Posted by: Jejo | September 22, 2007

Separation of Church from State.

I read an article about Science High School X (used for reference purposes) at an Atheist blog (this gives you a hint). It dealt more about the separation of Government and State.

I’m writing a post about the article because I’m in SciHS-X.

Indeed, SciHS-X is PSHS.

See this quote (in verbatim):

Every week in Science High School X begins with the flag ceremony, where the students hold a prayer, sing the national anthem, recite the Panatang Makabayan, hear the announcements made, sing the school hymn, and leave wearing their IDs properly, in that order. Now, is there anything wrong with this scenario?

Leave wearing their IDs properly. Sounds familiar?

The author (who is NOT the blog owner) points out in the article that there should be a separation between Church and State, as pointed out by the Constitution. True enough.

Quoted (again, in verbatim) from the author of the article:

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, there are two things wrong with the above scenario. First is that we actually have a prayer. Secondly, the prayer comes before the national anthem. God before country? Sure, but only if you’re Christian.

The Philippines is predominantly Christian, 94% to be particular. There is a problem with higher bodies assuming the entire body to be Christian. Here’s some data that can be used to disprove that statement.

I graduated grade school from San Beda College. As all of you know, SBC is a Catholic school. Some expect that the school does not accept non-Catholics, but, they do.

For my first two years, I had a Muslim classmate (who also finished GS in SBC, and is now in CHS, also a Catholic school). I also had classmates who have different beliefs. In my seven years in that school, I have never been, and have never heard of a purely Catholic class. The non-Catholic members of the class have to fulfill requirements for Christian Living, though. Like, attending mass and attending CL class. Respect of beliefs, that is.

That just shows that the small 16% of the population which is not Catholic and the even smaller 6% of the Philippine Population which is not Christian is still dominant in terms of existence. In short: they exist.

I think that our prayers in our events in school should be a communal prayer, not a Catholic prayer. Thus, the Sign of the Cross should be omitted. As far as I can recall, class prayers (Lithium’s) before contests and events do not have the Sign of the Cross in general. We immediately start the prayer and the Catholic members of the class just do the Sign of the Cross on their own, silently.

The good point, of the anonymous author of the article is that s/he did not object to the existence of Sectarian organizations in the school, like PCORI, ORI, SCA and ACTS. PCORI is a council organized by parents, not just Catholics but Evangelicals and those who belong to other deominations as well. The latter three organizations are all student organizations, lined up with other interest organizations (say, Inkwell?). ACTS even has some Catholic members! Most of all, these organizations conduct meetings and activities outside of class hours (include Universal Break). Thus, compliance with the constitution.

I am deeply saddened by the comments, though. There are some comments with, as far as I know, false accusations. There are also some comments which are, in my opinion, biased. Just see for yourselves.

I do not hold the blog owner responsible for these. I believe in the freedom of expression, and this is a good example. I just wish that things will be clarified, sooner or later, for the benefit of everyone, the school, the readers, the author, and the public.

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