Where society is the final frontier.
The season of Lent in the Philippines is usually marked by closed malls, silent highways, expensive seafood, and crowded churches. And definitely not by viral photos and angered netizens. As I was not staying faithful to my promise of abstaining from unhealthy amounts of online hours last week, I immediately noticed the repetition of shared photos of people “inappropriately” posing on huge crosses. True enough, the photos have been marred with curses and foul words. The Internet has caught fire once again.
We do acknowledge that those photographs cannot exist in a social and cultural vacuum especially because religious symbols are at stake. And yes, one may argue that respect and sensitivity should’ve been at least taken into consideration on the part of the people who were pretending to be Jesus on the cross. And no, I am not going to blame some loyal followers of the Christian faith for being disturbed by the idea because religious faith can penetrate the very core of one’s social identity. However, even if we follow the natural flow of human emotions coupled with the teachings of a religion, I don’t think that cursing those unknowable subjects in the photographs is the right way to channel one’s way of defending his or her beliefs. Now, I am not going to try to salvage the whole situation by sounding holier than everyone else around here, but allow me to say that I find the violent and equally inappropriate reactions of people towards the photos are disturbing as well. Moreover, can we justify a quick judgment with just a few photographs at hand?
Yes, there should be a clear line between fun and respect. Now that the symbolic damage has been done, what can followers of the faith do at this point?
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to pull off a pretentious identity by declaring that my mouth highly observes a zero profanity level at all times. However, I find it ironic that some self-proclaimed religious people use foul weapons to sustain their faith. As Christians, were we not taught that cussing is not a sign of holiness or communion with what we call a God? If people just reacted “naturally” by succumbing to the emotional frenzy offered by the controversial photos, then what is the whole point of people following a particular religion and its prescribed moral values if their behavior becomes appropriate for our true human nature and not for this so-called child of God who has become sensible and insightful? If religion relates to society as a harbinger of moral codes for us to follow, then it is best to look at our symbolic exchanges if they are indeed aligned with
Would Jesus also curse those people?
We Christians do not have to tolerate such things, but we need not to cuss, persecute, and spread hate.