Religion and revolution

8 06 2011

I recently saw a report from the BBC a couple of years ago on a shrine dedicated to St. Lazarus in Cuba. The report brings up again the rumor that many of the people who fought in the revolution were also believers in santeria. That is not surprising, as even in the films of Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, one of the fathers of Cuban cinema, one often sees portrayals of popular and African religiosity, as in the montage above from his last film, Guantanamera.

Spiritism and radical politics in Latin America are not seen as two separate things. Francisco Madero, the first revolutionary president of Mexico, was an avowed spiritist. It is rumored that Hugo Chavez, and no doubt some in his inner circle, are devotees of the spiritist cult, Maria Lionza. Here I am not simply speaking of metaphysical obfuscation or remnant superstition. I think one could argue for a “revolutionary religiosity” that despises traditional institutions and is the true heir to the God of the Old Testament who judges for the orphan and the widow (pace Gutierrez, Boff, and Co.) Just check out this prayer to Pancho Villa:

To the martyr spirit
of Pancho Villa
Great Revolutionary General

In the Name of God our Lord I invoke the spirits that protect you so that you may help me. As you helped the NEEDY in the earthly world, as you conquered the POWERFUL. This I request of you, your spiritual protection, so that it may free me of all evil and you give me the necessary spirit and sufficient valor to confront the most difficult things that are presented to me present in this life. Amen

Of course, most people who call themselves religious would not be comfortable with this sort of syncretism. From a militant secularist perspective, the problem with religion is not belief as such (though I can see where it is also problematic), but rather clericalism. That is, the problem lies in the idea that what happens to us after death must determine how things go in this life, even if that means great unjustice, hierarchy, and so on. It is true that Marxist socialism can’t really help us with the problem of death, but neither can institutional religion really, unless you think that the Pope has the Holy Ghost’s number in his iPhone, or is friends with him on Facebook, and I don’t. But once you strip the clergy of any political power or influence, what people believe or fail to believe is no one else’s business but their own. People can make pacts or dissolve them with the spirits who await us in the beyond without fear that those spirits will command us to lynch or otherwise oppress people because they are doing something they don’t like.

So if people are wondering my affiliation at this point, it is that one. I have a pact with my own Catholic spirits, and they will help me through life as they see fit, or let bad things happen to me. I have no control over it, other than to try to live up to my duties as a husband, a father, and a human being. My own model of religiosity is the man crawling to the shrine in the video linked to above, not the nun in her cloister.


Actions

Information

18 responses

11 06 2011
Leslie

TL;DR.

I’ve read this blog for years, never commented. Write your own fucking comment, skip the fucking copy and paste.

Just had to break my silence to put that out there.

Anyway, I agree on the concept of God as electricity. I am by no means a holy person, and have broken many religious and secular laws many times in order to get by in life. And while I know I ought to be struck dead should I take communion, I don’t feel as terrified of God because I feel all the toughness of life has at least insulated my wiring a bit.

The spirits, on the other hand, frighten me from time to time, but I give them a few offerings, some allegiance, and do the best job at life that I can. Ironically enough, I like the spirits much more than I like God. God seems to be a real dick a lot of the time, but that’s just my own limited perspective.

10 06 2011
Carol

This article reminds me of how [before the economic bubble burst and natural disasters began sweeping the accumulated wealth of many away] the “Prosperity” or “Health and Wealth” *Gospel* had become America’s civil religion, especially in the Protestant Evangelical Churches.

A *Gospel* built on dogmatic absolutism and temporal blessings instead of the Cross is no Christian Gospel in the biblical/patristic sense of the word!

“The extreme greatness of Christianity lies in the fact
that it does not seek a supernatural remedy for suffering,
but a supernatural use for it.”
~Simone Weil

The mysteries of faith are degraded if they are made into

an object of affirmation and negation, when in reality they

should be an object of contemplation.

–Simone Weil

The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like

the condemned man who is proud of his large cell.

–Simone Weil

Humanism was not wrong in thinking that truth, beauty, liberty,

and equality are of infinite value, but in thinking that man can get

them for himself without grace.

–Simone Weil

One of the most faithful followers of the “Jesus Way” of living life in recent times was a Hindu!

I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians.

Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

The materialism of affluent Christian countries

appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ

that says it’s not possible to worship both Mammon

and God at the same time.

–Mahatma Gandhi

Things that will destroy man:

Politics without principle;

pleasure without conscience;

wealth without work;

knowledge without character;

business without morality;

science without humanity;

worship without sacrifice.

~Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement.

Properly understood and applied, it is the most

potent instrument of action.

Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul.

It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better

in prayer to have a heart without words than words

without a heart.

~Mahatma Gandhi

“Truth never damages a cause that is just.”

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

In matters of conscience the law of majority has no place.

-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

One cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is

occupied in doing wrong in any other department. Life is

one indivisible whole.

-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able

to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age –

as in being able to remake ourselves. . . We must be the change

we wish to see in the world.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to

befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the

quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.”

–Mahatma Gandhi

I believe that he is the true warrior who does not die killing

but who has mastered the mantra of living by dying.

-Mohandas Gandhi

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live

forever.

– Gandhi

It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important.

You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power,

may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit.

But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing.

You may never know what results come from your action.

But if you do nothing, there will be no result.
–Mahatma Gandhi

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of

truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and

murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the

end they always fall. Think of it… always.

— Mahatma Gandhi

http://marksayers.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/what-charles-darwin-can-teach-us-about-young-adults-leaving-the-church/#more-3308
What Charles Darwin Can Teach Us about Young Adults Leaving the Church
By marksayers

Excerpt from article:

Just like Darwin, when young adults reach adulthood, and the inevitably of suffering arises, or they simply realise that they are not going to get what they want, and that the world is not a comfortable happy place, faith is ditched. But again, we must ask what kind of faith is being ditched? Reflecting on Darwin’s loss of faith Spencer writes,

“Given the nature of the…Christianity with which he grew up, that decision should not surprise us…it offered no resources for dealing with suffering…Such Christianity was more philosophical than theological…Put bluntly, as soon as Christianity moved away from the foot of the cross and lost sight of the crucified God, it became defenceless against accusations of suffering and injustice.”

Despite the differences between Darwin’s cultural Christianity of intellectual detachment, and our cultural Christianity of therapeutic individualism, the solution remains the same. It is the story of a God, who did not remain hidden and distant, but who came to earth, who took suffering and sin upon his shoulders, who sits besides us in our grief. A God who knows what it feels like to hurt, to be beaten, and rejected. Preach and share that story, stay close to the foot of the Cross and it is hard to go wrong.

10 06 2011
sortacatholic

Got the message, Arturo. I have to admit, pretty creative put-down.

10 06 2011
Carol

Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times

by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

(Published with permission.Visit http://www.mavenproductions.com/estes.html)

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered.

They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times.

Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement. I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind. Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails. We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take “everyone on Earth” to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both, are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall:

When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for. This comes with much love and a prayer that you remember who you came from, and why you came to this beautiful, needful Earth.

10 06 2011
Carol

Arturo writes:
“Spiritism and radical politics in Latin America are not seen as two separate things. …Here I am not simply speaking of metaphysical obfuscation or remnant superstition. I think one could argue for a “revolutionary religiosity” that despises traditional institutions and is the true heir to the God of the Old Testament who judges for the orphan and the widow (pace Gutierrez, Boff, and Co.)”

I wonder if the attraction of popular “spiritism” is not its passion more than its wisdom. In the post-Enlightenment First Word rationalist knowledge has displaced intuitive wisdom. It is not only simplistic, it is emotionally arid.

‘The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.’
–A. Einstein

In Clarissa Pinkola Estes I find a person where a passionate faith, informed by reason, engenders the theological virtues of hope and love so often absent from both formal and informal religious communities. I am especially inspired by her “Letter to a Young Activist”:

9 06 2011
Carol

One of the more important [and exciting, IMO] developments in the West is the growing reconciliation between religion and science as we move away from the dualistic thinking that resulted in the rationalistic reductionist thinking that poisoned the well of both science and religion.

It began with the “hard” science of physics; but has now moved into the disciplines of the “soft” social sciences.

The relatively new discipline of sociobiology represents a synergy of the hard physicial science of biology with the soft social science of sociology for a much more holistic understanding of human behavior.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sociobiology/

We are redefining what it means to be human and many of the issues that are being causing confusion now will be resolved. Of course life is a mystery, so there will be other, hopefully deeper, challenges to our individual and collective human understanding.

Dualism still haunts us, giving rise to the “sociobiology wars”; but, in time, more balanced views will win out and our increased collective awareness will faciltate a leap foward in “Christ consciousness.”

“The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two
opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability
to function.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor [scholastic].
–Soren Kierkegaard

“…paradox arises not from intransigent incongruity in the nature of reality, …but from man’s far too rigid and unyielding habits of thought and from the character of his language, which in turn result from his reluctance to accept unconventional implications of new experience.”
–Harold K. Schilling

AND
And teaches us to say yes
And allows us to be both-and
And keeps us from either-or
And teaches us to be patient and long suffering
And is willing to wait for insight and integration
And keeps us from dualistic thinking
And does not divide the field of the moment
And helps us to live in the always imperfect now
And keeps us inclusive and compassionate toward everything
And demands that our contemplation become action
And insists that our action is also contemplative
And heals our racism, our sexism, heterosexism, and our classism
And keeps us from the false choice of liberal or conservative
And allows us to critique both sides of things
And allows us to enjoy both sides of things
And is far beyond any one nation or political party
And helps us face and accept our own dark side
And allows us to ask for forgiveness and to apologize
And is the mystery of paradox in all things
And is the way of mercy
And makes daily, practical love possible
And does not trust love if it is not also justice
And does not trust justice if it is not also love
And is far beyond my religion versus your religion
And allows us to be both distinct and yet united
And is the very Mystery of Trinity

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM

8 06 2011
Lotar

There is an icon in a monastery in Athos of the Virgin pulling Christ’s hand down from covering her mouth.

The story goes that at some point in the past, the monks were not faithful enough and angered Jesus. So, one day, some brigands came to ransack the monastery. They hid outside the gates, waiting for the monks to open them in the morning.

The Virgin wished to warn the monks, so her Son covered her mouth to prevent her. When the monk came to open the gate, she pulled Christ’s hand down to warn them. The icon remains that way to this day.

Oh but Orthodoxy does not teach an angry God…

8 06 2011
E

Let me give you Catholics some conspiracy theory here. Some believe that the Church is being attacked with all this child molestation stuff is because the Church under John Paul II tried to preach a social gospel of helping the poor. So the bourgeoisie, even though this pope helped spread the gospel of the free markets to Poland and Lithuania, thank his institution with all these scandals for preaching a somewhat radical idea. I have come to believe all bourgeois institutions are corrupt and do shifty things, this includes the Church. Look at how Americans treat their politicians, every aspect of their private life is recorded and can be rolled out at any time. They don’t have the most virtuous and qualified people run for government, they run black mailable people. However, when you stray off the reservation, the bourgeoisie will either besmirch your name in their Great Wurlitzer or outright kill you.

8 06 2011
Turmarion

If God were still relating to the Church the way he did to Ananias and Sapphira, or as St. Paul indicates, I think it’s safe to assume that at least two-thirds of the hierarchy would be long dead. Maybe we didn’t de-fang God–maybe He just mellowed out On the other hand, that thing about the hierarchy might not be so bad…. 😉

I do take the holy-as-dangerous idea seriously, in fact–“who shall see God and live?” Ancients conceptualized that as “God will smite you for daring to encroach on His holiness”; I’d see it more like, “Without being properly insulated, if I touch that high-tension power line, it’ll electrocute me.” In short, we are so far from holiness in our present state that we can’t endure it too closely or for too long. Hence the logic of Purgatory, among other things.

I guess one could say the latter analogy (electricity) is abstract and bloodless–God’s a person, not a force. However, both are still only analogies, since God as such is incomprehensible, and as Arturo often says, anything in this world is contingent. The former analogy (or contingency), of God-as-smiter, leads to the God of St. Augustine, who damns unbaptized babies because their parents were slackers, or the God of Calvin who arbitrarily damns vast multitudes before Creation just cuz. I’d take God-as-electricity over that any day.

8 06 2011
Arturo Vasquez

Great, Orthodox propaganda. Meyendorff, theosis, Nietzsche, all in one comment.

I think I am supposed to take a shot or something. Aren’t we still playing that comment box drinking game?

I mean, have you ever studied any sort of religion that didn’t come in a book? What about the Holy Ghost making Ananias and Saphirra drop dead in the Book of Acts for something akin to cheating on their taxes? Or the people who got really sick from taking Communion unworthily in St. Paul? Or the warrior Jesus of Apocalypse? The 17th century Madonnas in Italy who had to be processed through the streets veiled lest they end up slaying the lukewarm with just a gaze? Or this, for that matter?

I think modernity has decidedly defanged God, which in reference to stripping the church of all political power, may not be such a bad thing.

8 06 2011
8 06 2011
Anonymous

Turmarion writes:

Yes, the universe God created seems (at the very least) questionable; yes, life is (to say the least) rough; and certainly God works in awfully damn mysterious ways. Nevertheless, if there’s any point to religion at all, it seems to me that any God we worship ought to be one above human pettiness who will ultimately “restore all things”. Call it unrealistic or abstract or Polyanna-ish (I don’t think it’s any of those), but that’s where I’m coming from.

For your further consideration:

The image of a self-empting God in Christian tradition
This biblically inspired picture of a God who from all eternity foregoes any crudely domineering power in order to relate intimately to the created world has emerged more conspicuously than ever in contemporary theological reflection on the roots of Christian faith. While the image of God as self-emptying love has always been present in Christian tradition, it has often been subordinated to pictures of God as potentate, designer, or even dictator. However, to a theology that views the crucified Christ as part of the revelation of reality’s underlying depths, it would seem that God renounces any claims to coercive omnipotence. It is to this God of actual religious experience, rather than to philosophically abstract portraits of deity, that an increasing number of theologians today hope to connect their conversations with science, and especially with evolutionary biology.

In Orthodox theology, the two words “image” and “likeness” are not used interchangeably as they are for Roman Catholics and Protestants. For Orthodox Christians, “image” denotes the powers and faculties with which every human being is endowed by God from the first moment of his existence. “Likeness” is the assimilation, the growth process to God through virtue* and grace. We call this growth process “theosis.” For Western theology, man was created perfect in the absolute sense and therefore, when he fell, he fell completely away from God. For Orthodox theology, man was created perfect in the potential sense.
–Fr. George Nicozisin

*Virtue is an inner quality of character. Rules and principles are external measures of human behavior. Has conformity to “Biblical Principles” rather than grace-infused Christian virtue become the collective popular measure of Christian faith in most contemporary Christian parishes? Is this a corruption of Patristic Moral Theology?

Although Kierkegaard kept his faith and Nietzsche became a militant atheist, both were “alienated Lutherans” who rebelled against the “herd religion” of an institutionalized Christianity “animated by peer pressure more than by spiritual concerns.”:

We argue that Nietzsche is embracing an ancient rather than a modern view of ethics, what has been called an “ethics of virtue” rather than an ethics of rules and principles, rather than an ethic that looks mainly to the spread of well-being and happiness (“utilitarianism”).—Professor Robert Solomon, The University of Texas at Austin

Death and sin are inseparable cosmic realities in fallen creation, because
“through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin death, and thus
death passed unto all men” (Rom. 5:12). According to the prevailing
patristic exegesis of that passage, then, it is this universal mortality that
makes personal sinfulness inevitable. Dominated by suffering, fear of death,
and insecurity, man came under the power of an instinct for SELF-protection
and SELF-preservation. He began to struggle for his OWN survival, at the
expense of his neighbor, even if this survival could be only temporary (and
therefore illusory), since “death reigned from Adam to Moses, even upon those
who did not sin as Adam did” (Rom. 5:14).
— Orthodox theologian John Meyendorff

8 06 2011
Turmarion

Carol: The God of the OT is the God of the NT.

Well, yeah, but that wasn’t always obvious. For someone who read both with no preconceptions it wouldn’t be self-evident that the “kill everyone that pisseth against the wall” YHWH is, in fact, the loving Abba of Jesus. There’s a reason that Marcion excised the entire OT and parts of the NT, and that the Gnostics insisted that there were, in fact, two different gods in the Bible.

I’ve read the Bible in full twice and in substantial part dozens of times, but the Lent before last I decided to plunge in cover-to-cover again. After getting through the Pentateuch, I was struck at just how horrid and nasty the God and culture portrayed really are. I guess I’m becoming more Gnostic as I grow older. Having a family perhaps makes reading it at 47 different from reading it at 18. All the pointless slaughter of innocents who just made the mistake of being in Canaan when the Israelites returned isn’t as easy to shrug off.

Yes, the OT God judges for the widows and hears the cries of the poor–when He’s not smiting the crap out of people. I’m enough within the fringes of orthodoxy not to reject the OT, but I’m inclined to think it has to be taken with a barrel of salt. I’d tend to say that the ancient Israelites (like most peoples of the day) were a vicious, violent, barbaric, warlike people who projected this onto their concept of God. God gradually leads them away from this through the concepts of the just God of the nations as indicated by the prophets and ultimately to the loving God of the NT who, so far from smiting, sends His own son to die for humanity. For this reason, God seems somewhat schizoid not only between the testaments, but even within the OT, as He seems somewhat different as portrayed by the Prophets, as opposed to His portrayal in the Pentateuch and the historical books.

I’m aware that Arturo has pointed out how in traditional Mexican folk religion deaths are often attributed to failure of a person to follow through on promises made to a saint, even a sweet, loving saint. He’s also pointed out that the de facto theology behind the Mass through most of Christian history was to appease and propitiate an angry sky god, with which I’d not disagree. I imagine that one who objects to the OT portrayal of God might be criticized as refusing to look at the world as it is or rejecting Christian history or wanting a fluffy cuddly God or hewing to an abstract, bloodless Greek philosophical God rather than the God of Abraham. Well, I’ve lived too long to think that God is fluffy and cuddly, or particularly nice, in human terms. Ditto the world He has made. As to the absract God of the philsophers, I make no apology for having a Hellenistic bias–certainly the early Christians had no problems ransacking Greek thought. Even the author of the Gospel of John starts off calling Christ by the Stoic name of “Logos”. It may have been necessary for God to allow Himself to be conceptualized by His people, at various times, as a bloodthirsty desert war god or an angry sky god seeking appeasement, but if those are accurate portrayals of God as He is, then I’m not particularly interested.

Yes, the universe God created seems (at the very least) questionable; yes, life is (to say the least) rough; and certainly God works in awfully damn mysterious ways. Nevertheless, if there’s any point to religion at all, it seems to me that any God we worship ought to be one above human pettiness who will ultimately “restore all things”. Call it unrealistic or abstract or Polyanna-ish (I don’t think it’s any of those), but that’s where I’m coming from.

8 06 2011
sortacatholic

Arturo: But once you strip the clergy of any political power or influence, what people believe or fail to believe is no one else’s business but their own. People can make pacts or dissolve them with the spirits who await us in the beyond without fear that those spirits will command us to lynch or otherwise oppress people because they are doing something they don’t like.

This statement reminds me of the sentiments of some of the more radical Catholic liturgists. Their pre-conciliar/post-conciliar dichotomy relies on the notion that the Novus Ordo liturgy “returned” worship to the people through ministerial roles (lector, communion minister, &c.) Some conservative Catholics fire back with the accusation of lay clericalization.

Even so, Catholic conservative liturgy often expresses a passive-aggressive, perhaps sublimated, form of lay clericalization. Many in the EF movement have adopted the second or third wave liturgical movement view that uniformity of posture or action is necessary at Mass (put down that rosary!) Both liturgical conservatives and progressives worship their own spirits through a diminution of clerical prerogative.

The rather recent notion that “we shape liturgy” rather than “liturgy shapes us” betrays a lack of faith in the liturgy as a forum for grace and salvation. As you have noted earlier, the “sky god sacrifice” notion of the Mass has largely been discredited if only through practice. Likewise, conservative and traditionalist Catholics might howl at the objection that neither they nor their liberal brethren really believe that the liturgy itself effects metaphysical change. Yet both “sides” obsess about the social praxis of liturgy. This obsession betrays their decision to ignore the sacramental and spiritual as objective.

8 06 2011
Carol

Arturo writes:
“Spiritism and radical politics in Latin America are not seen as two separate things. Francisco Madero, the first revolutionary president of Mexico, was an avowed spiritist. It is rumored that Hugo Chavez, and no doubt some in his inner circle, are devotees of the spiritist cult, Maria Lionza. Here I am not simply speaking of metaphysical obfuscation or remnant superstition. I think one could argue for a “revolutionary religiosity” that despises traditional institutions and is the true heir to the God of the Old Testament who judges for the orphan and the widow (pace Gutierrez, Boff, and Co.) Just check out this prayer to Pancho Villa”

8 06 2011
E

Well it is really hard to jive Catholicism and Marxism. Christianity in the past was and is used as an opium of the people. Marxist are atheists and can only state what they see. We consult historical records to see the historical roots of Christianity and they don’t agree with the Bible or Canon Law. Marxists don’t believe in Turing the other cheek. The closet person recently who has led a Christian life was MLK, he died for peace because he hated violence of any sort. He was not a phony pacifist who groveled to power and he paid the price. He has my admiration.

Have there been revolutionary Christians, yup. Martin Luther and Thomas Munzer come to mind. Quakers, Anabaptists, and Puritans led the English Revolution. John Brown was a principled man who waged a holy war to kill slavers, although not that Christain was pretty awesome. Revolutionary clergy in Latin America during the Trans-Atlantic Revolutions are cool. However, religion masks class conflict in the past. It is a powerful mechanism of control and alienation though.

In a Socialist Republic of North America would there be Freedom of Religion , of course. However, religion in the Us serves to control. Many churches are at the forefront of bigotry and are at the forefront of screwing the poor. You have idiots voting for politicians who codemn rather than help. Not voting their interests. You may starve now but there is pie in the sky….as long as you hate spics and gays and muslims and…..

I don’t need an all-seeing being to look to. I have my fellow human beings, I am concerned in doing my part to change the world for the better now. There is no Afterlife for me and I don’t need one and I don’t want one.

8 06 2011
Leah

“Spiritism and radical politics in Latin America are not seen as two separate things. …Here I am not simply speaking of metaphysical obfuscation or remnant superstition. I think one could argue for a “revolutionary religiosity” that despises traditional institutions and is the true heir to the God of the Old Testament who judges for the orphan and the widow (pace Gutierrez, Boff, and Co.)”

Are there any books or articles that further explores this concept?

8 06 2011
Carol

Arturo writes:
“Spiritism and radical politics in Latin America are not seen as two separate things. Francisco Madero, the first revolutionary president of Mexico, was an avowed spiritist. It is rumored that Hugo Chavez, and no doubt some in his inner circle, are devotees of the spiritist cult, Maria Lionza. Here I am not simply speaking of metaphysical obfuscation or remnant superstition. I think one could argue for a “revolutionary religiosity” that despises traditional institutions and is the true heir to the God of the Old Testament who judges for the orphan and the widow (pace Gutierrez, Boff, and Co.) Just check out this prayer to Pancho Villa”

The God of the OT is the God of the NT. The early Israelite tribes were not unlike the Islamic tribes that are waging “holy war” in the Middle East today. Syncretism is unavoidable since we tend to see God as we are rather than as S/He is:

If God created man in his image, we have more than reciprocated.–Voltaire

You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. –Anne Lamott

The OT prophets were always calling the people of God and their rulers back to their original faith. The similarity between the OT prophets and the Marxist prophets of today is a shared zeal for justice. The difference is that the OT prophets spoke truth to power, at great risk to themselves and the Marxist prophets speak truth to the oppressed, inciting them to violence and making folk heroes of themselves.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: