Although it’s not as much talked about as it should be, the Cristero War was one of the great tragedies of the 20th century. Certainly the carnage was nowhere on the scale of that unleashed by the Fascist and Nazi movements in Europe (and exported to Latin America), but both rested on a clash between modernity and what was perceived — or better said, propagated — as “traditional values.” While I am the first to say that my own monograph on the Cristeros (Gorostieta and the Cristiada: Mexico’s Catholic Insurgency 1926-1929) was written much too fast, and was rushed into print before it was edited correctly, I did try to put the Cristeros into the context of other movements, and — unlike apologists for the Catholic insurgents — saw in them their close affinity to Fascism, and their role in the founding of both the Mexican fascist parties (Synarchism) and PAN.
That the state’s provocations of the Catholic Church, and the reaction by the Hierarchy played an essential role in fomenting the insurgency is indisputable. While the “Calles Laws” were meant to break the Church and were an open assault on the Hierarchy, the same cannot be said about the proposed reforms to marriage laws today. No one is threatening to take any rights AWAY from Catholic believers, or from the Church. However, it is the Church … or rather the Hierarchy… that wants to take away rights from other citizens. Moreover, what rights the Church ceded to the state long ago (in education and in defining marriage for non-believers) are those the hierarchy seeks to claw back. In the 1920s, the Cristeros turned to the conservative business class for financial support under the claim that they were defending private enterprise from state interference, while simultaneously presenting themselves to the lower and middle class as protecting the nation from a foreign ideology. Mixing nationalism, capitalism, religion, and militarism (i.e., the basic ingredients of a Fascist state) the Cristeros were a threat to the state that had to be crushed. The hierarchy then had the sense to realize it was in over its head, and negotiate a face-saving truce with the state. While so far, there is no evidence of the Church’s attempt at a military response, whether they are making a bargain with the devil, or simply channeled the devil that was always there is a question I don’t want to answer. But Sanjuana Martínez — a believing Catholic — has been willing to ask, in SinEmbargo, Are Catholics Nazis? (my rough translation):
“I am convinced that I act as an agent of our Creator. To fight the Jews is doing the Lord’s will”,said Adolf Hitler to justify the extermination of 6 million Jews.
Hitler was born Catholic as were right-wing dictators Francisco Franco in Spain, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar in Portugal, Benito Mussolini in Italy, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Jorge Rafael Videla in Argentina, and Augusto Pinochet in Chile. They invoked the name of God to commit all kinds of atrocities. And the Vatican welcomed them in their time. The relationship of the Catholic hierarchy with these men is part of religious history. There are pictures of the Popes receiving these fascist criminals, giving them communion, blessing, sanctifying. This type of Catholicism is the ultimate expression of “Nacionalcatolicismo”.
To our surprise, Nacionalcatolicismo remains a force in Mexico. What in European history was the mix of nationalism and Catholicism to launch Crusades against Muslims, Slavs, Jews, Greek and Russian Orthodox Christians, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, Waldensian, Prussians … continues here against gays.
A call to a national crusade is what drives the National Front for the Family (FNF), an ultraconservative organization promoted by the National Action Party and its armed wing the Yunque and financially underwritten by the Church hierarchy’s business allies.
FNF Catholic crusade against equal marriage is shameful and violates the most basic human rights. Its nacionalcatolicismo, ie, its fascist ideology, contravenes important national and international legal norms.
Saturday’s demonstrations against the initiative to legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico united under the slogan “Deus lo vult” (God wills it), the same that was used in the past to justify the gallows, the fire and the extermination of millions of people. Not since the 30s of the last century have there been such mass marches here, as those held in 16 cities in eight states, all with a PAN majority government.
Fortunately the call to nationalcatolicismo did not resonated everywhere. In Nezahualcoyotl only 300 peoople showed up, only 1500 in Toluca. But there are the sordid examples of Puebla, Querétaro, Guadalajara and Monterrey — traditionally conservative places, with a long history of “doble moral” and hypocrisy.
I wonder how many of those who showed up to defend the traditional concept of family have a real family, not only when out in public. Or how many of those parents who shouted slogans against homosexuals do not lead a double life: are unfaithul, hide their sexual preference away in the closet, or simply do not love their partner.
It remains unclear what are defending. Is the traditional family? Perhaps the family as defined by the Legionaries of Christ, the order founded by the pederast priest Marcial Maciel. Or that of Opus Dei, the work of misogynistic and elitest Spaniard Escriva. Or perhaps the family as defended by the great protectors of pedophile priests, cardinals Norberto Rivera and Juan Sandoval Iniguez, directors of clinics that supposedly “cure” genuine sexual predators like Nicolas Aguilar or Carlos Lopez Valdez1.
Were all who attended these Nazi marches Catholics? I doubt it. Surely most Catholics know that the majority of the arguments used by the FNF are lies and the rest are based on a lack of information about sexuality, still a taboo topic for many Mexican Catholics.
The images of people demanding the elimination of others’ rights is truely sad. Of course they have the right to demonstrate freely. That’s not the point. The question is, why they demand the right ot harm other human beings. How does the legitimate marriage between same-sex couples affect them?
One of the arguments repeated ad nauseam by the leaders of this front is that they do it for the children. Lie. That is a fallacy. How many mass demonstrations were organized by these people to protest the thousands of pedophile priests in Mexico and damaged thousands of children; priests protected by the hierarchy? None.
In Guadalajara, where the Cristero War is still a matter of pride to some Catholics, it is regrettable that all these people who marched against gays, remained silent and never condemned the existence of the largest clinic for pedophile priests led by their own Cardinal Sandoval Iniguez in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, even when an Interpol investigation found the clinic sheltering cassocked predators wanted in over 16 countries.
Why the National Front for the Family does not organize demonstrations against pedophile priests? Because they are not congruent. This organization is made up of real nacionalcatólicos —fundamentalist fanatics: people without understanding, dedicated to intoxicate, manipulate, lie about human sexuality.
That well-known expert on the anus2, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, now be added to the other Front leaders — Juan Giacoman Dabdoub, president of ConFamilia; Luz Maria Ortiz Quintos of the Nuevo Leon Parents Union; Marcial Padilla and Enrique Guzman, who, along with Marcial Maciel’s defender, Carolina Lopez Garza hold themselves out as specialists in sexuality and “gender ideology”.
The Front’s lies are laughable. They ensure us that contraceptives cause infertility, that the Peña Nieto reform in favor of marriage equality would lead to men using women’s restrooms; that pre-school children will be dressed alternately as a boy and a girl to decide which they want to be; that children of same-sex couples suffer irreversible psychological disorders, that homosexuality is curable …
In short, they have convinced thousands of Catholics to support their movement with lies and by preying on the ignorance of people who consider sex education a sin.
The Mexican Catholic hierarchy throwing the stone while hiding the hand, has said they did not summon thse hate and disrimination marches, but made it clear that they support them. It was clear who was in control with marches with the ranks filled out with priests, nuns, and consecrated, pure people.
It would be nice to know if those people so quick to take to the street to demand taking away others’ rights consider themselves “Nazis”: Catholic Nazis, fervent admirers of nacionalcatolicismo, the religion practiced by Hitler and many others criminals against humanity.
The Catholic Church is happy. It has achieved what it has always done, turning back the clock a few centuries. Every time Mexico and its people, progress the Catholic hierarchy, is responsible for bringing the Mexicans back into the past. The Catholic hierarchy does not advance, preferring to keep its adherants subdued, ignorant and obedient. New enemies are gays and their legitimate rights.
As a practicing Catholic, I am ashamed to live in a country of Catholic fundamentalists. I belong to the segment of decent Catholics, those who defend human rights for all without distinction of race, creed or sexual preference. Those who did not remain stuck considering the traditional family as the “natural” family. That which sustains a family is not a man and a woman, but love. There are many types of family and all deserve respect and the same rights. As in the time of the Crusades, it is necessary to speak up. I refuse to be part of this new onslaught of irrational hatred.
The Nazi crusade mounted by the National Front for the Family seeks to perpetuate the sanctity of marriage, the purity of the family … The others are heretics … Prepare the fires! … Erect the gallows! … Catholic Nazis are already on the street.