by Kathleen Gapit

One of my professors in college asked us a very simple question. He asked us, “what bothers you?”, pertaining to anything that bothers us in the Philippines right now. Weird enough, I could think of more things that bother me here than my fingers can keep count of. I live in a country wherein politicians steal, yet they make laws that condemn those that do the same. I live in a country wherein most of the members of the population are Roman Catholic, yet they do things that are supposed to be against their morals and beliefs. I live in a country wherein trust is built on lies. I live in a country where dysfunction is normal.

How do I pick an aspect that deeply bothers me when nothing in my country remains strange? But amidst all this drama and my dramatic introduction, I did pick one special (not so special) aspect in the Philippines that bothers my everything. I’m guessing that a lot of people would agree on this, but a lot of people would also cringe at the fact that I even brought this up.

I hate the fact that the Catholic Church always has to get involved with everything happening in our government. I know, they stand for what they believe in and that is the true essence of democracy. However, they have reached to a point wherein they would enforce such beliefs to their followers just so they could have people to back them up and be their rock in protesting in different laws that they believe are inappropriate to have in this country. I am a Roman Catholic and don’t even get me wrong, I am all for the Church, the Bible, God being Omnipotent, All the angels and saints, Mama Mary, the 12 apostles of Jesus. I would even fight people who contest the existence of my Lord. I am a true believer of God, but I also believe in change.

The Church’s beliefs are quite old-fashioned and it cannot cope up with new insights and discoveries made by the young generations. If they keep contesting the country’s lawmakers, the country’s government and non-government organizations, and the whole government itself, we would all be stuck in living the old-fashioned way, with the youngsters struggling to find guidance and alternatives to be able to handle situations.

I think the Church needs to set its boundaries that its main goal is to preach the good news and not to interfere with such things that aren’t within its field of expertise. We elect politicians because we believe they have the best judgement for the common good, which means we trust them to do what is right and all the Catholic Church should do is to pray that these politicians make the right decisions for the betterment of the country.

The Philippines is a Catholic country. The Philippines is a democratic country. I am a Filipino. I am a Catholic. I want change. I want the separation of religion and government.


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