It is in defence of my Christian Catholic faith that I write this. I was deeply appalled by what Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte stated in defiance of the existence of God.
I proudly announce that my parents had me educated in a Catholic school all the way from elementary to secondary and tertiary levels. I was born a Catholic and I say it without reservation that I will die a Catholic.
As early as the primary grades, my Jesuit teachers introduced me to the Holy Scriptures and how the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the Qumran Caves in the Judean Desert of the West Bank. The caves are recognised by Israel as a National Heritage Site.
Archaeologists pieced together the parchments that were somehow preserved in spite of the harshness of nature. That in itself is a miracle which I believe was nurtured by the will of God. The result is what we call today as The Bible ━ a library of history books, definitely not a work of fiction.
Every Christian knows that the Bible has two parts: The Old Testament and the New Testament. I will not bother to dwell on the Old Testament. Suffice it to say that it was written by historians who existed before our time.
Christians know that the New Testament was written by the Four Evangelists ━ Matthew, Mark, Luke and John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Let’s leave it at that momentarily.
Duterte wants proof that God exists
Let’s go back now to President Duterte who wants proof that God exists. He is definitely confused and often contradicts himself. He denies that he is neither an atheist nor an agnostic. And yet, during a recent technology event in Davao City, he said that if there’s “one single witness who can prove, perhaps with a picture or a selfie of a human who was able to talk and see God,” he would immediately resign.
Many people around the world will remember the late Muhammad Ali, who during the prime of his career said: “I am the greatest. I am even greater than Jesus Christ.” In his not-so-old age, he became afflicted with Parkinson’s disease. He was punished by God for what he said and he died.
Rodrigo Duterte has apparently been intoxicated by the power blindly given to him by misguided Filipinos during the 2016 national elections. Now he wants to be in control of everything. He has the majority of the House of Representatives as his allies. He was able to oust former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno through eight justices who appear to be his friends. Members of his cabinet were of course all appointed by him. Being in control of three branches of the national government, he has virtually become a dictator. Of course, he would never admit it.
The fact is that we are all mortal beings.
Our life is limited. Except for the Christian belief that we have an immortal soul, everyone in this planet will die someday.
During my brief stint working at a university library, I was engaged in a debate with an atheist, a non-believer. Somehow exasperated, I asked her what happens when we die. She bluntly said: “Nothing. Perhaps we shall disappear into oblivion.” Neither did she believe in the existence of Heaven or Hell, much less Purgatory. Then she asked me to prove that there is a God. My answer was quite simple. I said for the non-believers, no proof will ever suffice. For those who believe, no proof is necessary. ━ DMC