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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Separation of Church and State, part 1

[Note: I am from the Philippines so I mention Filipinos here specifically.  But even if you are from another country, please feel free to read on and comment.  Thank you!  =) ]

This is a phrase commonly mentioned especially in times like these when there are controversial bills, such as the Reproductive Health (RH) bill and Divorce bill, being pushed into law.  I admit that it is a phrase I took for granted.  I just accepted it and did not think much about it before.  But recently, as I was (half-)listening to discussions on the AM radio, it's meaning dawned on me...

It can be argued that it is difficult to have this 'separation' because religion or one's beliefs is an integral part of each individual's life.  This is true, I agree. But the thing is this:

While we are all Filipinos, and therefore all under the laws of our country, we do not all belong to one religion.  Therefore, beliefs of one religion should not be imposed on all others.

Laws are more encompassing in the sense that they are meant to apply to all citizens.  On the other hand,  beliefs vary among religious groups, so each set of beliefs apply to specific groups.

The task of lawmakers is to make laws in such a way that they take into consideration the rights of all citizens, within bounds.  Expectedly, this will result in bills which may partly be unacceptable to some.  And I think this is where the task of religious leaders come in, not to vehemently oppose the passage of such laws, but to double their efforts in their duty to educate those who belong to their respective religious groups.

There are laws that only allow certain things and not require them.  For instance, a law that allows the use of contraception does not mean everyone will be compelled to use them.  It then falls into the hands of the religious leaders to educate their people whether they, as members of their religious group, should or should not use contraception.  For these types of laws, the specifics need not be followed by those who think they are unacceptable, but the laws are still there for the benefit of those in other groups who think they are acceptable.

While answering comments, this post gave birth to a part 2.  =P
It can be found here: Separation of Church and State, part 2


  1. Under our constitution Art. 3 bills of right sec.5 state that no religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil and political rights

  2. Thinking about the RH Bill versus the Church. RH Bill will teach the people to "Go ahead... Do your pleasure, and I will be your prevention." While the Church teaches us that "We must live according to the word of God."

    RH Bill means, letting the people continue their sexual pleasure without any worries of having more children, more responsibility, more problem. But this is really a problem because RH Bill will not teach the people the right way but leading them to the wrong way. Think about free condoms. What if those free condoms fell upon the use of minors? --- This will be another topic. All I want to say is, RH Bill will permit the sexual lust of the Filipino People.

    The Church --- People misunderstands the teachings of the Church because of His fading influence. The Church does not teach "Go and multipy..." plainly but teaching them to walk in the path of God. The Church want to teach us the disciple. Lust and fornification are the major sin of the world and it is the Church role to teach the people the act of discipline towards chastity and respect.

    RH Bill says, here is an information (free condom or pill) to prevent having babies.
    While the Church says, here is your guide to live a happy life.

  3. First of all, thank you for commenting, bong and Francis Baylon. =)

    I will try to comment back as soon as I can. =)

  4. Hi!
    My opinion on this is that, the Church and State must be separated. Ever since, they've never really quite understand each other.. they always argue about the Rights and Wrongs and I don't really hope that one day, both will have understanding and rule as one. Thought I don't have much knowledge about the articles or bills in Philippines, but I really don't thing they matter. We the elders are already exposed on the both sides of what's happening right now. It is really up to us to guide our children to the right path. There are so many rules that we can't even abide and ignored. And added more, which will only will complicate the peoples mind. Free condoms or not, the problem is already rampant, divorce or no divorce so many couples are already separated. Instead of debating between the two, why not give actions on the problems that we are facing now.

    Another thing, I don't really understand why we can't have divorce in the Philippines. All the people there are just hypocrite. I mean, there are so many who are imprisoned to their partners whom they don't love anymore, and can find better life if only they are free. I just don't understand why they have a firm disagreement about it. I've heard that it is only the Philippines that doesn't have divorce anymore, whole world. So maybe the reason why they don't want it, so that they will be unique from all the countries in the world. mmm Whatever will be, will be..:)

  5. bong, Francis Baylon, and Anonymous,

    I was finally able to prepare a comment back for you. But due to certain reasons, I opted to place it in a separate blog post. You may copy and paste the following address to your browser to see it:

    or look for the link I will add at the end of the above post.

    Thank you! =)