Atheism According to Red Tani : a Blunder of Biblical Proportions

Posted: September 28, 2012 in Definitely Filipino / Kuro-Kuro Submissions, Random

I tried to submit this article to http://www.definitelyfilipino.comm but here is what I got:

Note from the editor: We will no longer publish articles that mainly discusses religion of any kind, atheism, theism, agnosticism, etc. However, they can be discussed as part of an article with a much broader main topic not related to the aforementioned. (Please refer to the rules indicated for submitting articles)

It’s been a while since I last wrote about something that bothered me. The last entry I submitted to Definitely Filipino page was I think the Quirino Grandstand Hostage crisis. That’s like more than a year ago.

In a very unusual and silly way, I have found in me the meaning of the word atheist through the shallow and seemingly stupid words from Emmanuel ‘Red’ Tani, a self proclaimed cyber ‘activist’ favoring free thinking and atheism, in his interivew with Boy Abunda in the show Bottomline.

He was a former Catholic, and started to not believe in the Church after he graduated from DLSU.

I would want to say first, that all the words I wrote here are based on the Bottomline Show’s episode. Whoever Red Tani is, and how I saw him as a person as he answered Boy’s questions in the interview, is all on Bottomline’s. So, you can say that I want you to blame the show, and not me.

Based on what I have learned, atheism is simply not believing in the existence of deities, at least that is what is written in the wiki – basically the non-existence of God. And clearly, Red Tani’s words only revolve around his constant searching for the right idea of God for him. He simply just does not want to believe in the God as what the society has made an image of. He says that he will only believe in that God if he sees the clouds opening up and showing him the heavens, and hears the voice of God calling, and Jesus appearing before him and performs the miracles. He says that he is instead a naturalist, that he is a see-it-to-believe-it type of person. He believes in the Evolution, and not the Biblical creation of life as we know it.  Let’s give him that free thinking, okay. For I also believe in the natural creation, instead of how it was portrayed in the Bible. But Red Tani and I have a lot of differences, thankfully.

He simply is a non-conformist, not an atheist. It is clear that he wants to believe in God, but he just does not believe it at present, since according to him, there is still no evidence yet of God’s existence. I find it pretty stupid. A person can say that he has experienced a miracle, simply by having his life saved when he avoided an accident, or passed the exam that he didn’t study much about. In Red Tani’s case, he simply would not believe all the evidences that are already right in front of him. But if he was shown the evidence as what he pictures in his mind, I assume that based on his words, he would change his thoughts about not believing in God in a heartbeat. I wonder how he was able to come up with his ideas – he has not mentioned any notable names in the community of the philosophers, not that I know much of them. He simply wants to voice out his ideas about religion as he understands it. Nothing more. And that’s what’s dangerous. Just because an idea has gone out in public and is spread virally through the cyber world, or in your little circle of society, means that idea is correct and should be followed.

I say, he just seeks for attention, and he got the attention that he is looking for. And that drive is being fueled because he is getting noticed by people who has heard or known about his crusade.

He believes that the people needs to be secular. The people needs to keep away from being fundamentalists, that they tend to believe and live by the exact words coming from the Bible. He believes that the Church should really be separated from the State. I agree in some of his points, in the sense that we need to find in ourselves the truth about our existence, and nothing, even what the interpretations of the words in the Bible are, can dictate us and tell us what and what not to do. But then again, I do not share his thoughts about believing only in what he wants to until he sees the contrary. And we all know that for centuries, humanity has struggled in separating these two faculties of society – the church and the state. And I would like to rest my mind away from that in this entry.

I have my own dislikes about my Church which I need not to disclose here. I am agnostic. I was born a Catholic, by the way. I, however, am not a devout Catholic. I accept the fact that my Church has its flaws, so as the other sects out there. But it does not make me turn my back on it for the Church is where I channel my faith in my God, and not just the God of the Church. For me, it is not a crime to use the Church that way. I always tell myself that doing what is good is good enough. I am not a religious fanatic. I even praise Dong Abay in his song whenever I see people praying like hypocrites. I believe that the Catholic Church is a big enterprise, run by religious leaders with their leader and the center of power seated at the Vatican. Other religious sectors, but not all, and does not necessarily have to be in the Christian circle are like that. But I believe in the existence of the Higher Being. Not because I am afraid to go to hell, but because I believe instinctively. For me, faith is believing in something that you cannot see, believing in something without proof. I am a proofseeker, but I believe in it anyway. I have, as a human nature, the longing and the necessity to look up to a higher being as my Creator of everything – to understand my existence. Again, it does not necessarily need to conform with what the Catholic church, or any other church for that matter teach the society to believe in.

However, I have been in this religion all my life, and I don’t have plans of changing it – it is just not that a significant thing for me to spend my energy on. I also have my own set of beliefs, and my own set of ideas of my God, which do not necessarily conform with the belief as established by the society I am in. And there are several times that my faith had been tested, but I have always retained it. But I respect the church people. I don’t force them to think the way I do, just as they cannot convince me to believe with all my heart and soul in the Church. I am not saying that Red, forces his  followers to believe in what he believes in. I just find it disturbing that a lot of people are so into his stuff. I say, when it comes to religion, it’s live and let live. You respect my ideas, and I will respect yours. If we agree to disagree, then let’s keep it that way and stop the crappy conversations to convince ourselves that we are wrong.

Red does not believe in God but he does believe in hell. He says it’s provisional and that he is willing to apologize if the would cause the damnation of the souls of many people who share his idea if the Judgement Day has come, if there is one. I am so waiting for that moment to happen. It’s like saying, ‘I am going to believe that the radio is just a sound making machine, until I see an actual radio station with an actual radio jock.’ Or we can also put into analogy his ideas like this: Red believes that he has a brain, but he has not seen his own brain yet – which clearly contradicts the radio analogy. That is exactly how I would see Red. What he says contradicts his own ideas about atheism.

Clearly, he continuously searches for his own Truth and rejects the idea of the Truth according to the society. That is all there is. Non-conformism.

He should not call himself an atheist. He is nothing but a doubter. He should instead call himself confused, hiding in a cult-like following of his supporters. I see him as a very troubled individual. A naturalist yes, or whatever he wants to call himself, but he is never an atheist. What’s clear is that, he has not lost faith. He just wants to keep it in a box, that he would soon open when the right time comes. I feel sorry for him actually. The only concern I have for him is that he might drown himself from the false fame that is surrounding him right now, and get driven by the false following of these people seeking for their right place to belong, that he would not be able to remember exactly what his crusade is all about.

Boy Abunda said that his faith was not challenged during the interview with Red Tani. That is enough for me to believe that I am right about what I wrote about that episode. I was not challenged as well. I laughed at the idea that Red presented more than I wondered.

Or maybe, just maybe, Red Tani just doesn’t relay his ideas to us in a very clear way that he is still being stereotyped by us.

Here’s the link to the episode:

“Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong God. Every time we go to church we’re just making Him madder and madder.” – Homer Simpson

  1. Poch Suzara says:

    THERE ARE FAR MORE UNBELIEVERS IN THIS WORLD THAN THERE ARE BELIEVERS. WE ATHEISTS ARE HAPPY AND PROUD OF THAT SIMPLE TRUTH. The Christians do not believe in ALLAH, the God of the Muslims. The Muslims do not believe in JESUS, the God of the Christians The Muslims and the Christians together do not believe in the YAHWEH – the God of the Jews. the Jews do not believe in either JESUS or in ALLAH.

    As for us ATHEISTS, the UNBELIEVERS, we would rather be at any time INTELLIGENT THINKERS than we care to be STUPID BELIEVERS.

  2. Jec says:

    Not to discredit you as an Atheist or anything @Poch Suzara. However, the blog entry is all about my thoughts about Red Thani and how he responded to Boy’s questions.

    I myself is an agnostic, and it is quite different from being an atheist. I also believe that the difference in our belief and faith gives us no reason to think that we are above others. The same also does not buy us our ticket to supremacy over the other or salvation of our souls and damnation for those who oppose us. If you think more about what Red had discussed during this episode, i say that his arguments are lame, plain and simple. His ideas do not stand in the same ground as what he claims he is.

  3. […] it did for me? It satisfied my curiosity. I went there not as a devout Catholic (for I am not a devout Catholic). I came there as an observant, and a fascinated one I […]

  4. […] knowing who I am based on my previous posts (kindly refer to the articles: Atheism According to Red Tani : a Blunder of Biblical Proportions, and My Lenten Reflection , I couldn’t still fathom how The Pontiff made me do all […]

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