Religion and Politics

Article excerpt

As the campaign officially begins, we call for reason, respect, and responsibility from all parties concerned, especially in matters where politics and religion may overlap. The nation needs to remember the three Rs of democracy - reason, respect, and responsibility.

Reason dictates that citizens are entitled to be critical and to form their own opinion about candidates, political views, and ethical values. Given the nations history, Filipino citizens should be vigilant lest any religion or religious authority exert undue influence. While religious leaders ought to urge their followers to fulfill their civic duty in voting, clerical endorsement of candidates should be avoided.

Respect for the dignity of every person is crucial during the campaign season. It is possible to engage in the electoral campaign without allowing debate to devolve into personal attacks, name-calling, and innuendo. Likewise, candidates should treat citizens with respect. Voters should not be treated like a commodity to be bought or manipulated and the campaign season must not be a time for goons, guns, and extortion. Religious leaders should support Comelec and volunteer agencies helping to ensure clean and honest election their staff, teachers, and volunteers can ensure honest elections. …