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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

entry arrow11:57 PM | Down With Religion!*

Because it breeds utter ignorance, and leads to utter poverty. (XP wouldn't like this post at all.) Conrado de Quiros writes about why that is, so beautifully and forcefully, in today's issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Here, he explains why we should take a stand against the Church's adamant opposition in this country regarding birth control, divorce, homosexuality, and even abortion. And then he writes about Spain which, after the dictator Franco's death, shaked the yoke of the Catholic Church (with all the bishops up in arms), and managed to enter the modern world because of that bravery and fortitude. An excerpt:

I remember in this respect something a Spanish friend told me last year after seeing the staunch opposition of the local bishops to divorce, family planning, and their other favorite anathemas. Maybe, he suggested, I should look at what happened in Spain after Francisco Franco, the strongman who ruled that country for several decades. The change, he said, has been breathtaking. In but three decades after Franco's death, the Catholic Church, which has ruled Spain with as much iron fist as Franco himself did, lost much of its power and influence on the country. "This was a country that could not even contemplate divorce then. To do so was to be branded a heretic by the Church, if not a subversive by the government. And now we've had the first same-sex marriage in Europe, even well ahead of Sweden."

I have looked at bit at what had happened to that country after the dictatorship, and have been astounded by the changes. Not least in the arts. Almost overnight, the movies in particular experienced a renaissance, Pedro Almodovar being at the forefront of it. Almodovar's themes reflect it. In
All About My Mother, a single mother who loses her son in an accident searches for her lost husband to tell him about it, and goes through a spiritual and social journey. She rediscovers her acting talent, which liberates her completely, along with discovering that her husband has long liberated himself also by undergoing a sex change and embracing his/her preferred gender.

Read more.

Think about this: If the Christian religion and values indeed are the key to success, the countries of Latin America and the Philippines should be the richest countries in the world by now. Instead, they are all overrun by disease, calamities, poverty, and corruption. (So much for Christianity being our core value.)Even Italy, with Rome and the Vatican in its very heart, is more modern and prosperous than we are. A Catholic country like Spain, it defied the Church stances on "moral issues" like divorce and birth control. Both countries are now modern, efficient, and well-educated. And we, half-way around the world, continue to kowtow before Vatican. Nakakainis talaga.

Ironic, no?

*But keep the faith. Both are totally different. One is all man-made dogma, the other is personal honest-to-goodness relationship with God, sans all those rituals.

[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich