Ex-CJ Panganiban backs Bro. Eddie Villanueva: Constitution bars Duterte from saying God is stupid
Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban is apparently backing Jesus Is Lord founder Eddie Villanueva’s stand that President Rodrigo Duterte violated the Constitution with his “your God is stupid” remark to diss the Catholics’ belief in Creation and Original Sin.
Panganiban talked about the separation of the Church and state in the Constitution to stress his point that the President should not have attacked or ridiculed the belief of the majority of Filipinos.
“To begin with, our Constitution’s Preamble heralds that our nation is theist, not atheist or agnostic: ‘We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God…’,” said Panganiban in his Philippine Daily Inquirer column.
“State officials cannot condemn a religious belief for alleged heresy, falsity or stupidity. Neither can they impose their own religious tenets nor attack, ridicule or belittle those of others,” he added.
But unlike Villanueva who felt “holy anger” against Duterte’s religious insults, Panganiban said he was sticking to the Church’s “hands off” policy on Church and state conflict “to avoid confronting the state on political issues, and to intervene only in matters relating to faith and morals.”
He said Church leaders should heed Cardinal Tagle’s advice to keep calm in the face of Duterte’s incessant public mockery of their doctrines.
“Let us avoid the divisive ‘kill, kill, kill’ of poor addicts and loiterers while we ‘chase, chase, chase’ the rich drug lords, and end the ‘curse, curse, curse’ of God, Allah and Yahweh,” said Panganiban who was “the only Filipino appointed by the late Pope (now Saint) John Paul II to the Vatican-based Pontifical Council for the Laity for the 1996 to 2002 term.”