September 30, 2023

The Lord’s Prayer in the Bible can be found in the books of Luke and Matthew. Both books reveal Jesus’ invocation instructions, which came as Christ responded to a disciple’s request that He teach his followers to pray.
Not a devout Catholic – although my ambition when I was in high school was to become a priest, and as I always say, “I was called but I was not chosen” – I find the prayer the ultimate one as it expresses my submission to the will of God.
There are many versions that have come and gone, and in whatever form or language, as long as the message is clear, sinners would not mind how it is prayed.
Thus, when former Drag Den Philippines contestant Pura Luka Vega had a powerful rendition of an upbeat and remixed version of the “Ama Namin” (The Lord’s Prayer), he received quite a backlash from both the Catholic church and netizens. Since being uploaded on Twitter, Pura’s controversial clip of the worship song entitled “Thank you for coming to church” has garnered over 17 million views.
To my simple mind, it was a similar portrayal of the songs in “Jesus Christ Superstar”, a1970 Broadway rock opera based on the Gospels of the New Testament, recounting the story of Jesus during the final days before his crucifixion which to my memory surprisingly did not receive the same flak as Pura’s version.
Some, including “holy” senators, called his performance blasphemous, offensive, or regrettable or the height of misuse and abuse of our freedom of expression that borders on criminal activity. But hey mga bosing, we cannot legislate how we practice our faith or express our beliefs or even pray and sometimes it is called freedom of expression or religion or speech, which is guaranteed by the Constitution.
The act of praying the way he did is not even within the ambit of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
Under Article 201(b) of the RPC, those who offend any race or religion in theaters, fairs, cinematographs or any other place, exhibit, indecent or immoral plays, scenes, acts or shows, whether live or in film, may face a penalty of prision mayor or a fine ranging from P6,000 to P12,000 or both.
While the venue of the prayer may not have been appropriate, the matter of immorality is subjective, hence what may be immoral to some may not be with others. To their credit, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said it would not take legal action against Pura’s performance of “Ama Namin.”
Good for them and probably they should go after the Catholic priest who has been charged with rape of a nine-year old here in our city, and while at it, the pastor who was likewise indicted for nine counts of molesting minors.
The karumal-dumal na crimes committed by the religious are certainly more vicious than any other crime, as they took advantage of their moral ascendancy over the children in committing their nefarious acts. “This is the height of immorality that really offends the sensibilities and deeply demeans our faith. Trust and pray, as they preach. Pray, yes. Trust, hmmmmm.