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In my previous article I began discussing the charges of hypocrisy in the Philippines. I’ve had smug and derogatory comments on this site a few times from people that condemn the Philippines for religious hypocrisy. The article became long and involved so I have broken it up into more than one article. You can read part one of this series here.
Holier Than Thou
Misguided puritanical beliefs are often involved with these disparaging comments about the Philippines. Both the West and the Philippines have a large number of people living within those countries that hold these puritanical beliefs. I personally find them to be misguided.
My reading of the Christian Bible left me with a lot different feeling about human sexuality than did the preachers and church leaders I have listened to all my life. If they are proper or misguided beliefs is not the important part of this. What is important is our moral system is often based on these beliefs. Perhaps I should have left the word misguided out. Right or wrong, here doesn’t really matter.
That so many people hold these beliefs then they are free to use them to make judgments about others. Here is the first glaring problem with that. One cannot make such a charge without violating one of the main lessons from Christ himself. He taught us that “Only the Father is good.” More importantly he made it clear we are in no position to judge others. He asked something like “How can you expect to remove a splinter from your friends eye when you have a log in your own?” In other words, we are so blinded by our own wants and selfish motivations that we may not even be able to see we are guilty of the same thing. Christ wanted us to accept each other as we are and to become one body. In my words, best watch where you point that disapproving finger, it likely belongs in your face too.
The particular guy that spurred me to write about this made some pretty outlandish statements during his visits to the blog. He put forth the concept that women were the cause of all evil and even used scripture to back up his statement. This was clearly misguided and taken without understanding the context in which it was made within the Christian Bible.
The Finger Points Back At You
The same man has a high interest in the very activities he puts down, namely the bikini bars, I know because I searched the Internet for things he was saying on other sites. So he’s come to the Philippines looking for what most consider smut then forms his opinions about the Philippines based on what he finds in those places. He puts down the very things he is seeking out. Talking about the finger pointing back at you.
I really didn’t have to do the search though. It was obvious from the things he said about the Philippines that he didn’t have a clue what the Philippines was really like. It was apparent where he got his opinions from. So he’s making his charges of hyprocacy based on puritanical beliefs that he doesn’t even live by. More important though is that he formed inaccurate opinions about the Philippines. He follows that with spreading his vile views with anyone that will listen. Thus, giving people an incorrect view of the Philippines. That in turns perpetuates the myth of massive hyprocacy in the Philippines when in fact, most Filipinos don’t live a life anything like what he thinks the Philippines is like.
When you hear or read something about the Philippines, you need to ask yourself does this person know what they are talking about? Have they lived in the Philippines, that is abandoned their home from their birth-land making the Philippines their home? Or do they visit the Philippines for a few or several months at a time. Living here and visiting here are not the same thing. You also should ask yourself do you know what this person did while they were in the Philippines.
I don’t discount what someone says about the Philippines just because they never have lived here. However, by them not living here, I’m less likely to accept the person as an authority that I can trust without further study. I’ve seen too many totally incorrect views about the Philippines to accept what someone believes without applying my own knowledge of the Philippines. I also see too many grumpy old men that just like to put things down. The world passed them by and they want to return to the same good old days that people like them put down 30 years before.
In short, don’t believe everything you hear and read and by all means don’t repeat it as fact. There is no more hyprocacy in the Philippines than other places. In fact, I suspect there is less of it. I suspect even more, it is just different. There is so much finger pointing going on other peoples scandals that I sometimes wonder how anyone has time to create a scandal.
Closely related to these beliefs is that people often want to feel superior to others. It is very common to join a group of expats in the Philippines for hours and hours of hearing how wrong everything in the Philippines is done. They all pat their selves on their collective backs and agree with each other. The result is now “I” feel much better than these people because I know better. An old Alice Cooper song comes to mind, one that I often quote “I tell it to myself and I agree.”
If you dare to disagree, you’ll probably be drowned out by drunken laughter. It seems much easier to me be against something than for it. Nearly everything is easier to attack rather than support. Nearly everything has weaknesses that can be attacked. And if attacking it causes the group to think more highly of itself, woe be unto he that challenges the group. You’re far more likely to be ridiculed for liking something than making fun of it or hating it.
I could get deep into the idea of better for who? Where you came from doesn’t have the same history of those in the Philippines. By definition, customs and traditions evolve and develop because of a region’s history. This history molds our beliefs toward what is the right way and the wrong way. Can you not accept that what is right for you is not right for others? I can assure you there are many people that cannot accept that. If you are one of those people then you have narcissistic tendencies and you might even have Narcissistic or Anti Social Personality Disorder. Such individuals have lives that revolve around feeling better about themselves. They live in a blissful world most of the time, unaware of the pain they cause or the trouble they are headed for.
What better way to feel better about yourself than be better than the rest. To be better than Filipinos and one method of achieving that is pointing out all the bikini bars while claiming to be a Catholic nation and doubting the true commitment of Filipinos to their faith! In other words, their attack is guided by their own selfish desires.
That it is easier to attack something makes it easier to negative rather than positive. Humans don’t like to be put down. We generally want to be accepted. For some, this need for acceptance can reach the point of a flaw in their personality. Almost all of us have this desire to some extent. This just adds to the likely hood that you will hear negative things about the Philippines.
Now back to Christians beliefs and values. Do you have a code which you try to live by? Do you always meet it yourself? If you do, you just might be a god yourself. This goes back to misunderstanding what Christianity is all about. Christianity is about Christ. It is about God coming to earth, suffering for us and making us righteous without the need to do it ourselves. We can’t do it ourselves. We are too selfish. That is what the Old Testament is about. It is about God handing down a group of laws and the people agreeing to it and never meeting it. Humans cannot meet these lofty goals.
So some people use the moral beliefs they picked up from religion and make charges of hyprocacy. Even if you are not a religious person, it is very likely the religions of the world have influenced what you think is moral. That I believe most of the values are the work of Satan rather than God is really not that important. But if you do believe in God, he wants us to support each other and stop judging. Suppose they are 100 percent correct. Most of our story from God is about our inability to meet these goals!
You could probably sum up both of these article by saying that Rusty is not impressed when people put others down. Maybe that is because I am often misunderstood and under estimated. Maybe that is why I had a severe attack a few years back of revolt and not caring about the expectations of the world any more. I changed a lot.
Just try to be kind to others. Don’t try to make the Philippines like your original home. Don’t think you’re better than others because of their choices, You’re not.
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