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Toward a healthy public debate

01:06 AM January 28, 2015

Jose Luis (Jolly) Gomez is correct (Letters, 1/27/15): The Filipino Freethinkers represent a really small minority. But precisely for that reason, a national newspaper must enable their voice to be heard. Had the other minority religions submitted their own views, they would have been welcome as well, even if their views don’t sit well with the religious majority, which must not be allowed to drown out contrary views. The test is whether their speech contributes to a healthy public debate—in this case, about the role of faith in the public lives of Filipinos.

Our own Supreme Court has upheld the freedom of speech of minority beliefs. “[T]he remedy against bad theology is better theology. The bedrock of freedom of religion… is best served by encouraging the marketplace of dueling ideas” (C.J. Puno in Iglesia ni Cristo vs CA).

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We are reminded elsewhere that “it is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions.” The Inquirer is happy to provide a public forum that will enable its readers of whatever belief to participate fully in that cycle from heresy to orthodoxy, and along the way discover together the most compelling truths of our age.

—RAUL C. PANGALANGAN, publisher, Inquirer

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TAGS: Filipino Freethinkers, Jolly Gomez, Jose Luis Gomez, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Raul Pangalangan
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