MANILA, Philippines – After recent tirades against priests and the Church's "hypocrisy," President Rodrigo Duterte cursed God and called God "stupid" for the concept of "original sin" in the Bible's creation story.
Duterte, on Friday, June 22, began with retelling the story of Adam and Eve and how they ate the fruit from the forbidden tree and thus brought original sin upon humankind.
"Kinain ni Adam (Adam ate it) then malice was born. Who is this stupid God? Istupido talaga itong putangina kung ganoon (That son of a bitch is stupid if that's the case)," said Duterte during a summit in Davao City.
"You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work," he continued.
The President, a Catholic, said he finds it preposterous that babies should be born with original sin.
"Tsuk tsak lang 'yun ng nanay pati tatay mo wala ka pang kasali tapos ngayon may original sin ka. Tanginang klase – anong klaseng relihiyon 'yan? 'Yan ang hindi ko matanggap. What a stupid proposition," said an incensed Duterte.
(That was your mother and father's deed, you weren't born yet, but now you have original sin. What kind of religion is that? I can't accept it.)
Yet after this tirade, Duterte insists he still believes in a greater being. It's religion and institutions he does not trust.
"I believe there is a universal mind. But [to] what extent is the influence of the – I cannot picture him as a human being…But I really believe, i have this faith and abiding thing about – but don't believe in religion," he said.
Before his rant against God, Duterte had outraged Catholics when, during the launch of his presidential campaign over two years ago, he cursed Pope Francis for causing traffic in Manila.
Duterte also made similar remarks in his meeting with the Filipino community in South Korea on June 3. Also citing the story of Adam and Eve, Duterte said in South Korea, “Kung ’yan ang Diyos ng Katoliko, torpe ‘yan. Maghanap ka ng Diyos na tama.”
A week after Duterte made these comments in South Korea, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas wrote a stinging reflection about people cursing God. (READ: He is insane. He is possessed.)
“The list of cuss words against God is endless. God is still God and those who have cursed Him are now dust,” Villegas said in a reflection on June 10.
“When you spit upwards, your spit will return to your face. The more you spit at God, the more spit you bring to your face. It is the law of gravity. It is also the law of divine justice,” he added.
Villegas, former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, also urged Catholics to pray for people who teach them error.
“Dear children, as for those who dare to teach you error, pray for them and forgive them. They might be insane or possessed. They need God. They need your prayers and love and compassion,” said Villegas.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.