is organised religion important?

I had a chat with my friend who was doing a religious studies program (which has a reputation of being really really mind boggling) at university posed a challenge to me, is organised religion is important. This also coincides with a similar challenge on Sassy Lawyer‘s blog. The following are just my humble thoughts on the issue…

Some people say that the world can do without organised religion on the wake of various scandals involving the clergy of the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations.

I think it is arrogant for some people to give the above statement just because they are well-educated, well read, and have learned and adopted various philosophical and political schools of thought.

For me these people do not fully understand the true essence and meaning of the Church’s doctrines. I suspect that these people generalise based on what was mentioned in news media.

I think my parish priest’s homily last year regarding the sex scandal issue was that we do not worship or idolise our priests, bishops and popes, they are just instruments of God. We only worship and follow God and that is the most important thing above all. If an organisation has erring members it does not make an organisation wrong or irrelevant. For example, if half of those who serve in the justice system are corrupt it does not make the rest of the justice system corrupt and thus not make organised justice irrelevant. (Thanks Enbrethiliel for this fitting analogy!)

If the servants of God have sinned it is because they are only human but never an excuse to be answerable to the rules of man and the law of God.

I absolutely do not believe that we do not need organised religion. It gives peace of mind, grace and hope to its members in this fast paced and increasingly materialistic world. I truly empathise and understand the feelings of those people who saw the ugly side of the Church but the ugly side is not the relfection of the entire Church and it members. A lot of concepts in today’s secular western world came from Christianity like human rights, ethics, morals and values. In my case, the Church was a good companion during my times of loneliness, sorrow and depression (I’d rather pray and go to Mass than take Prozac).

A lot of people have big expectations from our religions. It will not answer all the world’s problems but it serves as a guide to mankind’s actions through the ages. It’s eternal truths of peace, love and justice will be passed on for the ages to come even if it has erring members or not.

We forgot that people, who like us are prone to sin and are not perfect, also make the Church and other faiths. Again, they can be forgiven and change. And yes, the Church and various churches have made mistakes but it is not enough a reason to brand them as irrelevant. If we have grievances against our faiths their servants are always willing to listen to us (because it is part of their work).

rumour mongers!

who does not hate them?

why are people so easily duped by others into believing things they read on their mailboxes? after believing the email, they will forward these junk email to you and me.

the worst hoax mail type i receive are those chain emails that promises good luck or bad luck.

Bye bye 20/20 for TV3?

Trouble As TVNZ Outbids TV3 For 20/20

(Source: XtraMSN News, The Independent NZ)

TV3, a television station of CanWest Global Communications in New Zealand is crying foul when public broadcaster, TVNZ outbids it for the rights to ABC US’s current affairs show 20/20. TV3 is said to have held the rights for 20/20 for a decade.

TV3 believes that the TVNZ may have paid more than USD700,000 for the rights and accuses the public broadcaster for wasting taxpayer money on things that it already has or will not use. TVNZ already has Sunday, a show with the similar format as 20/20 but mainly has New Zealand related content.

20/20 on TV3 is shown every Sunday from 7:30pm and shows New Zealand current affairs and the latest features from 20/20 USA. TV3 also has the rights for CBS USA’s 60 Minutes, which also has the same format as 20/20 but shown every Monday from 7:30pm.

I think both TV3 and TVNZ are wasting their time and money in paying huge sums of royalty for these US current affairs shows. They should have developed their own current affairs shows by just following the formats of their overseas counterparts. Where is the creativity? Where is the talent? There are still a lot of untold stories about New Zealand, wake-up TV3 and TVNZ!

In this case, I think Philippine broadcasters like ABS-CBN and GMA are better than their kiwi counterparts. These TV networks have produced excellent current affairs shows like GMA’s award winning “I-Witness” documentaries and ABS-CBN’s “Magandang Gabi Bayan” (Good Evening Nation, direct translation).

World without Filipinos (2) by Michael Tan

World without Filipinos (2)

Filipinos are the salt of the Earth.

condoms may not protect you from…

genital warts.

How do they spread?

Genital warts are very contagious and are spread during oral, genital, or anal sex with an infected partner. About two-thirds of people who have sexual contact with a partner with genital warts will develop warts, usually within three months of contact.

In women, the warts occur on the outside and inside of the vagina, on the opening (cervix) to the womb (uterus), or around the anus. In men, genital warts are less common. If present, they usually are seen on the tip of the penis. They also may be found on the shaft of the penis, on the scrotum, or around the anus. Rarely, genital warts also can develop in the mouth or throat of a person who has had oral sex with an infected person.

Genital warts often occur in clusters and can be very tiny or can spread into large masses in the genital or anal area.

Source and for more information visit: Human Papillomavirus and Genital Warts National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, USA government

The warts may be removed but the virus will continue to stay in the body.

Condoms may not protect males or females as other exposed areas are not covered by it.

The virus that causes genital warts may lead to some cancers.

Actual photos of genital warts (not for the faint hearted):

Mediscan site

eMedicine site

Penile genital warts from US Navy Environmental Health Center

Anal genital warts from US Navy Environmental Health Center

Vulva genital warts from US Navy Environmental Health Center

My unsolicited advice, be careful when engaging in sexual activities with other people. It still good to not have casual sex or be monogamous.

poor restaurant service

Who does not hate getting poor service at restaurants? It is not acceptable because we pay money to eat their food and part of it is the service.

This afternoon our group of six friends ate at a local Chinese restaurant. All of us ordered quarter chicken with fried rice and a litre of cola to share. After an hour of eating and talking we decided to “move on.” We went to the cashier to pay. As a common practice here, we pay for our own meal and share the cost of the cola among us.

We went to the cashier and say that we share the cost of all the meals and the price of the cola. The cashier said that she cannot do that and it was hard to divide. Her mobile phone rang and began talking in Chinese. She even gave us, the customers the keep quiet sign while we wait for her to finish her phone call. Imagine, her call was more important than waiting customers. Going back to us she again said that she cannot do the transaction while she had a calculator on her table.

What we wanted was:

quarter chicken ($6.70) x 6 orders = $40.20

litre of cola ($4.00) x 1 order = $4.00

TOTAL = $44.20

Divided by 6, so each of us must pay = $7.366666 rounding it using the Swedish system (common practice here) will make it $7.35

The cashier did not understand what we wanted (useless to argue to those who can’t understand) so we just paid $6.70 and one friend decided to pay for the cola as his treat (nice!).

I was so dissapointed, first the cashier can’t do simple problem solving (it does not even involve calculus) and prioritised her phone call than finishing the sale. I pity her, she should have been properly trained by the owner of the restaurant.

badmouthing the Philippines

Instances to prove our damaged culture

In this article, Emil Jurado believes that the trait of badmouthing the Philippines is a proof of “the Philippines’ damaged culture.”

I have to agree that badmouthing the Philippines is a bad trait of some (hopefully not most) Filipinos (My parents and relatives did not badmouth the Philippines and neither will I). It is just so easy to see bad things for some. All they do is talk and talk and talk and talk about how bad the Philippines is and it just ends there. They do not do anything to help solve the problems they hate. If all they can do is talk then they must shut their bad mouths. Talk is so cheap!

Although the pen is mightier than the sword for some, actions speak louder than words!