in the news lately is the controversial poster put up by a Bacolod church – the “Team Buhay” (Team Life) and “Team Patay” (Team Dead) posters. the posters contain a list of names of election candidates who voted yes and no to the RH Bill which was recently voted into a law. the bacolod church is asking the parishioners to to vote for the Team Buhay candidates who voted against the RH Bill and consequently not to vote for the candidates who voted for the RH Bill who are listed under Team Patay.
this controversial poster has taken a lot of flak many. we agree with some of them, one is the church has transformed itself into a political party by endorsing certain candidates and not endorsing others.
this is no longer about religion or teachings about the church, this is about getting certain specific names of candidates not getting elected and elected. it does not talk about church teachings, all it talks about is names of candidates.
the COMELEC has asked the church to change this poster to which the church replied by challenging the COMELEC ruling in the supreme court.
but in the past days, activists in bacolod have fought by releasing their own list through text messages. this list is called the “Team Tatay” (Team Daddy) that has the names of priests and bishops who have fathered children.
read here : ‘Team Tatay’ lists 5 Negros priests as fathers; Ay, ‘patay’! http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/370979/team-tatay-lists-5-negros-priests-as-fathers-ay-patay#ixzz2N7a3K8uH
we think the term “Team Tatay” is an excellent case study in Messaging 101. it is a brilliant name that turns the Bacolod church’s terms of Team Buhay and Team Patay into a boomerang.
“Team Tatay” goes straight to the heart of the issue the activists are bringing up where priests have lost the moral high ground on the issue as they themselves have committed “grave sins” by fathering children themselves. aside from that, the line is brilliant as it uses essentially the same words used by the bacolod church. it even rhymes with “Team Buhay” “Team Patay”, is very easy to remember and very creative.
on strategy, clarity, on message and memorability are the key components of a brilliant messaging.
on twitter we had these questions:
read : Bacolod diocese: No to these 6 Senate bets –> http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections-2013/22321-bacolod-diocese-no-to-these-6-senate-bets
this is the court’s official judgement on the case convicting carlos celdran as guilty of ‘notoriously offending religious feelings”:
we are not a lawyer and these are the points we like to raise on the decision of the court:
- how did the court measure and define “religious feelings”? it’s hard enough to measure and define “feelings” on its own, it gets much harder to define “religious feelings”
- the plaintiff presented a total of 4 witnesses, is 4 enough to define “religious feelings”? and do these feelings represent the whole catholic church? 4 does not make a whole church
- since this concerns feelings of the religious, why did the plaintiff not present the head of the catholic church for the court to measure and define feelings?
here is a brilliant answer to the court’s decision:
full text :
i believe you are still quite incensed about today’s verdict on comrade carlos celdran’s case. i can certainly understand how you feel.
while reading the decision of judge bermejo, i searched for justification for carlos’ conviction. remember that he was prosecuted for the crime of offending the religious feelings under article 133 of the revised penal code. art. 133 states that the penalty 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.” there has been a lot of back and forth on social media about how backward and stupid this law is. regardless, the fact is that this law exists and can correctly be the basis for conviction if it should be proven that a person was indeed guilty of it.
question is, is carlos celdran guilty? as i said, i think judge bermejo failed to establish a basis for the conviction. note that the law does not criminalize any instance of offending religious feeling. the law requires that the act should be notoriously offensive. what does this mean?
in the case of people vs. reyes, et al. (gr no. l-40577), the supreme court held that “the construction of a fence, even though irritating and vexatious under the circumstances to those present, is not such an act as can be designated as ‘notoriously offensive to the faithful’ as normally such an act would b a matter of complete indifference to those not present, no matter how religious a turn of mind they might be.” note that in this instance, the accused arrived at a venue for pabasa, “carrying bolos and crowbars, and started to construct a barbed wire fence in front of the chapel. xxx a verbal altercation ensued. when the people attending the pabasa in the chapel xxx, they became excited and left the place hurriedly and in such confusion that dishes and saucers were broken and benches toppled over.” the supreme court instead convicted the accused under art. 287 for unjust vexation.
in the case people vs baes (gr no. l-46000), justice laurel, in his dissent, explained how an act could be considered as notoriously offensive: “i believe that an act, in order to be considered as notoriously offensive to the religious feelings, must be one directed against a religious practice or dogma or ritual for the purpose of ridicule; the offender, for instance, mocks, scoffs at or attempts to damage an object of religious veneration; it must be abusive, insulting and obnoxious.” bear in mind that carlos was actually making fun of damaso, a fictional character. his act was not directed against religious practice or dogma. neither was it directed at a religious ritual since mass was not being celebrated at the time that he staged his protest. and even if he were making fun of priests, an act that is not unequivocally shown by the mere raising up of a damaso sign, the test set by justice laurel is still not met considering that priests are not objects of religious veneration (unless the priests present at the time actually think they are).
finally, in the case people vs. nosce (gr no. l-41757), where the accused went so far as to slap a priest in front of a large congregation, the supreme court held that such act did not merit a conviction under art. 133 but is more properly punished under art. 359 for slander by deed.
in the case carlos celdran, judge bermejo characterized the instances of “notorious offenses” to religious feelings thus:
for witness no. 1: “however, it did not take long when she realized that such was not part of the activity, and proceeded in front to find out what happened. she then saw somebody taking the accused and there was already a commotion since he started shouting inside the church. witness was offended and was angryof what happened, since it was a solemn activity which was disrupted and disrespected by accused.”
for witness no. 2: “witness cacal explained that the word ‘damaso’ pertains to a priest, who committed something against the church. although she admitted that she did not know the meaning of the word, however, she claimed that every timeshe hears the word ‘damaso’ it is very traumatic for her.”
for witness no. 3: “he was surprised, offended and angry, since he did not expect such incident will happen, considering it was a solemn celebration.”
comrades, obviously they are a bunch of ultra-sensitive nitwits. it is obvious as well that judge bermejo is either unacquainted with the definition of “notorious” or he has an extremely low treshhold for offense. unfortunately, judge bermejo, under such cognitive and emotional challenges, now proposes to send a man to jail.
it is painfully obvious that the notoriety of offense warranted by art. 133 is not present in this case. this only goes to show, comrades, that we must renew our efforts toward the revolution. we must be ever watchful, especially when the religious are just as happy to lend an invisible cloak to tyranny just so they can vindicate their petty grievances.
charity. indeed. viva la revolucion! and off with their heads!
dear great leader
we are posting here the pastoral letter read by priests all over the country during the homily in today’s mass.
Choosing Life, Rejecting the RH Bill
(A Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines)
Our Filipino Brothers and Sisters:
The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights (Art. II, Section 11). The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception (Art. II, Section 12).
We begin by citing the Philippine Constitution. We do so because we intend to write you on the basis of the fundamental ideals and aspirations of the Filipino people and not on the basis of specifically Catholic religious teachings.
We are at a crossroads as a nation. Before us are several versions of a proposed bill, the Reproductive Health bill or sanitized as a Responsible Parenthood bill. This proposed bill in all its versions calls us to make a moral choice: to choose life or to choose death.
At the outset we thank the government for affording us an opportunity to express our views in friendly dialogue. Sadly our dialogue has simply revealed how far apart our respective positions are. Therefore, instead of building false hopes, we wish at the present time to draw up clearly what we object to and what we stand for.
Moral Choices at the Crossroads — at EDSA I and Now
Twenty five years ago in 1986 we Catholic Bishops made a prophetic moral judgment on political leadership. With this prophetic declaration we believe that we somehow significantly helped open the door for EDSA I and a window of political integrity.
Today we come to a new national crossroads and we now have to make a similar moral choice. Our President rallied the country with the election cry, “Kung walang corrupt walang mahirap.” As religious leaders we believe that there is a greater form of corruption, namely, moral corruption which is really the root of all corruption. On the present issue, it would be morally corrupt to disregard the moral implications of the RH bill.
This is our unanimous collective moral judgment: We strongly reject the RH bill.
Commonly Shared Human and Cultural Values – Two Fundamental Principles
Far from being simply a Catholic issue, the RH bill is a major attack on authentic human values and on Filipino cultural values regarding human life that all of us have cherished since time immemorial.
it is a miracle! no. we’re not just talking about fr. ed the unlikely winning in the election for governor in pampanga. that is also a miracle but the picture below we think is the biggest miracle we have ever seen in philippine politics.
this is a picture of a governor showing to media and the world the contents of the not so little brown envelope from malacanang. we wanted to to say little brown envelope but after seeing this picture, we figure with such a big bundle, the brown envelope cannot be small, it needs to be big.
now is a good time to read about fr. ed, the unlikely and the story of the not so little brown envelope from malcanang.
Panlilio to Palace: Tell truth on money
More officials admit getting P500,000
By Tonette Orejas
Central Luzon Desk
First Posted 02:32:00 10/16/2007
MANILA, Philippines — Declaring no one could suppress the truth, Pampanga Gov. Eddie Panlilio Monday showed on television the bundle of P500,000 he said he received in Malacañang, triggering similar admissions from another governor and a congresswoman.
Their decision to go public about the monetary handouts that Malacañang had tried to downplay prompted calls in the Senate for an investigation to find out who was behind the handouts and if President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was involved.
“It’s very crucial that Malacañang should confirm which particular office the funds came from,” Panlilio said during a press conference in the City of San Fernando.
He said if subpoenaed by the Senate, he would appear and tell the truth.
Bulacan Gov. Joselito “Jonjon” Mendoza and Pangasinan Rep. Rachel Arenas also came out in the open to admit they had received money from Malacañang, amid Palace attempts to douse an impeachment move against Ms Arroyo.
Cebu City Rep. Antonio Cuenco had also previously admitted receiving monetary “gifts” from the Palace. Several other congressmen and governors made the same admissions but chose to remain unidentified.
“I am a priest … I cannot lie,” Panlilio, a Roman Catholic priest who defeated well-entrenched politicians in the May elections to become governor, said at the Pampanga capitol.
Asked if he was declaring war on Ms Arroyo, his province mate, the governor said: “I am not declaring war on anybody … I am declaring war against untruth and lies.”
it’s hard to tell which is the bigger problem for pope benedict – is he so out of touch from the reality of the spread of AIDS/HIV in the world or is he so out of touch of science and medicine where studies have shown condoms do prevent the spread of AIDS/HIV.
i won’t dwell on the science of it, but to me it’s very simple logic – the condom is barrier. it prevents something outside from going inside and that includes the AIDS/HIV virus. it should work.
many of the criticism and in fact the reason why many catholics have stopped going to church and moved out of catholic church is the lack of relevance. the church has been complaining for years that church attendance is steadily going down and fewer and fewer males go into priesthood. most of the reason why that has happened is they feel the church is way out of touch from real life, so much so that it no longer provides anything relevant in their lives.
this is one good example of that.
Facebook users wage condom campaign against PopeBy Faith Karimi
CNN(CNN)— Critics took to the social networking site Facebook to voice their fury over Pope Benedict’s remark that condoms do not prevent HIV.
Thousands have pledged to send the pontiff millions of condoms to protest the controversial comment he made to journalists as he flew to Cameroon last week.
“You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms,” the pope told reporters. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.”
Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear he intends to uphold the traditional Catholic teaching on artificial contraception. The Vatican has long opposed the use of condoms and other forms of birth control and encourages sexual abstinence to fight the spread of the disease.
About a dozen Facebook groups have sprang up, mostly from European countries, criticizing the pontiff.
“The clergy aren’t supposed to have sex at all, but they are free to tell people how to conduct themselves? That’s like a girl who wears no make-up as the CEO of CoverGirl,” one member posted on the page, “Condoms for Pope Benedict XVI.”
“It frightens me that a man who has devoted his life to moral guidance … and is undeniably a learned, intelligent man can be at the same time so narrow-minded, bigoted and irresponsible,” posted another person on a different page.
The online campaign added another voice to a deluge of criticism, which includes the governments of France, Germany and Belgium. Aid agencies and other health organizations have also chimed in.
The Lancet, a British medical journal, urged the pope Saturday to issue a retraction for the “outrageous and wildly inaccurate” statement to journalists aboard his plane.
“When any influential person, be it a religious or political leader, makes a false scientific statement that could be devastating to the health of millions of people, they should retract or correct the public record,” The Lancet said in an editorial.
“Anything less from Pope Benedict would be an immense disservice to the public and health advocates, including many thousands of Catholics, who work tirelessly to try and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide.”
i had collapsed the title of this thread to the core of the philippine catholic church’s stand against RH Bil 5043 – the church’s objection to the use of modern methods of contraception like the pill, condoms and IUD. the church advocates the only for the use of natural methods like the calendar method.
i have read and heard of how they have argued against the RH Bill and it is shocking, specially coming from the the catholic church and catholic groups who are supposed to uphold truth and honesty.
most of the arguments they have used against the RH Bill can be characterized by these: blatant lies, hokey economic theories, undocumented and non-sensical scare tactics about mayhem and hell that will occur in the future, distorted facts and figures and just plain stupidity.
we will be enumerating them in this blog over time.
one glaring fact — the catholic church and catholic groups are not arguing against the RH Bill on the basis of church dogma or doctrine. the basis for the church’s stand against birth control is based on an encyclical that was released in 1968 by pope paul VI called “Humanae Vitae”.
Humanae Vitae or HV is one of the most controversial encyclicals released by the catholic church during the modern times. it got widespread and immediate dissent from almost everyone – vatican and church experts and scholars, bishops and specially catholics themselves almost on day 1 it was released to the press and the world. it has divided the church then and continue to divide it now.
the philippine catholic church, however, is not using HV as an argument against HV. the reason probably is becuase they know HV is not an infallible document. but what they do is they use the ideas and teachings from HV on the basis of it being “prophetic”, HV’s ability to predict what will happen in the world.
a commission was put up by the pope before paul VI to look into the matter of modern methods of contraception. the pill was just introduced in the early 1960’s and that pope wanted the church to have a stand on the pill. HV contained thoughts and ideas that said what will happen if contraception like the pill will be used widely. in that sense, HV is being used now, 40 years after it was released on it being prophetic.
here is one sample on how catholic groups are arguing against the RH Bill from the Couples For Christ:
read more about this print ad here: http://the-wawam-file.blogspot.com/search/label/couples%20for%20christ
we will update this post to publish more on how the catholic church and catholic groups have argued against the RH Bill.
when cardinal rosales took over as archbishop of manila, the country and most specially civil society gave a collective ho-hum. some mourned. for good reason – rosales replaced the hugely popular and well-loved cardinal jaime sin.
cardinal sin is known for his wit and intelligence and above all, his activism in philippine political and national life. he is largely credited for the beginnings of the People Power Revolution that removed ferdinand marcos in 1986.
nobody will forget that day. people were just starting to gather in EDSA, then over the radio cardinal sin asked catholics to get out of their homes and proceed to isetan in cubao, the starting point for a march towards camp crame edsa for the people to protect camp crame and camp aguinaldo. the rest is history.
that kind of involvement is something everyone knew rosales will not give. and true enough, upon his installation in the highest position in the philippine catholic church, he simply disappeared into nowhere saying nothing about what was happening to the country. all of a sudden the archdiocese of manila turned silent, the exact opposite of what it was before. not only that, he instructed priests and bishops not to meddle in political affairs.
that was rosales then, but the rosales that we hear now is very, very different.
the bishops and now being led by rosales have been very vocal about the cha-cha and con-ass, the move by arroyo supporters to change the constitution to enable a term extension that can mean arroyo will install herself as president for life of the philippines.
cardinal rosales has transformed himself. and his latest statement to describe allowing the congressmen to form themselves into a con-ass to amend the constitution : “It’s like entrusting your teenage daughter in the care of a rapist.”
that statement is just one of many signs, words said, rallies organized and movements led that is pointing to a more active involvement of catholic bishops in national issues.
welcome, cardinal rosales. i am sure cardinal sin is smiling in heaven.
Cardinal: Con-ass backers like rapists
MANILA, Philippines—Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales has expressed what may yet be his sharpest rebuke of administration lawmakers pushing a constituent assembly (Con-ass) to amend the 1987 Constitution.
“It’s like entrusting your teenage daughter in the care of a rapist,” Rosales told reporters. “I’m sorry for the analogy, but you get the idea.”
The cardinal said it would not be prudent to allow certain members of the House of Representatives to perform the task of Charter change because of their vested interests including “political dynasties.”
He added: “[There] is a danger of extending [the term of] the present administration and those who are occupying positions [in it] down to the last office.”
But Rosales, who now holds the prelature from which the late Jaime Cardinal Sin called on the people to overthrow two presidents, indicated the Catholic hierarchy’s support for “improving the Constitution.”