Archive | June, 2009

Couple's Choice

“What god has put together let no man put asunder”.

Every priest knows that. You hear a lot of this phrase whenever the topic of marriage comes up especially on the question of ending it – meaning divorce.

But what every priest should also try to see is a thought that is hidden between the lines.


What God has put together let no man put asunder

In the same manner as the issue of ending a….

What God has put together let no man put asunder

Marriage, the married couple’s sex lives….

What God has put together let no man put asunder

Is also out of your business especially if you don’t have….

What God has put together let no man put asunder

One of your own!

What God has put together let no man put asunder


Also seen in my blog

Posted in Religion, Society4 Comments

Suspending masses?

Masses may be suspended if flu spread worsens

MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Church is condering (sic) suspending Masses should the spread of the A(H1N1) flu virus become worse in the Philippines – as a “last resort.”

But Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, along with some priests and parishioners, thinks the proposal unnecessary, according to Mariz Umali in her GMA Weekend Report aired on Sunday, shortly after midnight.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines made the announcement through Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Yñiguez.

They should suspend masses for contaminating people with Gerin Oil.

Cross-posted @ Verbal Razors.

Posted in Religion, Society3 Comments

Angels and Demons

I struggled how to write this review thinking how I can judge the movie independent of the book.   Eventually I accepted the fact that there is no other view that I can offer except that of a reader.  As a film Angels and Demons is a failure.

Yes it retained the usual elements; the murders; the stories of persecutions in history including the occasional unsolicited historical trivia coming from Robert Langdon. Of course they also retained secret codes and historically inspired puzzles.  Unfortunately, as great as the aforesaid elements may be they are not the heart and soul of the story.

The heart and soul of the story is challenging the status quo and perhaps unbeknownst to filmmakers it lay in two characters, Leonardo Vetra and the Pope. Both are priests and both are also pro-science which in real life is far from the norm.

Leonardo Vetra in the movie is Silvano Bentivoglio, partner to Vittoria Vetra.  After the character discovered antimatter he was murdered just 5 minutes into the film.  The Pope on the other hand is just dead.  Both he and the movie version of Leonardo were mentioned only verbally in the end.  Without any physical embodiment who they are and what they stood for was forgettable.

With the story’s theme of science versus religion, these two characters carried the argument at least for the book.  They do not strike anyone as the stereotypical priests and neither are they the villain.  Their beauty is that the credibility to stand in both sides of the argument with equal force.

But what really highlighted them was that they have families. Vittoria Vetra was an adopted daughter of Leonardo which in the movie was reduced to a research partner in Silvano.  The Pope was a deeply pious man who loved a woman and longed for a child.   That ambivalence was what drove him to love science especially he availed of in vitro fertilization.  To be part a father without violating the law of chastity was for him heaven sent.

Is it possible for science to explain God?   Is it right for a Pope to have fathered a child even without the sex?  Are they entirely wrong or are they entirely right?  Wrong or right, nothing truly makes you think than a controversial idea.

Without them all Angels and Demons the movie had are the extremes: the scientist who bit off more than he could chew or the religious zealot who could not accept the encroachment of modern science into what was during the middle ages their domain.   Obviously there is not much of a choice.  The attempt to verbally express the good qualities of science and religion which the two characters would have been effective in embodying was drowned in the murders, persecutions, and secret codes.

While those are indeed great elements to have any story can have murder.   History books have stories of persecutions and historically they can be more accurate.  Puzzles don’t make it special.  But how many stories dared challenge the status quo.  The true heart and soul of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon is challenging Christianity and it went away along with the disappearance of Vetra and the Pope in the film.

As it is, Angels and Demons is a no brainer because it requires literally no brains.  It also answers the question why the church and religious groups did not put up a fight against its release.  The film is a tour of Rome and the Vatican City; it is an expensive way to kiss ass, nothing more.

While I agree that in most cases a film should have leeway in deviating from the book, however, that is no excuse from changing the essence of the story all together.  That is why Angels and Demons is a failure.

Also seen in my blog

Posted in Reviews4 Comments

Bishop blasts science, secularism, women and children

Albay bishop challenges priests: restrain secularism, worldly sciences

LEGAZPI CITY, June 20, 2009—Bishop Administrator Lucilo B. Quiambao has challenged all the priests to restrain from secularism, worldly sciences and preserve virtues most relevant to them during the high mass held yesterday at St. Gregory the Great Cathedral, here.

I think priests should at least engage in secularism and “worldly” science (what other science is there?) if they are to be of any worth to society.

Mentioning virtues of meekness, prudence, respect and decorum must be observed and practiced in an effort to win the sinners and weak souls especially the children and women.

Wow, unbelievable! The church can’t seem to shed their misogynist tendancies. How can we take seriously the leaders of the church if they continue to view women as sinners (seductresses like Eve) and/or have weak souls (easily manipulated by talking snakes). And the children, those little ones who seduce pedophile priests with their charming innocence!

(Cross-posted from Verbal Razors)

Posted in Religion2 Comments

Antique Governor is a Catholic lapdog

We’re for natural family planning, says Antique governor

MANILA, June 23, 2009—The Catholic Church has found an ally in Antique Governor Salvacion Z. Perez when it comes to the issue of natural family planning.

Speaking to CBCPNews late Monday morning, Perez said she have been going around the province informing the people of the need to adopt the natural family planning.

While the “natural” method is useful, it cannot be the only method available to women. It is not as effective as condoms, pills, injectibles, or IUDs, nor can it prevent the spread of venereal diseases. It is sad to see that while the church is losing support from its own laity, self-serving politicians have taken the slack and are enforcing the church’s dogmas to their constituents.

(Cross-posted from Verbal Razors)

Posted in Society1 Comment

Become an FF Contributor

From the forum:

Now, anyone can submit their freethought essays to our website for publishing.
Here’s how it works:

  1. Register for a Contributor account.
  2. Post your essay. It’s really easy, thanks to the WYSIWYG editor of WordPress. If you find it difficult you may instead send your post to our secretary (feedback will take longer if you do this).
  3. Our editors will review your post. They will let you know if some editing is needed. If only minor errors are found (spelling, grammar, usage) the editors will make the editions.
  4. After working with the editor on revision/proofreading your piece will be published.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Posted in Organization0 Comments

The Theocracy Of Ed Panlilio

“I will not volunteer to run. But if God tells me to run through this collective process, so be it.
I will also come to a personal discernment.
Whatever is the decision that brings peace to my heart,
then that must be His will.”
-Ed Panlilio

“PGMA is evil but what we need is not a saint, let alone a Catholic saint.” This is exactly what I thought when the news reached me that the priest-turned-politician Gov. Ed Panlilio of Pampanga has confirmed to vie for presidency next year May.

Given the historical reality that this country being tagged as Asia’s Most Corrupt have been administered by presidents, senators, congressmen, most of which pledge allegiance to the Roman Catholic fold, is a watertight argument that religious affiliation doesn’t necessarily make a trustworthy and effective public servant.

Early this year we have witnessed the eve of the inauguration of  US President Barrack Obama the way he address the thousands of Americans on how the United States is “a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers.” And in his commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame, he said that the Golden Rule binds “people of all faiths and no faith together.” If Gov. Ed Panlilio be elected on the highest position in government I strongly doubt that words to this effect will also be uttered, and constitutional separation of Church and State be uphold.
 If religiosity of people is the answer to the sickening wide margin between the rich and the poor then why our country is way behind our neighbors despite being bastion of Catholicism?

Let us remind ourselves that no matter how good his intention in running for the presidential position as long as he will go against House Bill 5043 or Reproductive Health Bill, and other national issues concerning moral and intellectual progress we should definitely NOT vote for him, the way I did for born-again televangelist Eddie Villanueva last national election.

Posted in Politics, Religion17 Comments

The Best Filipino Bowlers (who are freethinkers)

Here are some pics of last Sunday’s bowling event:

And although it wasn’t a contest, I’m giving out honorary awards, so everyone’s a winner:

  • Igme: Highest Overall Scorer.
  • Wesley: Most Powerful Shot
  • Danny Boy: Best Bowler’s Genes (His dad scores a perfect game at least once a month.
  • Allan: Best Hooker (he has a blue ball and a wrister. for his hook shot of course.)
  • Paul: Most Improved Player
  • Miguel: Most Room for Improvement

See you next time! And too bad for those who couldn’t make it. It was definitely the most fun I’ve ever spent bowling with freethinkers in Starmall in my entire life 😉

Posted in Meetup, Organization, Pictures3 Comments