Since October 7, in retaliation against the murder of 1,200 Israelis by the Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement), the Israel Defense Forces has bombed almost every day, civilian buildings, hospitals and even convoys bringing food and medicine to Gaza. The latest estimate by Gaza’s health ministry is 20,000 Palestinians, 8,000 children, killed through US-made and US-financed bombs. The United Nations has estimated that 500,000 civilians — again mostly children — are starving, most surviving through water.
Most people don’t really bother to think about what really is a central feature of their lives: their religion, their belief in a Deity. This is remarkable in that it is religion which tells us what would happen – or think would happen — after the few decades of our existence. Doesn’t that make religion – our religion—an important thing to think about to study? Ordinary people of course don’t have the leisure to do this.
But science through the academe in the past several decades have made religion a field of study using the same scientific method, and putting aside faith and superstitution, that it has used to study the natural world, resulting in the discovery of the universes’ “secrets”, thing such as DNA, sub-atomic particles and origins of the cosmos.
The result of these studies on religion though will trouble the Christian faithful.
The first wave of the unravelling of religion has been through books, published from 2005 to 2009 by the so-called “Four Horsemen of the New Atheism”: evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion, 2006) , neuroscientist Sam Harris (The End of Faith, 2005), cognitive scientist Daniel Dennet (Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, 2006), columnist Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, 2007). These four have made such a systematic, comprehensive debunking of religion – demonstrated incontrovertibly to be a relic of mankind’s infantile period – that these books are said to have ushered in the era of atheism.
After these overall philosophical and logical critique of religion has been the attack on Christianity itself, ironically undertaken by religious scholars of that religion.
TERESITA Sy-Coson, the country’s richest billionaire and matriarch of SM, the Philippines’ biggest conglomerate, last week stunned the little brown American military brass and noisy Coast Guard when she said:
“China is very close to us; we cannot be too antagonistic,” Sy-Coson, the SM Investments Corp. vice chairperson, told reporters last Wednesday. “Even though we know what is happening, I guess we have to do it through a more peaceful negotiation,” she added.
ON December 15 several Philippine mainstream media outlets screamed similar front-page headlines — which were fake news. These were obviously spread to keep up the tensions triggered two days earlier by the Philippine Coast Guard when, with boats that it had hired, it entered Ayungin Shoal (Ren’ai Dao), which China considers as part of its Nansha archipelago, without permission — and were water-cannoned away.
“Sino vessels at Ayungin seen in ‘invasion’ mode,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer banner story screamed. “Chinese ships enter Ayungin,” was The Manila Times‘ howling banner headline. The US Naval Institute website had the same “story”: “Chinese Maritime Militia vessels swarmed within and around Second Thomas Shoal this week in Beijing’s latest move against the Philippines in the South China Sea.”
WE are witness in the past several days to the spectacle of national lunacy, to the portrayal of Filipinos as ignorant, infantile fools in deep denial of reality, so much so that we don’t see that we have become the world’s laughingstock.
Such insanity is based on what historians and analysts will very soon determine as one of the biggest US-manufactured lies spread very effectively starting with the President Aquino 3rd regime: That only the Philippines has legitimate sovereignty and sovereign rights in the Spratlys and that China, especially, Vietnam and Taiwan are intruders.
This is, of course, totally wrong and totally not borne by facts.
IT is certainly tempting, indeed accurate, to say that the two House committees' ordering two of our contemporary heroes — bold anti-communist crusaders former Presidential Communications undersecretary Lorraine Badoy and…
THE United States, which incessantly boasts that it is the world guardian of the “rules-based international order,” passed a law in August 2002 warning the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it would invade its headquarters at The Hague or any of its facilities anywhere in order to forcibly free any American citizen the court arrests and detains.
Because of this, the law, while officially known as the American Service Members’ Protection Act, is colloquially called the “Hague Invasion Act.” The law’s provisions practically threaten to outlaw the ICC if it were to investigate any American. The Act has been codified as Subchapter II of Chapter 81 of Title 22, United States Code, making it one of the general laws of the US.
Among the many provisions of the law are its prohibition on the extradition of any American from the US or from any other country to the ICC; the banning of ICC officials from conducting investigations in the US; and the barring of any government agency, including the courts, from cooperating with the ICC.
The US claimed that its main reason for hostility toward the ICC is that the Rome Statute violates its Constitution, which provides that crimes committed on American soil can be tried only by US courts. The US also claimed that the ICC cannot prosecute members of its armed forces as well as its high officials for military acts authorized by the US Congress or by the president.
Three months before the invade-the-Hague law was passed, President George W. Bush’s administration formally informed the United Nation secretary-general that it was rejecting the Rome Statute and the ICC.
IT is kind of hilarious that while the little brown Americans in President Marcos, Jr.’s administration keep echoing the American propaganda line that China has been violating the “rules-based international order,” the US repudiates both the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) — the two institutions that are among the pillars of the so-called “rule-based international order.”
China was among the first countries that, together with us, signed the Unclos in 1982, although it claimed that the compulsory arbitration in 2013 between the Philippines and China not only violates the treaty’s scope (which is solely over maritime rights and not sovereignty claims). It claimed that Unclos also requires contending countries to first seek for voluntary negotiations to attempt to settle competing claims – which the Philippines did not.
On the other hand, China is among the 42 countries in the world – representing 60 percent of humanity – which like the US rejected the ICC on the ground that it intrudes on their sovereignty, a main part of which is their exclusive right to try their citizens accused of committing crimes on their own soil.
The US had even moved to protect itself from the ICC’s reach, and signed agreements with a number of ICC member countries to exclude the US from any of the court’s investigations and trials.
By contrast, I cannot understand why legislators like Edsel Lagman, Risa Hontiveros, and left-wing party-list representatives want to give up a major part of our sovereignty – the sole power of our judiciary to try Filipinos – for their revenge project against former President Rodrigo Duterte. Isn’t that too much?