‘Tired’ of loving country
This refers to “Some Filipinos getting tired of loving their country, says archbishop” (News, 2/18/18). The comment was attributed to Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan. In the body of the report he was quoted as saying: “There are some of us who are beginning to feel a fatigue for loving our country.” One wonders who the “us” is that is being referred to and whether the archbishop includes himself among those feeling the fatigue.
Not having read the entire letter to Sen. Leila de Lima, I am not aware of the context in which the comment was made. It sometimes seems to me that the oppressive circumstances that the poor struggle with every day would thwart any sentiment of love of country. Whatever love is left for Inang Bayan has likely been wiped off by public displays of corruption and lawlessness. Whether one can love their country under these conditions makes for interesting research.
Love of country appears to have been displaced by love of wealth and power for which some people show no sign of fatigue. Back in antiquity, the idea of country as res publica (republic) was a community of individual citizens living together in justice under the rule of law. Love of country was the heart of politics. That was then and now is now.
What communities of faith can do is to retrieve “love of country” and being makabayan as a moral duty based on the principle that what is ecclesial is also political. Doing so will require that they recover their prophetic voice and be a “disturber of government.” This faithful resistance would likely attract pushback from those who say “We have no king but Caesar!”
REV. DR. RAFAEL VALLEJO, firstname.lastname@example.org
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