Mexican Cristeros
Published on June 3, 2012 By lulapilgrim In Politics
For Greater Glory Poster
 
......coming to theaters near you June 1st, the story of Mexican Cristeros...........

 Caution: Powerful film examines faith, persecution
Ed Vitagliano - Guest Columnist - 5/30/2012 2:15:00 PM

 

Ed VitaglianoFor centuries, Christians have wrestled with the questions of how their faith should impact culture and how far they should go to promote a righteous and just society. For Greater Glory, a film arriving in theaters June 1, dives head first into such thorny issues.

 

 

This powerful film examines the response of Catholics in Mexico in the mid to late 1920s to growing persecution. Plutarco Calles, the president of Mexico, instituted severe restrictions on the Catholic Church -- restrictions which turned increasingly violent. The film shows priests being executed by hanging and by firing squad, churches being desecrated and worshipers shot by soldiers during services.

 

Catholics in the country divided over whether to respond to this persecution by accepting their suffering or by armed revolt. Many Catholics chose the latter, fearing that secularists aimed to exterminate their faith altogether. The result was the "Cristero" Rebellion -- a term that derived from the loyalty of the rebels to "Cristo Rey," or "Christ the King."
 
For Greater Glory clearly presents the Cristero Rebellion as the proper response to Calles' efforts, although it is also shows the courage of those priests who preferred martyrdom to armed conflict. In addition, the film demonstrates that sometimes violence gets out of hand -- even in the service of a noble cause.
 
For Greater Glory is well-written, fast-paced and has some star power, with Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, and Peter O'Toole headlining it.
 
There is plenty of violence -- it's a war movie after all -- and for that reason it is rated R. There is no profanity, but the film does include lots of drinking and smoking, and one scene where women are shown in undergarments (of the time period) as they seek to hide ammunition intended for the Cristeros.
 
The message of the Cristeros is summarized by one character's statement: "We are an army fighting for God and the church and for freedom." The viewer must wrestle -- as the film does -- with whether or not such a motive is proper for a Christian.

 


Comments (Page 1)
on Jun 03, 2012

The viewer must wrestle -- as the film does -- with whether or not such a motive is proper for a Christian.

"Thou shalt not murder." seems to cover it, no? Jesus felt that all of The Law hinged upon two Commandments - the first and second.

You ask whether "We are an army fighting for God and the church and for freedom." is justified in Jesus' views? The answer would be no.

If not, Crusades or any violence can be justified.

Being on the receiving end of violence does not justify returning it (except in one specific case, below), nor acting preemptively. While self defense is legal, you ask whether it is moral: Specifically, in the Christian framework of morals.

The answer to that would depend on whose view is the ultimate one (for you in that framework). If it is Jesus', then the answer would be that unless one feels that by not resisting attack, harm for those he is responsible for would occur, he should submit himself to the will of the attacker.

This answer is specific to the Christian moral framework only, as that seems to be what you were asking in the OP.

 

on Jun 03, 2012
The movie stars Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria and Peter O.Toole. It is touted a the true story of how the Catholic Church, through a three–year conflict called the Cristero War, won its freedom from the government of Mexico. 
Carl Anderson in National Review writes, "In 1924 the Mexican government moved to suppress that faith. With the election of Plutarco Eliás Calles as president, it began to enforce anti-Catholic provisions of the 1917 constitution that had mostly been in abeyance until then. One of the government’s first assaults on religious liberty was its attempt to control who could serve as clergy. Foreign priests were expelled ­ or killed. Clergy were required to register with the government, which reserved the right to determine who counted as a priest.

 
"Next came the move to ban religion from public view. Citizens were told they could “worship” freely, but privately. Priests who wore clerical attire outside their churches or rectories faced large fines. A priest who criticized the government could be jailed for five years, and priests were arrested or killed just for serving their flocks."

 The Cristero fighters took up arms in 1926 when the Mexican government outlawed and forcibly suppressed the Christian faith (Roman Catholic in particular as the dominant version).  Suppression included the public execution of priests and parishioners by hanging and firing squad.




Cristeros Movie Trailer  

on Jun 03, 2012

Hopefully I'll have time to see it next week and post comments.

on Jun 04, 2012

If one were prone to be fair (most aren’t), then an opposing side should at least be examined too. I liked "Even the Rain’ (foreign sorry) also based on real world events, times two. Christians always view other Christian’s actions as virtuous and in some isolated cases maybe they were. But the function and purpose of the RCC has been well demonstrated and documented through our nondenominational historical archives. I will watch the movie when it is available just because I like history. I would be happy to pick it apart then though if I find it lacking merit.

on Jun 04, 2012
on Jun 04, 2012

Another review from the Catholic News Service...

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/movies/12mv060.htm

 

on Jun 04, 2012

RogueCaptain
Hopefully I'll have time to see it next week and post comments.

I plan to see the movie tomorrow at the morning showing.

 

on Jun 04, 2012

I found this, a bit more informative   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristero_War

Also picked up on something that didn't really surprise me, I just wasn't expecting it.

“… later in the war the Calles government was supplied with arms and ammunition by the US government. In at least one battle, American pilots provided air support for the federal army against the Cristero rebels.”

"U.S. ambassador Dwight Whitney Morrow wanted the conflict to end both for regional security and to help find a solution to the oil problem in the US."

on Jun 04, 2012

Thanks GFT for the Wiki article. Quite interesting indeed. 

GirlFriendTess
“… later in the war the Calles government was supplied with arms and ammunition by the US government. In at least one battle, American pilots provided air support for the federal army against the Cristero rebels.”

I confirmed that quote (which was #24 in the Wiki article). 

Here is the article by Christopher Check...

 
 
 
 
 
on Jun 05, 2012

DrJBHL
You ask whether "We are an army fighting for God and the church and for freedom." is justified in Jesus' views? The answer would be no.

If not, Crusades or any violence can be justified.

It is a sticky wicket.  However I disagree with you.  While the crusades were a war of conquest, The Cristeros War was a defensive one.   Even the Vatican of today believes in a "just war".  I wonder how many today think that the war against the holocaust was wrong even in Jesus' view?  Clearly the world we live in is not monotone.  And the answers are not easy.  I am just glad I do not have to make those type of decisions.

And I do support the decision by those who fought against the government in the Cristero Rebellion

on Jun 05, 2012

I think the answers are easy, it's just that some people don't like those answers.

 

Thou shalt not murder does not mean don't go to war.

on Jun 05, 2012

Dr Guy

Quoting DrJBHL, reply 1You ask whether "We are an army fighting for God and the church and for freedom." is justified in Jesus' views? The answer would be no.

If not, Crusades or any violence can be justified.

It is a sticky wicket.  However I disagree with you.  While the crusades were a war of conquest, The Cristeros War was a defensive one.   Even the Vatican of today believes in a "just war".  I wonder how many today think that the war against the holocaust was wrong even in Jesus' view?  Clearly the world we live in is not monotone.  And the answers are not easy.  I am just glad I do not have to make those type of decisions.

And I do support the decision by those who fought against the government in the Cristero Rebellion

Unfortunately you didn't get to:

DrJBHL
The answer to that would depend on whose view is the ultimate one (for you in that framework). If it is Jesus', then the answer would be that unless one feels that by not resisting attack, harm for those he is responsible for would occur, he should submit himself to the will of the attacker.

Jythier
Thou shalt not murder does not mean don't go to war.

If by "going to war" you mean starting a war of conquest, economic gain or vengeance... yes it does.

"Thou shall not murder." is not the same as "Thou shall not kill." which was a mistranslation of the Hebrew (lirtzoach=to murder, laharog=to kill). Jesus understood Hebrew very well (although probably spoke Aramaic...they are related). He felt that if you are defending those for whom you have responsibility death/killing ensues, that is not breaking the Commandment. If however you start a war for any other reason, and death ensued, it would be murder and therefore breaking the Commandment, and therefore wrong.

 

on Jun 05, 2012

How do you reconcile that interpretation with God commanding the Isrealites to take the Promised Land?

on Jun 05, 2012

I was discussing Christian doxology, nothing further.

on Jun 05, 2012

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were discussing what Jesus felt and such.

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