By Jose Torres Jr.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, after spewing diatribes against Catholic bishops and priests in recent months, has turned the focus of his tirades on God.
Speaking during a technology summit in the southern city of Davao on June 22, the president questioned the logic of the Bible creation story and called God “stupid.”
Duterte said he found fault in the creation story, questioning how Adam and Eve brought about “original sin.”
“Adam ate [the apple], then malice was born. Who is this stupid God? This son of a bitch is stupid if that’s the case,” he said.
“You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work,” added Duterte.
The president, who has been at odds with church leaders who criticized his administration’s policies, questioned the Christian concept of “original sin.”
“It’s something that your mother and father did, you were not part of it, then you have original sin. What kind of religion is that? I can’t accept it,” said Duterte.
The Philippine leader, who was born and was baptized Catholic, said he believes in a “universal mind” but said he could not picture God as a human being.
“I really believe, I have this faith and abiding thing about … but don’t believe in religion,” he said.
Bishops: Duterte crossed the line
The president’s tirades revealed why he should not have been elected, said Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon who described Duterte as “a psychological freak, a psychopath [with] an abnormal mind.”
The prelate said the president’s statements and actions in recent months have become “intolerable to normal, well-minded people.”
Bishop Bastes said some people have been praying “that God will deliver us from this evil.”
“I share with the feelings and thoughts with these concerned fellow Filipinos,” said the bishop as he called on Filipinos to “fervently pray to the Lord that such blasphemous utterances and dictatorial tendencies of this mad man will cease.”
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga said Duterte’s statement crossed the “red line,” adding that the president should “not tempt God as he said vengeance is mine.”
Several political leaders also condemned the president’s statement.
“May my God forgive him and make him atone for all his sins,” said Senator Panfilo Lacson, who has supported the president on numerous issues.
“Between him and my God to whom I pray every single day and with whom I’ve found solace and comfort in all my difficult times, I don’t even have to think of my choice,” said the senator.
Senator Antonio Trillanes, one of the president’s vocal critics in Congress, said Duterte’s most recent attacks against Christianity and God sends the message that he is “one evil man.”
“It is the height of arrogance of power not only to disrespect and spit on an individual’s faith but also to act as though he is God,” said the senator.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, however, defended Duterte, saying the president is entitled to his own religious beliefs.
“That is the personal belief of our president. Our president has a personal spirituality and it’s up to him,” said Roque.
Duterte has made several scathing attacks against Catholic church leaders who are critical of his administration’s policies, especially the war on illegal drugs that has claimed thousands of lives.
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