The word “metanoia” is derived from a Greek word.

It means “change of mind of those who have begun to abhor their errors and misdeeds, and have determined to enter upon a better course of life.”

This term has also spiritual meaning as it is found in Luke and Matthew.

Spiritually, metanoia means conversion, with the hope that it will be followed by a change of behavior.

We are using the word in this editorial because of its relevance to the series of what many perceive as disrespectful and unpresidential remarks of President Rodrigo Duterte against Catholic bishops and the Church during the Filipino official’s recent speeches and interviews.

In his latest tirade, he attacked God using the word stupid.

“Who is this stupid God?” asked Mr. Duterte as he questioned the Biblical subject on Adam and Eve and their creation in the Genesis.

It is generally known among Christians that Genesis, i.e., “creation” or “generation,” gives an account of the origin of all things.

And that whenever contrary questions arise between faith and reason, faith prevails.

There may be a disturbing contextual framework behind Mr. Duterte’s constant attacks against the Catholic Church and its priests.

(We will discuss this subject in a future editorial.)

Mr. Duterte may be “descending to the regions of lower moral and intellectual standards where the more primitive and “common” instincts and tastes prevail.”

The motive could be to create a common enemy (the Catholic Church), and to unite the large majority of poor Filipinos who could be persuaded more easily than the elites in Philippine society and make them give all powers to one leader, i.e., Duterte.

This was what happened in Germany prior to the rise of the Third Reich.

This is why totalitarianism is bad.

Mr. Duterte has started to instill fear in the minds of his people as an initial step with his “Kill, Kill, Kill” policy.

So what could individuals or Filipino citizens do to ensure that totalitarianism or dictatorship will not win?

The answer is constant vigilance.

As advised by Brittany Hunter in a political essay titled, Why the Worst Humans are Able to Rise to Power?: “Be wary of any politician who is eager for the masses to give up their power, and when faced with such a decision, remember the creed so commonly associated with the great Ludwig von Mises, ‘Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito’” (do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it).

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