Misreading ‘authority from God’

By Herbert Vego

You must have seen religious leaders raising the hands of “corrupt” government leaders. This is especially true during elections when they justify such a move, often in the form of a Bible quotation – say, the first three verses of Romans 13: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”

Are we to believe that admonition just because “it is written”?

To do so, common sense tells us, is to bow to murderous dictators and atheist leaders for being “God-sent”.

If we believe in the four freedoms — freedom from fear, freedom from want, freedom of speech and freedom of religion – why not freedom from religion?

Freedom from religion means thinking for ourselves, shielding us from religious dogmas that transform us to mere robots.

Freedom from religion also means ignoring the “hate campaign” of the religious sector against politicians who support artificial family planning, premarital sex and divorce, or other advocacies contrary to Church.

Who has given the pastors and priests the authority to chart the future of married couples? To tell them whom to vote for or reject during elections?

Certainly not God, who has given us a rational mind. Any modern man who allows his brain to be manipulated by the clergy belongs to that era when disobedience to the Church was punishable by death.

On the lighter side, their hypocritical vow of celibacy makes the bishops and priests disobey God’s command to “go ye and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) . Celibacy results in inability to procreate.

While it has already been more than 500 years since we gained our independence from Catholic Spain, we are still under the spell of religious leaders who threaten us with fire and brimstone if we don’t toe their line.

History throbs with cases of erroneous theocratic decisions. The most infamous of them all was the conviction and life imprisonment under house arrest of a famous Italian astronomer for heresy in 1633.

Galileo Galilei had taught that the Earth revolves around the Sun. The official Church position at that time was that the Sun revolved around the Earth.

It was not until 346 years later in 1979 that Pope John Paul II declared that the Roman Catholic Church “may have been mistaken in condemning Galileo.”

During the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine (306-337 AD), heretics (persons who opposed church teachings) were sought out, tortured and eventually murdered.

On March 25th, 1199, Pope Innocent III declared that “anyone who attempted to construe a personal view of god which conflicted with the church dogma must be burned without pity.”

The reign of Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241) saw the beginning of the Inquisition, a campaign of torture, mutilation, mass murder and destruction of human life.

The inquisitors grew very rich, accepting bribes and fines from the wealthy who paid to avoid being prosecuted and dispossessed of property.

The Inquisition even used the Bible to justify burning people to death: “If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:6).

Alas, however, going forward to the present, it is no longer a secret that the clergy also harbors homosexuals, pedophiles and other “immoral” sectors of society.

Eighty per cent of priests at the Vatican are gay, according to French journalist Frédéric Martel, whose book Closet of the Vatican is the result of interviews with 1,500 cardinals, bishops and priests, among others.



THERE were four successive Sundays when MORE Power and the Iloilo City government collaborated in organizing the Sunday Farmer’s Market at Molo Plaza. It was where urban farmers sold fresh organic fruits and vegetables at cheaper prices.

There ought to be a repeat of the same project in other public plazas to raise awareness on the importance of farm products in health care.

No less than Inigo Garingalao, the city agriculturist, is at the forefront of the information campaign aimed at attracting vegetable consumers. In one of his Facebook posts, Garingalao quoted information on little-known health benefits from low-cost vegetables.

The indigenous vegetable “lupo” which freely grows in ricelands, for instance, contains the highest amount of chlorophyll and fiber which are essential in boosting one’s immune system and cleaning the gut, thus preventing cancer.

I am sure MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro agrees. He is a “gourmet” when it comes to patronizing vegetable dishes in local carinderias.