been reading up on liberation theology among the Jesuits of central and south America.
according to liberation theologists, the mistake of marxism was the exclusion of God. to bring about global peace and universal happiness, citizens must embrace Christian Marxism – and be “liberated” from the evils of capitalism, tyranny, and etc.
often, young Jesuits who are actively engaged in improving the material realities of the poor and oppressed fall in with the proposed “liberators”. sometimes this involves guns, and killing.
firstly, this is theologically flawed and rooted in the same urge as Marxism. those people over there have lots of money and stuff. those people over on the other side do not have money and stuff. the people with money take power, and do damaging things to poor people. the poor people, naturally, must be liberated from their oppression in the here and now.
theologically, i do not recall any incident wherein Jesus Christ “forced” salvation upon anyone that was not already dead or mentally deranged. In fact, he only seemed to heal living people, who had asked him for healing or had a family member ask for healing. basically, everyone who was able to get up and go to Christ received liberation. them that didn’t go looking for their own salvation often did not acquire it. liberation theologists are often deeply involved in socialism, or at the very least anti-capitalism. often, they are trying to “force” liberation upon others by the overthrowing of global systems.
Christ did not overthrow Rome. he did not overthrow tax collectors, or usurers. He overthrew the market in the temple, but that was physically located inside one temple, one time and was deeply related to the profiteers of religion. He didn’t overthrow all marketplaces.
and what’s so liberating about the overthrowing of global systems? by forcing liberation upon people, we are treating people like children who are incapable of coming to their own conclusions, their own little rebellions.
furthermore, speaking about the evil of power creates that evil, in a way.
governments exist because large numbers of people believe in the authority of the government. by rising against that government’s authority, verbally or violently, one ends up acknowledging the authority of the government. by defeating rebellions, governments assert authority. by fighting them, governments assert authority.
after all, one must acknowledge the power before one can destroy the power.
in liberation theology, i see large numbers of jesuits and fallen monks and nuns and priests falling into the intoxicating delirium of wordly power. For every man denigrating the wicked government, that is a man filling the room with the notion of the government’s power. with every man writing odes against capitalism, that is a man that places capitalism at the center of the world.
liberation theologists, i challenge you not to not speak of any power on this earth, if it is truly evil. quietly refuse to acknowledge the power by refusing to give it a name of power. act as if the guns have no bullets, and the uniforms are merely men in costumes playing strange games. pretend like government wickedness is simply there, in the air, like bad weather. do not try to stop the rain. distribute umbrellas. bring men together to dig canals to let the rain flow to the sea in peace.
the rain will stop in its own good time. even rome crumbled to dust on her own excesses.
bad governments do not watch the centuries of centuries. neither do good governments, actually. these things will rise and fall on the rules they have placed for themselves.
governments exist because people believe in the authority of the governments. churches do, too. when people stop going to the church, the church falters and fails and drifts quietly into the dustbins of history. this pattern of power can be applied to bad governments as well. if you wish to liberate people from authority, do so by liberating their minds from belief in worldly power.