“I the Lord Am Your God, Thou shalt not have any other god before Me.”
This is the first commandment of the Ten Commandments. Pretty simple, or so it would seem. The thing is, when this is discussed among common Filipinos, their idea of “another god” is usually another religion. However, the true definition of idolatry is a lot more complicated than some people might think, especially here in the Philippines.
Yes, we like to claim that we are a “Christian country” but I cannot help but wonder if majority of Pinoys even know the essence of Christian values. Sadly, despite the way so many Pinoys like to clamor about being “Christians” or at least devotees of Christ, corruption, crime and immorality take center stage in the Philippines. Note for instance how the issues of the Pork Barrel are now being forgotten even though it is probably one of the chief reasons the Philippines is so helpless against foreign invasion and natural disasters. Note also how the SAF 44, the brave men that they were, are now being overlooked and swept under the rug because the government is too busy furthering its own agendas despite the fact that their deaths were a clear act of murder and terrorism.
While it may seem far-fetched to some or even a lot of people, I think that idolatry or the worship of false gods is pretty commonplace in the Philippines. Of course, again, these people will probably claim that they are Christians and not even realize that what they are doing is or can be called “idolatry” even though it probably qualifies. If you aren’t convinces, well, here are my points:
People Jealously Protect Celebrities From Criticism
Okay, first and foremost, I think that it’s okay to admire some celebrities. It’s also probably okay to imitate some of their antics from time to time. Heck, I’m willing to admit that there are also quite a few celebrities out there that I admire as well.
Unfortunately, with some people, they begin to worship celebrities. Instead of simply admiring them, they treat them like gods and center their lives around them. Think of how some people continue to praise and glorify Kris Aquino despite the fact that her actions in the past would probably make her a very poor example for the youths of today. Take note also the large number of people who seem to think that Manny Pacquiao is some kind of savior to the Philippines who can somehow lift the country out of its current issues despite the fact that he isn’t exactly the most astute member in Philippine congress.
People Put Celebrities in Office
Another glaring problem here in the Philippines is the way celebrities manage to become politicians even when they aren’t exactly qualified for the role. One of my previous articles was criticized by commenters claiming that it was our corrupt politicians to blame for the current state of the Philippines and not the people. However, I need to ask, who was it that put said corrupt leaders in office to begin with? Was it not the people who voted for them in the first place.
Sadly, while we may claim to be a Christian and democratic country, I can only say that majority of us probably don’t know or understand the responsibility of being a Christian or a democratic country. All things considered we, as a people, are more of a cult of personality wherein it is all too often the most popular who win elections and not the person with the right qualities.