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I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bishop Oscar Romero and Real Tyranny

31 years ago today, Bishop Oscar Romero was assassinated by pro-government forces in El Salvador.

His crime? Daring to use the church pulpit to denounce a government that was openly, with US government help, targeting, torturing, and killing their opponents and demanding some rights for the "least of these," as Jesus might have termed the poor of Romero's country.

This week I will be serving with a pastor in Oaxaca, Mexico who fled El Salvador during those times. Times when he says you could not sleep because of the noise of people crying in the night for relatives who were tortured for resisting the government. Times when bullets flew indiscriminately with just one mission, to kill.

As we remember Bishop Romero, it just might do us good to recall what real tyranny looks like.

It is not a government making you get health insurance, and it is not a government taking away your right to have a union ask your bosses for a raise.

Oscar Romero and many of his Christian brethren of El Salvador who also died trying to serve the poor of this small Central American country knew first hand what government tyranny looked like.

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Comments on "Bishop Oscar Romero and Real Tyranny"


Blogger BB-Idaho said ... (12:44 PM) : 

Unfortunately, the mere mention of El Salvador always reminds me of-
"the Reagan administration, responded with unlimited money, military aid, and training in support of the government and its death squads and torture, the latter with the help of CIA torture manuals. US military and CIA personnel played an active role on a continuous basis. The result was 75,000 civilian deaths; meaningful social change thwarted; a handful of the wealthy still owned the country; the poor remained as ever; dissidents still had to fear right-wing death squads; there was to be no profound social change in El Salvador while Ronnie sat in the White House with Nancy."


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (4:57 PM) : 

All very true BB, but Carter gets no pass here either. He also had a part in this...


Blogger BB-Idaho said ... (9:09 AM) : 

I agree...guess I left him out because he lacks the minions of the teflon one. :)


Blogger dmarks said ... (9:29 AM) : 

Reagan did not attach many strings as he gave money and assistance to the Salvadoran government to help stave off the Soviet-controlled rebels.

Thankfully, when the USSR fell, the reason for the war ended.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (12:03 PM) : 

well that dmarks is one view... respectfully, my friends who lived through that war, as US backed troops killed thousands of innocents, their families, and their friends, ask why their country had to be a battleground for a US/USSR proxy war...


Blogger Tim said ... (2:28 PM) : 

...but of course, since Reagan did it, it was the correct thing to do. We would all be Commies if it weren't for the patron saint of the Reactionary Right.those thousands of innocents were sacrificed to build the shining city on the hill that the rich republicans inhabit and from where they graciously shower the rest of us with their crumbs...


Blogger dmarks said ... (5:02 AM) : 

This comment has been removed by the author.


Blogger dmarks said ... (5:03 AM) : 

It was the correct thing to stave off the Soviets in El Salvador. I think he could have done it a lot better the way he did. We should have attached major strings to the aid, to say the least.

(by the way, the phrase "reactionary right" sure sound cool and alliterative, but is really a meaningless pejorative, like saying "bad bad bad right" or "bad bad bad left". And the shining city on the hill idea had nothing to do with rich Republicans).


Blogger Tim said ... (8:48 AM) : 

Let's look at definitions:

"The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state (the status quo ante) in a society". Back to a day when Blacks knew their place (not in the White House, and at the back of the bus, and women were home taking care of kids while the man worked, and gays were in the closet where they belong).

Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society.

Really dmarks, what would I do without you! Thank you for enlightening me with your insight.

I could say that it right to treat brain cancer, sure. But decapitating the head? i'm sure we could treat it in a better way.


Blogger dmarks said ... (3:57 PM) : 

Thanks for the irrelevant racist smear of a non-racist political movement.

"Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society."

Which also promotes progressive new ideas, such as vouchers to give poor school children access to superior education. This is one of the many issues you will find the left to be "reactionary" about. It's really a meaningless insult.

Thanks. Stick with me and you will learn something.

Oh. And good luck with that peace pin. Why not wear it in front of the Taliban and the other terrorists? They are the cause of the wars.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (5:36 PM) : 

Ah the return of conservative DMarks...

Like me, you move pretty well between the two sides...

Seriously DMarks, are the terrorists the cause of the wars in Libya and Iraq?

Aren't, or weren't those about authoritarian leaders who were killing their own people?


Blogger dmarks said ... (4:10 AM) : 

The Libya situation is caused by a socialist tyrant. The Iraq situation is/was caused by a socialist tyrant who was also a major terrorist kingpin until the day he died.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (7:01 AM) : 

dmarks, as it turned out, saddam was not the threat we said he was, was he?

at leat accrding to gwb...


Blogger Tim said ... (8:45 AM) : 

The only thing that I am learning from you dmarks is that you hew to a line of thinking more at home in the 19th than the 21st century. Vouchers are regressive and aimed at wrecking the public school system. Keeping the great unwashed down where they belong. Pathetic. Also, your feeble attempt to call these madmen of the middle east socialists is ridiculous, like everything else you attempt to say here to distort the real story of the Reactionary Right. If you are insulted by the truth too bad.


Blogger dmarks said ... (6:06 PM) : 

He was a major terrorist kingpin, and in a post 9/11 situation, it made less sense to let him keep engaging in aggression.

Tim said: "Vouchers are regressive"

You are using the word "regressive" to mean "bad". Not a lot of meaning there.

"and aimed at wrecking the public school system"

Actually they improve the public school system by providing more options in it. And more importantly they focus on what should be the first mission: to provide a superior education to children.

"Also, your feeble attempt to call these madmen of the middle east socialists is ridiculous".

Actually, I am quite well informed on this, and did the research. Why not do the same?

Saddam Hussein and the Assad dynasty are part of the Ba'ath Socialist movement.

From Wikipedia on Gadaffi: "Gaddafi renamed the Libyan Arab Republic to Jamahiriya in 1977, based on his socialist and nationalist political philosophy published in Green Book"

There's the facts. It's not ridiculous to be informed.

"like everything else you attempt to say here to distort the real story of the Reactionary Right."

I have nothing to do with this so-called organization. Just as you have nothing to do with Pinko Left. Come on, do lame insults really serve any purpose?

As for the century claim, actually these ideas are advanced 21st century ones. Vouchers did not exist in the 19th century, come on.

"If you are insulted by the truth too bad."

I hope you were not too insulted by the fact that these mideast madmen are/were typical socialist leaders.

Might be better to go lighter on the insults and conspiracy theories (vouchers a plot to destroy education???) and heavier on the facts next time.


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