These recent days, I have been surprised, if not, alarmed, by the number of visitors to my lowly blog. This is generally a blog about culture, history and heritage. Some entries though are personal opinion pieces, and one of those pieces was on Mr. Carlos Celdran’s brazen act of protest in the Manila Cathedral in 2010.
When the verdict on Mr. Celdran came out, suddenly, there was a surge of visitors to my blog. Earlier today, almost 1,800 readers clicked on my blog entry. And with those views came the comments.
Upon reviewing my email account, I was completely aghast at the number of comments I received. However, reading them just horrified me. Some were completely full of vitriol. Some were sweeping statements of condemnation.
But what really scared me were the threats of my accounts being hacked, of me being “exposed”, of me being labeled as a “stupid hypocrite”. I also did not find it too pleasing to read comments such as “Carlos Celdran is a faggot and all faggots burn in hell” or “All atheists deserve nothing but imprisonment”. Upon reading those comments, I decided to take down the post. It has come to a point where hatred has infiltrated my blog, which is supposed to relay things that are, as Imelda Marcos would always say, “true, good and beautiful”.
I still do not agree with what Mr. Celdran did inside the “Mother of all Catholic Churches” of the Philippines. I was not there but what he did was for me, offensive. As a Catholic, the taunting he showed especially towards the former Archbishop of Manila and the former Papal Nuncio was completely insulting. He did his “Damaso” act in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, which we Catholics believe is Christ Himself.
There is a reason, or a logic, behind the law against offending religious feelings. What he did best displayed why such a law is needed. When people are gathered in prayer or talking about their Faith whether it be in a public or private space, one cannot simply barrage that group with invectives. People who are trying to pray, to contemplate, to reflect or to connect with their Creator must be left at peace. Whether it was inside St. Peter’s Basilica or in a basketball court, let such people have their peace and quiet.
I do not agree with some legislators’ proposals to repeal the above-mentioned law. The said law actually protects one human right from another human right, the super gasgas na “freedom of speech” right.
Again, I salute Mr. Celdran for his noble and courageous work in the City of Manila. What he has done in sparking interest in studying and visiting Manila has been very good. As a young man also interested in the cultural heritage of Old Manila, I share the same passion with a man whom I used to consider an idol.
However, what he did in the Cathedral shouldn’t go unpunished. I am one with people who believe that Mr. Celdran’s act was wrong and simply uncouth. I will, however, not tolerate atrocious statements being posted on my blog. And neither will I allow myself to be victimized by so-called “Free Thinkers” who will do all they can to stop me (ironic noh?) from expressing my own opinions.