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Living in a very religious country - Comments

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 1 by mordacious1

Blame Spain, they ruined a lot of people's lives spreading their catholic nonsense. On the bright side, there are fewer muslims there.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 08:00:52 UTC | #945419

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 2 by mordacious1

Removed by Author

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 08:01:48 UTC | #945420

Random Jerk's Avatar Comment 3 by Random Jerk

I understand your pain living in a backward country like Philipines and have to go through all the religious flak. Also heard that the Philipino constitution is also loosely based on the Catholic doctrine and contraception is illegal. Is that true ? I only hope you can find more liked minded people out there and spend time with them. I'm not sure what you can do with respect to making an impact on public policy when the Secularists numbers are so low.

Anyways, I appreciate your boldness in coming out as an Atheist in such a religious nation.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 10:59:28 UTC | #945447

DaisyD's Avatar Comment 4 by DaisyD

Comment 1 by mordacious1 :

Blame Spain, they ruined a lot of people's lives spreading their catholic nonsense. On the bright side, there are fewer muslims there.

We have many enough Muslims in the country for them to demand the creation of an independent Muslim state.

Comment 3 by Srikar_NBK :

I understand your pain living in a backward country like Philipines and have to go through all the religious flak. Also heard that the Philipino constitution is also loosely based on the Catholic doctrine and contraception is illegal. Is that true ? I only hope you can find more liked minded people out there and spend time with them. I'm not sure what you can do with respect to making an impact on public policy when the Secularists numbers are so low.

Anyways, I appreciate your boldness in coming out as an Atheist in such a religious nation.

The Philippine constitution is loosely based on the US constitution, so in theory, there is separation of church and state, and we are provided with the right to free speech and the freedom of religion, among others. But in practice, we know that this is not the case. Catholic priests and bishops exert a lot of influence on politics and public policy. They even played a big role in the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

Contraception is not at all illegal, but is it very misunderstood that a lot of people equate it to abortion. And the Catholic church highly discourages it. Though if you ask them, they'd say they are not against "natural" contraception and lecture you about the "rhythm" method, which requires a lot of luck and discipline and a very regular menstrual cycle. I'm not sure if all government-run health centers provide free condoms and pills (budget constraints are a common problem among our government units), though they should, and the Reproductive Health Bill will ensure that they not only provide contraceptives, but also educate all people of reproductive age on what their options are (or rather, that they actually have options). The good news is that the bill is being highly debated about instead of being totally dismissed. In fact, a lot of its supporters admit to being religious, but are being realistic on how to tackle our problems of ignorance, overpopulation, poverty, maternal deaths, and teenage pregnancies. We are hoping that it gets put to vote before next year's elections, since the Catholic bishops are asking people not to support politicians that are in favor of the RH bill.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 14:46:33 UTC | #945476

bembol's Avatar Comment 5 by bembol

I took the easy way out. I migrated.

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 01:18:21 UTC | #945620

Net's Avatar Comment 6 by Net

i think the writer means GLBT

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 01:57:04 UTC | #945624

Chala's Avatar Comment 7 by Chala

These 'catholic bishops' are holding the whole country hostage. The sheer ugliness of religion ...

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 07:36:53 UTC | #945652

hpmaniac666's Avatar Comment 8 by hpmaniac666

I wish there was an easy answer for you.

Unfortunately it will never be like flicking a switch, whether you're living in a country of extremists or somewhere like Britain where you can at least tell people they are idiots to their face.

I say if you have the drive to do something about it (other than bitch about it to your friends and online, like I do) then concentrate on demographics where a tangible difference can be made. No one is ever going to sway the minds of those who've spent their entire lives buried in religious bigotry and righteousness. But there's a reason atheism is more common amongst the young.

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 19:46:47 UTC | #945744

Helga Vieirch's Avatar Comment 9 by Helga Vieirch

I have great sympathy with you. I have relatives in the Philippines, including a young second cousin who is at university there. I have the impression that the students, in discussion amongst themselves, are indeed often more liberal in their views.

Remember too that it was not so long ago that countries, which are now much more liberal in their public culture, were virtual theocracies. You are far from alone. There are quite possibly many other people who are just going along with the majority but whose private views are not unlike yours.

But the main issue you raise is ultimately political. Do people who demonstrate for women's rights get arrested in the Philippines? If not, attend demonstrations. This would of course make your private views public, which might put you in a bad position in some way or cause family trouble. But don't you think that speaking out against things that are unjust or even simply irrational is the only way to find out if change is possible?

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 06:19:38 UTC | #946275

DaisyD's Avatar Comment 10 by DaisyD

Comment 8 by hpmaniac666 :

I wish there was an easy answer for you.

Unfortunately it will never be like flicking a switch, whether you're living in a country of extremists or somewhere like Britain where you can at least tell people they are idiots to their face.

I say if you have the drive to do something about it (other than bitch about it to your friends and online, like I do) then concentrate on demographics where a tangible difference can be made. No one is ever going to sway the minds of those who've spent their entire lives buried in religious bigotry and righteousness. But there's a reason atheism is more common amongst the young.

Indeed, the best we could do is to teach the children how to think. Which reminds me, our education system needs to place more emphasis on science - and I mean not just the disjointed facts that we learn about in science classes, but the process itself.

Comment 9 by Helga Vierich :

I have great sympathy with you. I have relatives in the Philippines, including a young second cousin who is at university there. I have the impression that the students, in discussion amongst themselves, are indeed often more liberal in their views.

Remember too that it was not so long ago that countries, which are now much more liberal in their public culture, were virtual theocracies. You are far from alone. There are quite possibly many other people who are just going along with the majority but whose private views are not unlike yours.

But the main issue you raise is ultimately political. Do people who demonstrate for women's rights get arrested in the Philippines? If not, attend demonstrations. This would of course make your private views public, which might put you in a bad position in some way or cause family trouble. But don't you think that speaking out against things that are unjust or even simply irrational is the only way to find out if change is possible?

I have always been "out." My family knows about my political views, but they're rather indifferent about these issues and they rarely bring them up in conversations. Occasionally, we get into arguments over feng shui, or some new fashionable kind of quack medicine (the latest issue was "alkaline" water).

I have only been on a few demonstrations because my family is totally against me joining rallies. I asked some people what they think of demonstrations, and they say they are tired of demonstrating. I think we can attribute this to having two administrations deposed by means of mass demonstrations, only for the same system and same kind of people to be put back in power. When I left university and I got to think about it, I wonder if our politicians really hear everything people have to say, with all these demonstrations going on about all sorts of issues. And assuming that they heard everything, they have other priorities, and they have their own political careers to think about. They don't want to get into conflicts with big corporations who will possibly help finance their future electoral campaigns. They don't want to get into conflicts with religious groups, since the Catholic church and other Christian churches are still regarded by many as authorities on how people should live their lives, as well as how people should vote for their next leaders. It is therefore very urgent that we should let the people see these religious leaders for what they really are. And I really think the next thing we should do should be just as awareness-raising as this guy did.

Sat, 09 Jun 2012 03:36:35 UTC | #946494

Dovahkiin's Avatar Comment 11 by Dovahkiin

How in the world is this country ranked as a great place to be a woman? The op just stated divorce is illegal, lack of access to birth control, and jail time for adultry. It sounds like third world barbarism to me.

Sat, 09 Jun 2012 21:30:25 UTC | #946639

Isabetta's Avatar Comment 12 by Isabetta

Comment Removed by Author

Sun, 10 Jun 2012 09:00:00 UTC | #946703

Isabetta's Avatar Comment 13 by Isabetta

I feel your pain. I am from Malta, we only just included divorce in our legislation last year after a toughly fought campaign and referendum in which the Church played a very vociferous and nasty part. My mother actually told me to keep the fact that I am an atheist QUIET so that people do not find out... and that it is better to be a Muslim or a Jew than an atheist... well I just told her I am going to be louder than ever about it and anyone who does not like this can lump it.

P.S.: I am a 28-year-old woman!

Sun, 10 Jun 2012 09:01:59 UTC | #946704

DaisyD's Avatar Comment 14 by DaisyD

Comment 11 by Dovahkiin :

How in the world is this country ranked as a great place to be a woman? The op just stated divorce is illegal, lack of access to birth control, and jail time for adultry. It sounds like third world barbarism to me.

Exactly. I found the criteria used by the Newsweek survey, and found that the Philippines scored 86.3 out of 100 (overall). The breakdown was Justice: 88.4, Health: 57.0, Education: 92.2, Economics: 89.1, Politics: 85.6. The scores on Justice and Health were quite higher than I expected, but, on hindsight, we do have skilled health workers, and we do have a rather strong law addressing the violence against women and children (which, by the way, you can use to send your cheating husband to jail if you can't charge him under the concubinage law. I suspect though that it would be difficult to pass off infidelity as psychological abuse if the husband is discreet about it).

Comment 13 by Isabetta :

I feel your pain. I am from Malta, we only just included divorce in our legislation last year after a toughly fought campaign and referendum in which the Church played a very vociferous and nasty part. My mother actually told me to keep the fact that I am an atheist QUIET so that people do not find out... and that it is better to be a Muslim or a Jew than an atheist... well I just told her I am going to be louder than ever about it and anyone who does not like this can lump it.

P.S.: I am a 28-year-old woman!

Good job on legalizing divorce. Now the Philippines and Vatican City are the only two countries left in the world without a divorce law. I hope you are not in any danger by being open about your atheism. I wish you and your people well.

Sun, 10 Jun 2012 17:00:32 UTC | #946741

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 15 by All About Meme

LGBT hate crimes are rampant, and the most popular Filipino in the world is against gay marriage and it doesn't help that he is part of our legislative body.

Apparently Manny Pacquiao didn't pray hard enough last night. Either that, or the judges were Protestants.

Sun, 10 Jun 2012 17:40:15 UTC | #946744

Hobomidget's Avatar Comment 16 by Hobomidget

I was on a Baptist web site, what brought me on the site was a discussion on whether or not it is ok to marry a Japanese woman. Well I went to college with a Japanese woman that I was rather fond of, but never pursued; something I kind of regret to, especially after the tsunami that hit Japan; where she lived. Well I gave my opinion that a proper Japanese woman could only improve the gene pool of an American, I expressed this in a way not to offend their inbreed culture, as I was trying to be nice. I have family that are Baptists so I was trying to be respectful, but they started dinging me points for supporting multicultural marriages. (Their exact reason; word for word are as follows)

"Reason: Promoting miscegination on God's Favorite Forum" 65 points by this idiot named Jedediah, he is also a strict Republican. And makes racial remarks towards the U.S. president.

I tried to argue that such and infraction was not necessary and was by it's merits, prejudical and racially hateful. I was stuck again by a worse offender of decency. a person that called himself Brother Harold Porter. who told me:"This function is intended for reporting inappropriate posts, not for whining about a well-deserved infraction. Focus instead on improving the quality of your contributions.In Christ"

"Reason: Abusing the Report Post function" 100 points . I then of course called them a bunch of A-holes, as I am not that classy of an individual and then I got hit with another 100 ponts but thn they started editing things on my posts wich was showing my disrespect to Brother Harold porter and

they reedited my words to say "I said brother I wanna get all up on Violent Gay's dick, not Shaggy's!" and a bunch of stuff that is much worse. (then they gave me an infraction for their slander.)

Reason: Attempting to force the homersexural lifestyle on GOD's favorite forum (100 points) (this is the real spelling from the church officials website)

I tried to explain to the site that my words were being edited in an unfair way, but everything I said was being edited. I was not being represented in a way of my choosing. In fact every effort was given and infraction. Reasons were becoming more uncivilized during this progression. the next reasons include.

"Reason: Being a Sassy-Mouthed Feminazi Bitch" (100 points)

Reason: Robbing Jesus like a gypsy (100 points)

Reason: Vain Repeater (1000 points)

I had to leave because they were able to just write in what ever they wanted in the place of my texts, and it got pretty disgusting.

I don't see how the bible can be slanted in such a way as it was being used in the babtist forum, but they were all old entitled people that were very very active in the Republican party. If I had to live in the south I don't know how I would handle that. I do think that if I was that closely related to monkeys, as they are, I would deny Darwinism too. And look an old book to give me some kind of credibility. Because, lets face it, with out religion, what credibility could you give to someone that can barely read, or worse, some one so stupid that they can't figure that it is impossible for all the animals of the world to be put on a boat so that god could drown the giants of the earth. (they actually will believe anything)

http://www.landoverbaptist.net/showthread.php?p=894259#post894259

Oh well. It was all in fun. (except the racist stuff. I am not going to buy anything made in the southern states.)

Sun, 10 Jun 2012 21:52:55 UTC | #946783

Hobomidget's Avatar Comment 17 by Hobomidget

my final status on the blog ended up being:

"Confirmed Enemy of God BANNED from Landover -- Aeternal Damnation Assured"

I don't get to be in their club house?

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 01:44:34 UTC | #946794

GuillemotWatcher's Avatar Comment 18 by GuillemotWatcher

First and last never lose hope, but I think that was only a turn of phrase, because nothing you have written indicates you'd lose hope easily.

I suspect if you had been born in a 'more enlightened' age you would have spotted the injustices of that time, so I'm afraid you'll just have to accept the hand dealt you & envision how you can make a difference to improve matters, if not for this generation, then for future ones.

From my research of the Philippines & personal experience having been raised Catholic in Southern Ireland, significant change will only take place on a generational timescale. Be prepared to see no significant change in your lifetime & be prepared to suffer negative reactions if you become active in your opposition to the teachings of the RC Church. Those who love will not reject you, those who respect you will listen to you & those who recognize inequity will welcome you.

So I think you face two battles. 1) Against the practical injustices on the grounds of gender & sexual orientation in what is supposed to be a secular democracy. 2) Against the indoctrination of children by organised religions, especially the RC Church.

The internet is your greatest weapon in your fights, but I think educating & enlightening the young should be your primary aim. Long term that is your only hope of real chance, and it's something to focus on.

Are you a member of PATAS? If not you should join.

Take Care & Be Lucky

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 21:43:51 UTC | #946938

cynicaloptimistrealist's Avatar Comment 19 by cynicaloptimistrealist

Coming from a country which until about 20 years ago had very similar belief rates and attitudes to the Philippines, I understand how you feel. For me the beacons of hope were Mary Robinson (who spent much of her early political career championing civil rights for minorities and trying to legalise contraception, she eventually went on to become the first woman president) and David Norris (Ireland's first openly gay politician who spent years fighting the corner of Irelands LGBT community). Both were deeply unpopular at first earning the emnity of most of their fellow politicians, but their logic and clarity won out, these days both are extremely popular and have earned the deserved adulation of much of the population. The two people above and their small band of followers are probably most responsible for turning a backward near theocracy towards enlightenment (there is still a lot of work to be done though and very few have stepped into the void left by Ms. Robinson).

The next thing that helped change things permanently for the better here was the discovery that vast numbers of Catholic clergy had been involved in the wholesale buggery and brutalisation of generations of children. This had always been known about, I remember jokes from my childhood (How to circumcise a priest: Slap a choir boy in the head) which referred to such practices, but when the authorities eventually acknowledged and investigated it many believers felt a sense of deep betrayal and the understandable moral need to distance themselves from the Catholic church. Wherever catholicism has had the population in its grip, there has been rampant abuse of children by its officials. I am sure such a story is waiting to break open in the Philippines too and when it happens the stranglehold which Rome has over Manila will slip away and the church will have to adopt a defensive position (ie. we're not all kiddy fiddlers) such as the one in which it finds itself in Ireland. Unfortunately in most cases, pain is an indirect result of progress and in Ireland the high price paid by generations of innocent children resulted in the death of catholicism as a way of life, which I am thankful for.

So my advice to you, your country has very painful memories of Spanish occupation - associate that correctly with the imperialistic urges of Catholicism, there have to be thousands of suffreing children and adults with memories of a lost childhood out there - find them and encourage them to speak. Finally follow and where possible aid those who champion unpopular causes such as contraception and LGBT rights, they are the people who can change the course of a nation.

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 22:51:38 UTC | #947262

OHooligan's Avatar Comment 20 by OHooligan

@Comment 16 by Hobomidget

That was funny. But then, it wouldn't be funny if folks with minds like those running that website had actual power over your life. Like, in bygone days, and today in many places, they do. Then it becomes real unfunny real fast.

Heretic. Burn him.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:00:59 UTC | #947275

DaisyD's Avatar Comment 21 by DaisyD

Comment 18 by GuillemotWatcher :

Comment 19 by cynicaloptimistrealist :

I really appreciate both of you talking from experience and telling us how change is entirely possible though the process may be long and painful. Thank you.

I've heard of PATAS through the convention they held last April. I am not a member yet, but I'm planning to be one.

Last June 12 was the 114th anniversary of our declaration of independence from Spain, and I am reminded that my ancestors tried to throw Spain out because of the abuses of the colonial government, mainly the Spanish priests, but 114 years on, we remain slaves to these Catholic priests. That's how powerful they are in this country. Sad but true.

Comment 20 by OHooligan :

@Comment 16 by Hobomidget

That was funny. But then, it wouldn't be funny if folks with minds like those running that website had actual power over your life. Like, in bygone days, and today in many places, they do. Then it becomes real unfunny real fast.

Heretic. Burn him.

That's why it's urgent to make that kind of thinking obsolete.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 17:45:15 UTC | #947429

ceecee500's Avatar Comment 22 by ceecee500

I understand where you are coming from. My boyfriend is from the Philippines, and has never fit in there. At first, I wondered why he literally hated all of his fellow Filipinos. As time grew, I started to see the ignorance that he faced while in that country. I initially thought it was just like any culture, and there will always be some people who are against women's rights and so on. Upon hearing that one cannot get divorced there, the ignorance of domestic violence and women's rights, the homophobia, and the extreme intolerant religious body, I understood why he felt uneasy there. I also wonder about the acceptance of child abuse over there. Every Filipino that I have encountered tells me horrible stories about extreme abuse, and it seems to be widely accepted.

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 23:57:39 UTC | #947642

DaisyD's Avatar Comment 23 by DaisyD

Comment 22 by ceecee500 :

It is socially acceptable here to punish a child by spanking, hitting him with a slipper or belt or cane or a rolled up newspaper, making him kneel on rock salt or rice grains, twisting his ears, threatening to drown him in a barrel of water, and other things I may not have heard of (ask anyone from the Philippines, chances are they have experienced at least one of these). These methods are not as popular before, but still, most people here equate "spanking" to "discipline" and there are those who use this to justify their beating of their own children. The prevalence of abuse on women and children led our lawmakers to put an anti-violence law in place. Corporal punishment may also be outlawed soon.

And speaking of legislation, I am pleased to hear that a lawmaker is seeking to ban religious symbols and ceremonies in government offices and uphold church-state separation as provided by our constitution. It's not going to shake off the influence that religion has in our government since it has roots that go back 400 years, but it's a start. I wonder what Padre Damaso has to say on that.

Sat, 16 Jun 2012 10:18:35 UTC | #947683

yuriicide's Avatar Comment 24 by yuriicide

Indeed. Get out of there if you can. All the best

Comment 1 by mordacious1 :

Blame Spain, they ruined a lot of people's lives spreading their catholic nonsense. On the bright side, there are fewer muslims there.

Sat, 16 Jun 2012 10:48:54 UTC | #947685

DaisyD's Avatar Comment 25 by DaisyD

Update on bill to ban religion in government offices: Congressman gets cold feet. Damaso triumphant.

Tue, 26 Jun 2012 03:06:30 UTC | #948087

rblauer's Avatar Comment 26 by rblauer

I feel you! Indonesia is also a very religious country (well, you kinda have to have a religion (6 major religions only though) there.) Your ID will have your religion on it. I wonder when is the time come that there will be the seventh choice.... none of the above :) At school, we have to take religion class, I was asked...so which religion classes will you attend. First, I chose catholic then I failed that class because I didn't join the retreat (counted as the final exam), Second, I chose christian and I got A. If I could choose, I would say...Can I just opt out the religion class?? I mean if I want to take religion class, I can go to a church or something.

I have various of religious beliefs in my family, we have Catholics, Budhist, Christians, and Muslims, and closet Atheists. Isn't it sad that everybody gets to be out of the closet but the Atheists kinda have to stay in the closet?

When the country legalize freedom to choose not only the 6 major religions, we'll see many people actually choose choice number 7.

Sun, 01 Jul 2012 08:32:11 UTC | #948385

Helga Vieirch's Avatar Comment 27 by Helga Vieirch

Daisy I just found this short video on the role of the Catholic church in influencing politics. You might find it interesting.

Sat, 14 Jul 2012 16:05:39 UTC | #949189