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Where’s God?

By Julie Y. Daza

THROUGH the theological and eschatological debate going on – with political cartoonists and opinion columnists, nominal Catholics and born-again Christians, sinners and saints, pro- and con-Duterteists joining in the Greek chorus – the loudest message is that God is alive and well. Listen to them, their religious complacency shaken just like Duterte’s tree. Agnostics are having fun, atheists couldn’t be bothered.

Where’s God in all this? Depends which god/God you’re talking to and about. Duterte’s is the “Universal Mind” that he says controls the movement of the planets and stars, which sounds like Miriam Santiago’s Intelligent Designer. What the President will not say is mea culpa to that one infallible being (nor has he clarified if that god is spelled in capital letters). To quote a German theologian, God is all-knowing, God is all-loving, terrible things happen.

I wish I were young again, carefree enough to ignore such a mindless, winnerless debate. In not so olden times, people were told to mind their manners by not talking about politics, religion, and money in polite company. Under a president who just loves to bait his critics, you wonder what colors would show up on his brain scan. As Barack Obama once described “Duterte Harry” (coined by an American writer, the most recently lured into unraveling the mysteries of Duterte lore), the man speaks a colorful language – colorful then, irreverent now?

Let me not belittle the power of youthdom. In a few days, 6,000 people ages 18 to 34 will gather under the banner of Genfest: Beyond All Borders to show how the world can be united by embracing all faiths and those without. A project of Focolare – they have a beautiful church in Tagaytay, why I thought they were exclusively Catholic – Genfest has prepared workshops, seminars, and programs to feed the poor, clean up coastal areas, work with the disabled, etc.

This year’s international fete is the first outside Europe, congratulations to millennials Karelle and Gio, who went around the islands for one year to ask kindred spirits to join, roll up their sleeves, and be counted, July 6-8 at World Trade Center. It would be good if everyone involved in the feud of the week could observe the young uniting as one human family.

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