Congressman wants to ban God CTALK

Congressman wants to ban God CTALK By Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) Updated June 18, 2012 12:00 AM

Yes a member of the Philippine Congress wants to ban GOD in public, the same way a minority group in the US succeeded to stop prayers in public schools as well as the reading of the Bible in the United States of America. In the Philippines, a party-list Congressman wants to legislate a ban on all religious activities, symbols and ceremonies by claiming that (in a predominantly Catholic nation such as the Philippines) “the state cannot be seen as favoring one religion over the other, in allowing the prominent conduct and display of religious ceremonies and symbols, respectively in public offices and property.“ In a news item published in the Philippine Star last Saturday; Kabataan Party list Representative Raymond Palatino has reportedly filed a House bill entitled “RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN GOVERNMENT ACT”. While the title sounds pro-religion, the contents of the House bill turns out to be a scheme designed to ultimately prevent any and all religions and their practices from being observed in any government or public place. In the story written by Star reporter Paolo Romero, he quotes section 4 of the propose House bill that states: “Religious ceremonies shall not be undertaken within the premises and perimeter of their offices, departments, and bureaus, including publicly owned spaces and corridors within such spaces and corridors within such offices, departments and bureaus.” “Religious symbols shall not be displayed within the premises and perimeter of their offices, departments and bureaus, including publicly owned corridors within such offices, departments, and bureaus,” Since I don’t know Congressman Palatino personally, I can’t decide if he is just trying to be noticed or an Atheist. Rather than dismiss him as a crackpot or the Anti-Christ, I choose to take him seriously because to ignore him may one day result in allowing an insignificant minority to decide the faith and the future of the next generation. That is what happened in the United States in the early 1960’s when God loving, Bible believing people chose to ignore an insignificant bunch of “looneys” who wanted to remove prayer from the school rooms. No one paid attention because no one believed they were serious or that it would ever happen. What many “believers” failed to realize was that the insignificant loonies simply needed to convince a dozen individuals, or wait until their allies made it into the system. After just a few years, the US Supreme Court ruled that prayer in public schools violated the rights of “non-believers” or people of other beliefs. Three years later, lawyers filed for a ban on reading the Holy Bible in US public schools. So 50 years later, Americans can’t pray in school or any public place, Americans cannot display any symbol or possible representation of their faith such as the Star of David, the Cross, etc. not even in their front yard or on top of their house, but they can have an abortion on demand and now they have the first Black American President who supports gay marriage. Anyone who watches western TV programs knows all about the social and moral breakdown that has taken place in the United States right after prayers and religion were taken out of the schools and public places. For a country that “Trust In GOD”, it is ironic that the word GOD is something they are careful about uttering not for fear of GOD but for fear of man. So going back to Congressman Palatino’s legislative agenda, I would rather that we Filipinos quarrel over religious beliefs and practices rather than let a minority representative meddle or steal our freedom to exercise our religious practices and beliefs whenever and where ever. I have had no problem joining a “Muslim brother” in prayers, the same way I enjoyed and learned from joining a service at the “Central” church of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in Diliman. I have spent half of my life as a Catholic and the rest of my life being “Born Again”. Yes I am ignorant of many other faiths and practices but only in interacting with them in public will we all learn and truly give meaning to Respect and not just tolerance. Yes, I sometimes get a queasy feeling seeing an oversized statue of the Sto. Niño in government offices, I’m sure some people weird out when people invite them to Bible studies during lunch or after office inside a military camp or police precinct. Some people might shake their head every time government offices in the ARMM come to a pause for prayer. But all of that simply shows that the great majority of people believe in “GOD” or “ALLAH”. Congressman Palatino should consider that suppression of religious beliefs and practices by legislation is not representative of the “benevolent neutrality” he infers from the Constitution. Rather, the proposed legislation he has crafted is an act of violence against every religion in existence in the Philippines. As a follower of Christ I am taught to turn the other cheek, but that miraculous event might happen if the issue or the problem were personal. But when someone intentionally misinterprets the Constitution and attempts to violate our GOD given and constitutionally protected right and duty to worship the GOD we believe in, I have no plans of going meekly to the slaughter of my faith. Congressman Palatino should pay attention to his work and his assignment and not tell us when and where to worship GOD. Perhaps it is high time that the members of Congress limit and regulate the participation, and legislative agenda of party list representatives. Pass bills that address your marginalized sectors and stop meddling in matters that are none of your business. (

One Response to “Congressman wants to ban God CTALK”
  1. All religious sect in the Philippines must support the move to vote out Raymond Palatino of Kabataan Party List Representative from Congress. He should be thinking of banning drugs instead of religious activities. He is probably high on drugs so his mind is not working well.

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    Welcome! This is the current information service provided by the House of Representatives Legislative Library which started in the 15th Congress. This blog provides information about the Library, its collection, online clippings of national issues related to or about the House of Representatives, the different House Members, Philippine legislative history, legislation, bill drafting, laws, and other articles pertaining to Congress and to the creation of laws.

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