The World Spiritual Crisis

Religion is about control over people's beliefs. 
**Hello..... I am not anti religion!!!!

So, if any entity wants to punish me for writing go ahead. Take away my land. Take away my home. Take away all the 'blessings'. Take away all the things that prevent the scourge that plagues my crops. Go ahead and starve me. My children. My future and their future. Go ahead.

I am writing because it's the truth. It's my truth. If you want to punish me for doing that, THY WILL BE DONE.
Belief is the most powerful thing on Earth.

It can push people to do amazing wonderful good works / "miracles" / sacrificial charity. But it can also push people to become suicide bombers - soldiers willing to kill and die for something.

That's the sole reason why it is being used by groups like ISIS.

Wars and conflicts are not solely caused by religion. I repeat, wars that sounded like they're about religion is not solely about religion.

Religion was meant to be a tool. Get people to believe that they'll see paradise if they blow themselves up and you have a formidable fighting force. ISIS points that out by making fun of the American soldiers and how many of them commit suicide.

The underlying assumption is that - these American soldiers have killed, committed atrocities and have asked themselves what they killed for, and if they do not believe in a God that would forgive them and reward them for it, they would have killed and died for nothing.

They would have killed and died for the riches of some politician, some vague notion of 'freedom', some oil businessmen. Add depression and post traumatic stress disorder and you have the phenomenon of American soldiers committing suicide.

Wars are about land, power, wealth and ultimately - control over how people live. 

Again, I am not anti religion.

I am writing this primarily because of the Duterte issue. But I am also writing this with thoughts about ISIS, Philippine politics, Duterte, religion, the shootings in the US and some personal things that I am experiencing.

Yes, I can relate all of them. Because they're all about the Philippines' silent spiritual crisis.

They're about the world' spiritual crisis.

All of them.

The NY Daily News Cover After the Wake of the San Bernardino Shootings

Read: Duterte is like Religion by Rigoberto Tiglao in the Manila Times

The more familiar quote from Marx on religion, however, is that it is “the opium of the masses.” Our metaphor here breaks down a bit, and we have to amend it.

The difference with opium

Duterte is totally unlike the effect of opium on the psyche: drowsiness and dreamless sleep after a brief euphoria.

Duterte is more like shabu, or methamphetamine, and the Wikipedia description fits Duterte: “Elevated mood, increased alertness, energy in fatigued individuals, reduced appetite and weight loss.”

Translate that individual feeling to a political one, read his fans’ delirious Facebook postings praising him, and the picture that emerges: Duterte has stimulated an elevated political mood and alertness in the body politic, and a renewed sense of hope for people so sick of our political and social system.

But shabu is shabu and it is an artificial, even dangerous, chemical that creates illusions.

As shabu obliterates the past, Duterte totally obliterates civilization’s past with his boasts of killing kidnappers and rapists as soon as they are captured.

Again, I implore you to read the whole thing from the Manila Times. It makes the most sense.

Duterte symbolizes the epitome of a civilization bereft of any moral limitation. A civilization with no God to make the rules. Absolute freedom. He boasts about killing, he boasts about womanizing, he boasts about disrespecting the pope, he openly uses vulgar language but most of all he boasts - of his power. No lawyer or police officer can touch this Presidential candidate.

You would think that the majority would collectively gasp at this notion of absolute freedom. No, they cheered him on. They hooted and they howled to their delight. I have seen this collective behavior before.

The masses are so tired of the same dance in politics, that bring about no real change, that they so desperately crave a man of action, a man who speaks what they have been whispering - afraid that they would get retribution from a powerful unseen entity whether it's God or the Church - any church for that matter. They do not want to offend. So they adore Duterte.

A man so passionate that in his anger, no bounds are present. These crowds run parallel to the ancient Roman crowds in the Coliseum, shouting as gladiators and lions massacred each other.   

As Archbishop Socrates Villegas laments, "I grieve in great shame."

On the Other Hand... 
We have hypocrisy in the church - all churches, whether it's sexual molestation of young boys, rich churches with politicians and celebrities flaunting a gospel of prosperity with fake Christianity, powerful churches that wield tremendous political influence, churches that spend money on dwelling in the riches of this world. We have terrorism promoted by some religions. We have bigotry, discrimination and all of these things that have corrupted all churches.

On the Other Hand... 
We have political hypocrisy. Leaders claiming to lead the way to the 'straight path' while making sure their land holdings and wealth are secured through other means. To that man, I tell you, Repent. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Give away your land. You are already rich beyond most of our wildest imaginations.

The US Shootings, Syria and ISIS 
I see America in two ways. One as an admired innovator - a peak into the future and another as a man very similar to our Duterte. It's very hard to write from a third perspective thinking that I would offend either the conservatives or the liberals, the Democrats or the Republicans. I know that I run the risk of offending both.

America is intoxicated in its own beauty and power. 

You should not have invaded Iraq and set the pace for retribution and vengeance. Vengeance begets vengeance. As you are now learning today.

Christ was right, "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." Matthew 26:52 

Read: Former Isis hostage says airstrikes on Syria are a trap

"He said: “For every single Syrian killed since the beginning of this conflict by Islamic State, between seven and 10 have been killed by the Syrian regime. We have to understand that these two parallel disasters for the Syrian people, they depend one on the other, and one cannot fight one without fighting the other.”
Hénin said the summer refugee crisis had been a propaganda blow to Isis. Images of refugees fleeing the Muslim “dreamland” and being welcomed in the lands of “unbelievers” had given a lie to their message of western hatred towards Muslims, he said. “And that is why they probably tried to manipulate the public during the Paris attack, to make us close our borders, and maybe, even more importantly, to close our minds.” (TheGuardian)

It is not to be taken literally, although it 'manifests'. The victims of the shootings were innocents and unarmed, killed by potential radical extremists. But so were your victims America, so were your victims in the Middle East and elsewhere. In your thirst for revenge and power, you have incited their anger.

So this message I have for you America, UK, France and the other World Powers, Repent. For the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent for your atrocities lest you drag the entire world into a bigger quagmire. 

What does it take? I don't know. What does it take to console a grieving son, father, daughter, sister, brother who saw his entire family bombed to pieces? What does it take to heal the pain of torture in Abu Ghraib? Your developmental money cannot heal wounds. Your technology and science cannot heal emotional pain. You created ISIS - by planting the seeds of blind hatred.

I pray that it's not too late for all of us.

P.S. I will leave this at this. I do not have the answers. Why should a technologically and intellectually superior nation like yours believe me and turn back to God?

Because unbelief cannot exist in a vacuum.

The emptiness of atheism, technology, wealth, power and money will be replaced by something else!

What will you replace it with?