1/ To understand why many of us, Latin American progressives, are friendly with the #CatholicChurch and very unfriendly with the evangelicals, we must start with the History of #LiberationTheology
2/ Everything started with the Latin American movement that resulted in the formation of the CELAM ( Latin American Episcopal Conference)
3/ In 1971, one of LT leaders, Father Gustavo Gutierrez, published "A Theology of Liberation", which you can download for free here:
4 / Here is a good "companiong" to Father Gutierrez early work, by Christopher Rowland (free download)
5/ A concise history of Liberation Theology was written by one of its first proponents, Father Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian political leader in the fight against the bloody RW military dictatorship:
6/ Liberation Theology segments of the Church adopted a social justice perspective in their understanding of Christianity: living in an area where social injustice and oppression were the rule, they decided to organize against it.
7/ As Angus Brook pointed out, Liberation Theology is, like so many other manifestations inside the Catholic Church along these last millennia, a product of syncretism. The leaders were good listeners to the oppressed peoples and their cultural heritage.
8/ As a result, the Catholic Church became the best sanctuary for activists working to defend their countries against the many military dictatorships seizing power during the 1960s and 1970s in Latin America.
9/ I have witnessed this in Brazil and I have been to several "public protests" inside the São Paulo Sé Cathedral, under the protection of Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns. In this sense, the Catholic Church in LA accomplished one of its foundational missions: to offer sanctuary.
10/ Other prominent Liberation Theology leaders that were not only friendly but enthusiastic about African-Brazilian traditions, as well as Indigenous ones, is Don Helder Camara (both of them are deceased).
11/ Maybe you can understand why some of us, Latin American atheist progressives are "practicing atheists". We are not going to confront the people that protected us during our darkest moments. Here's a perspective on the "light atheists" for you, dear @ArminNavabi .
12/ @ArminNavabi : I still love your work and support you, but there are nuances in atheism. This, for example. I don't function with the assumption of a deity or the supernatural. But I may go to church on Sundays simply because they accept me and offer me sanctuary.
13/ That is why I also look with much sympathy to Jewish and Muslim leaders who act with compassion and are clearly progressive. I will fight to the death against evil evangelicals and I want their tax exemption gone. But Dom Paulo and Dom Helder will be always heroes in my book.
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