The Philippines and Its Mocked Democracy and Christianity


07-09-2005, 04:50 PM

The Philippines and Its Mocked Democracy and Christianity

I am a democrat because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that every one deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. (C.S.LEWIS, ’Equality’ in Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces)

The battle cry of the first EDSA Revolution was: ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God’ and we defined democracy that way. A decade and a half later, we have another bloodless revolution and it only shows that we affirmed that view of democracy. Then we have another political crisis and some religious right group are again calling for another EDSA. If you have read the message of James Reuter in his article ‘The Only Hope for the Philippines’ circulating around, he is right in his assessment that ‘At best, we have moved one step forward, but three steps backward’.

A while back, I was reading ‘Why Government Can’t Save You’ and in that book you will realize that ‘Over the past several centuries, people have mistakenly link democracy and political freedom to Christianity.’ Was the author dead-on? Some may say, “Well without it (EDSA) where would we be today?” Who knows, but the Sovereign God has ordained every government-even a government like that of Nero for His own purposes. We should be reminded by Isaiah that “God’s ways are not your ways; neither are His thoughts your thoughts”. Yes we are like Rousseau, and we defend democracy on the wrong ground and we mistakenly equated Christianity with democracy.

Kevin Swanson said: It is not democracies that will win freedom, for democracies can selfishly vote for stronger government controls on minority groups. Democracies can vote for Hitler and Stalin. Democracies can vote for lawlessness. But freedom is dependent on Christians. (The Second Mayflower). Isn’t it ridiculous that we always boast to our neighboring countries that we are the only Christian country in Asia and yet we are lagging economically and morally? Why? Because we love to identify with Christianity but we don’t practice it. Our faith has played a destructive role in politics rather than a constructive one.

I remember posting an article just before the previous presidential election urging the Church to go back to its peculiar role (its two fold ministry of prayer and preaching the Gospel) and not to waste its time, money and energy to political activism and political lobbying (in many cases the Roman Catholic Church but alarmingly the Evangelical Protestants at large). Some have reacted saying: “Manood na lang ba tayo?” What I mean is we should not forget our God-given role as Christian citizens which is explicitly outlined in Romans 13 and Titus 3.

By abandoning the peculiar duty of the Church I agree with one writer in saying that ‘one of the great obstacles to reform is likely to be the clergy’. I even remember refuting Eddie Villanueva in that article because he is using the name of Christianity for political gain. Has he not learned one from Pat Robertson? I read in the news the other day that he is urging the Filipinos to participate in another EDSA revolution (and it is good that the Archbishop of Manila is not calling for one). Nakakasawa na! What a waste of time and money! During the presidential elections, he claimed that he was called by God for the presidency and that this is the highest calling. I think he is not reading the Scriptures and he is back to his old ways- political activism.

The highest calling for a man is to be a preacher of the Word and social reform can’t be achieved by political means! I said that because I have in view the Fall of Man. I have experienced living in a First World country like Japan and it has its own problem–basically the same–graft and corruption, crime, bird flu, economic, political, you name it. It is just in varying degrees of form but basically the problem we have in a Third World is the same with that of a First World. (If you think that you can escape this social problems by migrating to another country, I’ll tell you you will only be frustrated.) We all struggle, whatever government it may be, whatever society we may fit in, we struggle because of the Fall of Man. The social problems that we encounter daily is only the symptoms of our real problem–SIN–rooted from The Fall.

The real issue is men’s heart. The problem is–we tend to cure always the symptoms but not the illness itself. We major the minor and we minor the major. I am addressing that especially to the Church who is so much preoccupied with making its impression in the political world rather than in a spiritual dimension as if Christianity is another political organization-prioritizing the minor and abandoning its peculiar duty as the ‘ground and pillar of truth’. Are we really Christians? Sin is what ails society and politics is not the gospel. If we are going to see our nation transformed, it has to be done from the inside out. The Gospel is our only hope.

There is a kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious.
[b]C.S.Lewis, The Last Battle


07-09-2005, 08:07 PM

Hello Sam,

In-edit ko ang iyong post, mostly dahil sa formatting, para mas madaling basahin. I hope you don’t mind. Mabigat yata itong post mo para sa chit-chat? :smiley:


07-09-2005, 08:34 PM

Hello sam!

Welcome to timog forum! Please make yourself at home (may pagkain sa fridge hehe).
Like you, I’m dismayed at the current situation in RP and I’m glad that TF members are concerned as well!

I agree with you 100% that religion in the Philippines is much too politicized, and vice versa. But I can’t understand the rest of your argument, namely that “social reform can’t be achieved by political means”. I mean, isn’t that why we have governments in the first place? Secondly, you imply that morality can only be achieved through Christianity. Well, what about countries like Japan? (Buddhist/atheist, and without the Christian preoccupation with sin). And I think everyone can agree that the situation in the Philippines and in Japan are NOT the same, ne.

Just having a friendly discussion :slight_smile: :type:


07-09-2005, 10:45 PM

salamat for editing. great job man! andres, salamat sa reply and for reading. I am writing part 2 of that article and hope to answer your points. hope to make it short para mas madaling basahin. arigato gozaimasu. jaane


07-16-2005, 09:16 PM

Hello Sam,

Thanks for posting this lengthy opinion piece on Timog. While I don’t agree with your central thesis, I nevertheless think that discussions like this are good, as we get to hear many sides of the story.

It is not democracies that will win freedom, for democracies can selfishly vote for stronger government controls on minority groups. Democracies can vote for Hitler and Stalin. Democracies can vote for lawlessness. But freedom is dependent on Christians.I think it’s a narrow view of democracy that we always follow the whims of the majority. Suppose, for example, that because the majority of Filipinos are Christians, we can ban all religions in the Philippines except Christianity (or for that matter, everything except Roman Catholicism). I don’t think that’s how democracies work. It is actually a test of political maturity of a democratic nation if it can protect the rights of its minorities.

As for Germans and Russians choosing Hitler and Stalin, well, they’ve learned their mistakes.

I also don’t believe that Christianity is the answer to all our problems. Religion should be concerned with people’s personal relationship with God, not with nation-building. It is, in fact, a sign that our national institutions are weak that the Church (and the military) can make or break a sitting president. Besides, if Christianity is our hope, what about other Filipinos who belong to different religions? Or nations who are predominantly non-Christians, like India, Thailand or Japan?

If we want solutions to our national problems, maybe we should rationally study history and economics and learn from our Asian neighbors – countries like Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, China and yes, Japan, too. Aren’t we relying too much on heavenly intervention to cure our ills?

Just making friendly comments…


07-17-2005, 03:32 AM

Not to simplify things or anything, but regardless of what type of government you have, wether it be democratic, socialist, theocratic, you name it, as long as a one or a few people can weild power over the many, the temptation of abusing of power will always be there. Its up to us, the people to make it hard for the people in the government to fall in to this temptation. I remember a scene in the movie “Gladiator” where the Roman senator Gracchus says, “Rome is the mob”. Even the mighty Roman emperor has to bow down to the whims of the people. As long as enough voices are raised, it will make it harder for a government official to abuse his/her power at will. On the other hand this can also mean that they can get away with minor offenses, if he/she doesn’t piss of a lot of people. But I believe that no government was, is or is going to be perfect. Democracy is the best type of government for most countries that history has provided for us so far. In my opinion, the perfect government is no government at all. But this is utopia, and hence impossible, at least for me. Neither do I believe that Christianity is not the solution to our political problem. Yes, Christianity, if people really lived its values, would provide a moral backbone for the society. (Although quite frankly, I don’t believe you have to be a Christian to be a good person. I’ve known Agnostics who are by far deserving of heaven than your average Christian) But alas, having well meaning people is not enough. You’d have to have people who have the capability to provide a socioeconomic solution for our country, and a population that is willing to take a bitter pill once that solution is presented. We have a fitting proverb, “Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa”. Prayer is well and good, but we do have to break a sweat if our prayers are to bear fruit. Jesus himself has told us “Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s, and give to God what is God’s”. The Kingdom of men is just too different from God’s Kingdom to apply one rule to both.


09-12-2006, 07:13 PM

Hello Sam,

In-edit ko ang iyong post, mostly dahil sa formatting, para mas madaling basahin. I hope you don’t mind. Mabigat yata itong post mo para sa chit-chat? :smiley:

…Nive doryoku Sam San:)
pero sa last line ng reply ni Nick San may point siya…

This is an archived page from the former Timog Forum website.