Thursday, July 16, 2009


I recall a decision made by the Supreme Court a few years ago when it said that it is alright for citizens to refuse, on religious grounds, to salute the flag, sing the national anthem or recite the pledge of allegiance.

This Supreme Court decison arose from a suit filed by members of the Jehovah's Witnesses questioning the decision of a school's authorities to expel their children for refusing to participate in daily early morning flag ceremonies. The Jehovah's Witnesses believe that saluting the flag is an act of idolatry. While some citizens hailed the high court for upholding religious freedom, others wondered whether the decision would lead to other unpatriotic acts. Some moviegoers for instance (and I just abhor this) refuse to stand up when our national anthem is played. Of course, the SC decision could well lead to another ruling that would allow citizens to refuse, on religious grounds, to bear arms in times of war.

This is the case in the United States, where such persons who are known as conscientious objectors are assigned to non-combatant duties.

Still on the subject of religious denominations - do you know that certain Catholic and Protestant groups that oppose the Lotto operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) are recipients of foreign aid derived mostly from German lotteries?

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation, mainly funded by the German lottery games, has been giving generously to local religious groups which are sometimes vocal against Lotto. The Catholic organization "Misereor" and its Protestant counterpart "Bread For The World" are both recipients of funds coming from proceeds of German lotteries. "Misereor" is a major source of money for certain Catholic schools and radio stations, and provides practically the entire operating budget of the National Secretariat for Social Action, an arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Several Protestant churches on the other hand, receive funding from the "Bread For The World." And some Protestant leaders criticizing the Lotto come from these churches. The Center for Research and Communication (CRC), now called the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) is believed to be a recipient of aid from the Hans Seidel Foundation, a beneficiary of German lotteries.

"Good people will have wealth to leave to their grandchildren, and the wealth of the unrighteous shall go to the righteous.' - Proverbs 13:22

1 comment:

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