Does bill ban God from govt. premises?-A A +A
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
IT'S not a proposal to ban God.
Those who oppose House Bill #6330, which prohibits religious rituals and images on public properties and their premises, are the ones dragging God to the debate.
Propagandists use language that serves their ends: "birth control" instead of
"reproductive health"; "driving away God" instead of "promoting freedom of religion."
Opposers have gone to town, saying HB #6330 wages war against faith and religious tradition.
Maybe not an exaggeration. While the bill aims to enforce separation of church and
state and the ban on use of public assets for religion, the result can be exclusion of all religions from the public workplace.
The 'ban God' line strikes a sensitive nerve. Bad for proponents amid these realities: --One, this is a predominantly Catholic nation. Public officials wear the cross, if not yellow ribbon, on their sleeves. No state function or festivity without a mass or priest. Politicians align themselves with God to win elections.
--Two, the Supreme Court upholds public grants and favors to a church if the main purpose serves public interest. The "principle of incidental benefit" allows donation of public land for a protestant cemetery and spending public funds for a Catholic event honoring a saint.
HB #6330 goes against the nature of our people. Even other religions that feel they're less favored than the Catholic Church have accepted that streak in our culture.
Proponents must know their bill is doomed.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 21, 2012.