Colonial mentality and sex priests

By Serge Kreutz

No other country in Asia has as colonial a mentality as do the Philippines.

Filipinos regard themselves as “natives” of the Philippines. While it is grammatically and semantically true, that they are the natives of the Philippines, it is also strange that they regard themselves as natives, and it is a clear linguistic indicator of the typical Philippine inferiority complex.

“Natives” are second-class citizens in their own country. American natives, or the small number that hasn’t been murdered by European immigrants, are those who live in reservations. In the United States, these reservations typically are located in the most useless stretches of land. It’s the same with Australian aboriginals.

If one asks a Thai or Indonesian person, or even a Cambodian or Vietnamese, what he considers himself, any of them would never come up with stating that he is a Thai native, or an Indonesian native, or a Cambodian native, or a Vietnamese native. He will identify himself as Thai, Indonesian, Cambodian, or Vietnamese. No “native”.

So, what is a “colonial mentality”? A colonial mentality is characterized by a willingness of its holder to consider himself inferior to the colonial masters. Filipinos never objected to being typified as “little brown brothers” when in fact their colonial masters where overweight pale grandpas.

The terms “natives” and “little brown brothers” fit exactly the idea of “the white man’s burden”, used as an ideological justification by Western powers to colonize the world.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936, Nobel prize 1907) coined the term precisely for the US colonization of the Philippines.

White man’s burden

In accordance to the white man’s burden political theory, Western powers had a moral obligation to colonize the world (even if they would not have wanted to) in order to bring proper moral standards to the barbarians everywhere else. Which is why colonizing armies where always accompanied by hordes of missionaries.

While the US bases in the Philippines have been closed down, a leftover of the “white man’s burden” in the Philippines are missionaries involved in bringing proper moral standards to natives, for example by rescuing child prostitutes in Olongapo.

It is doubtful whether such priests are guided by sympathy or a moral of helping those who suffer. Anybody who is guided by a moral of helping those who suffer would feel a need to address the worst suffering first, for example in Africa where millions of children live and die in agony, or in a country ravaged by civil war. Non-dangerous assignments are suspect, which is why the Catholic Church canonizes martyrs, and not those who preach morals from a safe distance.

Catholic missionaries in the Philippines are on a comfortable posting, and in a Catholic country with a colonial mentality, they are respected and unassailable. One can even nominate oneself, through obedient flock, for the Peace Noble Prize.

Furthermore, a self-elected assignment of rescuing child prostitutes is not only comfortable and safe, but also interesting. Who knows what goes on in the mind of a Catholic priests interviewing underage girls on their experience with sexual abuse. If such confessions would be written as fiction, they would be classified as child pornography. But for Catholic priests, the potential kick is not only legal but even moral.