Uh, oh – Who will be jailed next for “offending religious feelings”?

By Raïssa Robles

Carlos Celdran has just been found “guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the Crime of Offending Religious Feelings.”

Carlos Celdran tells his friends "It was Worth it" - Photo by  Nina Corpuz

Carlos Celdran tells his friends “It was Worth it” – Photo by Nina Corpuz

See below. My thanks @RedTani for sharing this.

But how do you offend religious feelings?

This crime is Article 133 under “Crimes against religious worship” in the Revised Penal Code. It states:

“Offending the religious feelings. – The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon anyone who, in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony, shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful.”

From here, we can see, it’s not just a Holy Mass but “the celebration of any religious ceremony.” So if the Catholic Church chooses to have an outdoor religious ceremony-cum-rally against the reproductive health law, those who might hold counter-rallies in the vicinity could also “offend religious feelings.”

Those who would give out leaflets protesting the Church stand, would they “offend religious feelings” too?

Hmmmmm.

Please see my Exclusive Update:

Criminal law professor questions constitutionality of the crime of “offending religious feelings”

 

265 Responses to “Uh, oh – Who will be jailed next for “offending religious feelings”?”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. 53
    Rolly says:

    Celdran committed an offense, okay, Peace Disturbunce, yes, and he got arrested and jailed overnight for that. But the question in hand is this Law of offending the religious feelings as stated in Article 133 in the Revised Penal Code, which is archaic in nature and no longer have a place under the sun in our present world…a Law imposed upon us by our Spanish colononial master, preserved and extended by the Catholic Church, and applied to those whom they think are enemies.

    Thatoffending the religious feelings is at the least is vague and too generalized. How do we reconcile that to the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly. freedom of protest, freedom of airing one’s grievances, that we are enjoying now?
    Hadn’t we are so naive and not too conservative….had we have collective undertakings, had we have concerted efforts, had we have a thousand Celdrans…Martial Law would not have materialized. And to prevent that dark days of our lives happens again, Celdrans in our society is very much necessary.

    Cheldran’s choice of venue is for effect…to be more dramatic, to get much attention as possible. It so happened that we have an ancient Law that could be whimsically enforced to less powerful individual in our domain.

    Let’s accept for the moment that the higher courts concurred with the trial court that convicted Celdran…where do we, the citizens, stand then…….so therefore it would mean that our movement is limited and restricted to the hilt, we tiptoe everytime…is it?

    Somehow, sometimes in our existence, we need to show our disgust…that we have a fight within us.

    If we accept this Law as is, we might as well then embrace Marcos’ Law.

  2. 52
    Joey says:

    try doing that in a Muslim religious gathering and see where it will lead you — downunder the ground coz you’d be killed for sure, not jailed!

    thing is, we can all be different in views, but please do not disrespect. do not go overboard on how you express your opinions.

    The Church is only doing its job to uphold its beliefs. What is wrong with that? Philippines will soon become what has become of the US — Godless — so crimes are rampant.

    • 52.1
      raissa says:

      While your argument SOUNDS REASONABLE, it is actually quite stupid.

      I will explain in another post.

      • 52.1.1
        Brian n. says:

        I agree with you Joey. While we don’t want to follow what America is right now. We cannot impose our will on others. God has given us free will. But one just cannot say and do as he pleases, how he pleases, when he pleases and wherever he pleases. Otherwise we would be living in a chaotic society. Sad but that’s what Celdran chose to follow.

    • 52.2
      Rolly says:

      The Catholic Church meddle incessantly and vigorously to the State’s affair…they got what they asked for. If any religion…Islam, Protestant, INC, etc. do the same, then expect the same medicine employed.

      You are allowed to voice out your concern and I’m not.

    • 52.3
      macspeed says:

      @joey

      come on, it is not true, fanatics does kill but not the worshipper. kahit kaninong relihiyon, muslim, christians or jewish, yun mag sisigaw sa oras ng misa or sermon ay kabastusan, mabuti nga at pakulong lang sya, paano na lang kung may fanatic sa loob ng misa at may baril, baka patay na celdran.

      heto turo ng Islam, sura al baqara:
      62. Lo! Those who believe [in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad], and
      those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans – whoever believeth in Allah
      and the Last Day and doeth right – surely their reward is with their Lord, and
      there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.

      256. There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth
      distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah
      hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.

      pag may misa, bawal mag ingay, kabastusan yun, pumunta sa plaza at duon mag rally, stupido sya kung sa oras ng misa sa mag rereklamo.

      Ikaw ba kakayanin mo magsalita ng laban sa pari sa oras ng misa???

    • 52.4
      lucidlynx says:

      First, you’ve just offended the Muslims for portraying them as brutal savages. Would you know let yourself be known so that the followers of Islam can sue you?

      But whether I agree or not with you on this matter is not the point. It’s the catholic church (or specifically, the CBCP) who is making a big deal out of this, and not the muslims. For all we know, Filipino muslims may be more civil than the CBCP.

      Second, being moral is part of human nature. You don’t need religion to teach you morals. The human race has survived hundreds of thousands of years before any religion was formed. And if there’s anyone who has started a religion, that also happens to be a human being and his concept of morality is just plainly his own and may even be wrong.

    • 52.5
      Alan says:

      The presumption — that the US is “worse” than the Philippines and crimes are rampant in the US of A (and not in the Philippines) and because of godlessness is not just SHRIEKINGLY HILARIOUS, it’s STUPEFYINGLY HILARIOUS and seems to indicate a bumptious, parochial, uninformed and limited outlook

  3. 51
    max1 says:

    Freedom of religion vs freedom of expression?
    Both are inviolable rights that we cherish. Both advocates for freedom of expression and freedom of religion have the responsiblity to be respectful of each other. One’s right has no supremacy over the other. One cannot demand the other to respect him, if he tramples upon the other’s right as well. There are guidelines/rules that we should abide by so that we can all live in a pluralistic, less divisive and productive society. Anyone’s manipulative tactics, intrusive antics, or grandstanding–be it the Catholic leaders or Celdran himself, are offensive and insulting to our intelligence and sensibilities. There are proper arenas, appopriate decorum and rules of engagement within which issues can be settled in a civilized and mature way. Both parties can agree to disagree. It would be best if both protagonists buckle down to work and help address devastating situations and more pressing issues in our country.

    • 51.1
      max1 says:

      *be it – be they

    • 51.2
      macspeed says:

      @maxi

      true, very uncivilized naman yun manggugulo sa oras ng misa.
      di man lang nya hinintay matapos ang misa bago sya magreklamo

    • 51.3
      lucidlynx says:

      @max1

      freedom of religion is in fact, dependent on freedom of expression. if freedom of expression is not guaranteed, you don’t have the freedom to express your religion’s teachings.

      and what is religion? religion is just a set of ideas and beliefs, and may not necessarily be to worship a supreme being plainly because anyone can invent a supreme being as his god and start a religion.

      anyone can start a religion based on worshiping the iphone for that matter.

      • 51.3.1
        max says:

        You just had it…you have a relevant display of your freedom of expression.
        What someone expresses may be based on his freedom of religion. What I think I express. One is not more superior than the other. Either he worships iphone, or any spiritual Being, it is his inherest right to practice his faith so long as it is not murderous or hazardous to society. Bottomline – we’ll all do well and the world will be a better place if we respect one another…be he a pope or an atheist, no matter what creed he professes.

  4. Joey says:

    try doing that in a Muslim religious gathering and see where it will lead you — downunder the ground coz you’d be killed for sure, not jailed!

    thing is, we can all be different in views, but please do not disrespect. do not go overboard on how you express your opinions.

    The Church is only doing its job to uphold its beliefs. What is wrong with that? Philippines will soon become what has become of the US — Godless — so crimes are rampant.

    • raissa says:

      While your argument SOUNDS REASONABLE, it is actually quite stupid.

      I will explain in another post.

      • Brian n. says:

        I agree with you Joey. While we don’t want to follow what America is right now. We cannot impose our will on others. God has given us free will. But one just cannot say and do as he pleases, how he pleases, when he pleases and wherever he pleases. Otherwise we would be living in a chaotic society. Sad but that’s what Celdran chose to follow.

    • Rolly says:

      The Catholic Church meddle incessantly and vigorously to the State’s affair…they got what they asked for. If any religion…Islam, Protestant, INC, etc. do the same, then expect the same medicine employed.

      You are allowed to voice out your concern and I’m not.

    • macspeed says:

      @joey

      come on, it is not true, fanatics does kill but not the worshipper. kahit kaninong relihiyon, muslim, christians or jewish, yun mag sisigaw sa oras ng misa or sermon ay kabastusan, mabuti nga at pakulong lang sya, paano na lang kung may fanatic sa loob ng misa at may baril, baka patay na celdran.

      heto turo ng Islam, sura al baqara:
      62. Lo! Those who believe [in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad], and
      those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans – whoever believeth in Allah
      and the Last Day and doeth right – surely their reward is with their Lord, and
      there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.

      256. There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth
      distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah
      hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.

      pag may misa, bawal mag ingay, kabastusan yun, pumunta sa plaza at duon mag rally, stupido sya kung sa oras ng misa sa mag rereklamo.

      Ikaw ba kakayanin mo magsalita ng laban sa pari sa oras ng misa???

    • lucidlynx says:

      First, you’ve just offended the Muslims for portraying them as brutal savages. Would you know let yourself be known so that the followers of Islam can sue you?

      But whether I agree or not with you on this matter is not the point. It’s the catholic church (or specifically, the CBCP) who is making a big deal out of this, and not the muslims. For all we know, Filipino muslims may be more civil than the CBCP.

      Second, being moral is part of human nature. You don’t need religion to teach you morals. The human race has survived hundreds of thousands of years before any religion was formed. And if there’s anyone who has started a religion, that also happens to be a human being and his concept of morality is just plainly his own and may even be wrong.

    • Alan says:

      The presumption — that the US is “worse” than the Philippines and crimes are rampant in the US of A (and not in the Philippines) and because of godlessness is not just SHRIEKINGLY HILARIOUS, it’s STUPEFYINGLY HILARIOUS and seems to indicate a bumptious, parochial, uninformed and limited outlook

  5. max1 says:

    Freedom of religion vs freedom of expression?
    Both are inviolable rights that we cherish. Both advocates for freedom of expression and freedom of religion have the responsiblity to be respectful of each other. One’s right has no supremacy over the other. One cannot demand the other to respect him, if he tramples upon the other’s right as well. There are guidelines/rules that we should abide by so that we can all live in a pluralistic, less divisive and productive society. Anyone’s manipulative tactics, intrusive antics, or grandstanding–be it the Catholic leaders or Celdran himself, are offensive and insulting to our intelligence and sensibilities. There are proper arenas, appopriate decorum and rules of engagement within which issues can be settled in a civilized and mature way. Both parties can agree to disagree. It would be best if both protagonists buckle down to work and help address devastating situations and more pressing issues in our country.

    • max1 says:

      *be it – be they

    • macspeed says:

      @maxi

      true, very uncivilized naman yun manggugulo sa oras ng misa.
      di man lang nya hinintay matapos ang misa bago sya magreklamo

    • lucidlynx says:

      @max1

      freedom of religion is in fact, dependent on freedom of expression. if freedom of expression is not guaranteed, you don’t have the freedom to express your religion’s teachings.

      and what is religion? religion is just a set of ideas and beliefs, and may not necessarily be to worship a supreme being plainly because anyone can invent a supreme being as his god and start a religion.

      anyone can start a religion based on worshiping the iphone for that matter.

      • max says:

        You just had it…you have a relevant display of your freedom of expression.
        What someone expresses may be based on his freedom of religion. What I think I express. One is not more superior than the other. Either he worships iphone, or any spiritual Being, it is his inherest right to practice his faith so long as it is not murderous or hazardous to society. Bottomline – we’ll all do well and the world will be a better place if we respect one another…be he a pope or an atheist, no matter what creed he professes.

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