That’s according to Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, who recently chastised the Kapisanan Ng Mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), for not regulating certain radio disc-jockeys on the late night circuit who “are using indecent and vulgar language.”
While that is certainly an expected statement from a member of the Catholic hierarchy, it does not mean that is the only viewpoint we should be listening to.
First off, I wished the Inquirer reporter had asked the bishop to give specific names of disc jockeys or radio programs which offended his religious sensibilities; that way, any one would be able to gauge that statement for themselves.
If the disc jockeys/programs in question are indeed guilty of breaking the law, then by all means, the government and the KBP should exert all efforts to ensure that they are punished accordingly. (Offhand, legal provisions on that broad category of “indecency” would probably be enough to charge any offenders.)
What I find disturbing – monumentally – is why Bastes was complaining: his contention that “we are a Christian country” certainly leaves a bad taste in the mouth, particularly for those who have been advocating a more secular space and tone where discussions of laws and government are brought up, in the context of a democratic government and country.
And what bothers me is that his statement is no different from when the Spanish conquerors claimed these islands for their king centuries ago: He makes it seem like the Philippines has been conquered, and is now the property of the Catholic Church, Inc., so much so that the way things happen and are run in this country should be to their specifications.
Here is a small list of what I have observed as things they want to have or happen:
- No talking about sex.
- Presidents of a democratic country should bow down to us and our whims.
- Catholicism is Christianity. All other “Christian sects” are invalid.
- We don’t care about offending other religions and “their” feelings. But no one should dare say anything negative about the Catholic faith! (I wager they must miss the days when beheadings still took place.)
- What our religion says should be inscribed into secular law.
- Feel free to add your own observations here: ____________________________________.
Let me reiterate: if laws have been broken, then prosecute, charge, and punish. And by laws, I mean secular laws, the laws by which all citizens of this country are bound to, regardless of religious preference.
The bishop is forgetting one important fact: Catholicism does not hold the monopoly/trademark on what is to be deemed moral/correct/righteous.Unless we have transformed our form of government into a theocracy, we would well be reminded of a basic truth in a democracy: Religion is a choice.
Someone reacted to my previous post about Mary the Catholic deity, saying that we cannot fault anyone for thinking that all Filipinos are Catholic, seeing as majority subscribe to that religion. Bellowing out statistical data is not the same as respecting everyone’s rights under a democracy. Being the religious majority does not give anyone the right to summarily disregard other religions. To paraphrase what Father Joaquin Bernas (one of our Constitution’s framers) has stated, in a democracy, all religions are seen as equal, and no one religion is to be treated as “superior,” and rightfully so.
Everyone should be seen as equal, under a democracy—unless anyone wants to contest that.
Image from fielclan.blogspot.com