One more time, with FEELING.
First and foremost, I’m a Catholic, but for the last few years I’ve had problems with the way the Catholic Church of the Philippines keeps trying to run this country. Carlos Celdrans conviction and impending jail time is the latest in a string of things the CBCP and the local Church has done in the past few years that have caused much facepalming and an embarrassment. Lets get one thing straight though: While I agree with Celdrans opinions on the controlling ways of the church (RH Bill anyone?); what he did is actually a CRIME.
Art. 133. Offending the religious feelings. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon anyone who, in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful.
What Celdran did was pretty much like having a protester jump into a kindergarten class mid lesson to start protesting. There’s a time and place for it and in the middle of a religious service is NOT it. People should be able to worship their faith peacefully and without interruption, BUT the fact that Celdran faces up to a year in jail seems a bit extreme for me. I honestly would have expected that he would have been slapped with a large yet reasonable fine then sentenced to a crapton of community service. It’s not like anyone was hurt with what he did. Oh wait, their FEELINGS.
See, this isn’t a problem of our freedom of speech being taken away from us, it’s more of a problem with the fact that once again, we see no clear boundary between church and state. From this law alone we can see that the church still wields too much power in our government. Our government needs to look at itself and remember that they’re representing the best interests of the Filipino People and not the Filipino Catholic Church. Laws need to be looked at and revised, and the CBCP needs to learn to shut up and butt out of government affairs. This country will never progress and develop if we continue to be held back by archaic beliefs that are controlled by an unchanging religious grip. I wish the Government would realize that there are Filipinos of other religions who live here too.
Also, why is this case over and done with so fast when we still have to try a murderer thats waiting to be convicted of murdering 58 people?