Truly this art of Mideo Cruz established a raging fire that divided Filipinos into two groups: Catholic

believers and non-Catholic believers that includes Atheists. Moreover, it also involved the Government violating the freedom of the people from censorship or prior restraint. Last August 17, the Philippine Star published the news about "Kulo artist snubs Senate hearing" by Marvin Sy. The article articulates the different views of people including lawyers of different prestigious schools regarding the "Polygamy" art of Mr. Mideo Cruz. First, the report states of Cruz snubbing the Senate hearing. Second, the hearing was put to an end due to a previous case filed against Cruz and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Board at the Office of the Ombudsman. Lastly, different views were taken from lawyers and bishops regarding the matter. The fact was already established that it caused a tremendous outcome of religious and political including student debates among the Filipino society in general and the Roman Catholic community, in particular. From there arose a non-sense argument: "Gawin niya sa mga Muslim yan, baka patayin pa siya!" Of course, Muslims just like the Catholics will be offended and will violently rage war to stop the exhibit! But again, on the contrary, Muslims do not have any icons or graven images in their worship areas. Unlike the Catholics. For all you know, Catholics were the only party who were offended on this regard. Nevertheless, I keep on asking myself: isn't the forum created by the CCP Board an exhibition of different kinds of arts whether beautiful or not depending on the point of view of its observers? Isn't the CCP a place established by the Government using public funds for purposes of exhibiting various arts that are open to criticisms? And, the public is composed of people who believe in God and those who does not believe in the existence of a so-called God? In others words, whether relgious or atheists? Upon reading this issue, I immediately opened my Aunt's law book "Commentaries on Philippine Constitutional Law" authoured by Former SC Justice Isagani Cruz and searched the topic about Freedom of Expression and Religion. Freedom of expression provides the people the liberty to freely express themselves through speaking, writing and artistry as to whatever comes into their minds. It is, if not the least, the most important right given to the people. Yet, this right is the first liberty being violated by both the Church and the State especially when the country fall under a repressive and evil regime. Moreover, freedom of expression includes art and obscenity which the law did not clearly define. US Supreme Court Justice Douglas, in his dissenting opinion, declared: "Obscenity - WHICH EVEN WE CANNOT DEFINE WITH PRECISION - is a hodgepodge. To send men to jail for violating standards they cannot understand, construe and apply is a monstrous thing to do in a National dedicated to fair trials and due process...I don't think, we the judges, were ever given the constitutional power to make definition of obscenity." Therefore, what is obscene for Catholics may not be obscene to the nonCatholics. Thus, it follows that Mr. Cruz is just expressing his thoughts through art. UP College of Law Professor Floren Hiblay said that Cruz should have exercised his freedom of speech more responsibly but emphasized that this right is guaranteed under the Constitution. "Whether Mideo Cruz can express himself the way he did is a Constitutional non-issue. As a matter of Constitutional law, the right of Cruz to express himself through Politeismo is recognized by the Constitution that gives him freedom of expression and requires Philippine society to separate church and state," Hilbay said. This issue is a matter of opinion, ideology, faith and even temperant. As Catholics have said way back to St. Agustine's time: "in doctrines, unity; IN OPINIONS, LIBERTY; in all things, love." If this is the fundamental principle of Catholic unity, why are they now attacking the liberty of Mr. Cruz to articulate his views through art? The argument raised by Catholics is: Cruz should have respected the Catholic faith. On the other hand, did the CBCP even realized that they should have also given their respect to the opinion of Mr. Cruz? How can they, therefore, demand respect if they do not even know how to respect the opinion of the artist? It is not always that morality should be applied in an art. It is only advised. Besides, if I'm Mr. Cruz, I would even demand a book, chapter and verse from the Holy Bible of whatever translation (not from man made traditions or dogmas) which says that the images presented are God's real image. Is it not idolatry and a violation of a provision of God's law? God even condemned practices of Polygamy in the early years of Christianity. As my faith in Christ tells me, images are not be considered as objects of worship. But the Catholics practice it to the point that they offer their prayers to statues that cannot even move. My point is: Mideo Cruz is just being true to his observations. He even states the reality practiced by Catholics during the time when Spain colonized us and brought us this practice of idolatry in Christianity.

Did that view came to your mind? Because it did not please the CBCP. should the Government censor the exhibit? Oh men! You have violated a right of the people from censorship! You should be neutral at all costs! Reminder: The Church and State are two separate entities and they are autonomous from each other. Catholics are offended okay. Church cannot interfere with the State and vice-versa. But have you also considered the other group who does not believe in God? Have you considered their views with regards to the art exhibited? Maybe the art was not offensive to them and they appreciate it.True that we have the freedom of religion. .

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