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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Suggesting to the flock

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Charismatic group El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde endorsed the candidacies of 14 senatorial bets in a grand rally over the weekend.

Suggesting to the flock

Velarde said the 14 candidates were close to the flock and not just during election season, and that they had answers to the pressing problems of the country. Some of the 14 candidates have been seen with Velarde in recent weeks during prayer vigils.

El Shaddai has an estimated following of 8 million members.

Other religious groups are expected to follow suit, with elections being just a few days away.

Religious blocs have the practice of endorsing candidates to their flock. Depending on the organization, such endorsements can range from being suggestions to instructions.

For some people, it’s tempting to rely on the supposedly good judgment of their religious leaders. The assumption, however, is that the list has been deliberated, using strict selection criteria. Of course, everybody knows that obtaining these endorsements is a result of wheeling and dealing.

It’s good that religious groups offer a measure of guidance to their members on how they should exercise their sacred right to vote. A better guide would be, however, a way to arrive at a good choice, with helpful and verifiable information to use as basis for such. It’s providing them the tools to arrive at good choices without impinging on their independence and ability to think for themselves.

It is one thing to endorse and quite another to demand a unified vote. The latter just breeds anew a generation of lazy voters.

Let such endorsements not be mistaken for Gospel truth. What religious leaders should be telling their flock is to think critically and not be swayed by bandwagons and propaganda. 

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