Monday, February 22, 2010

“Separation of Church and State”

It is both funny and strange when the standard battle cry of “Separation of Church and State” is fervently and loudly invoked when certain individuals in tenure of a public office feel frustrated in their ethically questionable options or meet rejection of their morally bankrupt projects. This is exactly the sentiment and the counter-offensive of someone who should know better what the Philippine Constitution really provides and means. The real problem of such government officials is their futile wish for the bishops, priests and religious to act as if they know nothing, see nothing, and say nothing even when said public officials engage in unethical and/ or immoral plans, programs and projects. There appears to be the vivid desire to be exempted from the Commandments in the order of nature, to be over and above solid ethical norms and sound moral principles.

Recently, there was the loud and public lamentation made by the head of a government agency concerned, that sounded something like this: The CBCP has the blame in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the Philippines when its free condom gimmick during the last Valentine’s Day was censured by some bishops. Perhaps, just perhaps, the otherwise illustrious public official, does not know that condoms are not only supposedly anti-aids and contra-population items – but also, and specially so, gadgets that are pro-promiscuity, pro-infidelity, pro-immorality, pro-irresponsibility and other unsound value systems.

Incidentally, the same personality appears curiously blind and silent about the following aid/hiv highly effective transmission realities: The continuous operation of many prostitution houses all over the Country – catering to people of different socio-economic standings. The rising number of motels famous for their “short-time” rates – sprouting out specially in urban areas. The blatant exhibition of gross sexual materials through the internet nationwide – with proper instructions where to go for the “real thing”. The official local porno IT sites – “by the way” buying and selling downright raw sex. The hiring of women and young girls found roaming around many streets – as “pick-up” businesses. “Escort” services. Sex “tours”. “Adult only” Sex clubs. And other means for truly efficacious dissemination of sexual diseases.

By the way, the constitutional provision invoked does not even say such an esoteric and arcane phrase “separation of church and state”. Instead, the Fundamental Law of the Land rightly provides that the State shall not have an official religion, viz., shall not adopt any Church as its official faith. This basic law of the land is not only right and just, but also proper and prudent. Reason: There are so many “Churches”, creeds and sects in practically all the corners of the streets in the Country that for the State to choose anyone of them as its official religion, ultimately means interminable religious squabbles – not to mention the possibility of scandalous and dangerous “religious wars”. Hence, when a priest himself is a governor, when no less than a religious leader is campaigning for the Office of the President, when Bishops become members of government commissions and the like, the so called “Separation of Church and State” is not even invoked.

OVCruz, JCD
February 22, 2010