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Almira M. Pegad BEED-IV ASIN NG LUPA (ReleD 108) 1.

Religious institutions that use government power in support of them and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. Thomas "Separation of church and state" is a common metaphor that is well recognized. Equally well recognized is the metaphorical meaning of the church staying out of the state's business and the state staying out of the church's business. Because of the very common usage of the "separation of church and state phrase," most people incorrectly think the phrase is in the constitution. I agree that there must be separation of the state and the church in terms of other powers where in the church cannot exercise its power but in cases that demands the intervention of the teachings of the church with regards to dignity and moral laws, there should be no total separation of the church and the state. They should complement and help each other since they are serving the same humankind. They should be united not separated in planning and caring for the common good of their people be it in the form of law or catechetical teachings. To further support my argument is this: ...it is not lawful for the State, any more than for the individual, either to disregard all religious duties or to hold in equal favour different kinds of religion; that the unrestrained freedom of thinking and of openly making known one's thoughts is not inherent in the rights of citizens, and is by no means to be reckoned worthy of favour and support (Pope Leo XVI, 1885). 2. We are living during a crisis of faith. It is believed that the spiritual diseases of the people are also the heavy burden of the church. I also believe it, but I am sorry to tell that even many churches today have become disoriented on the issues of sin, repentance, and faith. Please do not misunderstand. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins. Yes, but it doesnt mean that once saved...you are forever saved. No one can not totally changed a person, it must be from within. In other words, even how best you tried to preach all the Words of God to him if from his deep conscience, he resist changing... it is not anymore the responsibility of the church to monitor him 24/7. But I do agree that it is the first and foremost duty of the church to educate the conscience of the people and to preach the truth. Nothing is left to be done when the church exert all his means to save those ill-driven people when they themselves are not willing to be transformed. It just means that the church has a vital role in influencing peoples lives. It must be extra careful because it can make and unmake people. I would also like to believe that the church is the instrument of God to heal our land because if Im not

mistaken, they are the primary institution who bravely voice out what is wrong in the world before others do. For the world's sake, without the Church's involvement in social justice issues there would have been and will be worse tragedies (such as world wars). Still, we must acknowledge that its prophetic message was not fully accepted by people at the time. Precisely for this reason there ensued some very serious tragedies. 3. In my own perspective, sinful structures of society is when a certain structure gives one group (i.e rich) an advantage over another one (poor). Basically if something is bias towards a certain group and disadvantages another, it is sinful. In our country, no one can deny the rampant and multitude sinful actions of the society and what is so wrong here is the institution who made the laws to describe it sinful are the ones who is violating them. The problem with this sometimes is the government, particularly graft and corruption. It becomes a culture of so many Filipinos, politicians or not. Sad to say, even the hope of our youth and the model of our land is practicing the same culture from the basic things which can lead to conflict of different kinds. From the movie, I do agree when they said that graft and corruption is the twin of poverty in our country. Unless it stops, no soul will suffer too much in surviving for his most basic needs in extent of committing crimes. Many Filipinos get used to it to the point that they lost hope in electing new leaders who are not just good at first. In fact, it is an accepted culture. Even foreigners see us that way. But if just one or two of us will not be tired in doing ways to at least diminish this sinful social structure, we can make this place a better place to live in. Unless we try so hard for all our life to be just good, just nice and nothing more...we can reap goodness. They are in authority; we are just under their powers, but who is to be blame? Why not start solving these major sinful structures of the society by changing what is not good to us. Everyone is connected with each other. Meaning, when we change for the better, we can influence others to change until everybody gets back to their in born selves.

4. One solution of the church to at least counteract social problems is to preach the Word of God through mass media. As a student, I am engrossed in social networking, I see to it that every time I log in, I post helpful and spiritual messages to uphold moral laws and I find it effective since many of the people today is so much hooked with technology. The church also has radio and TV programs all over the country. They also serve the indigent and marginalized citizens by educating them and giving goods. In that way, we are stained with the spirit of justice and charity. When we see others doing the same thing until everybody does, we tend to imitate them. The genuine change starts with ourselves not just from radio programs or shot out in Face book, it is useless unless couples with actions. It is a just a small challenge for us to get aware and involve to the social problems our land is facing today, we can contribute more than the power of our dreams.