The Philippine Legislature: Heathens at the Pulpit
By Joe America
A few articles ago, I did a story about faith. The gist was that idolatry and faith, not facts and acts, are propping up President Duterte.
A reader was sharp enough to point out that democracy is also a faith.
My first reaction was, “huh?”, but as I thought about it, I had to agree.
The “god” is community welfare or the common good. The book is the Constitution. The pope is the President and the legislators are part priest and part scribe, re-writing the doctrinal rules (laws) that flow forth from the Great Book.
Citizens have faith in democracy. They have faith in its goodness, in the freedoms, the fairness, the opportunities for prosperity, the security, and the inspiration that comes from being deeply involved in all of this. From many, one, and a nation that does its democracy well generates so much that is good. Appreciation of diversity and equal voices for all. Breaking social barriers based on knowledge rather than superstition. Responsible health care. Crime control. Innovation. Working on climate change. Adopting common principles that seek to bind nations together rather than make war.
Democracy inspires pride in one’s nation, one citizen caring for the others, one citizen being cared for. It’s a team and when it works well it is better than Gilas or the Cubs or Warriors. Because it is not a game. It is how we choose to live. And it defines the PRINCIPLES by which we choose to live.
Democracy is not perfect, but it is dynamic, adaptive, and generally better than any other model of governance. Dictatorships typically devolve into power-mongering, infringement on human rights, and greed. Socialism doesn’t generate economic productivity and the jobs and prosperity that come from a managed, competitive, and fair economy. Plus socialism tends to restrain human rights. We can’t really be us because we have to fit into the State’s mold.
The Philippines is a democracy, but most citizens have never been inspired to take it on as a deep personal commitment akin to a religious faith. It is not a cause they would throw their lives behind. Well, that is because the priests have been out cheating and molesting the congregation since Aguinaldo took cattle from the people to try to bribe Admiral Dewey into speaking well of him. Unfortunately, the congregation’s faith has become one of cynicism and envy. And their method has become one of cheating, a laziness of mind, dishonesty . . . and, for too many, drugs. And they shirk accountability for anything and everything.
It is easy to shirk accountability when you don’t see it in your leaders.
The current crop of legislators, our democratic priests, are no different. Well, they may be worse. It’s hard to discern that they have ANY regard for the common good, the Constitution or any of the ideals we attach to fair government. Like human rights. Rather than serve as custodians of diversity, inclusion and fairness, they are enablers of the killings now running wild across the land. Drug users, who are the people government has taken care of WORST, are being accused of causing all the problems of Philippine society. They are being made into scapegoats . . . and have become nothing more than animal prey . . . while the priests hold a kangaroo court trying to stop those who want to stop the killings.
Talk about men of little courage or conscience.
Read it and weep. Those Filipinos killed are people who surrendered, kids whose only mistake was being with their parents on the wrong day, people begging for their lives, fathers whose kids just don’t deserve such pain, almost 5,000 innocents who never saw the inside of a courtroom. And witnesses.
As for all the trolls and congressmen who presume the dead are guilty, in what godawful hellhole have you earned the right to dispense such smug moral judgment on REAL people?
Hundreds of the priests got their positions by wearing the color of Cory Aquino. They swapped the color, and the integrity it represents, for personal gain. They know no shame.
These priests are also stealing the nation’s integrity by rushing through a cavalier show of due process on a Federalism law that is being done NOT BECAUSE of economic and social benefits, or security, but because a warlord wants to divide the Philippines geographically into Mindanao, Manila and a dozen throwaway, poor federal states of no economic means whatsoever. The guy who has always hated Manila is in charge of Manila, and he does not care a whit if BPO’s flee, high rises go dark, and Chinese bosses move into town. As long as the wealth of the nation, and even its sovereignty, can be spent on building infrastructure and independence for Mindanao.
The Legislature stands idle as soul-brother America is pushed away and gangster China, her ships sitting impudently in Philippine seas, is embraced. No voices are raised as a terrorist leader, the killer of AFP troops and innocent citizen hostages of Zamboanga, is welcomed to speak at the Presidential pulpit.
Any person or group that stands up for decency and principle, from Americans to Catholics to professional journalists to direct-speaking senators like De Lima and Trillanes, are insulted and denigrated. They are portrayed as undermining, or betraying, the nation. Meanwhile, thieves, killers and convicts are praised as patriotic, and granted power.
Such is the integrity of Philippine democracy under the stewardship of the legislative priests.
I wonder what VALUES these priests endorse, if not those of the Constitution and its crystal clear demand that legislators take good care of citizen well-being from security to human rights?
Where is decency? Not in the Legislature? Where is fairness? Not in the Legislature. Where is courage and patriotism? Not in the Legislature.
What book are they thumping, if not the Constitution?
Today the Philippine democracy, as a religion, is self-sacrificial. We stand back wide-eyed and slack jawed to watch as the priests jump into the fiery hot volcano along with the virgins, accomplishing absolutely nothing of courage, honor and integrity on the way down.
I say to ye verily, my dear democratic brothers and sisters. There are heathens at the pulpit.