By Herbert Vego
MANY columns ago, I wrote my “Search for True Religion,” where I said that I had attended services and masses of various churches in the hope of discovering God, but to no avail.
Let me say in addition that it was because of their irreconcilability with each other. In Christianity, for example, what’s holy for one denomination – say the worship or veneration of graven images — could be evil for another.
We may laugh at the Hindus for praying to Ganesh, their elephant god. But what if we were born in India? Could we not have worshipped Ganesh, too?
If we are mad at a self-appointed “son of God,” it’s because we believe he does not walk his talk but enriches himself by supporting corrupt politicians. Why, oh why?
To say it simply, he is filling his material greed, not the spiritual need of his followers.
By and large, the followers’ tithes and offerings ensure the earthly expansion of churches, not the promised eternal life of the flock.
A fanatic sectarian named Hector sent me four successive letters, all begging to disagree with my observation that our main reason for believing in God is a selfish one – “to free us from the bondage of mortality and catapult us to eternal life in heaven.”
Hector said, “Sorry to disappoint you, but I believe in God and the Catholic religion because it is rational and not for the selfish reason that you mentioned.”
I initially thought of debunking Hector’s notion but decided otherwise. What for? As the late American author Dale Carnegie had written in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
To my question on whether people who die outside of the true religion would suffer eternal torment in the fires of hell, Hector quoted the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”: “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, yet sincerely seek God, and moved by grace, strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known through the dictates of their consciences, may attain eternal life.”
Oh, well, that made sense. After all, “truth” is not found in majority opinion or decision. Indeed, the Roman soldiers had gone wrong in heeding the demand of the majority to crucify Jesus Christ.
The entire leadership of the Church erred in excommunicating 16th-century Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei for being a heretic who declared that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the universe. The Church had taught the opposite until then.
I would not refute the argument of Hector that Catholics do not worship graven images; they only “venerate” the saints so represented. It is not disputed that Christianity has divided itself into a thousand and one sects and subsects because of “escapist” dogmatic deviations.
Hector hectored the late Dating Daan evangelist Eli Soriano for “ignorance” over a prayer calling Virgin Mary “Ginoong Maria” instead of “Ginang” or “Binibini,” since Ginoo means “mister”.
Translating a Wikipedia entry in Filipino, Hector wrote, “Sa lumang Tagalog, ang mga ‘kalalakihan’ ay may ‘mataas’ na pagkilala kumpara sa kababaihan. Ipinilit na gamitin ang ‘mataas na pagkilalang ito’ sa katauhan ni Maria.”
As to why I have dropped out of religious affiliations, it’s because they are ineffective in reforming society. It’s a shame and a paradox that our country is perceived to be “the only Christian country in Southeast Asia” when our politicians and citizenry excel in plunder, thievery and extortion.
Because action speaks louder than words, religious arguments fail against filthy realities.
EASIER TO PAY MORE POWER BILL ONLINE
IN a past issue, I briefly wrote about the easiest way to pay bills to MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) online. This accessibility has been going on since the pandemic months when people were wary of going out.
Thanks to Andrea Ortega Guanco of Feature Iloilo for the following information on specific steps to be taken when paying MORE Power online, via email, or through its website.
MORE Power’s Facebook page has made it known that you may now receive your power bill via your email address. Otherwise, you may notify MORE Power about your preference among three available options:
Option 1. Fill out a consent form and request for paperless billing at the Customer Service Office at Hotel del Rio (M.H. del Pilar St., Molo, Iloilo City).
Option 2. Call the 24/7 hotline 330-6673.
Option 3. Send a message via the DU’s Facebook page.
Aside from receiving your electricity bill via email, you may opt to view your bill on the MORE Power website. To do this, you must have an account. To create an account, simply open your browser and key in https://payment.morepower.com.ph/. This will redirect you to the page as shown below. Click ‘register now’ and key in your details.
In the registration form, you are required to type in the customer name, payor’s name, relation to registered customer, address, contact details, email, as well as your username and password.
Verify your account via email. After successful verification, you can go back to https://payment.morepower.com.ph/ and log in using the username and password you created on the registration form.
To view your bill, key in your account number in the search bar.
The next screen will show your balance, transaction history, records, and payment option. You may also enter your email address to receive your bill via email. The DU has also expanded payment options. Its bank partners include Metrobank, BDO, PNB, Landbank, Robinsons Bank, Queen Bank, OK Bank, Union Bank, Security Bank, Asia United Bank, China Bank Corporation, and China Bank Savings. Payment can also be made via non-bank partners Palawan Pawnshop, RD Pawnshop, LBC, SM Payment Center, and DragonPay.