You want to know something? I hate doing this. Humanity survives largely by ignoring the evil and ugliness in its midst, like the aliens who kidnap Billy Pilgrim in “Slaughterhouse Five” do. I’d love to live in this contented ignorance, but it’s not my fate.
The truth about leftism is it’s monstrous, evil and ugly. I was reading pseudo-conservative Conor Friedersdorf over at the Atlantic asking if Republicans could value both Jesus and Ayn Rand.
Conservatives are always accused of inserting religion into politics, while everybody ignores that leftism is largely formed from liberal interpretations of Christianity.
A Jesuit named Ignacio Ellacuria came to mind. He’s best known as a “martyr” for having been killed, along with five other Jesuits and two women, toward the end of the Salvadoran civil war. Solely for being an advocate the poor of course! What awful right-wing brutality!
The Wikipedia entry is of course a whitewash-
The truth is however appalling. Ellacuria not only advocated “liberation theology” or some sort of socialism based on Christianity, he gave full theological backing for not just a “just war” to establish such a state, but a lot more. This excerpt from one of his books published as an op-ed in the LA Times shortly after his death gives a brief outline of his support of “revolutionary violence”-
In the West we have a justification for the use of violence, based on the “just war” theology of the Middle Ages. Its limitations can be thought of as applying to police officers as well. Violence, while strongly condemned by Christianity, may be regrettably necessary in some circumstances to prevent a greater evil. But it must be strictly limited to what is necessary; it must not be cruel or abusive. Soldiers and policemen may need to kill people, but they are supposed to keep their emotions in control and do it out of necessity, not anger, rage, or pique.
This gets turned into one of those Alinskyite “use their own rules against them” things by the left. Still it’s a reasonable set of limitations, and as a Catholic theologian Ellacuria was most certainly familiar with them. He doesn’t recognize these limits though, and quotes Psalm 58 where God is requested to “break the teeth, break the jaws” of the oppressor.
He comments “The words could hardly be more harsh or cruel. The psalmist asks God to impose the full weight, not of his justice, but of his wrath. An all-powerful and enraged God must stand for the oppressed and inflict punishment on the unjust oppressor.” So Ellacuria wants not justice, but wrath, which is enraged, harsh, and cruel.
The breaking of teeth and jaws was clearly intended by the original writer as hubristic cruelty. Swords and spears, the weapons of the time, would not inflict such injuries, and even clubs when used in combat would not; the victim would suffer skull, shoulder or arm injuries but not lower face injuries. To inflict such injuries would require a defeated, prostrate, restrained victim. Breaking the jaw and teeth would result in extreme pain (there is a reason people don’t like going to the dentist) and later slow death through dehydration or starvation.
It seems like Jesus would be strongly against this, but Father Ignacio is strictly an Old Testament guy in this context. We live in a society where violence and anger is always bad, but Father Ignacio appreciates the cathartic power of violent revenge. I’m guessing killing people you hate feels real good, as long as nobody takes revenge against you– which as a communist is a pretty safe bet, as communists killed with impunity throughout the 20th century.
Was Father Ignacio Ellacuria a “martyr”, a “great theologian”, an “advocate for the poor”? I’m thinking the best word to describe him is “sociopath”. He would have fit right in in the NKVD. One of the things the Soviets did was try to systematically remove from people such feelings as pity and empathy for anyone who was an enemy of the state- and since anyone at anytime could become an enemy of the state (up to and including the head of the secret police) that pretty much meant you couldn’t love anybody but Stalin. Which was fine with Stalin I guess.
So Ellacuria was an all-around scumbag, his Roman collar notwithstanding. Was killing him justified? I’m going to say yes. His own rules justified any level of violence against the oppressor, and if working to establish a Marxist-Leninist terrorist state isn’t oppression, what is? What’s more he was a gutless punk- if he’d picked up a damn rifle himself he would have at least had skin in the game, but he hid behind his “religious” status.
People like Ellacuria- and he was nothing more than the average socialist, socialists never recognize any limits on what they can do to obtain and maintain power- have an amazingly poisonous and corrosive effect on society. A few of those people in a wealthy Western country can be safely ignored, but for El Salvador to return to some semblance of normality such extremists had to go.
Ultimately Ellacuria shows us the hideous depths of leftism- absolutely unlimited violence and cruelty, justified under the highest moral sentiments.