GERONIMO NADAL

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Catholicism is the reason why RP remains Poor

Posted by geronimonadal on September 24, 2007

Why are we poor? Why is it that, inspite of our teeming natural resources, of our warm and intelligent and English-speaking people, of our strategic geographical location, and of our much vaunted democracy, we continue to be poor? How come we continue to be the “basket case of Asia” and a country of laggards? Why? We are poor because Catholicism is the predominant ideology in our country today. Catholicism is the single biggest cause of our underdevelopment because it is an ideology that imprisons the Filipino in a mindset that impedes, rather than promotes, development. What are some characteristics of this collective ideological mindset of the Filipino?

1. Attitude towards Self. The Filipino sees himself as a “sinner” and an imperfect person. And because of he is taught to hate himself and the world, he is constantly battling his demons, constantly checking and always punishing himself. This kind of perpetual war inside of him saps him of his energies and creativity. It makes him a docile person. A country of docile persons will not move.

2. Attitude towards the World. The Filipino sees the world as “evil” and therefore, hopes to “save himself” by escaping from it. Furthermore, the Filipino sees the world as a “vast entity in which irresistible forces manifest themselves”. This attitude breeds a people with escapist mentality and a sense of powerlessness. They do not consider themselves as the masters of their destinies but as victims (which they celebrate also).

3. Concept of Salvation. One’s concept of salvation is important because such concept defines the raison d’etre of life. Building on the attitude of the Filipino that the world is evil, “salvation” for the Filipino consists of “saving oneself from the world” and to prepare for the “world to come”. Development requires a concept of salvation that seeks to transform this present, real world so that there can be justice, freedom and abundance.

4. Attitude towards Life. The Filipino sees life as something that happens to him (not something that he can make happen). He is resigned to his fate or to the fate that God deigns him to have. (Bahala na ang Diyos).

5. Attitude towards Riches. The Filipino believes in the so-called “preferential option for the poor.” This attitude of exalting the poor makes the poor justified in their poverty (makes them laggards) and condemns the rich as “sinners”. Thus, no development happens. The poor are morally content to remain poor as Christ was poor, and the rich, harboring guilt feelings because they are rich, sees no need to make himself further rich.

Those are some of the reasons why we continue to be poor. And it is all because we are a predominantly Catholic country.

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2 Responses to “Catholicism is the reason why RP remains Poor”

  1. joy said

    I don’t think our main religion is at the root of our poverty. Many social scientists have looked into the decline of our economy and have made some very salient points. For me, the three main things that keep the country growing economically are: lack of long term planning, political apathy and inability to learn from history.

    joy
    Your Love Coach

  2. What?

    There are poor and rich Catholic countries in the same way that some Buddhist countries are rich and others poor. The same goes for Muslim countries, etc.

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