Category: religion

INC, rabble-rousing, in our faces

as if the traffic weren’t bad enough, or maybe that’s the point?  INC means to aggravate the situation, push to destablize, can’t wait for 2016, this illegal-detention-case has to be made to go away, now na?

the most appalling thing about it all is the lack of action on the part of the aquino government, as though it didn’t have the authority and the means to nip-in-the-bud protest actions of this disruptive kind, gayong we have seen them do it, time and again, to leftist groups who are almost always dispersed at once pag walang permit, or after a few hours, pag mayroong permit.

the latest from edsa/shaw according to INC TV is: patuloy na dinaragsa ang mapayapang pagtitpon ng mga kaanib sa iglesia ni cristo.  and i’ve heard some sincere rabble-rousing and offensive name-calling in the last hour.  meanwhile, nagpakita at naghayag na rin sina boy saycon at eid kabalu ng suporta, at nagpakita na rin si peping cojuangco, although kumaway lang siya from stage, hmm.

the moon is waxing full in pisces, culminating around 2:30 a.m. sunday.  emotions are high.  it’s going to be a long night.  will we see more politicos stepping up to express support, in aid of 2016?  will the crowd get bigger?  will they refuse to go home when their permit runs out tomorrow?  are they sleepless in the palace putting together, finally, a plan A, and a plan B?  i certainly hope so.  we need to see some decisive action from the authorities.

sabi nga ni walden bello:

A religious sect has Metro-Manila by the throat, and Poe, Binay, and Roxas are conciliating it. The government, always quick to act against the Left, has the authority to peacefully clear EDSA but it declines to exercise this authority, citing “respect for the right to protest.” Rights are relational. When the right to free speech is exercised to deliberately wreck public order and create chaos for the vast majority, then the government must place the welfare of that majority in command. The truth is this religio-fascist sect has the whole Philippine political system by the throat. Time to stand up to it and save our secular Republic. Time to say no to craven politicians who conciliate fundamentalist fanatics.

and to the INC, may i just say, mga kapatid, this is no way to do an EDSA 86, which (to be simplistic about it) was a most prayerful event.  no crass chants, no hi-tech stage, no political rabble-rousing.  what this is really is more like an edsa tres when you guys joined forces with erap’s urban poor constitutents, hoping to grab back the power lost to gloria in edsa dos, and failed.  i almost expect to see enrile and honasan, sotto and maceda, stepping up, with raised fists yet.  but wait, here comes tingting cojuangco.  argh.  excuse me while i throw up.

INC drama, street soap

The story goes: Today, some 200,000 members of the INC will mob the Department of Justice. Yes, a big crowd was there this afternoon – word is, they will stay on and on. They are protesting Justice Secretary de Lima’s “selective justice.”

The plot is: that more and more people will join that crowd and then a big push to EDSA takes place on Friday till Monday. Net25 on its Facebook page says members from 29 districts will be reinforcing their comrades starting tomorrow.

that’s from inday espina-varona’s blogpost yesterday.  about a plot to unseat the president in the long-run (yes, in the run-up to the 2016 elections) and, in the short-term, as in, now na, to demand insist importune that the department of justice respect the separation of church and state and desist from giving “special treatment” to expelled INC minister isaias samson who dares file an illegal detention complaint against INC’s top brass, i mean, ruling council.  unahin daw kasi ang mamasapano — sampahan ng kaso ang mga pumatay sa SAF 44, OR ELSE they will take it to edsa!  who is writing this script?  chiz escudero, is that you?

this morning the big news was the strafing of anthony taberna’s coffee shop in qc.  taberna is anchor of dzmm teleradyo’s dos por dos, with gerry baja, both INC members.  at first i didn’t connect it with the INC protest rally just because taberna had refused to comment on the issue from the start, which i took to mean that his sympathies lay with the INC leadership.  and then i saw inday’s fb status:

Attacks on Tunying’s cafe. He has been receiving many, many threats and very angry socmed messages from INC members loyal to leadership — because he kept quiet. I know some people have questions about Tunying… but it hasn’t been easy for him and Gerry this last month.

ah so.  complicating it is the fact that taberna and samson are blood relations pala, so his loyalty is under question.  the latest is, wala sina taberna at baja sa dos por dos today, and INC members are beginning to gather at the EDSA shrine sabay dumarami raw ang mga tao sa padre faura.  kahit saan nila gusto, puwede?  kahit gaano katagal, puwede?  iyan na mismo ang “special treatment.”

and, oh my, grace poe has chimed in, echoing chiz, of course.  aapir kaya sila sa rally?  abangan.


INC protest is ‘bullying’, lawyers say

Sex and the Missionary Position: The Grammar of Philippine Colonial Sexualities as a Locus of Translation

Marlon James Sales
Monash University, Australia

The written history of Hispanic Philippines is a story wrought in translation. Colonial accounts about this Southeast Asian archipelago attempted to make sense of its people and their cultures by translating them for a European readership in a period that spanned more than three centuries. While there were indeed a number of colonial administrators, travellers and other lay chroniclers who mentioned the country in their writings, it is in the texts penned by missionary priests that we find the earliest and most extensive intent to systematize the understanding of Filipinos on the basis of their languages and customs. From the very beginning of Spain’s colonial expansion in Asia in the 1500s until the last year of the Empire in 1898 when the Philippines was finally ceded to the United States, members of various religious orders wrote histories that recounted how their brothers in the cloth preached the Christian doctrine to different ethnolinguistic groups in the country and the rest of the Asian continent. They similarly wrote grammars and dictionaries, the primary purpose of which was to help ministers in the administration of the sacraments and rituals of the Roman Church in the islands’ many vernaculars.

Read on…

PEN america & charlie hebdo

i follow two famous novelists on twitter  — joyce carol oates (them, Blonde) and salman rushdie (Satanic VersesThe Ground Beneath Her Feet) — and it’s been interesting to find them on opposite sides of the argument re whether or not charlie hebdo deserves PEN’s prestigious freedom-of-expression courage award.  rushdie was rather pompous and sexist and brooked no argument.

The award will be given. PEN is holding firm. Just 6 pussies. Six Authors in Search of a bit of Character.

oates, among the 200 or so who boycotted the gala in protest, didn’t bite, instead was self-reflexively ironic.

Exciting to witness a conflict in which each side is “holier than thou.”

and then i ran into this piece by glenn greenwald (of snowden fame) siding with the protesters, that led to another page where he posted the exchange of letters between deborah eisenberg and PEN’s executive director suzanne nossel that sparked the controversy.

sharing this, from eisenberg (Twilight of the Superheroes):

… Satire might be thought of as sort of a free zone, where potentially dangerous or destabilizing ideas can be safely sent out to play, or to perform for us, and social inequities are implicitly an element in most satire – though it is the parties thought to be holding disproportionate power or prestige who are the usual object of successful satire. It seems to me that power and prestige are elements that must be recognized in considering almost any form of discourse, including satire, and that to ignore very real inequities between the person holding the mighty pen and the subject fixed on paper by that pen, risks making empty and self-serving nonsense of the discussion. In any case, your apparent assumption that I fail to recognize the value of satire is puzzling, given that I made liberal use of it in my letter of March 26.

… It is the work available to us, not the objectives behind it, which we experience and judge. If, for example, I read a book that strikes me as worthless, my opinion of it will not go up simply because the author tells me that she had wanted it to be better than War and Peace. And further, the subjects of a satire are bound to have a different relationship to that satire than those who are only peripherally involved or who have the same set of cultural assumptions as the satire’s author. The Muslim population of France, so much of which feels despised and out of place in their own home, is very aware that the non-Muslim population of France is reading and enjoying mockery of their religion, and they are very unlikely to care what objectives Charlie Hebdo ascribes to itself, however lofty those objectives may be. A person wounded by ridicule is unlikely to much care what the ridiculer intended – to care whether the goal of the ridicule was to stimulate insight or to inflict humiliation.

But presumably the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award is being awarded to Charlie Hebdo for its actual publications, not for its stated aspirations. So those aspirations are as immaterial to PEN’s choice as they are irrelevant to the Muslim population of France. What actually matters most in this instance, in my opinion, is what people believe is being awarded: What does PEN wish to convey by presenting this prestigious award to Charlie Hebdo? And that is still not one bit clear to me.

Charlie Hebdo is undeniably courageous in that it has continued irrepressibly to ridicule Islam and its adherents, who include a conspicuously and ruthlessly dangerous faction. But ridicule of Islam and Muslims cannot in itself be considered courageous at this moment, because ridicule of Islam and Muslims is now increasingly considered acceptable in the West. However its staff and friends see it, Charlie Hebdo could well be providing many, many people with an opportunity to comfortably assume a position that they were formerly ashamed to admit. This is not a voice of dissent, this is the voice of a mob.

Here I am, piping up again, and re-stating some of the things I’ve already said. And how good it would be if you and I could sort out and settle all these issues and those that are attached to them in the exchange of a few letters! But obviously these matters are not easily sorted out, let alone settled – and they are not easily discussed, either. They do, however, call for discussion – for examination, for re-examination, for endless, painstaking vigilance and continual efforts at clear thinking.

You seek to persuade me that Charlie Hebdo was a judicious choice to receive the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award by telling me people are flocking to join PEN because of its support for Charlie Hebdo – but that only redoubles the anxieties I described in my first letter. I can only wonder what exactly is so alluring to these new dues-payers: are they indeed demonstrating enthusiasm for PEN’s long-standing support of free and courageous expression, or are they demonstrating enthusiasm for a license that is being offered by PEN to openly rally behind a popular prejudice that has suddenly been legitimized and made palatable by the January atrocities?

In short, it is not Charlie Hebdo I’m writing to you about, it is PEN. I would be very sorry if this essential organization were to alter radically in character, from one that supports and protects endangered voices of dissent to one that encourages voices of intolerance.

and this, from garry trudeau (Doonesbury):

… Ironically, Charlie Hebdo, which always maintained it was attacking Islamic fanatics, not the general population, has succeeded in provoking many Muslims throughout France to make common cause with its most violent outliers. This is a bitter harvest.

Traditionally, satire has comforted the afflicted while afflicting the comfortable. Satire punches up, against authority of all kinds, the little guy against the powerful. Great French satirists like Molière and Daumier always punched up, holding up the self-satisfied and hypocritical to ridicule. Ridiculing the non-privileged is almost never funny—it’s just mean.

By punching downward, by attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority with crude, vulgar drawings closer to graffiti than cartoons, Charlie wandered into the realm of hate speech, which in France is only illegal if it directly incites violence. Well, voila—the 7 million copies that were published following the killings did exactly that, triggering violent protests across the Muslim world, including one in Niger, in which ten people died. Meanwhile, the French government kept busy rounding up and arresting over 100 Muslims who had foolishly used their freedom of speech to express their support of the attacks.

The White House took a lot of hits for not sending a high-level representative to the pro-Charlie solidarity march, but that oversight is now starting to look smart. The French tradition of free expression is too full of contradictions to fully embrace. Even Charlie Hebdo once fired a writer for not retracting an anti-Semitic column. Apparently he crossed some red line that was in place for one minority but not another.

What free speech absolutists have failed to acknowledge is that because one has the right to offend a group does not mean that one must. Or that that group gives up the right to be outraged. They’re allowed to feel pain. Freedom should always be discussed within the context of responsibility. At some point free expression absolutism becomes childish and unserious. It becomes its own kind of fanaticism.


Why I Won’t Be Attending the PEN Galapalooza