Duterte’s ‘stake’ of the nation address
YOUR mantra for the week: “I pray, therefore, I prosper.”
The word “prayer” is usually associated with a religion. But in truth, you don’t need a religion to be able to pray. You just have to believe in God, and your communion with “It” is your prayer.
In IAMISM, we practice affirming, visualizing, meditating, contemplating, seeing the good in everything, desiring good for others, all acts of gratitude and kindnesses, and even laughter as forms of prayer. All these methods do not require a religion; and for us who believe that God is within each man, it’s easy to move into prayer, in whatever form, until praying unceasingly becomes second nature.
Thus, one can constantly affirm the good, visualize one’s desires, meditate on one’s breath which is our Life connection, contemplate on blessings flowing into our lives, blessing all persons, events and circumstances by pronouncing them all good, saluting the God in all persons regardless of their belief systems, welcoming challenges as blessings-in-disguise, accepting change as a friend, letting go of all superstitions, beliefs and traditions that do not contribute to one’s freedom, spiritual growth and well-being, and finally, realizing one’s oneness-with-God and never forgetting that one does not need a religion to pray.
July 25th at 4 p.m. PRody made history. It was the most unusual Sona (State of the Nation Address) ever delivered.
But first, as he made his way to the podium to sit between Senate president Koko Pimentel and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez—who both wore their barong with the traditional buttoned cuffs and closed collars—PRody had his barong sleeves rolled up, and two collar buttons open.
That, to me, was the signal for the Filipino people to get ready, sit up and listen to an exceptionally different Sona. For, indeed, PRody is different.
If any of the other presidential candidates had won, we would have had the usual grand red-carpet walk with the ladies of the Senate and the House showing off their haute couture long gowns and terno specially made by our name designers.
They would all be dressed to the nines, almost bordering on the tens, making us viewers tense for their bringing out all their jewelry from their safety deposit boxes. This is also true of the non-elected spouses who made sure they would not be ignored as lesser stars. But all that became moot when PRody began to speak.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei
His first applauded line was, “I wish to assure everyone… vindictiveness is not in my system. Equal treatment and equal protection…” He continued: “But we must have the courage to fight for what we believe in. Thus, to our religious bishops, leaders, priests, pastors, preachers, imams, let me assure you that while I am a stickler for the principle of separation between Church and State, I believe quite strongly that there should never be a separation between God and State.”
With that statement, he brings to mind the United Kingdom’s 1709 Whig tract which popularized the Latin phrase, “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” (the voice of the people is the voice of God), which is clearly demonstrated in a working democracy such as ours, where the majority becomes the voice of God.
Our Constitution clearly states that “the separation of Church and State shall be inviolable,” and, yet, many bishops have a difficult time holding their peace and piece and make comments about matters that are of the State and still have the audacity to say that they are also citizens of the country, ignoring the fact that they do not pay taxes.
Therefore, they should all the more keep away from making unnecessary comments about the affairs of the State, like the RH law which PRody intends to implement fully. I salute him for this, just as I praised P-Noy for signing it into law.
PRody could not help but take exception to the Inquirer’s portrayal on its July 24 front page of a woman enfolding the body of her partner, very much like a reproduction of Michelangelo’s “Pieta”: “Parang Mother Mary cradling the dead cadaver of Jesus Christ.” He commented that this kind of “drama” must stop, especially since the picture was splashed above the headline story, “Church: Thou shall not kill.”
This self-righteous statement is really uncalled for, because history shows that the Church, even just through the Crusades alone, killed countless people in the name of God, and did not even lift a finger when Hitler ordered the extermination of 6 million Jews in World War II.
Still on PRody’s war against illegal drugs and criminality… When one goes to war, there are always innocent people who invariably die. But let us compare the negative and positive effects of this war—120,000 people have surrendered to police so far, 70,000 of whom are drug pushers. All are now given a chance to change their lives for the better through rehabilitation.
The 364 (Inquirer’s body count is 420, 87 unidentified as of July 28; (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/794598/kill-list-drugs-duterte) dead were killed either during police operations, which Human Rights advocates would rather call summary killings, and by unknown “vigilantes.” All these have happened because the drug world is imploding and, that is why, the majority of the population has been silent about this matter.
I believe in the commandment, “Thou shall not kill,” but I also believe that death is always a soul choice—not your conscious choice. Your soul knows when it is time to call it a day (lifetime) and even the manner in which it must occur.
It is the same principle at work when I claim that our souls choose our parents, our country where we are to be born, lessons we have to learn and the things we have to fix that we have messed up in previous lives.
Human wrongs and rights
Meanwhile, PRody has this to say about human rights: “Ang ginagawa namin ay para sa kapakanan ng bayan. Seryoso po ako… huwag ninyong sirain yung mga bagay-bagay na ginagawa namin para sa kapakanan ng tao. Mabuti ang magka-intindihan tayo. Human rights must work to uplift human dignity but human rights cannot be used as a shield or an excuse to destroy the country, your country and my country.”
With his 91 percent approval rate, it looks like PRody has earned the authority to do what he believes he must do about human wrongs, despite the objections from human rights defenders.
PRody reminds all Filipinos that, in his quest, “I will put at stake my honor, my life and the presidency itself.” Maybe, his one-hour-and-40-minute Sona should instead be called the Stake of the Nation Address.
E-mail the columnist at email@example.com. Visit www.GeorgeSison.com and www.iamism.org. Listen to his “Positive Session” radio program on DWIZ 882 AM every Saturday, 9-10 p.m.
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