That's what it all boils down to, but many -- particularly the lawmaker who proposed to legislate a path toward Godlessness -- fail to see it that way. Why? Perhaps for the same reason that it's easy to fall into professing one's faith then forget to live one's day-to-day life according to the teachings of that faith: the connection between faith/religious belief and daily life is overlooked.
When Congressman Raymond Palatino -- who represents Kabataan Party List -- filed a bill prohibiting the conduct of religious ceremonies and the display of religious symbols "within the premises and perimeter of offices, departments and bureaus, including publicly owned spaces and corridors within such offices, departments and bureaus," he obviously failed to consider that he was, in effect, imposing a ban on God. Ceremonies such as the Mass, and religious symbols such as crucifixes, pictures of the Blessed Mother, statues of canonized saints, for instance, are expressions of faith in God. Sure, a small statue of Our Lady of Fatima or a portrait of St. Pio may indicate a special devotion to Mother Mary or the Franciscan stigmatist, but if the person's faith and understanding run deep, the devotion is rooted in a love for the Source of all that's good -- God.
So really, though the solon claims legitimate reasons for the "need" for the bill, what he's doing is violating people's personal freedom. And as mentioned above, banning the Source of all life, the Maker of heaven and earth.
One of the things that occurred to me after considering this piece of legislation was that should it be enacted into law, then it wouldn't be surprising if corruption in government and the incidence of crimes being committed by workers in government offices see an upsurge. Why? Many times it's only simple reminders of right and wrong that keep a person on the right path. In government, which is not spared from situations that pose temptations to the people around, how much more will such temptations be difficult to resist if you take away the bible, the portrait of Mama Mary, the sight of the Savior showing his unconditional love via the cross, and images of heroic people down the centuries who persevered to stay faithful?
Good thing we have some legislators who don't let such things pass. Congressman Roilo Golez of Paranaque spoke up and inadvertently made it clear that the younger solon didn't spend a lot of time thinking things through before filing the bill.
Read all about it here
Church officials also made brilliant points about the matter here and here
ABS-CBN came out with a report titled Solon withdraws 'Ban God' bill, says sorry days ago, yet nowhere in the article does it say that Palatino has already withdrawn his bill. The closest to this is:
In a statement, Palatino said he is withdrawing House Bill 6330 “in response to the appeal and clamor of some of our members, constituents and supporters, various groups, institutions and the general public to reconsider the filing of such measure.”
As a friend pointed out, is this merely your usual "press release" meant to appease protesters and vigilant citizens? Is there truly an intention of withdrawing the "Ban God" bill? Wish someone would ask the congressman point blank and get a straight answer.
Addendum: I came across this statement on the Kabataan Party List website just now. Same thing -- no mention of the solon already having officially withdrawn the bill. But there are contact numbers through which the lawmaker's Chief of Staff may be reached. Express your sentiments; clarify whether or not her boss has already done what he said he plans to do about the measure. Get in touch with:
Vanessa Faye Bolibol (Chief-of-Staff Kabataan PL Rep. Palatino)