Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has said that he will not apologize for calling God “stupid” during a discussion about the Bible – this despite religious groups’ insistence that he is risking the wrath of a higher power.
Duterte was criticized by Christian groups who accused him of insulting God following his comments about the biblical story of creation last week. “Who is this stupid God? You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would destroy the quality of your work,” the 73-year-old told an audience in Davao City on June 22.
Eddie Villanueva, founder of the Jesus Is Lord Movement (JIL), had threatened to mobilize some of his group’s 10 million members for a prayer rally if an apology was not forthcoming – but in an address to reporters in Panglao, Bohol, Duterte maintained a defiant tone.
“No, I will not do that, definitely. Not in a million years,” he said. “God is personal. It is not formed by textbooks. You nurture God as your faith based on the values that you get from life early on from your parents.”
Villanueva told Philippines broadcaster ANC that the president’s words were blasphemy of “the highest order” which invited the “wrath of God” unless an apology is made. “The Bible is clear, when you slander God, you are inviting curses not only to yourself but to the entire nation, like calamities,” he said.
Duterte is known for his outlandish and, at times, offensive statements. In June, Duterte went on a long tirade against Catholic priests for casting the government in a bad light, accusing them of hypocrisy. In 2015, while still mayor of Davao City, he even cursed Pope Francis over the traffic jams during his visit.
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