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A bicentennial moment with Cardinal Sandoval

5 September 2010

One reason for writing my own Mexican history in English was that “Mexicans take their history very seriously.” As I noted in my introduction, I had started to put the book together just as the United States was pressuring Mexico (then on the United Nations Security Council) to join its crusade against Iraq. Which the Mexicans refused to do

…for reasons going back ten, thrity-five, sixty, one hundred fifty and five hundred years… The arguments weren’t just raised by professors and professional historians. Mexicans don’t consider five hundred years that long a time, nor do they consider history as something belonging only in a classroom.

It is also the reason I adhered closely to the “official” history — which has been a “people’s history” from the time of the Revolution until recently.  The new school curriculum which hasn’t proved popular (there were even history teacher protest marches when it was first suggested) tends to downplay the Revolution as a social upheaval in favor of a blander, political one, and give more space to the Colonial Era.  Which, means, of course, more emphasis on the SPANISH  Catholicism.  It’s not likely to last, but it is, for now, comforting to those who want to build an intellectual foundation to confirm existing prejudices.

Guadalajara Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez just doesn’t know when to quit (I wonder sometimes if he isn’t modeling his political behavior on the north of the border “tea-baggers” who mix genuine grievances with rampant bigotry making themselves look ridiculous … and increasingly dangerous). In a signed editorial in his Diocesan newspaper, His Eminence — making note of the fact that the Supreme Court absolved the owners of criminal misconduct in the ABC nursery school fire that killed 47 children in Hermosillo (although they did note that the law needed change) — launched another… ahem… rear-guard attack on the gay adoption ruling. According to Sandoval,

If the Court is defending the right of adults, then, over time, adults may be entitled to claim any relationship with anyone, person or animal… not that we are equating so-called homosexual relationships with “relationships” — if they can be called such — with animals. Nor are we promoting rebellion…”

Which is Cardinal-speak for “Don’t blame me if there’s a riot… just because I’m proposing one.” If he get’s what he’s not promoting, he’s likely to come out on the losing end.

That new curriculum isn’t widespread and is being mightily resisted… not to mention that not only are  more Mexicans are likely to have been educated under the old one… but that even with a new curriculum, there is no way to undo a long history of anti-clericalism.  A commentator on the SDPNoticias story on the Cardinal’s latest assault on common sense dug out this gem from a pamphleteer — a low-tech early 19th century blogger — from the 5 December 1810 El Vengador de la patria:

Open your eyes, Mexicans!  Do not let yourselves be seduced by our enemies, the Catholics of Spain, who are not Catholics, but call themselves such for the purpose of taking our money by threats, by oppression and by pillage.  MEXICANS!  Break these shameful chains of slavery to the Spanish “Catholics”.  If we cease to fight among ourselves, then the battle is won.  Mexicans! From today, the foreigners are our enemy – DEATH TO THE SPANIARDS AND THE SPANISH CHURCH!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 7 September 2010 11:24 am

    Para los “mexicanos” la historia no es solamente acontecimientos, sino la sobrevivencia de una raza que ha sido conquistada muchas veces. 500 anyos no es nada. Hay que considerar el conflicto Palestino-Israeli que tiene mas de 2000 anyos y todavia esta muy vigente.

  2. Ken permalink
    9 September 2010 7:29 pm

    Isn’t it strange that the tea baggers, muslim fanatics, the religious right and the cardinal are followers of Saint Paul’s ideas and not the thoughts of Jesus which were against social, material and political oppression. . IThe religious conservatives trying to protect the status quo always quote Saint Paul and for obvious reasons don’t quote Jesus who was not for the conservative self righteous elite in control. My family had to leave Spain during the Civil War because they were republicans. Most people are not fooled and are aware that the Catholic Church is a politcal organization with the intent of keeping power(and riches) by fear, hate, lies and division and are opposed to the teachings of Jesus. They would have no problem with declaring or starting another Cristero War in Mexico to advance and enlarge their power even if it is against the teachings of Jesus. In Spain the Catholic Church supported the monarchy, and dictators to keep their power against the common man and his needs. This has been the history of the Church in Central and South America.

    The illustrious cardinal is completely lacking in his understanding of Jesus’ message or in an understanding of humanity.

    Ken

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