President Rodrigo Duterte of Philippines sparked controversy in the predominantly Catholic country for calling God “stupid,” but his spokesman on Monday defended the contentious statement as his personal belief.
Duterte made the statement on Friday evening during a speech in his southern home city of Davao, where he questioned God’s logic in the Biblical creation story of Adam and Eve.
“Adam ate (the fruit of knowledge), then malice was born. Who is this stupid God?” he said. “That son of a bitch is stupid if that’s the case.
“You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work.”
Duterte also questioned the rationale of original sin, noting, “That was your mother and father’s deed – you weren’t born yet, but now you have original sin.
“What kind of religion is that? I can’t accept it.”
Amid criticisms over his statements, presidential spokesman Harry Roque urged the public to accept that Duterte tends to use strong language when he expresses his beliefs.
“That is the personal belief of the president,” he said. “We are free to believe in religion and we are also free not to believe in religion.
“The president has his personal spiritual beliefs.”
“We cannot fault the president if he has no sense of hypocrisy and we should accept that because even when he was just a candidate, he never hid that from us,” he added.
Duterte has in the past lambasted the Catholic Church in the Philippines, where more than 80 per cent of the population practices the religion, calling priests out for allegations of corruption and sexual abuse.