worked, as it reinforces the belief of a higher being, more supreme than the adults who used to take hold of our lives.

It is an instinctive response that never fails to sway blind obedience, as each generation gets to know the Almighty by his wrath. How unfortunate that those more knowledgeable in the life of Christ has omitted the truth: That God so loved the world, he sent his son to redeem us all.

The scare tactic dates back from the time of our beginnings. When our ancestors used to worship a different pantheon forever exiled in the fringes of our collective memory. Bathala, whose name the babaylans invoked in their prayers has now been replaced by another creator. To this day, a nation still gazes on his face for a whisper of redemption. 

Obedience would have worked, if the flock still get swayed by fear. But with the light of reason, the nation gets to question the pronouncements of these men-in-robes, whose human failings find its way into the spotlight all the time:

Priests molesting kids.

Priests cavorting millions of pesos from church donations.

Priests, whose medieval thinking clash with the modern age.

It's no wonder, every pronouncements the bishops make; every instructions they hissed at the pulpit disheartens not only the believers but those, whose faith has been dimmed.

“Ewan ko lang kung yan ay coincidence lang o dahil nga may pinapasabi ang Diyos sa atin na kapag iyan ay pinag-uusapan ng matindi ay parang may mensahe na nangyayari na maraming kahirapan na nagaganap sa atin," Pabillo said in an interview with Radio Veritas.

I do not know which side God takes on the issue of the Reproductive Health Bill. I do not bother to ask, for my heart already tells me that we are too many to be nurtured by the planet. But to come from the Bishop's mouth, that the cause of all these sufferings brought by the recent typhoon was the controversial bill, then in the name of the same God, I strongly condemn his position.

To be the voice of dissent, when not a single spiritual figure disapproves the insensitive remark continues to draw me away from the flock. But I'm not giving up yet, like many others who share my principle. For when the sounds of fear are less heeded and the mandate of love becomes the new gospel, there is this belief of redemption for my religion, still.

And in times of great tragedies - like the one that wiped out the towns of New Bataan and Cateel, my humanity tells me that it's not time to invoke a wrathful God. Rather, a compassionate Vicar of Christ must step forward and lead, so that everyone - cynics and believers - would work together to ease the suffering of the fallen. 

In an enlightened age, this will be my church.

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