Tag Archive | "2010 Philippine Elections"

Religion, Politics, and Alcohol


 

 

 

 

It is a common warning that when drinking, one should avoid any talk on religion or politics because that’s a recipe for disaster. These topics are very personal to some people, and if someone criticizes their deity or candidate – add to that the effects of alcohol to everyone – it is often just a matter of time before a drunken remark is taken the wrong way by the drunk listener, leading to more hostile exchanges that won’t be limited to words.

Interestingly, religion, politics, and alcohol have one thing in common: they get people drunk. The religious followers get drunk on the promise of salvation and wellbeing amid all their problems – while the religious leaders get drunk with power. The political followers get drunk on the promise of an end to corruption and poverty – while the political leaders get drunk with power.

And of course, if there’s the intoxication, sometimes there’s also the hangover. This may exclude the deeply religious who never ‘sobered up’ until they died, but oftentimes the faithful are sooner or later confronted with the problem of evil and gratuitous pain, and many suffer from cognitive dissonance trying to reconcile this with the existence of a loving and powerful deity. On the other hand, when politicians fail to deliver their promises, their supporters wake up with a splitting headache to an ugly reality.

On May 10 many will get drunk with hope  hope for a better government and a better life. A lot is at stake here and there are forces trying to jeopardize this hope, so people get emotional and wary at the same time. And this is where the liquor ban makes sense because you wouldn’t want to add any more intoxication to all the excitement.

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DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in this article represent the views of the author ‘innerminds‘ and do not necessarily represent the editorial position of www.filipinofreethinkers.org.

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Divine Revelation


When religious leaders endorse political candidates, there is an implied underlying assumption that they are ‘merely’ announcing the will of God to the people. And underlying that assumption is the unstated premise that these leaders are true recipients of divine revelation, hence, they appoint themselves as “Messengers of God”.

Although I have already quoted it before, I guess it doesn’t hurt to revisit what the deists have to say about ‘revelation’:

Revelation: The act of revealing or of making known. In the religious sense, revelation usually means divine revelation. This is meaningless, since revelation can only be revelation in the first instance. For example, if God revealed something to me, that would be a divine revelation to me. If I then told someone else what God told me it would be mere hearsay to the person I tell. If that person believed what I said, they would not be putting their trust in God, but in me, believing what I told them was actually true.

Unfortunately, a lot of people do not seem to appreciate this. They take their leaders’ words in good faith – as the true word of God – because who would dare use the name of God in vain?

Now I can’t help but wonder what would happen if the candidate a certain minister is endorsing does not win. Will this undermine the will of God – or just the preacher’s status as recipient of divine revelation?

Possibly neither. Just as the Problem of Evil never really succeeded in sowing skepticism in the minds of people who believe in an all-powerful and loving God, unfulfilled prophecies will probably do little damage to these evangelists’ credibility – at least among their followers. If they were able to come up with sophisticated theodicies whose logical fallacies escape even the supposedly smart people, it doesn’t seem like a leap of faith to imagine that they are already crafting “divine answers” in case their endorsements do not fare well on election day.

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DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in this article represent the views of the author ‘innerminds‘ and do not necessarily represent the editorial position of www.filipinofreethinkers.org.

Posted in Politics, ReligionComments (17)


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