In the Philippines, we are having a big election and despite normal irregularities, the opposition seems to be leading at the Senatorial level (local elections are, well, local).

But the Philippines is on the “EVIL” government watchlist of the left, not without cause given the large number of “extrajudicial” killings of NPA/communist sympathizers and left wing activists (including clergy) here.

So I wasn’t surprised to see President Arroyo’s attendance at a conference to increase interfaith understanding resulted in protests. (and a lot of similar protests during her visit yesterday to Australia). After all, there are a lot of Pinoys in both countries (I have relatives who worked in Australia), and both countries have an active left.
But the interfaith conference was also attended by such countries as Viet Nam, who just jailed a half dozen democracy advocates, Burma, a police state, Indonesia, whose government looked the other way when militias killed 20 000 Christians in Sulewesi and elsewhere. And no one protested the human rights problems in those countries.
So I checked the NewZealand papers to see their take of the protest and found….

My heavens, the Christians are demonstrating. This much larger protest overshadowed the small protest against Arroyo.

The usual fundamentalists? Well, yes and no. Most were from the Destiny Church, which is protestant. And they were not protesting the presence of an interfaith meeting, and they were not protesting to say non Christians were going to hell for not believing in Jesus.
They were only protesting a document saying that New Zealand accepts all faiths equally; they wished only that the government recognize the Christian heritage of the nation.

Mrs. Clark the Prime minister says there should be no state religion, but that isn’t what the protesters are asking for. They were worried about the tendency of secular nations to rewrite history, and to deny the philosophical underpinnings of the culture are from the Christian heritage.
Ah, but what about the Maori? Whoops…many of the protesters were Maori, and these Maori point out that they have been Christian for almost 200 years. And many Anglicans joined in the protest.

Hmm. So now the very secular and very politically correct nation of New Zealand is discussing the place of faith in their society.
 —————————–Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and fishmarket 

Be Sociable, Share!