So I’ll put in here what my father and I argued about inside the car yesterday. Ewan. I know that each generation has its own bad trait. But I can’t stand people, whatever generation they are in, condemning a certain practice to make their belief more superior. To each their own, they say. If you think other people are going to “hell” just because you believe that your group is going to “heaven,” okay, celebrate about it inside your dwelling, but you don’t have to “brag” about it because it disrespects others’ beliefs. If you’re going to condemn and undermine other religions (but why would you do that?), back it up with sources to create healthy debate. But no, some would just end it with “Basta walang sisihan kapag naligtas ako at ikaw hindi sa dulo.” I mean, dude, really? Central religious figures taught compassion and mercy, but this line is the opposite of these. Some hardcore traditional religious people I know still believe in bad karma, even if their holy scriptures don’t mention anything about it, yet they feel “superior.”
Below is the conversation—or more like an argument—I had with my father inside the car yesterday, nonverbatim. There were children knocking on our gates for treats, but we didn’t prepare any, so I had to tell them sorry, while my father said, “Di kami naniniwala diyan.”
“Grabe naman, Pa,” I told him. “Those were kids. Puwede namang just tell them na wala tayong treats.”
“Hindi Christian ang Halloween,” he argued. “Western practice ‘yan. Bakit n’yo ba ‘yan sine-celebrate?”
“It’s actually Hallows’ Evening, inspired by Paganism, but still observed by, yes, Western—but now halos lahat—Christians.”
“Anong sinasabi mo?!” he shouted—take note, shouted. “Western ‘yan! Hindi ‘yan turo ni Hesus! Saan mo napulot ‘yan?!”
“Di ba, Pa,” I calmly told him, “researcher and writer ako, so I researched about it in a dot org website kaya I think reliable naman—”
“Kung saan-saan mo na naman napupulot ‘yang mga impormasyon mo! Hindi mo inaaral nang mabuti.”
Of course, nagpintig tainga ko. “Wow, Pa! How about you believing that the Marcoses had no fault in the downfall of our country?!”
We had a long argument for the nth time about the state of the country during Marcos’s time, which I will not include here. He ended the argument with “Kulang ka sa simba,” and my last words were “Hindi do’n nag-e-equate yung kabutihan na ginagawa ng isang tao.”
As a background, I have always been called the black sheep in the family for arguing with my parents. When I told them that I wish to no longer believe in a religion, they told me, “Magsimba ka nga. Sinasapian ka ng demonyo” or “Mali na sa UP ka nag-aral kasi kung ano-ano nakukuha mo.” I know it’s no use arguing when they’re stuck with what they believe in, but oftentimes when I had no better things to do (lol, sorry), I would defend myself.
Ang hirap kasi sa ibang tao, kapag wala kang relihiyon, masama ka na agad. I’m not sure if this is my first time to write this, but well, I chose to be a theist agnostic, meaning I believe in a superior being, one who created the universe. But that ends there. This being has no gender, has not sent prophets, has no teachings. This is different from atheism, which doesn’t believe in the existence of a god. I still follow “universal moral rules,” that is, lives, especially human lives, matter.
Although people often ask agnostics and atheists, “Hindi ba kayo natatakot? Na wala kayong diyos na sinasamba? Paano kayo gagawa nang mabuti, knowing that you don’t believe in God?” I often answer, “Hindi naman. If my purpose is solely to do ‘good’ to impress my god, then intentions can never be pure.”
You want to help not to feel good about yourself nor because the holy scriptures tell you to but to simply help lift lives. But I’m still struggling with this concept as well. It’s difficult to simply help when you’re fighting for your own peace of mind as well, especially when you are only able to help when you know you are financially stable enough.
Anyway, see how one sentence can extend to an hour-long dispute to a blog? Haha, mas nailalabas ko talaga yung mga hinaing ko through writing. Anyway, it’s Halloween today. Or probably, for some, an ordinary October 31. Whatever you think this day is, I hope you don’t end up arguing with your father, like me. Have a good day!