memory's sacred domain

moments mundane and magical

Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

On the Uses (and Abuses) of Religion in the Public Square by Public Officials –

leave a comment »

I am not quite a Rawlsian when it comes to the use of religion in the public square. I tend to be a mixture of the Hauerwasian and the Habermasian in these things. 

So it piqued my interest when, three days after the NTC “killed” analog ABS-CBN, I read House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano ‘s statement crucifying Sol Gen Calida for his alleged “constitutional meddling” in a matter that belongs to the legislature’s “sphere sovereignty”, to use that very Protestant concept. 

I know Sol Gen Calida knows his Bible very well — not too long ago I read his published testimony about how the Lord Jesus Christ transformed his heart from his younger womanizing ways into a dedicated husband. 

I wonder what his reaction will be when he reads the long note from his fellow avid Bible reader, Speaker Cayetano, which starts with prophetic warning from the ancient Jewish prophet Jeremiah: “But you, LORD, know all their plots to kill me. Do not forgive their crimes or blot out their sins from your sight. Let them be overthrown before you; deal with them in the time of your anger.”(Jeremiah 18:23, NIV)

Any plain reading of the biblical text deployed here would give the impression that, per Speaker Cayetano, Sol Gen Calida :

1. Has been plotting to “kill” the Speaker (at the very least, figuratively);
2. It is sinful of Sol Gen Calida to do so;
3. Sol Gen Calida, a self-confessed born again Christian like Speaker Cayetano, is a sinner who does not deserve forgiveness;
4. God will overthrow Sol Gen Calida for his sins against Speaker Cayetano;
5. And God will do so in the time of God’s anger.

These are powerful statements, perhaps, as powerful as the one attributed to Pilate by the gospel writers –

‘When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”‘ (Matthew 27:24, NIV)

PS – apologies to my Reformed Protestant friends; like Speaker Cayetano, I use the NIV out of evangelical habits, though for deeper study, I tend to use my old red Oxford Revised Standard Bible (that standard liberal text!).

Written by Romel

May 8, 2020 at 4:02 am

leave a comment »

The Comedy of Corruption

Filipinos are among the happiest people in the world. They know how to get a good laugh out of the worst situations. They simply grin and bear it. Just consider how they get back at corrupt public officials — through countless jokes passed around by SMS. The Erap jokes come to mind. But can they match the Italians in the game of making humor an effective anti-corruption measure?

In connection with the raging brouhaha over the “ZTE-FG” Broadband Scandal, methinks Filipinos can learn a thing or two from an Italian comedian — on how to take humor farther and use it to fight corruption, literally. Beppe Grillo is a national celebrity in his home country for doing just that, not only using political satire as a tool to shame corrupt public officials but also as a tool of some sort to prosecute them. New Yorker correspondent Tom Mueller writes how Grillo became a comedian of corruption, and how his brand of humor has led to the public undoing — and prosecution — of many a corrupt Italian politician and corporation. Click here . (Warning to the faint of heart : this excellent essay is punctuated by adult language).

Written by Romel

February 8, 2008 at 10:03 am

Posted in humor, Politics

%d bloggers like this: