Ethics and Morality
The Thief Mentality
March 9, 2022
Is the thief mentality a way to justify our misdeeds without sacrificing our Christian principles and morality?
As Proverb 6:30 says: “People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.”
Can this be taken as a justification for the poor and the hungry not to take up arms, which is nothing anyway compared to the huge armories of politicians? In this sense, can we say that Christian principles and morality are still preserved as our moral guide?
The hungry and starving is indeed favored by the Lord Jesus, given life today by the Church’s Option for the Poor.
Imagine myself, being their good protective pastor, beer-belly at that, donning my colorful vestment and crown tiara, with a big diamond ring on my finger, riding on a limousine, owning a big jumbo jet, summoning my legionnaires to go out and knock on everybody’s doors around the world asking for donations, telling them that it’s ok because it’s what the Lord says!
But look what verse 31 of the same book says: “Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold though it costs him all the wealth of his house.”
Yes, if one is caught, he or she must dispose all of his family’s wealth and possessions as payment to the aggrieved and its family and the latter’s generations. So stern a warning indeed!
So stern that I can even justify myself saying to the law enforcers: “It’s my legionnaires doing it. Do not despise me!”
So long as you are not caught in flagrante delicto, as lawyers would say, then, you’re fine.
Can we invoke the Bible then to justify stealing, even bloodshed and killing in the name of hunger and starvation?
Does this justification also apply to those holding powers in government who have been enjoying their fat pork barrels since they entered politics?
Certainly, not. As the Lord himself said:
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!" (Matthew 19:24).
At times, it’s difficult to read the Lord’s mind. For he could be most merciful and forgiving at the same time, even though we have rebelled against him:
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more ..." “Then he adds: Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Daniel 9:9).
I know that the Lord loves us so much that he even willingly offered his life on the cross for us. But at the same time his words are often used to justify one’s action, mostly for one’s misdeeds.
And this is what’s happening today.
Legionnaires are even replaced with more effective collectors like the SEC registered Foundations and NGOs that both politicians and religious leaders owned and established for their own unfettered interests.
As I said, I do not doubt the Lord. Exegetes and theologians must have long explanations for his teachings. But they have also a lot of explaining to do to the people today.
The pulpit, their examples, and the social media are the best means to spread the real message of the Lord.
In the meantime, I’ll remain myself cloistered in my little room reflecting on the questions:
“Is my hunger and starvation real or fake? Am I the hungry parishioner of his flock or the fat-belly shepherd referred to in this article?
Timely for the Lenten season and the ongoing electoral race.
Where are our moral norms of conduct nowadays?
What happen to them?
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D.
March 9, 2022
From the primitive chimpanzees that we were, have we remained uncivilized as a people and as a nation? Are our instituted standards of civility mere deodorants and decorations to delude others into thinking that we stand as a beacon of light to the whole world, worthy of emulating?
There is no question that society must establish its moral guidelines. Governments, in fact, set ethical and moral laws to guide the behavior of their people as well as to serve as model to all of what a nation ought to be.
Once enshrined in their Constitutions and Laws of the Land, they become automatically binding and enforceable. The people are duty-bound by law to sacrifice their own individual interests for the sake of the common good and for the survival of society.
Societies establish moral standards for the following reasons:
1. To enforce sanctions and penalties to their citizens;
2. To resolve conflicts of interest;
3. To establish minimum standards for protecting the welfare of the common good, especially in the areas of health-care services, minimum wages, human-rights violation, human trafficking, drug addiction, poverty, peace and order;
4. To protect societies from falling apart; and
5. To protect the country's sovereignty against intrusion and domination by foreign powers.
We acknowledge the importance of ethical and moral standards in working as a nation. These standards are not just simply accoutrements to give us an aura of impeccability in our allegedly refined culture and way of living as a people.
But WHAT IF the leaders and guardians of society's ethics and morality violate these standards? To whom will the citizens turn to?
And WHAT IF government leaders can no longer be trusted to enforce our laws, where can the people turn to? What can they do to resolve this conflict in a democratic, just, and orderly way?
Sadly, this is what is happening in many countries today. Some nations are lucky and privileged. They still have alternative avenues and enough elbow rooms to maneuver around safely, orderly, and peacefully.
Education in mainstream and social media is today the most effective tool for short-, medium-, and long-term approach. It is most powerful in broadening and raising the consciousness of the people as to what is going on around them.
Gone are the outdated approaches that heavily relied on the unmitigated use of bows and arrows, sling shots, axes, landmines, water cannons, and flame-throwers. Or is it so?
Nonetheless, let us work together as a unity team to help our government leaders to become more relentless in our pursuits to achieve the kind of future we envision for our children and the subsequent generations.
While we may take matters into our own hands, let's always remember that we are now in a critical crossroad and period of our history when we can build a better future, a new world that can make and will make a difference to the entire galaxy and universe.
Let's not miss this opportunity. Let's do our part, given our limited time and resources. Whatever we will be doing will be written in the Cosmic Book of Life or Akashic Records and will be implanted into the genes and DNA of our future generations.
David Without the Slingshot
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – May 2, 2021
Let's go to battle like David to save ourselves and the world but this time without the slingshot.
David went to battle in the valley of Elah in the north of ancient Palestine, with his slingshot, to fight against Goliath with his sword that could instantly wipe out an infantry in one sweep.
The temptation to repeat this biblical scene now on a global scale is great, considering the situation we had been experiencing the past two years.
Today, Goliath has multiplied himself a hundredfold and their sword-bearing attire are everywhere. They can just shut off electricity, telephone lines, water supplies, and many other things we are so dependent and accustomed to, anytime they want, under the guise of national security.
The David of today, however, has become armless. I don’t even have a slingshot. Only the hope and faith that, like him, we can save some souls who are suffering because of today's ruthless Goliaths.
But I cannot conscientiously believe that violence can bring about peace, harmony, and justice. Peace can't be achieved by means of arms, weapons, and other killing machines.
The Google dictionary defined violence as the "behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something." Today, there can only be two alternatives. It's either violence or nonviolence. There are only levels of intensity, but no in-between.
I personally believe in nonviolence. Peace and harmony can only be realized through compassion, openness, and mutual understanding. And there are many ways this can be done.
Holding community pantries is best as an immediate solution to hunger and poverty It’s good to share our abundance to our neighbors and the needy, while we still can.
But sooner or later, the issues of vaccinations, spywares, nuclear threats, climate change, water, food, jobs, electricity, and Internet will affect each one of us real hard and this can be crippling.
Let's muster our resources to solve this persistent interruptions, which are done at will by a few elite to further their own interests. I just want to be prepared once these situations come again and I suspect they will come more often than not.
While we still have the resources, try securing a place that already offers fruit-bearing trees, food, water, and free electricity.
If you have one already, you’re lucky. Then, you can continue your community pantries, providing soup kitchens for the children, as well as other essential provisions for the women and the elderly in your neighborhood.
For those who don’t have the financial resources yet, let's look for sponsors from our loved ones and like-minded friends.
I can only say "good luck" to you for now for we are in this same boat together. Nevertheless, let’s continue to enjoy all the kinds of pandemics that seek to inundate us today, for they didn't happen by coincidence of fate.
There must be a reason why these are sent to us. Whatever that reason is, my hope and faith for the future is what's keeping me alive and always moving forward.
As the Green Berets of the US Army would say: "No retreat, no surrender", for the Air Force: "No guts, no glory", and for the Marines: "Always Faithful". And we sing: "Onward, Christian soldiers! Marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!"
Though uncertain of what it will be, there's always a future as long as we are alive and the kind of future we will have depends on what we are doing now. This makes life so magical and mystical.
The Beasts of Burden and the Silent Light Bearers Coexist
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – March 11, 2021
How about this, Guys...
The economic elite, the politicians, and the NGOs are the beasts in St. John’s Book of Revelation that rule the Lower and Upper Houses, six in the Lower House, six in the Upper House, and six in the banking sector, or 666, known to many as the Mark of the Beast. They are the seven-headed beasts that direct the traffic in the Halls of Congress.
With some exceptions, of course. There are still bearers of light out there trying to light their candles in the dark corners of the halls of congress. And there are so many of them. They are not avoiding the media; it is the media that is avoiding them, for reasons we all know. They have envelopes but they don’t have money in it. They are kept purposely silent by the holders of powers. They only lobby in silence through whispers, word of mouth, or through the social media.
Meanwhile, the justices, prosecutors, and the police forces are the tree-headed beasts that direct the traffic in the Halls of Justice. Again, with some exceptions, for the same reasons. The police forces are complaining why, in spite of strong evidences, the accused are released during brief inquests. And it matters a lot when the accused is poor or rich, drug lords or users. This is why many in the Halls of Justice are feeling discouraged, but relentless in spreading their light.
Take this as an allegory
My Guiding Principles for Our Health Buffs and Physical Fitness Enthusiasts
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D.
First: "Eat in order to live, not the other way around."
We are not born to eat, yes. But we end up dead anyway. So let's live to eat and be merry for tomorrow we are no more just the same. Very alluring indeed and many have succumbed to it--dining in the finest restaurants, owning several mansions, fleet of cars, traveling around the world, etc. If money and wealth are in abundance, why not spend them while we can still afford to enjoy life. Your choice anyway.
Second: "The farther the food chain is from us, the better it is for our health."
The closer it is to us, the more they are bombarded with pesticides, chemicals, boosters, and steroids that travel in our bloodstream to tissues or organs, jeopardizing our metabolism and immune system.
Food chains closer to us react emotionally with fear, anger, hatred, revenge, and confusion that enter into us and become part of us.
Third: "Eat based on our nutritional needs, but know the risks and consequences." Consult your Nutritionist; they are trained for this.
PHYSICAL FITNESS PRINCIPLES:
1. Know and apply the various modes and forms of exercises.They are designed to keep our body, mind, and spirit always healthy and resistant to toxic foreign bodies.
2. These exercises can be done alone at home or in the gym. They include treadmill, stationary bike, weight lifting, yoga, meditation, praying, chanting songs, reciting the rosary beads, dances, Aikido, cosmic energy healing, sauna bath, body massage, regular sleep, and many others.
3. You can select one or apply a combination of them. Do it regularly. The ideal duration is once or twice a day at least 10 minutes per session or workout.