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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tired? Pray!

In the comments section of my last article, an anonymous fellow wondered if I was a theocrat masquerading as an intellectual. In another comment, a fellow politely cursed me for creating a traffic snarl during the Black & White Mendiola Walk.

Well, Messrs. Anonymous, I am no theocrat even if I do believe in God and thank you for regarding me as an intellectual. Quite frankly, the thought never crossed my mind, only an observer with an avenue to pen.

Also, last Saturday, I had an interesting reunion with my Ateneo Law peer group. One of our barkada came home from Singapore and she was one of speakers in the Lingkod ng Panginoon National Leadership Training Conference.

Our group is a mixed bag of 6 men and women. One is the young and handsome president of a high-end European car company which I understand has bested Mercedes Benz and BMW in sales. Another one is the in-house legal head of the holding company of one of our nation’s taipans. Two are practicing lawyers and one holds a position in the Court of Appeals. The cause of our reunion who came from Singapore is a majority stockholder of CD Asia, the leading online provider of legal information in the country today.

In terms of religion, 3 of us belong to the Ligaya ng Panginoon Community, a Catholic lay group, one is a born again Christian, a member of Christ Commission Fellowship, and the two others while not affiliated are good and faithful Catholics.

While we were discussing the current political situation, most of them advanced the typical response that they are tired of all the politicking and all the rallies, they are asking who is the better alternative and that the opposition is unpalatable. Like Behn Cervantes, they are not going to march in step with Jamby, Imee, JV or Jinggoy.

Being lawyers, it was not hard to realize the illegitimacy of the president except for one of us whose mother was a campaign manager of GMA in the North. We agreed to disagree without being disagreeable. That’s what friends are for, warts and all.

Our other friend who was a born again Christian took a different tack. God ordained GMA to be head of this country and therefore, obeying God means we obey GMA. She even hazarded the proposition that we ought to obey the leaders ordained by God even if they be tyrants! She justified that EDSA 1 and 2 are manifestations of God’s will in action because we were able to overthrow the leaders. Since GMA survived last July 8, it was God’s will is that she be our ordained leader.

Well, that is the typical understanding of born again Christians of Romans 13. I, of course, disagreed and laid out my Catholic and biblical understanding of Romans 13 vis-à-vis Exodus. I was telling myself, this is déjà vu. Way back in my first year, second semester law school of school year 1985 – 1986, I had the same arguments, again, with a born again Christian. This was right after the CBCP issued their pastoral statement on the Marcos-rigged elections.

I responded that her understanding was disingenuous. It was an analysis made in hindsight. You don’t say it is God’s will only after looking at the results or at the speed by which a leader is overthrown. The process is still on-going. Too, just because the process is taking longer does not mean that God is frustrating the will of the people meaning to remove her. The jury is still out on that one. If at all, it only means that our president is not a dumb oaf as her predecessor was and has learned not to commit the same follies as the Arthritic One.

Obeying tyrants as a will of God is just way too left field to dignify even an answer. I always believed that my mere lawyer’s oath is sufficient to answer any ill justification for the existence of tyrants and the divine right of kings.

We dwelt on that argument for some time because it is difficult to reason with one who argues from authority, in this case, from God Himself, despite the slew of evidence of wrongdoing. I do not know if the born again community even acknowledged those evidences. I am unsettled by their argument because for them, the end justifies the means. It convinced me what I previously said whimsically that Bro. Eddie Villanueva has become an anomaly within the born again community and is developing a Catholic understanding of justice. Anyway, I have always been at odds with my born again friends politically and theologically. Still, friendship conquers all.

In the end, I wanted to tell my other friends that if you tire of the rallies, tire of the traffic, then your calling as thinking and praying Christians is not to remain indifferent but to pray to God and discern God’s will for our nation. Storm the gates of heaven and hasten the coming of the kingdom for our country, if that is the only contribution you can make for now. More things are wrought by prayer than this world ever dreamed of.

And if during the discernment process, one is moved by God to action, then by all means, respond to that grace and act on it. What we cannot be is to remain inert and allow evil to triumph. If the poor and the lowly are willing to die for their principles and their beliefs, how much more the educated and the enlightened among us? To much is given, much is required.

Let us not grow tired and weary. Instead of getting tired at all the rallies you see, all the traffic you are in, channel that apathy. Instead of getting angry and frustrated, say a little prayer to God for His will, for His peace and for His justice to prevail in our land.

In the end, it may be better to light a candle than to curse the rallies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Edwin,

like you I am a graduate of Ateneo de Manila College of Law, but I graduated way ahead of you,I wont tell you what year coz it will reveal my age. anyway, I read your blog today and it really upsets me that people will complain about traffic etc. and to say that GMA was ordained by GOD and therefore we must obey her, is disturbing. Can your friend therefore, also say that Hitler was the leader chosen by God for Germany and it was God's will that he murdered millions of Jews. so if GMA decides to arrest and shot innocent people we are still duty bound to obey her, because she was God choice for us, for me that is distorted thinking. I cannot believe that God will tolerate cheating, lieing and stealing.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous dawin said...


That is correct. I dont believe that our God is blind to lying, cheating and stealing and the fact that she has remained unrepentant up to this time. Otherwise, I would have become an atheist.

9:59 PM  
Blogger mama_aly said...

Indeed, desperate times call for desperate measures. Prayer sets us free.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous acid tongue said...

public demonstration is a right, even if i do not agree with what the demonstrations are about. and traffic management, rally or no rally, is a problem that governments of the past 2 decades cannot handle intelligently.

but i do not like how some people are obviously using these wonderful democratic practices to serve their own selfish and self-destructive agenda. sure they are shouting for justice and all that, but if you egg people to a certain beatdown while you yourself watch from the sides or deliberately get wet para masabing na-hose down ka, then maling mali na iyon.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Arbet said...

My aunt is a Born Again Christian, and she does not think Romans 13 is a justification that leaders should use. Anyway, she says that along as there is no justice, there will be no peace.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous dawin said...


It's good to hear that because every time I talked to born again Christians, they invoked that chapter and verse. I hope I am wrong.

I am glad to hear that your aunt has a different thinking. We need more born again Christians who think like your aunt.

8:12 PM  
Blogger NJbabe said...

We always tend to look for God's presence in times of hardship and times of happiness....Sad to say we have to appease ourselves and tend to always say it is God's will forgetting God gave us the free will to act on our lives. We should always act responsible on our doings...

Sometimes good things happen to bad people...is this also God's will? I am Catholic but not a born again Christian. There are so many mysteries in this world that can not still be explained even in this "high tech" world we live in. To try to rationalize things that is happening...Good luck!!!! But I do believe that everything in this life has a purpose....it just takes time to realize this.....Sad to say, we do not all have this luxury in life...eternity...But I hope and pray for peace and finally advancement ....

1:34 AM  

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