President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday night asked “Who is this stupid God?” as he continued a tirade against priests, religion, and critics of the government’s war against illegal drugs.
Toward the end of his speech at the opening of the 2018 National ICT Summit in Davao City, the President touched on the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible and how they were tempted by the snake.
Saying “malice was born” the moment Adam ate the fruit Eve offered him, Duterte then said: “Who is this stupid God? Estupido talaga itong p***** i** kung ganun [This son of a whore must really be stupid]. You created some—something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work.”
“How—how can you rationalize a God?” he added. “Kaya nga sabi ko diyan ‘wag ka maniwala niyang… [That’s why I say you don’t believe in...]”
It was the latest jarring statement on religion by the President, who says he believes in God but doesn’t care for organized religion despite being born a Catholic, even as he found a more receptive audience in his native Davao than one in Iloilo province on Thursday.
The President was speaking to about 3,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries at a multipurpose gym in Cabatuan, Iloilo when bells rang continuously from the nearby church, forcing him to pause for more than a minute before asking: “Is that the Angelus or they are just ringing for me?”
Also, while audiences normally laugh at Duterte’s crude jokes and admonishments in any public setting, the Iloilo crowd was mostly silent and just clapped politely at the end of the President’s speech, according to news reports and first-person accounts shared on Facebook and other social media.
The President has been dealing with recent calls by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to tone down his rhetoric on priests slain by unknown gunmen, which has forced about 200 men of the cloth to apply for permits to carry guns and defend themselves.
In Davao, Duterte said he could not accept the concept of having an original sin.
“I cannot accept that. Very stupid proposition. What sin? Original sin and then they will baptize you. Your head will even be washed with [holy] water. And you’ll even believe that priest,” he said in Filipino.
The President clarified that he believes there is a “universal mind.”
“But to what extent is the influence of that… You know, I cannot picture Him as a human being in the image of God,” he said. “I… But I really believe there’s a… I have this faith and abiding thing about... But religion? Why believe in that?” he added.
Duterte also said “God was lonely,” and there was nobody to please Him.
“I only realized [lately] that God is lonely, Perhaps there was no woman beside him,” he said in Tagalog.
He then rounded up his speech in Davao by discussing the Catholic concept of original sin.
“So now, all of us are born with an original sin. What is that? Was it the first kiss? What was the sin? Why original? You’re still in the womb, you already have sin? What kind of religion is that?” he said.
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