Friday, November 30, 2007
A friend of mine by the name of Fr Shay Cullen, a priest from Ireland who has devoted his life fighting the horrific exploitation of the poor in the Philippines, recently wrote in a column about Death Squads roaming the streets killing with impunity the street children. These children have been victimized all their young lives. They live in such poverty and abuse that most of us could not even imagine. So many of these children have been victims of the sex trade and domestic trade that have so long been a part of the Philippine life. Their families have sometimes sold these children to people who work in the sex trade in order to merely survive and support a larger family. However, in most cases the children have been abducted by ruthless man and women who have no morals or conscience. These slave traders are the most deplorable people imaginable and so are the purveyors of this sick and immoral trade. Most of the customers come from western Europe and the good old USA. A child's life is destroyed once this horrific crime is committed. They never fully recover-how could they? Thanks to men such as Father Shay Cullen, some children are being rescued from this horrible fate. Father Shay practices Liberation Theology everyday of his life. He preaches the words of radical Jesus on the streets and ghettos of the Philippines, He doesn't grandstand on TV, like so many of the so called compassionate conservative ministers. who claim that the Lord speaks to them. If the lord speaks to them he must constantly ask for money, because that is all they do. Plant a seed and god will bless you, but in reality most money will go to into the pockets of these wolves in sheep clothing. These hypocrites use God as a tool to enrich themselves; they fly around the world in private jets; they have mansions to live in; they buy the finest of clothing and, of course, jewelry. Their life style and hypocritical religious fervor has nothing to do with what Jesus taught and what men like Father Shay Cullen do in his work with the poor and sexually abused children. Faith should not be used as a road to riches. Religion is a man-made institution that, when in the wrong hands, can be used to hurt and abuse people. Jesus was a spiritual man who preached love, compassion, and non-violence. He preached for us to love the neediest among us and the importance of justice. Father Shay Cullen personifies what Liberation Theology is all about. He fights everyday to raise these poor people of the barrios up to new heights to show them the love and the compassion that Jesus would show if he was here. Jesus may have well been one of our first Liberals if not Socialists. His life was dedicated to the rights of the downtrodden. He preached equality for all, not just for the privileged. Today in the Philippines Father Shay keeps Jesus' cause alive by putting his life on the line to rescue children caught up in horrific crimes through no fault of their own; the children are innocent of any wrong doing. They are sexually used by slobs who feel entitled and think their money can buy anything they want, including children for there perverted pleasure. All the grandiose preaching in this world will not protect these children, only the works of men like Father Shay, who puts liberation theology into practice with the love and fearlessness that Jesus had when challenging the Powers of Israel & Rome. Jesus made so many political protest against the wealthy and elite of his time; he was not a passive on-looker to injustice, rather a radical leader who took on the powerful and made them listen to the cry of the poor and disenfranchised. This was his message: fight the powers that hold you down, not with violence, but with zeal of one who is right and deserves to be treated as an equal; stare down the ones who hurt children, women, and men for there selfish greed; let the rich know that they are not owners of your lives nor can they control you. We also need raise the poor out of poverty. We need to make education, health care, housing, and food available to everyone, not just the privileged few. It is coming to the time when this should be done by with a revolutionary approach, one that will let the world of the elite know that the oppressed will no longer be willing to be the oppressed and will take any means necessary to alleviate their suffering. No child anywhere in this world should go to bed hungry, no man or woman anywhere in this world should see their children suffer at the hands of perverted man who abuse them for their satisfaction. Every man, woman, and child should have all the rights that are afforded the wealthy. They should have same protection under the law the wealthy have. We need to stand up and fight the system that keeps the poor and disenfranchised from living the life we are all entitled to. Let's all do the work that Father Shay Cullen is doing and stop sitting on the sidelines. Wherever one is oppressed, everyone is oppressed.
PEACE & SOLIDARITY
Monday, November 26, 2007
I thought I would explain the title of my blog to save any wondering on what it means. My title Liberation Blogology is a play on Liberation Theology. Liberation Theology came out of Latin America, mainly Brazil, in the 1960's. Latin American countries were under the oppresive thumb of the United States. Right wing dictators were in power bolstered by U.S. compainies such as United Fruit, who had vast holdings in these countries. Land owned by wealthy elites was toilled by compenseros, peasants who lived in abject poverty. The catholic church in Latin America was very much in line with the elite. The church leaders learned to manipulate the peasantry; the main goal was to keep the compenserios in line with the Goverment policies. However a group of priests, mostly Jesuits from Peru and Brazil, started a new theology based on the New Testament.There interpertation of the Bible(one in which I believe) was that Jesus came to earth to empower the poor and downtrodden, and lift them up with hope for a productive and happy life in the present rather than in the afterlife as they had been told. The Jesuits, led by Leonardo Boff and Gustavo Gutierez, preached a gospel of complete liberation from tyranny, and oppression. They began Faith Based meetings where the gospels were read and discussed. The people were empowered by these Priest to stand up to any type of oppression. They were taught that Jesus was born into poverty, lived a life of poverty, and rejected all types of opppression. Jesus loved the wealthy but rejected the selfishness and had high regard for the less fortunate among them.
These priest were Revolutionary men teaching a Gospel about a revolutionary man who died over two thousand years ago. They taught a social gospel mixing socialism or Marxism with the teaching's of Jesus. Their concern was the welfare of the people and did not want to cater to the whims of the elite. They gave the peasants the tools to learn and to understand that they did not have to accept the poverty or oppression that they have been handed. This was not their lot in life and the Jesuits advocated attempts to rise above this harsh life by any means necessary.This thinking eventually got them in trouble with the Vatican and some priests such as Father Jon Sobrino were disciplined and lost their priestly duties. There is so much more to this story and a lot can be found on the internet. Liberation Theology is weakend but is not dead. Any time we speak up for the poor and downtrodden we are practicing Liberation Theology. This practice has less to do with any religion and more to do with human rights. All of us who care about the rights of others need to pick up the banner that these brave Jesuits first raised and carry it to every oppresed people on this earth. I know that the lovers of peace and justice are out there, people like my friends Cutter, Paige, Sue and ArabSpring. Please keep up the good fight and God Bless. Wherever one is oppresed no on is free.
PEACE & SOLIDARITY