Christmas voices: a warning amid usual messages

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

RESILIENCE and strength of the disaster survivors, President Aquino said, like the star of Bethlehem, guided us in the road to recovery.

Yes, but if they keep talking about our resilience, others might think Pinoys are suckers for multiple beatings.

Guiseppe Pinto, papal envoy, at a Christmas eve mass in Palo, Leyte, quoted Pope Francis: the Church will not forget the Filipinos, presumably in prayer.

But there were other voices that said something else this season.

President Obama encouraged his nation to embrace the Christmas spirit by "volunteering at a soup kitchen, buying gifts for kids in need, or organizing food and clothing campaigns." Many Americans are also poor and homeless.

Volunteerism to comedian Jerry Seinfeld would be, in the true Christmas spirit, "people being helped by people other than me." Talk-show host Jay Leno said the Supreme Court ruled they can't have a nativity scene in Washington D.C., not for religious reasons, "they couldn't find three wise men and a virgin."

But what resounded the world over came not from a statesman or TV comic. Edward Snowden, in Time's "Person of the Year" shortlist, warned on danger from loss of privacy:

"A child born today will grow up with no concept of privacy at all. They'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unanalyzed, unrecorded thought..."


Is there no irony there that someone who values privacy immensely must invade, by releasing thousands of secret official documents, the thoughts of those who govern?


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 27, 2013.


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