Magellan

I recently read a fascinating article written by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard “Another Look at Magellan’s Journey Around the World” in Journey of 100 Years: Reflections on the Centennial of Philippine Independence. The essay is only eight pages long but what it does is ‘whet’ our appetite for a more in-depth inquiry into Magellan’s expedition and particularly the alleged “discovery” of the Philippine islands. One of the sources Brainard used is a translated work of Paige’s The Voyage of Magellan: The Journal of Antonio Pigafetta (NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1969). Here’s an excerpt of the last paragraphs of the article which are pertinent questions for consideration:

“. . . why have historians always referred to Magellan’s death as a result of his involvement in tribal warfare? Was it very difficult for Pigafetta and other Western historians to consider that Magellan had been outwitted by the peoples of Cebu and Mactan, that in fact the people there had not wanted Spanish presence fro the very start? Was it too humiliating to say that what occured was a real battle, a war, the local people versus the Spaniards, and that in this battle, the Spaniards lost? Or was it a political maneuver to say that the people welcomed them and Catholicism so that they could more easily finance future expeditions to the Philippines?”

Along with the other articles in this book, I believe it is a must-read for anyone interested in the post-colonial experience especially those who are suffering from “post-colonial depression!).

Amazon gives you more info on this book at: http://www.amazon.com/Journey-100-Years-Reflections-Independence/dp/0963228102.

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Pastor and Social Networking

Close up of a pole dancer's high heel shoeThis is quite intriguing!  Time News Feed has this story:

Facebook makes it a tad too easy for ‘friends’ to become friends with benefits, a New Jersey pastor claims.  That’s why he’s given his married staff an ultimatum: log-off, or lose your job.

Rev. Cedric Miller of New Jersey’s Living Word Christian Fellowship Church says the social networking site is, essentially, a gateway to licentious living.

“What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great,” he tells the Associated Press.

Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/11/18/the-last-temptation-of-facebook-pastor-advises-congregation-to-abandon-adulterous-social-network/#ixzz15g2WhR19

My thoughts?  The pastor has the right to demand this from his church staff when they’re at work but to completely stop them on their private time is taking it too far. Social networking sites such as FB, to a certain extent may even reveal the level of maturity of its adherents. Social networking behavior can provide good material for intentional discipleship and perhaps sermon illustrations. Conversely, at the recent gathering of  Catholics in the US, the bishops were urged “to embrace social media to evangelize effectively.” Now this is perhaps more proactive than mere reactive to paradigm shifts in our culture. A comment made by Derek Dominguez regarding this article is noteworthy:

New/Social Media isn’t going away and it’s encouraging to see this article and the church recognizing its significance. As both someone who has been in the pastoral ministry for years now and someone who works in the realm of social media this was a fascinating read and intriguing. Many of the articles points are spot on.The church as a whole needs to know how to interact and leverage SM. Leaders as well need to be interacting with it as those in the pews surely are and will be, especially young people.

Read the full report: http://www.uscatholic.org/news/2010/11/bishops-urged-embrace-social-media-evangelize-effectively.

Rizal’s Gamble

I stumbled upon Dr. Jun Ynares’ riveting article, “Rizal on Gambling” and thought this might be a good starting point for some of us who are actively engaged with the present issues in our country (and ‘OMG,’ inside our church!) such as gambling. A common definition (usually by Wikipedia)  of gambling highlights the idea that it is “ the wagering of money or something of material value (referred to as “the stakes”) on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods. Typically, the outcome of the wager is evident within a short period.”

Now here’s the opening paragraphs of that article written by the governor of the province of Rizal (full story may be viewed at  http://www.mb.com.ph/node/281369/rizal-gambling.

“In the face of the raging issue on gambling, we can turn to our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, for some enlightenment. With a dash of humor.

Rizaleños and the Rizal provincial government have never supported the idea of small town lotteries and its twin sister, the illegal jueteng numbers game. With strong support from the Philippine National Police, Church groups, local government units, and civic organizations, the province has managed to stay out of the list of places in the country plagued by jueteng.

We had always believed that our national hero, after whom our province was named, would have never placed a bet in his entire life; would have never gambled.”

After reading this article, I thought of my own religious community – where you can find the proverbial ‘righteous brothers.’ But it is sad that Rizal’s Code of Ethics appear more righteous compared with some of our brethren’s supposedly deep ‘faith convictions’ who do not find anything wrong with ‘gambling’ (even by Wikipedia standards) as long as it is used for the ‘glory of God.’  Incidentally, Rizal’s  top 5 entries in that Code are the following:

Number 5: “Don’t be a rabid partisan.” Number 4: “Don’t be cruel in any way.” Number 3: “Don’t break the laws.” Number 2: “Don’t be a drunkard.”

And here is the number 1 entry in Dr. Rizal’s Code of Ethics: “Don’t gamble.”

Another source of this article can be found in http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/manila-bulletin/mi_7968/is_2010_Oct_16/dr-rizal-investor/ai_n55809631/

 

In the face of the raging issue on gambling, we can turn to our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, for some enlightenment. With a dash of humor.

Rizaleños and the Rizal provincial government have never supported the idea of small town lotteries and its twin sister, the illegal jueteng numbers game. With strong support from the Philippine National Police, Church groups, local government units, and civic organizations, the province has managed to stay out of the list of places in the country plagued by jueteng.

We had always believed that our national hero, after whom our province was named, would have never placed a bet in his entire life; would have never gambled.