Philippines and Religion
I answered the following question from my Formspring account: “Is there a real separation of church and state in the Philippines?“
At root, there’s NO real separation of church and state in the country. What I mean to say is that constitutionally speaking, the Philippines is not a representative of a full, complete separation of church and state. For instance, the Constitution allows itself to be dictated by religion when it comes to the issue of abortion and artificial contraception. It allows itself to be influenced and cowed when it comes to family matters, which should be left only to parents or private individuals. Since the Constitution mandates that life begins at conception, this mandate gives authority to religion or the Catholic church, which is shamelessly asserting its influence, to push for the passage of laws against abortion, artificial contraception or family planning. Thus, the Constitution allows the country’s political system to be politicized by agents of religion or faith. This should not be the case. Abortion and family planning are private matters that should be left only to the people involved. A fetus or an embryo is not a person. It depends for its life on the mother. Thus, it is the mother or the woman who has the right to do whatever she wants to do with her own body.
Another issue is the tax exempt status of churches or religious places or sites. Since everybody and almost everything is taxed in this country, it is only proper to tax churches and religions as well. Taxation, which I do not advocate, should be uniformly applied to citizens or organizations. I don’t think churches or religions are non-profit organizations. In reality they’re profit-making ventures.
Another thing is that the country’s traditional politicians shamelessly allow themselves to be influenced by religion to get more votes. The Iglesia Ni Cristo, for instance, came up with a scheme, or a scam, in order to gain more political influence- and more money. In fact during election seasons the INC proves to be more powerful or influential than any religion or religious sect in the country. However, I do not support the passage of any law that would prohibit the INC from continuing its evil, shameless, demogogic block-voting practice. The religious sect’s election practice simply proves that it’s indeed a cultish, anti-mind religious organization.