Ten Commandments of the Modern World: A guide for Filipino Freethinkers

Lady Gaga’s concert in the Philippines has sparked a new controversy on whether Catholic teaching on the four last things–death, heaven, hell, and purgatory–still makes sense on the modern world.  It appears, however, that modern Atheistic Western Civilization cannot make its own values; it only proposes an idea opposite to what the Catholic Church teaches, as we can deduce from the ideas espoused by the Filipino Freethinkers.  The Church proclaims the light of the world who is Christ.  The Filipino Freethinkers proclaim the shadow of that Light.  So the Filipino Freethinkers can do nothing but object to the Ten Commandments, and in doing so they form their own Ten Commandments:

  1. There is no God.  Science has explained everything.  I define what is right and wrong for me, and I don’t care what is right and wrong for you.  As long as we don’t hurt each other, everything is fine.
  2. You can use the name of God in vain and make fun of him.  He does not exist anyway.  (Insert blasphemy here).  The right to freedom of expression is protected by the Constitution.
  3. Sunday is just one of the days in the week.  Sunday is not the time for going to mass but for shopping or playing sports or watching concerts.
  4. We honor our hominid ancestors via evolution and we thank Darwin for breaking our bonds with Adam and Eve.  Mother and father are discriminatory labels.  That should be parent 1 or parent 2, since both parents may be of the same sex.  Actually, the proper term should be couples, because couples does not imply a child.  Marriage is only for sexual union, and a child is an unnecessary burden which can be avoided through contraception and abortion.
  5. The aim of each human being is to live life to the fullest.  Those who live an unsatisfactory life do not have the reason to live, so they must be killed.  Thus, abortion, suicide, and euthanasia are ok, especially for the unborn, the infirm, disabled, the disfigured, and other useless members of the society.
  6. Marriage is not a sacrament but a contract between two parties, which can be revoked anytime.  Adultery, concubinage, and fornication are  natural relationships like marriage.  Homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia should not be discriminated by bigots.
  7. There is no such thing as private property and fruits of personal labor.  The government owns everything and I am the government.
  8. It is ok to lie in order to protect one’s self-interest.
  9. I want your wife.  I want your husband.
  10. I want whatever you have.
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Homosexuality, free will, and God’s omniscience

Question:

Taking everything you have said into consideration, I believe that you claim that people are free-willed and thus are responsible for their actions. However, if we believe that God is omniscient, then he timelessly knows all things. Among these things, he must have known long before who would have become homosexuals and what they would have done regarding their homosexuality. If God knows this, then homosexuals cannot will themselves to choose to act how they are acting regarding their homosexuality. Therefore, homosexuals cannot be blamed responsible for their actions over their homosexuality, because whatever they do regarding it has already been determined – whether carry the cross or give in to temptation, via God’s omniscience. Au contraire, if we hold onto saying that people have free will, then we have to deny that God is omniscient, because, if the future depended on the actions of man, then he does not perfectly know the future. And this, as Catholics, we will vehemently deny. What do you think about this, sir?

Also, as the church disapproves of homosexuality, it is just modest that it should acquire sufficient information and justification to believe in the wrongness of homosexuality. I see that you quoted verses in the Pentateuchregarding homosexuality in your blog. But, I think that explanations for the nature of homosexuality’s existence will provide me better context in understanding why the Church sees it as wrong.

Response:

Regarding predestination and the omniscience of God, your thoughts are similar to that of Calvinism, a heresy condemned by the Church.  God’s omniscience means that he knows all possibilities in the chain of events, how they branch out and link to the decisions of others.  It’s like as if God sees the whole city map and you are there in your car choosing this way and that.  Some roads leads to a cliff and God warns you not to go there: these are the mortal sins–read theTen Commandments.  Some roads lead to happy picnic places: these are the roads to heaven–theSacraments, Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.  God wishes all men to be saved from eternal damnation.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16)  Below is along quote from the Book of Ezekiel:
As for you, son of man, tell your countrymen: The virtue which a man has practiced will not save him on the day that he sins; neither will the wickedness that a man has done bring about his downfall on the day that he turns from his wickedness (nor can the virtuous man, when he sins, remain alive).Though I say to the virtuous man that he shall surely live, if he then presumes on his virtue and does wrong, none of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered; because of the wrong he has done, he shall die.
And though I say to the wicked man that he shall surely die, if he turns away from his sin and does what is right and just,
giving back pledges, restoring stolen goods, living by the statutes that bring life, and doing no wrong, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the sins he committed shall be held against him; he has done what is right and just, he shall surely live. Yet your countrymen say, “The way of the LORD is not fair!”; but it is their way that is not fair. (Ez 33:12-17)

There are some things that we have to trust God’s Word: if he says that homosexual acts deserve the punishment of death (mortal sin), then consider them as such.  We have to trust God’s Wisdom, because it is God who created us and he knows what is best for us.  Surely your most powerful computer comes with a manual.  If you don’t read the manual, you may destroy your computer by over voltage, water spill, and high temperature.  In the same way, God has provided us with a manual on how to live properly: the Bible and the Church.  We have Christ as our model.

In the Old Testament, God warned the Israelites to eat only fishes: crabs and shrimps are forbidden because they don’t have fins and scales and they crawl.  Now we know that they have too much cholesterol.  God also forbade Israelites from eating fat: fat is only offered to God as aburnt offering.  Now we know that fat is bad for our heart.  God also forbade those with leprosy to go near other men: those with leprosy must be quarantined until they are healed.  Now we know that quarantine of those with diseases works: germs are transmitted by contact or proximity (sneeze and cough).  If God’s wisdom is shown in the laws of clean and unclean animals, the laws of burnt offerings, and the laws of leprosy, then we should also trust God’s wisdom when he condemns homosexuality, bestiality, and sorcery in Leviticus.

LADLAD party list and Comelec: Some scriptural reflections on the real meaning of discrimination

I.  Comelec, CHR, and LADLAD

A group of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBT), led by Danton Remoto, an English professor in Ateneo de Manila University, asked the Commission on Elections to approve as a Party List their group named LADLAD, a Filipino word which means “public display of homosexuality”.  The Comelec, led by the presiding commissioner Nicodemo C. Ferrer, dismissed the petition on moral grounds:

Petitioner should be denied accreditation not only for advocating immoral doctrines but likewise for not being truthful when it is said that “it or any of its party list representatives have not violated or failed to comply with laws rules and regulations relating to the elections.”

Furthermore, should this Commission grant the petition, we will be exposing our youth to an environment that does not conform to the teachings of our faith.  Lehman Strauss, a famous bible preacher and writer in the U.S.A., said in one article that “older practicing homosexuals are a threat to the youth.”  As an agency of the government, ours too is the State’s avowed duty in Sec. 13, Article II of the Constitution to protect our youth from moral and spiritual degradation.

We are not condemning the LGBT, but we cannot compromise the greater number of our people, especially the youth.

(Scrbd article.  Note page 6 is missing.  This page contains I think the Oct. 2, 2008 detailed comment of the Comelec).

The LADLAD complained that this is gender discrimination.  And the Commission on Human Rights supports their claim:

CHR said however that the poll body’s decision “smacks of prejudice and discrimination.”  “There is or can be no basis in law to deny the registration of the party, directly or indirectly, on the grounds of homosexuality, much less on homosexuality equated to immorality. To make assertions based on their homosexuality is patently discriminatory,” she said.  “Homosexuality is not a counterculture. It is part of the diversity of Philippine culture. Homosexuals are part of the Filipino family and unavoidably must be part of our politics,” CHR chair Leila De Lima was quoted in the statement as saying.  “There is no governmental policy which characterizes homosexuality as illegal nor immoral,” De Lima said. (ABS-CBN)

II.  Discrimination in Scriptures: Clean and Unclean, Holy and Profane, Good and Evil

Discrimination has been defined as something bad, so that we have now invented phrases like racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and age discrimination.  These things should not happen, modern society says.  We must not discriminate.

But let us consider the etymology of discriminate and discrimination:

Discriminate.1620s, from L. discriminare “to divide,” from discrimen, derived n. from discernere (see discern). The adverse (usually racial) sense is first recorded 1866, Amer.Eng. Positive sense remains in discriminating (adj.) “possessing discernment” (1792).

Discrimination. 1640s, “the making of distinctions,” from L. discriminationem, noun of action from discriminare (see discriminate). Especially in a prejudicial way, based on race, 1866, Amer.Eng. Meaning “discernment” is from 1814.

To discriminate is to divide, to make distinctions, to discern.  If you read the book of Genesis, you will see that God is discriminating: God placed order in chaos by separating light from darkness, day and night, heaven and sea, sea and land, animals and fishes, plants and birds, male and female.  Creation can never be accomplished without discrimination.  And God said that it is good.

If you read the book of Exodus and Leviticus, you will see that God gave a precise rules for determining whether something is clean or unclean.  Thus Israelites have all these rules regarding water potability (don’t drink a cup of water if an insect falls on it), food (carnivores and and non-fishes cannot be eaten), leprosy (suspected lepers are quarantined), etc.

Why all these rules for clean and unclean?  Moses said to Aaron:

You must be able to distinguish between what is sacred and what is profane, between what is clean and what is unclean; you must teach the Israelites all the laws that the LORD has given them through Moses. (Lv 10:10-11)

Thus, the laws to distinguish clean and clean are laid out as a pedagogical tool to help the Israelites to know what is sacred and profane.  If you are a teacher, you will first teach students the arithmetic rules like 2 apples + 3 apples = 5 apples before you teach them the algebraic rules of 2x + 3x = 5x.  You first start with something concrete, then you go to something abstract.  Since God is a good teacher, he first teaches Israelites clean and unclean things and actions, then He teaches them why Israel is a holy nation and not like the other nations, why the priest is holier than the levites, why the Bread of the Presence and the Ark of the Covenant are holy, etc.  Material to Spiritual.  This is the divine pedagogy.

After teaching the distinction between clean and unclean, holy and profane, Moses commanded Aaron to teach all the laws that God has given them through Moses.  This is the third step: moral.  What is good?  What is evil?  These questions are answered by the Ten Commandments.

The sixth and ninth commandments are “Though shalt not commit adultery” and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”  On these two laws we can group all the sexual sins and among them are on homosexuality:

You shall not have carnal relations with your neighbor’s wife, defiling yourself with her. You shall not offer any of your offspring to be immolated to Molech, thus profaning the name of your God. I am the LORD. 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. (Lv 18:20-23)

Notice that adultery, abortion, homosexuality, and bestiality are enumerated together. Adultery and abortion are the ones that will result if the Reproductive Health Bill pushes through; homosexuality if LADLAD becomes a Party List; and bestiality will not be far behind.

And God said:

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. You, however, whether natives or resident aliens, must keep my statutes and decrees forbidding all such abominations by which the previous inhabitants defiled the land; otherwise the land will vomit you out also for having defiled it, just as it vomited out the nations before you. Everyone who does any of these abominations shall be cut off from among his people. Heed my charge, then, not to defile yourselves by observing the abominable customs that have been observed before you. I, the LORD, am your God. (Lv 18:24-30)

If Filipinos do not wish to vomited out of the land called the Philippines, God says that we must never do these abominations.  God is faithful to his promises.  Let us reject the Reproductive Health Bill and not allow LADLAD as a Party List.

So is the Comelec discriminating towards lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders (LGBT) in LADLAD?  Yes, Comelec is indeed discriminating, because God Himself is discriminating.  We must purge the evil in our midst.

Rebuilding Sodom and Gomorrah: UN Draft Declaration on Non-Discrimination of Homosexuality

Parliamentary questions

4 December 2008
H-1009/08

ORAL QUESTION for Question Time at the part-session in January 2009 pursuant to Rule 109 of the Rules of Procedure by Dimitrios Papadimoulis to the Council

Subject: EU Presidency’s draft declaration in the UN on the decriminalisation of homosexuality

On 10 December 2008, the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the French Presidency of the Council proposes to table in the UN, on behalf of the European Union, a draft declaration calling on all governments worldwide to decriminalise homosexuality. The Vatican’s observer to the UN has already stated that his country will oppose the declaration.

Bearing in mind the European Parliament’s resolution (P6_TA(2007)0167) on homophobia in Europe, which calls for worldwide decriminalisation of homosexuality and full implementation of Community anti-discrimination legislation, whilst condemning homophobic phenomena in the Member States, will the Council say which countries worldwide criminalise homosexuality? What action will it take further to the French Presidency’s declaration? What measures will it take to implement the European Parliament’s resolution in full? Does it consider that, in examining applications for asylum, account should be taken of whether applicants are persecuted in their country of origin because of their sexual orientation?

——

Regarding homosexuality, the Catechism teaches the following:

2357 ….Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. they do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity….

The book of Leviticus forbids homosexuality, together with infanticide and bestiality:

You shall not offer any of your offspring to be immolated to Moloch, thus profaning the name of your God. I am the LORD. 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. (Lev 18:21-25)

One example of a land that defiled itself with homosexuality is Sodom and Gomorrah. “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them (Gen 19:5),” the men of Sodom asked Lot. Lot answered, “Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they refused the offer: they like men better. So God rained Sodom and Gomorrah with sulfur and fire, and “He overthrew these cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.” (Gen 19:24)

As in the days of Lot, the survival of the Western civilization depends only on a few holy men and women.  Without the monks and nuns praying for us, God would have destroyed us a long time ago for our sins–abortion, homosexuality,  and bestiality–to name a few.  But the number of monks and nuns are dwindling….