Archive for the ‘Christian body politic’ Category

Halloween Hangover

November 2, 2008

For most of us, the celebration of Halloween almost always means fun. The tradition of trick-a-treat, witches, kapre, goblins, ti-anak, jack o’ lantern, bonfires, costume parties, horror movies, and parades has become ever more popular. For the most part, the merriment goes without a hitch.

For Alex Woinksi however, this year’s holiday is different. Donning a crown of thorns and a costume to simulate Jesus Christ, the teenager was forced to go home early from the West Brook Middle School Halloween Celebration in Paramus, New Jersey. That’s upon the advice of his school principal.

It’s the old familiar question about freedom of expression versus the sensitivity and respect towards religion. Liberal society doesn’t see anything wrong with Jesus being impersonated in a pagan celebration like Halloween.

Many accept to see the holy Messiah reviled. He has been depicted as a frog pinned on the cross, prostitute-lover, a homosexual, and a loser immersed in bottle of urine, His mother Mary was “artistically” painted with horse dung—far outrageous than Woinski’s bland JC costume. Liberals and free thinkers justify these indignities as legitimate artsy self-expressions in synch with democratic rights in a modern society.

But those who don’t agree ask about respect over religious beliefs. They know some members of society recklessly push aside sensibility. Can anyone forget the rampage of killings provoked by depicting prophet Mohammed in cartoons published in a Danish newspaper? Does anyone notice how westerners are cowed to repeat the same “sacrilege” towards Islam?

The liberal-secularist point of view seems to play here again. About 75% of respondents in an informal AOL online survey opined it was OK for Woinski to wear the Jesus attire. Many didn’t believe that the costume was offensive to some students. The double-standard people have towards religion and the inconsistency of exercising political correctness make what is right or wrong, relative and contentious. (Photo Credits: Wonksi Family-AOL; pioscor; bcompetent; SD; rewritable) =0=

Godless world puts Christian identity in peril

October 5, 2008

In a three-week gathering of 250 bishops from America, Europe, Asia, Pacific, and Africa, Pope Benedict XVI in his Sunday October 5, 2008 mass celebration in the Roman Basilica of St. Paul sounded again the perils faith is facing in the increasing secular society.

The 81-year old pope in his homily said, there are those who say that “God is dead and declare themselves to be the only creator of their own fate, the absolute owner of the world.”

He asked, “”When men proclaim themselves absolute owners of themselves and the only masters of creation, are they really going to be able to construct a society where freedom, justice and peace reign? Is it not more likely — as demonstrated by news headlines every day — that the arbitrary rule of power, selfish interests, injustice and exploitation, and violence in all its forms, will extend their grip?” AFP (10/06/08)

“The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church,” is the theme of the meeting, the second after Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005 into the papacy. The gathering makes the consultations among bishops all over the globe possible. It is attended by Greek Orthodox Church head Bartholomew I, Israeli Rabbi Shear-Yashuv Cohen and Protestant and Anglican prelates. The bishops from China who represent 8 to 12 million Christian believers are unable to attend because of restrictions imposed by the communist state.

The pope’s comment against loss of the Christian identity is an expression of the urgent need for moral values to return to the world, in particular, in Europe’s secular affairs where Christianity has been barren for years. The weakened religious faith may be part of the increasing secularism, relativism, selfishness, and injustice that trouble many nations worldwide. (Photo Credits: Totie Mesia)=0=

Gloria And Her Generals And The US Are Not Averse To War In Mindanao

September 6, 2008

Last month, Fr. Eliseo “Jun” Mercado, OMI, a highly respected peace advocate and honest broker trusted by all sides in Mindanao and also president of Notre Dame University in Cotabato City charged after the MOA-AD signing was TRO’d that the Philippine government was negotiating in bad faith since it knows it cannot deliver on its promises. He said, “So why sign if you cannot deliver? There may be another motive, and that motive could be charter change.” Fr. Mercado was involved off and on in the peace talks in both personal and official capacity so he probably knows more than the ordinary layman.

It has been said that Malacanang under the watch of Gloria is simply a confluence of different contending factions, each with its own agenda and its own turf. Maybe for Gloria and politicians of her ilk clinging on to power beyond 2010 was the agenda for the MOA-AD charade. Maybe they were betting they can ride through an MOA-AD referendum enough Charter change that will assure their hold of Malacanang after 2010, thus ensuring they will be free from suits and jail.

And, of course, any diversion from the constant barrage of criticism against her regime is good for her. And also good for her husband and his group of businessmen who are always under suspicion and accusation of machinations in government contracts.

For the generals and powerful ex-generals maybe the agenda was to sucker the MILF into war, a war where they will have additional technical advantage compared to the 2000 “all-out” war of Erap, courtesy of the US. This will probably include the combination of satellite imagery, sigint and GPS reckoning. And it is obvious they have more confidence of “winning” this war than that of 2000. Their advance is comprehensive, attacking all the MILF camps in all the provinces it is present.

For the US, who always feel they are “stakeholders” in the Philippines, any agreement that will result in the recognition of autonomous Muslim territories which can be the refuge of “Muslim terrorists” is simply a no-no. I will not be surprised if they are the ones who primarily sabotaged the peace process thru the likes of Ermita and Esperon. In this they might be using the AFP as surrogates. No wonder the US troops never left Zamboanga since 2002 and instead it increased three-fold. And everybody thought they were simply “visiting.”

Come to think of it, isn’t the presence of Ambassador Kenney in Kuala Lumpur an anomaly? The US has never been part of the peace process in the South unlike the OIC, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Christian body politic cannot be charged with sabotage. After all they might have been left in the dark during the negotiations. Was this deliberate so that they will react with fury once they got wind of the terms of agreement? They can be manipulated by interested quarters especially if their perceived “rightful claims” are threatened. Are there people fanning the flames by pushing the resurgence of paramilitary groups?

To be fair to the Christians in Mindanao they do not want war either. It disrupts the economy, security becomes uncertain and they can become victims of bombings.

The peace process under the watch of Gloria is dead. It will be war from now but it does not mean that Gloria and her generals and the US are averse to it. They stand to gain from the war and weaken their “enemies” at the same time. In the end it will be the true stakeholders in Mindanao who are bound to lose.