LADLAD can now be voted as a Party-List: Some thoughts on the Christian roots of Democracy

The Supreme court has upheld the right of LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transexuals) to join the 2010 elections as a party-list. The Supreme court preferred to be amoral. This is now not a democracy of the people, but a democracy of ideas: all ideas are equally true and can equally compete in the public sphere.  C. S. Lewis warned us about this.  He calls this a demonic tactic in his Screwtape Letters.

Democracy is a Christian idea. It was not invented in Muslim lands with their caliphs and sultans. It was not invented in India with its caste system. It was not invented in China or Japan with their Emperors and Shoguns. Democracy was invented in Europe, which was part of the Roman Empire that converted by Christianity. And one of the defenders of the democracy idea is a Jesuit Doctor of the Church: St. Robert Bellarmine. He wrote:

“Secular or Civil authority (saith he) ‘is instituted by men; it is in the people unless they bestow it on a Prince. This Power is immediately in the Multitude, as in the subject of it; for this Power is in the Divine Law, but the Divine Law hath given this power to no particular man. If the Positive Law be taken away, there is left no Reason amongst the Multitude (who are Equal) one rather than another should bear the Rule over the Rest. Power is given to the multitude to one man, or to more, by the same Law of Nature; for the Commonwealth cannot exercise this Power, therefore it is bound to bestow it upon some One man or some Few. It depends upon the Consent of the multitude to ordain over themselves a King or other Magistrates, and if there be a lawful cause, the multitude may change the Kingdom into an Aristocracy or Democracy’ (St. Robert Bellarmine, Book 3 De Laicis, Chapter 4). Thus far Bellarmine; in which passages are comprised the strength of all that I have read or heard produced for the Natural Liberty of the Subject.” (Patriarcha, page 5.) (Catholic Culture)

This was quoted by Filmer who disagrees with this idea:

“Since the time that school divinity (i.e. Catholic Universities) began to flourish, there hath been a common opinion maintained as well by the divines as by the divers of learned men which affirms: ‘Mankind is naturally endowed and born with freedom from all subjection, and at liberty to choose what form of government it please, and that the power which any one man hath over others was at the first by human right bestowed according to the discretion of the multitude.’ This tenet was first hatched in the (Medieval Roman Catholic Universities), and hath been fostered by all succeeding papists for good divinity. The divines also of the reformed churches have entertained it, and the common people everywhere tenderly embrace it as being most plausible to flesh and blood, for that it prodigally distributes a portion of liberty to the meanest of the multitude, who magnify liberty as if the height of human felicity were only to be found in it — never remembering that the desire of liberty was the cause of the fall of Adam.” (Catholic culture)

Democracy is a a Christian idea. The equality of men is based in their common parents Adam and Eve. The equal dignity of men is based on their equal calling to be sons and daughters of God. Take Christianity away from Democracy and you will end up with a government which is like a house built not on the firm rock of the unchanging Catholic Faith, but on the shifting sands of public opinion. Everything becomes up for voting, even morals. The Supreme Court’s allowing LADLAD to be part of the Party List is a symptom of this de-Christianization of democracy. Without the cohesive moral force of Christianity, secular Philippines will be torn apart by various forces. Nature abhors the vacuum. Secularism is not a religion. A religion can only be replaced by another religion. Remove Christianity from Philippine Jurisprudence and we shall end up with Muslim Sharia courts or the one political party of communism.

With the Supreme courts decision in favor of LADLAD, we have lost a battle and not a war. I am calling on the Church Militant. Arise from your slumber. Awake! The war is on! Let us recover the word “militant” from the the militant Left. Beat your ploughshares into swords and join in this battle of ideas. The future of Philippine Christianity is at stake! Fire!  Foes!   Awake!

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

18 Responses to LADLAD can now be voted as a Party-List: Some thoughts on the Christian roots of Democracy

  1. Vince says:

    Hello again. You might remember me from the your first post about Ang Ladlad and the COMELEC.

    The roots of democracy actually came from the Greek and Roman civilizations, way, way before Christianity, where the people elected representatives to their Senate (although at that time, only men had rights; not women, slaves, and foreigners). Aristotle actually wrote a lot about democracy vis-a-vis oligarchy and monarchy and the pros and cons of each system. And it was actually the Roman and Greek philosophical thoughts regarding democracy that was the inspiration used by the U.S. Founding Fathers when they revolted against Britain and formed the United States, arguably the proponent of the modern form of democracy. (I guess it’s no coincidence that neo-Greco-Roman architecture permeates the U.S. capital; the early United States really wanted to be a “new” Athens or Rome of sorts.) And remember that Philippine democracy was patterned after the United States

    So saying that democracy had Christian roots is a really disingenuous argument for saying that Ladlad’s acceptance by the SC is “undemocractic.” (I’m not denying that Catholic and Protestant philosophical thoughts influenced some aspects of modern democracies, but saying that democracy itself is a Christian invention is being untruthful.) If you’re going to play the democracy card, then the SC’s Ang Ladlad decision is actually a triumph of democracy!

    (Funnily, the Vatican City/Holy See emphatically does not see itself as a democracy, just like Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, and Brunei.)

  2. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Vince,

    Of course, I do remember you. You are right, Greek Democracy came before Christianity. But it was Christian writers who gave a more fundamental reason why such a form of government is possible: because of the equality of men by common ancestry and vocation. Thomas Jefferson, the person who wrote the US Declaration of Independence, was influenced not only by Aristotle but also by Bellarmine (see Catholic Culture). Notice the following text in the US Declaration of Independence:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,[71] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    See the words “created” and “Creator”? The US Democracy may have patterned itself from Greek Democracy but the reason why it does so is theological: All men were created in the image and likeness of God. This is a Christian idea. The God the Father (Jupiter or Deo Pater) of the Greeks and Romans is immoral: he impregnated several women while his wife Hera is not watching. Will this kind of marital infidelity LADLAD promote? Homosexual act is a sin and homosexuals who justify such sin shall also justify other sins like marital infidelity to the breakdown of society. But Jupiter is not the God of the Americans: it is the God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit as taught by Christianity. If Philippine Democracy patterns itself from US Democracy, then we won’t be surprised when our preamble says “imploring the aid of the Almighty God.” Again, this God here is not the Greek God Zeus but the God of Christians. Without Christianity, Philippine democracy would be an empty shell.

    In God we trust.

    Democracy is only one form of government consistent with Christian principles. As long as the government system is consistent with Christian priciples which aims at nothing else than the ultimate happiness of man, then that government is good, whether it be an oligarchy or a monarchy.

    The Catholic Church is a monarchy because Peter was chosen by Christ to be the head of the Church. But it is also a democracy more than other democracies, because its voters include both the living and the dead. That is why the Church read the works of the Apostles and the church Fathers and consider them when making new laws of defining in more detail a doctrine or dogma. Because the Catholic Church has a Past to look back to and an Eternity to prepare for, from the tyranny of the present she is immune.

  3. Vince says:

    I think the fundamental problem in your statements is that you seem to elevate the influences of Christian thought in all matters and then using that argument to oppose practices that are contrary to Christian beliefs. Just because homosexual practices are not moral under Christian theology doesn’t mean that every institution touched by Christianity (like democracy or the Philippine Constitution) should automatically actively oppose homosexuality.

    It’s funny that you cite Thomas Jefferson. While he believes in the Christian God, he famously has a distaste for organized religion. He was the one who coined the principle of separation of church and state saying that people’s opinions and beliefs should not be subject to state intervention and vice versa (and this principle was prominently used in the Supreme Court’s decision allowing Ang Ladlad to participate in the elections). Jefferson also famously created the “Jefferson Bible” wherein he literally cut-and-pasted the New Testament to remove references to Jesus’ divinity and supernatural events. I’m sure this this act of his would receive outright condemnation from the Catholic hierarchy. So your appeal to authority is quite undermined. (Basically, you’re cherry-picking facts that suit your argument.)

    And saying that homosexuality automatically leads to other “detestable things” like marital infidelity or the breakdown of society is quite a stretch of logic. For the record, marital infidelity and societies “breaking down” has been going on for ages way, way before homosexuality has become a political and activist force.

    Hey, I’m not saying that you should change your Christian views on homosexuality. As a Filipino citizen, you are entitled to that belief. What I’m hoping is that you’ll acknowledge that there are people who don’t oppose homosexuality and that they are also within their legal rights under the Philippine Constitution and under general democratic ideals to those beliefs.

  4. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Thomas Jefferson may be a mason like many leaders in US. But the overwhelming majority of the people he represents are Christians. Thus, the document that he crafted in behalf of the American citizens can only be read from the Christian point of view.

    The Dutch has legalized same sex marriage in 2001. But what is happening to Netherlands now? It is fast becoming a Muslim country with mosques sprouting like mushrooms and sharia law is now being considered in the Parliament. And Muslims there kill gays. You may say that Netherlands and Philippines are different. But I am studying the data of history. Acceptance of homosexuality by a nation is a symptom of the breaking of its moral backbone. Without a moral backbone, the Dutch can never hope to stem the flood waters of Islam with its strict moral rules from head to foot.

    How about America who coined the word “homophobia”? Where is America now with its acceptance of homosexuality? Its President is a Muslim who bows before the Saudi King. There are now many muslims in America that an attack on America is an attack on Islam.

    I am studying the data of history. Abandon Christianity, promote homosexuality, and embrace Islam. Break the wooden yoke of Christ and you shall get the iron yoke of Muhammad (c.f. Jer 28:13)

    Best wishes.

  5. Vince says:

    Just a correction, Thomas Jefferson was never a freemason. And saying that the Declaration should only be read as a Christian document is extremely debatable since it never references the Bible and it never unambiguously refers to the Christian God. The fact that they *carefully worded* the document to simply refer to some non-particular creative deity points to the assertion that the U.S. Founding Fathers simply want a new nation that embraces everyone and gives them rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If they wanted the Declaration to be a Christian document, then they would have not used obscure wordings, right?

    The moment you said that Obama is Muslim, I find it extremely hard to take you seriously from now on. While Muslim teachings say that children born of Muslim parents (and Obama Sr. was nominally Muslim) are also Muslim, Obama was raised as a Christian and practices as a Christian. Nobody has every brought up indisputable evidence that he ever practiced Islam. And bringing up the Islam hysteria is card is appealing to emotion. I really never thought that you would subscribe to the anti-Islamic fervor now gripping the fundamentalists in the United States. I thought you were more objective than those people.

    (Take note that in collecting your “data” you might be succumbing to the error of confirmation bias.)

  6. Ron says:

    I dislike people who acts as if LGBT doesn’t exist, They exist and they will continue to exist even though you deny them of their rights.

    What about equality? I’m sure it’s written on the Bible.
    Did God ever said Homosexuality is immoral? I thought God doesn’t judge people and he accepts anyone even though they have sinned.

    Oh wait forgive me I forgot “You shall not have homosexual relationship” is the 11th Commandment.

    /sarcasm

  7. hypocrites.go.2.hell says:

    oh my what a freakin mentality you got there! I’m not even a member of LADLAD but reading the news about a bishop’s comment (and this blog) made me check the web about what LADLAD is all about. So here’s what i got: http://www.angladlad.com/?page_id=56

    why blame the gays/lesbians of the “de-Christianization” of democracy? majority of the people in the government right know are catholic and heterosexual but did they do any better?

    you may know a lot about christianity, democracy, and a lot of those bull$hits, but your knowledge bout homosexual people are skin-deep (marital infidelity ei?lolz ur amusing); ergo, you have no right to campaign against someone you dont really know. had you checked their website, then you should have an idea that LADLAD (gays/lesbians/bisexual/transgender) is not all about sex, homosexuals are also people w/ brains & hearts, most are educated and equally (or even more) productive than “normal” individuals

  8. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Vince,

    Thank you for your time. The war is on.

  9. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Ron,

    This is what God said in the Bible:

    “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination. You shall not have carnal relations with an animal, defiling yourself with it; nor shall a woman set herself in front of an animal to mate with it; such things are abhorrent. “Do not defile yourselves by any of these things by which the nations whom I am driving out of your way have defiled themselves. Because their land has become defiled, I am punishing it for its wickedness, by making it vomit out its inhabitants.” (Lv 18:22-25)

    God judges. That is why there is Heaven and Hell. If everyone will go to heaven regardless of what he did in his lifetime, then God judges no one. But this is not the case. St. Paul said:

    Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)

    Equality means we have all the same vocation to become sons and daughters of God, for God calls everyone to a life of holiness, even sinners When Jesus was faced with a woman caught in adultery, did he say, “I accept you as you are. Go and continue committing adultery”? No. This is what is written:

    Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.” (Jn 8:10-11)

  10. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Hypocrites.go.to.Hell,

    I am sure you don’t understand your name. Hell is where sinners are sent to suffer for eternity. And that is forever, and ever, and ever. and ever. But at least I am glad you still have a vestigial belief in the afterlife. That belief is like a seed that can still grow and bear fruit if watered with Faith. The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuals are called to purity: they must strive to resist temptation to perform homosexual acts for these are sins that can send them to hell. Homosexual tendencies, by themselves, are not sins. But giving in to them–that is a sin. The Catholic Church welcomes homosexuals and other sinners, but she asks them to repent before it is too late.

    Intelligent people can be blinded by pride, for Satan, too, was the most gifted and the most intelligent of all the angels. He can even quote scriptural verses when he tempted Christ. Yet he will not serve God his Creator. So he was cast down to hell. Intellect must be illumined by the light of the Gospel and not by the darkness of error. As Jesus said, “if the light in you is darkness, how great must that darkness be!” (Mt 6:23)

  11. Ron says:

    Call me stupid, hypocrite, atheist or whatever names you want to call me.
    I believe in God but I sometimes refuse to believe in what’s written on the bible, One reason is it’s been passed down for a long time and I don’t believe that none of the text changed nor do I believe that no text were added to it.

    Humans believe in God in different way and I choose to refuse to believe in some parts of the bible. I believe in an all forgiving God, I believe that there are things you shouldn’t do and the bible is a guideline of those but I choose not to obey everything because I have my own perception of God.

    I might go to hell or heaven, but right now I don’t care because I’m living and God gave me this life. If I choose not to do everything that’s written on the bible that’s my problem and I won’t forced you to think what I’m doing is right or moral but you still don’t have a right to judge me and tell me I’m going to hell. No matter how much you condemn me I won’t change.

    Oh btw I’m not even gay…but that’s probably what some gays feels.

  12. hypocrites.go.2.hell says:

    lolz i’m pretty sure we have different interpretation of what hell is. hell for me is a state in which a person like you suffers because he is in a world wherein there are a lot of imperfect/immoral people like homosexuals lolz…

    but on a serious note, you said the church welcomes homosexuals and other sinners??? really??? so why such an objection about homosexuals finally having a party list representative? you fear that the homosexuals would fornicate in congress? lolz… i dont really dig you guys, i heard the bishop’s comment about ladlad and really the church leaders should open their minds more and not be prejudice

    you seem pretty intelligent sir… i hope youre not blinded by your pride… peace! :D

  13. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Ron,

    You said: “I believe in God but I sometimes refuse to believe in what’s written on the bible, One reason is it’s been passed down for a long time and I don’t believe that none of the text changed nor do I believe that no text were added to it.”

    Indeed, the Bible alone is not enough, as you argued. This is the Sola Scriptura error of Protestants. The Bible is like the Constitution of the Philippines. Many can interpret the constitution as they like, but there is only one authoritative interpreter of it and that is the Supreme Court of the Philippines. In the same way, the Bible also needs an authoritative interpreter and that is the Catholic Church. It is the Catholic Church which compiled the Bible long before the Protestant Reformation, deciding which Gospels are inspired and which are not–Gospel of Peter, Thomas, etc.

    But unlike the Philippine Supreme Court which is a human institution that can err in its interpretation, the Catholic Church can never err in its teaching in matters of Faith and Morals. This is because the founder of the Catholic Church is God himself–Jesus Christ. And Christ guaranteed that the Catholic Church He founded on Peter the Rock would be free from error, for even the gates of Hell will not prevail against it (c.f. Mt 16:18). Not everything is written in the Bible, that is why Christ sent the Holy Spirit to the Apostles in order to guide them into all truth (c.f. Jn 16:13). The apostles are the first bishops of the church and they pass on their authority as bishops to other men through the laying of the hands (c.f. 1 Tim 4:14). In fact, the list of Popes is from Peter the Apostle to Benedict XVI. He who listens to Benedict XVI, listens to Peter; and he who listens to Peter, listens to Christ and God the Father himself. As Christ said to His Apostles: “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Lk 10:16)

    You can be assured that the Bible published by the Catholic Church is the Word of God because the Catholic Church says so in Christ’s name. As St. Augustine said, “I would not believe in the gospel myself if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.”

    May God bless you in your journey of Faith.

  14. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Hypocrites go to,

    Suffering in this world because of immoral people by itself is not Hell. The martyrs of Rome were sent to the lions and to the most gruesome deaths, but they are at peace. God did not promise the believers that they will not suffer in this world, for even Christ himself suffered in this world. As Christ said, “‘No slave is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (Jn 15:20) But this persecution ends in bodily death, and there is still resurrection from the dead to a life in the presence of God forever in heaven.

    The Church welcoming homosexuals does not mean the Church approves of their conduct. Rather, this welcoming is like that of a loving Father who waits day and night outside the house for years for the coming of his prodigal son who went away and wasted all his inheritance. Like the prodigal son, homosexuals must give up sinning, confess their sins to a priest, and strive to live a life of holiness for the rest of their lives. There is no sin so great that the Catholic church cannot forgive through the Sacrament of Confession. For Christ said to His Apostles: “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn 20:23) But unless you approach the confessional, you cannot obtain such forgiveness.

    May Christ grant you His peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (Jn 14:27).

    Peace.

  15. Japs says:

    Peace.

    I am against LGBT supremacy and heterophobia.I am against the advocacy that ‘all persons are made equal, but some are made more equal than others’. This best represents those groups who have been anti-family and immoral, expressing their desire for ‘special rights’, rights that are unconstitutional and will surely create social instability.

    Let us put on the armor of God and resist all the devil’s tactics.The devil is using the lost to destroy the Church. It is now the time to rescue the lost.

  16. hachiko says:

    before the church judge all homosexuals as immoral and have no right to be represented in congress, its best that they clean their own mess first dont you think? so then I, as an ordinary citizen, wont have an impression that phedophiles and rapist are okay while homosexual are a curse.

    its not my concern if the church condemns people like me, afterall i already separated myself from the church since i recognize the fact that we no longer share the same beliefs. i am in a (homosexual) relationship for 8 yrs and we’re happy coz we live a harmonious life and are productive citizens.

    the church should have been as vocal in their distate to other “immoral” party list and not single out ladlad. coz as it is, i have the impression that its okay for the church if there are party list for gamblers (like in fowl games) or arroyo party list

  17. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Hachiko,

    Many of the pedophiles priests are homosexuals. This is the reason why homosexuals are not allowed in the priesthood. The Church has been cleaning its mess for two thousand years by explicitly condemning homosexual acts as grave sins and by enacting legislations for the prevention of the entrance of seminarians with homosexual tendencies and defrocking priests who preyed on boys. It is the homosexual priests who give the church a bad name: they cannot be a Father to their parishioners, if they think and feel they are or should be mothers or sisters.

    Sins are classified according to degree: mortal and venial. People who die with unconfessed mortal sins go to Hell. People who die with unconfessed venial sins have to undergo Purgatory, so that they can go to Heaven. Some sins are aggravated or lessened by three things: grave matter, full knowledge of the sin and the gravity of the offence, and deliberate and complete consent. If these things are present, the sin is mortal.

    It is not immediately clear whether gambling and the arroyo party lists are immoral. According to the Catechism Art. 2413:

    “Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.”

    On the other hand, regarding homosexual acts, the Catechism (Art. 2357) is clear on its grave matter::

    “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave deparavity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”.. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

  18. meldy says:

    I find your blog very interesting and I thank you for sharing your knowledge. My reading today was from 1Cor 2:10 about God revealing by His Spirit the deep things of God. I believe His Spirit is at work in you and you are blessed…more blessed as you open yourself to criticism in the sharing of the Word of God.
    I pray and declare exceedingly abundant blessings upon you in Jesus name!

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