“Revolt for Christ”
Mexico’s Pancho Villa was a revolutionary dedicated to overthrowing an illegitimate government. So, too, was Emiliano Zapata in Southern Mexico; Villa even invaded the United States to draw attention to his fight; he killed some Americans, he killed many Mexicans. Zapata’s Indian troops kept fighting other Mexicans even after Zapata was assassinated. Eventually, of course, Zapata’s Indians laid down their rifles and went home.
Within months after the Zapata “Tierra y Libertad” (Land and Liberty) Indian semi-soldiers laid down their arms, the “Cristeros” (Kris-teh-rohs, Crist’s soldiers, loosely translated) rose to fight for their faith, the formerly omnipresent Roman Catholic Church of Mexico from where independence from Spain had germinated a century before. The church was brought to its knees by the anti-clerical soon-to-be PRI political party founded by former army general, President Plutacaro Calles; he hated the Church.
My family had problems with President Calles and his vicious dictatorship. In my mind my, the vicious anti-church dictatorship was symbolized by the fact that my Uncle Juan was secretly baptized in a Mexico City alley by a priest in civilian clothes who used rainwater as “holy Water.”
So, when an American Presidential candidate advocates using religion to bar a billion and a half Muslims from entering the united States I have a problem because religion should never be used politically for some stupid policy that all people of a faith need to be punished for the sins of a few.
Over half a million American soldiers, seamen and Marines have died since Pearl Harbor defending the right of all people, not just Americans, to believe what they want, when they want, wherever they want.
That is what many Mexicans wanted in the late 1920s and early 1930s. That, is why they took up arms after a decade long civil war that took more than a million lives. First they fought for their political rights and then they fought for religious freedom.
These millions of Mexicans supported Villa and Zapata and the troops that fought for them and won the war. When the new government of Mexico declared war on the church, the people rose again to fight for their religion and had some success though their success took years to bring the church out of the anti-clerical dungeon. Their victory camne about when new 19040-elected President Manuel Avila Camacho declared that he was a “creyente” ( creh-ee-enteh, believer).
Unlike Mexicans, the Islamists are not fighting revolutions seeking democracy, one man/woman, one vote or freedom of religion. They are fighting to impose their religion on us. What is the difference between that and what candidate Donald Trump is proposing? The President may have wide powers to deny entry into the U.S. by groups of people and individuals but religion has never been one of the reasons. It should never be. It won’t be. Polling shows the majority is against Trump’s proposal. That is at it should be.
In Mexico, people everywhere declared their support of the Revolution by picking up rifles and machetes, joining the armies of generals like Villa and Zapata. Where are the armies of ISIS? The estimated 30,000 ISIS “fighters” aren’t a real army. They only do well when their opponents throw their rifles down and run. There are no real soldiers in ISIS, the Kurd Sunni Muslims outfight them at every turn and when supplied properly are totally superior in the fight.
There are isolated ISIS groups of men and some women who skulk in the night like cockroaches. These terrorists use car bombs to kill their own countrymen, to kill women and children. They have no political goals or ideas to guide them other than radical and fanatic Moslem jihad, “Holy War” and a world-wide force of arms-imposed Caliphate. They want to come here and kill Americans. That is not religious. That is collective behavior of sociopaths.
Reasonable people will point out that terrorists operate in London, Baghdad, Paris, Madrid and San Bernardino. So, do we violate our history, our Constitution and our core Americanism because a handful of cockroaches operated in San Bernardino?
Muslim clerics and leaders throughout the world do not help matters. They never criticize the underlying radical fanatic and mentally defective philosophy that move some Muslims to commit murder of innocents for the glory of “Allah.” Neither does President Barack Obama.
We are dealing with fanatic sociopaths, not political revolutionaries. They must be combated at every level, in every place, over there and here but we must do so intelligently and effectively. Shooting off someone’s mouth to attract attention during a Presidential campaign will not work. We must look to Mexico, perhaps, and fight for our right to worship worldwide as we please, all of us, like the “Cristeros” did 80 years ago.