Church and politics - A (not so) secret love affair-A A +A
Tropical Storm Igme
Sunday, October 7, 2012
THERE they were: clutching banners and ribbons of purple and yellow, an unusual crowd from a typical day have been waiting outside and inside the walls of St. Augustine church. And there they were: their champions in front of the altar, seeking enlightenment from the divine providence, to guide their path.
After a solemn mass, there they were, marching towards the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to formally lodge their papers in a bid for an electoral post in the government, under the spiritual guidance.
Quite a typical scenario in the beginning of the election season, even just in the filing of candidacies, politicians and their supporters gathered in every church, and since the country is a Catholic majority, we see them flocking inside cathedrals like it was a fiesta or a special occasion.
And the Church welcomes everyone who seeks refuge, especially those who have committed sins. But for those politicians who only they themselves knew what they have done, other than God Himself, they could have made a confession, and not just a simple mass, in order to release them from an overdue guilt, and that’s if they had conscience.
The Church, be it of different religions or faith, has been a symbol of political propaganda itself, in my opinion, other than an avenue to seek spiritual refuge and contemplate one’s human imperfections. The image of a God-fearing person is something we Filipinos consider as a classic act, yet still very effective.
But that’s the point there: were they just there to portray piety despite the staggering issues of their political careers and governance, without seeking true wisdom from the teachings of their churches and applied it to benefit the greater good?
But then again, in governance and leading the people, it’s not just showing a God-fearing persona, but how one emulates their humanity in leading by example. A politician can be an atheist or agnostic, but he/she may have the courage and the heart for the people, and a politician can be a devout faithful, but he/she may have many corruption issues.
The first people’s mining summit organized by a group of civic organizations in the name of “Sulog (water rapids)” only showed that there are people who are not really pleased with the continuous destruction of the Iponan River due to indiscriminate hydraulic mining that also destroys the mountain just for a gram of gold.
If we will not cite political leaders holding current positions for allegedly failing to exert teeth in existing laws and ordinances, then who are we going to blame and who can make a stop to such activities? Is that the reason why people elect officials to represent them?
Granting that this is the sole livelihood for the poor, then what happened to the farm-to-market roads? Of which I heard why agriculture productivity is lesser because more residents resort to mining because “it’s easier that way.”
(Nef Luczon is a freelance journalist and a part-time communications instructor. He is also a film and art enthusiast. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 08, 2012.