Since beingÂ evicted fromÂ Chapman and Lownsdale Squares,Â costing the city thousands of dollars toclean and restore the parks they destroyed,Â andÂ causing general mayhemÂ throughout the city,Â Occupy PortlandÂ has beenÂ meeting dailyÂ atÂ St. Francis of Assisi Catholic ChurchÂ in Portland.
They meet in the â€œChe room,â€ named afterÂ Che Guevara, who ran FidelÂ Castroâ€™s murderous gulags in Cuba and orchestrated the mass murder of millions of innocent people (essentially the Â Cuban version ofÂ Heinrich Himmler).
What on earthÂ possesses a Catholic churchÂ to honorÂ a communist butcher and host groups fighting for socialist revolution?
Liberation Theology is an attempt to dress up Marxism as Christianity. Â Discover The Networks gives this historical overview of the movement:
A movement that sprang from late 20th-century Roman Catholicism and has found a particularly welcoming environment in Latin America, liberation theology holds that the church must stand on the side of the impoverished and the downtrodden, and thatÂ it must, if necessary, support the overthrow of social systems that contribute to their oppression. Its more extreme advocates believe that capitalism is chief among the oppressive systems in causing social and material inequities around the world.
This movement is usually held to have begun with the second Latin American Bishopsâ€™ Conference, which was held in Colombia in 1968. At that conference, the attending bishops proposed to combine the teachings of Jesus Christ with those of Karl Marx as a way of justifying violent revolution to overthrow the economics of capitalism. The bishops interpreted every biblical criticism of the rich as a mandate to redistribute wealth from the haves to the have-nots, and every expression of compassion for the poor as a call for a social uprising by peasants and workers. At the end of the conference, the bishops issued a document affirming the rights of the poor and accusing industrialized nations of enriching themselves at the expense of Third World countries.
The liberation theology movement’s seminal text,Â A Theology of Liberation, was written in 1971, three years after the Bishopsâ€™ Conference, by Gustavo GutiÃ©rrez, a Peruvian priest and theologian.
Prior to liberation theology, Catholicism was unambiguously hostile to socialism and communism, which it saw as â€œgodless.â€ From the earliest centuries of the Christian era, a long line of orthodox theologians had consistently rejected collective ownership, embraced private property, and affirmed business economies. In the first year of his papacy, Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) devoted an encyclical to criticizing socialism.
But in using the texts of the New Testament to justify political activism, even violent activism (Jesus was often portrayed as a revolutionary dressed in guerrilla fatigues and carrying a rifle), liberation theology seemed to embrace socialist theory as well. Dressing up Marxism as Christianity put it at odds with the Vatican, which, in the 1990s under PopeÂ John Paul II, began trying to slow the movement’s momentum through the appointment of more conservative prelates throughout Latin America.
Ultimately, liberation theology was crippled by a convergence of several factors:Â (a) oppsition by the Church hierarchy; (b) the defeat of the Marxist Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the FMLN in El Salvador; and (c)Â the free market economics boom that swept through Latin America soon after those defeats.Â This boom demonstrated that economic growth was a far more efficient way of fighting poverty than armed struggle.
It’s no wonder, then, that we find churches that embrace this Marxist ideology are deeply involved with Marxist movements like Occupy Wall Street.
Clearly, the pastoral administration of St. Francis unquestionably believes that “the cause” to overthrow capitalism and replace it with a socialist utopia “is just.” Â They merely question whether or not “violence has a place in protest movements.” Â Funny, that’s a question Jesus never had to ask, seeing as he was NOT a Marxist revolutionary.
The founders only took up arms after a decade of peaceful appeals and overtures resulted in the king deposing their elected officials, quartering soldiers in their homes, arresting and holding innocent citizens without due process, blockading their ports, and other abuses which could only be dislodged by force. Â By then, it was no longer a “protest movement.” Â It was defending their homes and families from military aggression, which is clearly permitted by scripture.
Occupy Wall Street has no such claim. Â In fact, Occupy has clearly been the aggressor against any who dared to stand in their way, and their protests have been rife with drug use, theft, vandalism, public urination and defecation, and even rape and murder.
The Tea Party proved for three years that it is possible for Americans to make their voices heard in a peaceful, law-abiding manner.