Episode 156 – Freethought, Faith, and Politics with Filipino Freethinkers

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Gotta have faith!
Freedom

Like many Filipinos and Filipino Americans, the TFAL crew grew up around Christianity, specifically Catholicism. We speak of our upbringing in our podcast, mainly about how it’s shaped not just our adult selves, but the continued practices and traditions of many family, friends and listeners alike. Although we all look at religion differently today from when we were younger — some practicing religiously and others traditionally — we may be able to agree that we believe a higher power, whether we call them God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Allah, or Buddha.

What if that “higher being” was not a Christian or Muslim God, but rather, science and reason? Does religion get in the way of good government policy?

When Rodrigo Duterte and Donald Trump were elected as president of the Philippines and the United States respectively, TFAL released a few episodes talking about how to deal with those results. Our collective disappointment did not equate to shock that these results happened during a time when political sides became more and more polarized. Although “separation of church and state” is included in both constitutions, one can argue that religion and religious beliefs have always played a crucial role in the determining the outcome of the elections, policy-making, and governance.

On this TFAL episode, we talk to Red Tani, founder of Filipino Freethinkers, a civil society organization that has been promoting reason, science, and secularism in the Philippines since 2009. They are considered the largest and most active organization for freethought in the Philippines. Brace yourselves as we talk about atheism and agnosticism; challenging dogma and tradition; creating reasonable policy separate from the Church; thinking freely; and regardless of religion, being good humans to each other.

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