Punchline

Fr. Soc’s vs. Bible’s “Anti Christs”

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

AFTER labeling Christians as “cowards and timid” in his Christmas message he titled as “Stand up for Newborn Jesus.,” (if they don’t stand up to the government’s “vulgarity” with him), Archbishop Socrates Villegas followed it up with another stinging rebuke of those who walk, talk, eat and pray like someone whom he refused to name again.

This time in his “An open letter to Seth my godson on New Year’s Eve” which he titled “Be Careful Against Many Anti Christs,” Fr. Soc took his bitterness 5 notches higher by labelling those who follow in the footsteps of someone he still refuses to name as “Anti Christ”! Susmaryosep!! In his thoughts and mind, the majority of Filipinos who tolerate his evil phantom are well on their way to eternal damnation for being “Anti Christ”!

Hmmm… but to Fr. Soc’s credit, if one removes the intended political malice in his letter, his words of advice to his godson Seth are precisely what parents today must demand of their children. But the first thought that came to mind was: Who’s Seth? 

Why is Fr. Soc addressing him alone? Surely, Seth is not his only godson. Is Seth showing signs of being like the ghost of damnation? Are his parents incapable of nurturing and teaching him to be Christ-like? What do his parents think about the letter that was made public?

And why “open letter”? Is it Fr. Soc’s intent to humiliate him in public? Oh well, Fr. Soc has his reasons for Seth, so let’s leave those thoughts with Fr. Soc.

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HELPING FR. SOC.  What I don’t understand is why Fr. Soc continues to be coy about his true motives behind his totally unexpected themes for Christmas and New year.  

Perhaps, I can spare him the agony of wanting to say things outright but cannot, and therefore, will not.  I’d be happy to help out and dish it for him so he won’t feel unduly incriminated and exposed for what he really is. This way, he can say – “I didn’t say that” and still secretly glad that I did. So, I’d be happy to do it for him.

Ok, here it is: In his “Stand up for Newborn Jesus,” Fr. Soc was clearly calling out President Duterte as a vulgar person in his face. When he asked: “Where are the true believers of Christ?” he was pleading for the Catholics in his archdiocese to stand by him, with him, and in him. 

And when he asked “Is this what we have become as a Catholic nation?” he quickly provided the answer “The answer must be NO! We must resist the spread of vulgarity and the contagion of violence. There is no Christmas hope for the cowards and the timid. Christmas demands that we stand up bravely for the Lord!”

Translation: “I demand that you follow me… if you don’t, you are nothing but cowards!”

There, that wasn’t so difficult, was it?

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BIBLE’S ANTI CHRIST. His “Be Careful Against Many Anti Christs”, however, is a little tough. While Fr. Soc was again calling out President Duterte, describing how evil he is, our archbishop is without a doubt, advising Seth the right virtues. It’s when Seth fails to follow his advice that he implicitly threatens the kid of being Anti-Christ. Whoa!

He has painted to Seth his own limited picture of what an “Anti Christ” is. Limited because Fr. Soc is carefully keeping some secrets close to his chest. Not really secrets because these are found in the Bible.  In these verses found in the Bible, God is clearly pointing out that those who either don’t obey or ignore his biddings. IN short, they are Anti-Christs.

ROMANS 13:1-7 MATTHEW 22:21:  “…Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good…”

The Anti-Christ is the one who seeks the overthrow of government.

ISAIAH 58:6-7 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?  Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

The Anti Christ is the one who chooses to protect the drug lords who prey on the poor by seeking to stop the war on drugs. 

Third commandment: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

The Anti-Christ is the one who invokes the name of God in politics.

So, Fr. Soc is smart to keep these verses away from Seth. Surely, he couldn’t risk being called Anti-Christ.  In fact, Fr. Soc preempted any thought that might compel Seth to refute him. He wrote: “… In mocking priests and bishops, you do what anti Christs do.” I find that grossly unfair to the kid.

Gee, I hope Seth does not think I’m Anti Christ simply because I blurted out what his godfather was hiding from him.

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COMFORT ZONE. Speaking of President Duterte, not a few in Metro-Manila have intimated to me their fear that he will not last this term because of his age and health.

To them I say, don’t bet on it. Obviously, those guys don’t know what probinsyanos enjoy out in the countryside. In the case PRRD a true blue promdi, he has Davao City that he goes home to every week! It’s the only place on earth that gives him the energy to keep going whatever the odds. It’s what keeps his feet on the ground minus the imagined stresses and expectations of him.  We call it “comfort zone”.

In fact, I can see that he relishes being at home, walking in around his rubber slippers, than being closeted in Malacañang Palace in his crumpled barong.

I tell you, this guy is going to outlive most of his children as long as you don’t take him out of Davao City!!

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TIME FOR RECKONING. Here’s a late breaking news. 

The Dagupan City government has filed a case against Jose Mariano Cuna and… BENJAMIN S. LIM! It’s about the failed Barangay Awai land deal in San Jacinto that cost the city P16 million down the drain. The title of the land was never transferred to the city and the two are being made to account!

What this means is –  the Lim family will perforce divulge to the court if indeed Mr. Lim is well and alive. Abangan!

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HAPPY DAYS. Now that we’ve crossed over to 2019, expect the political noise to heat up. And I refer to loads and loads of fake news blurring the horizon.

This early, we already have reports of fake surveys coming out, P500 bills being handed like out bottled water… and some are fake! And there are the fake supporters who’d do anything for the money. Their fake commitment will be the candidates’ worst fears.

Happy days are here again!!

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