Friday, December 19, 2008

Throwing Shoes at the President

One major news this week was the Iraqi journalist who threw shoes to outgoing US President George W. Bush. According to Iraqi culture throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. The Philippines relation to the US is also interesting but I don't think its comparable to what is going on in Iraq. The US colonized the Philippines in the early 1900s, fought alongside Filipinos during World War II, backed the Philippines against the Marcos regime and held their military and intelligence base in the country for many years until its ban in 1992. Today, about 30,000-50,000 US troops are stationed in the Philippines under the Balikatan joint war exercises. My personal reaction to the shoe throwing incident is posted on the blog of Filipino journalist Tony O. Cruz who also posted the story and video:

Ang bilis naman nilang makalimot. Sign of contempt? The journalist should also look at things from a different perspective. The shoe throwing incident is a clear sign that freedom of expression and freedom of the press is back in Iraq. I would think these journalists will not dare do such a stunt under Saddam’s regime. Hope they wont forget that George Bush and the US military helped get their freedom back after years of dictatorship from Saddam.

If you think about it, the incident can also reflect our relationship to Christ or how we treat Him. Christ liberated us from the eternal bondage of sin, and what do we do in return? We choose to give our lives back to Him. However, you and I are guilty of throwing a metaphoric "shoe" at Him once in a while. When we rely more on our self will than His, fail to acknowledge His greatness and we deny His full authority and sovereignty over every aspect of our lives.

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