A Quick Look on KapeTheo’s Quo Warranto Forum

By Nestor Ravilas

Jesus was arrested and instantly subjected to trial. The trial has to be hastened, or the people who just welcomed him as king a day ago will be awakened from their sudden stupor and stash him away from the scene. Pieces of evidence against the accused must be presented immediately to secure conviction. Did he violate the Torah? Did he challenge the Roman emperor? Culpability along these lines would gain him capital punishment. Cutting the story short, Jesus was convicted and eventually punished with death, not because the evidence presented proved him guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Rather the intention and desire of those in power outweighed all evidence gathered and propounded.

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The Triumph of Bad Religion

by Nestor Ravilas

“Metho Andres, the police chaplain at Station 6 who prayed with the officers, told Reuters that the Bible justified the killing. Quoting Romans 13, he said Duterte was a God-appointed “agent of wrath” whom police should obey without question. He blamed drug users for their own deaths. “That’s a consequence of them disobeying,” said the pastor. “There is wrath coming for those who don’t obey.”[1]

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Religious Convictions and the Secular State: Neutralization and Toleration toward the Creation of Democratic Society

by Nestor Ravilas

Can religious groups impose their beliefs on people outside of their religious domain? Can we, religious people, influence national policy making that, by doing do, will end up violating and truncating the rights of people not members of our congregations?

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“Created after the Image of God”: A Political Theology on Equal Rights & Freedom for All

by Nestor Ravilas

It is a little mistake to say that human rights was born in 17th century during the beginning of the enlightenment period. Contrary to this, humans from the beginning of civilizations, from hunter-gatherer to agricultural period, have been asserting, utilizing, and imposing their rights and liberties in this planet over and against other beings, living and non-living. What is accomplished, or rather wished to accomplish, by the course of enlightenment movement is to liberally confer freedom and rights to all human beings. Although it might be correct to say that human rights and freedom were exercised prior to modernity, it is, however, confined among the civilized, the educated, the nobles, and the land owners of Europe. This is to say the savage, the ill-mannered, the proletariat, the destitute, the beggars, those belong to Nietzsche’s herd, have neither freedom nor rights. The enlightenment vision is to democratize human rights and freedom by simply acknowledging the basic humanity of everyone, including the aforementioned group of scumbags.

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Criminal Society

by Nestor Ravilas

In the recent general assembly of still amorphous group of concerned Evangelicals called, Christians for Life and Dignity, the question was broached up in a supposedly festive night as to why Evangelicals are seemingly acquiescing, if not applauding, with the killing of those suspected addicts. This is actually an expression of disgust and bafflement than a question. Considering that the “image of God” doctrine of Evangelicals is a more robust basis of human rights and dignity than of the constitutional elements of the secular liberalism, you will really wonder why suddenly Evangelicals cast a blind eye and a deaf ear to the cry of the families of those executed and therefore deprived of the rights to prove their guilt or innocence in a court of law.

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Fake News, Fake Life, Fake Existence

by Nestor Ravilas

Is fake news an emerging normal? Or our society is actually built on a web of propaganda?
What is somewhat redressing in last week’s forum on fake news is that the virus does not only inflict this country. That is to say that we are not the only home for millions of idiot in this vast galaxy. What is distressful, however, is the report that the phenomenal rise of fake news, or misinformation, is worldwide in scale, and its continuing proliferation is beyond imagination. The only possible explanation for this is the ubiquitous presence of a market that patronizes and consumes all these lies and propagandas. This sheer assertion, however, is not one of the misinformation circulating around. I see good people myself, pastors and church leaders included, sharing and disseminating this falsehood. Even after calling their attention, they will just ignore you, and share and post again in social media another fake news. As it shows, therefore, they are not victims of misinformation; they did it on purpose to misinform people. And here’s the rub, propaganda intends to exclude and damage people.

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Romans 13 as a Pharisaic Political Strategy: Approaching the Tension from Historical Perspective

by Nestor Ravilas

How much of his Pharisaic formation stayed? And how does this residue of his former religious upbringing correlate with his new found faith? Catherine Mills doubts that anyone is capable of breaking out from one’s identity formation. Although Judith Butler, out probably of her Hegelian training, casts a positive stance on this issue of identity shifting. She winces a bit, however, telling us that the task is next to impossible. Was Paul then a converted Christian with his Pharisaic foundation remains intact, lurking beneath and indirectly assisting him all the way in reading and interpreting things happening around him, including his new religious persuasion? Was his feisty stand against those “trouble makers” in the churches of Galatia bespeaks of Pharisaic symptoms who are known for intolerance of competition as demonstrated earlier by the Pharisees who bothered and interrogated Jesus throughout his life for his non-Pharicsaic reading of the Torah?

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