Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Eso es porque nosotros no respetamos a la iglesia

BBC NEWS Wales Church recalls 'Prophet' magazine shows why I have little respect for the church. Not only is the cartoon referred to not part of the "cartoon war" images, it was also very even-handed in its lampooning of all religions. For that reason the editor might have resigned, but no, it appears that because one religious community might take offense, then the editor had to go.

Don't these people realise that the cartoons in whatever form are part of the great tradition of caricature, which has always made those in power feel uncomfortable. I still remember Steve Bell's excellent "Animal Farm" series from the 1980's.

Here in Casares, most people don't have respect for religion for much better reasons. Two specific incidents in fact.

During the Civil War, Republican irregulars (mostly local people) took control of Casares. Franco's insurgent forces were sent to take Casares back. After a brief siege of the castle, the republicans took refuge in the church asking for sanctuary. The priest denied them this and kicked them out to face certain death at the hands of the insurgent forces. The 44 Casareños were taken out and shot not far from the town and buried in a shallow grave.

If that were not enough, one of those rounded up by the insurgent forces (Morrocan 'legionaires') was a young girl of just 18. The troops gang-raped her in front of the local people and then were about to take her away to be shot. One of my neighbours, then just 17 asked the priest to intervene to save her life. The priest replied that since she had just been raped, her soul was damned so it would be better for her to be shot - which is what happened.

Small wonder my neighbour has never set foot inside the church since.

A memorial to those Casareños has only in the last six months been put up - the wounds and divisions still go deep. There were huge arguments as to whether a monument should be allowed at all.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Similar attitudes towards the church exist here in Argentina. Many of the clergy were on the side of the military dictatorship (1976-83) & since it is still relatively recent, lots of ppl here remember that. Church attendance is even lower than I've seen in Spain. Amazing stuff.