FOUL-MOUTHED President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has been accused of blasphemy and being “evil” after controversial remarks he made about God last Friday.
Talking about the Biblical creation story in which Eve was tempted by an apple in the garden of Eden, Duterte asked: “Who is this stupid God? You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would destroy the quality of your work.”
“How can you rationalise that God? How can you believe him?” the president continued, as quoted by the Inquirer newspaper. “So now we’re all born with an original sin. Even in the womb, we already have sin. What kind of religion is that?”
The Philippines is the largest-Catholic majority nation in Asia and is home to the third largest Catholic population on earth. Its religious authorities retain significant influence in society, some of whom have been vocal critics of the president’s bloody war on drugs.
The Chairman of Pro-Life Philippines Raul Nidoy told local television that the president had committed blasphemy by calling God stupid.
“Politically, it’s a problem for him. Theologically and morally, I fear for his soul because he is our leader. But I also fear for the souls of the people he is leading,” said Nidoy.
Duterte is “one evil man” said opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and frequent critic of the president in a statement. “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,” he said.
Duterte 2016: God made me president.
Duterte 2018: Who is this stupid God?
Yes, that was one of God's rare lapses in judgement.
— Ogie Rosa (@ogie_rosa) June 23, 2018
“If you are a catholic but you don’t utter a word of disgust over your president’s recent pronouncement, please do not go to church tomorrow or pray at night,” tweeted Filipino netizen Arlin Dizon on Saturday.
Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque defended the remarks by saying that the views expressed were “the personal belief of the President. You know, our freedom of religion includes the freedom not to believe in any religion,” he said as quoted by Rappler.
“I think the President has his own spirituality but It’s up to him and there’s no need to interpret it.”
Back in 2016, Duterte called Pope Francis the “son of a whore” and told him “go home. Do not visit us again” after a Papal visit caused traffic in Manila. The president later apologised to the Vatican.