“It is high time you recovered your consciences and obeyed your consciences rather than a sinful order. The church, the defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, of the person, cannot remain silent before such an abomination. We want the government to face the fact that reforms are valueless if they are to be carried out at the cost of so much blood. In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression.”
This is the peroration of the sermon that got Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero murdered, 10 days after he delivered it, as he said Mass. Today he is a saint of the Catholic Church.
When he delivered the sermon, to the death squads, to his army, and to the United States, Romero was out of favor with his pope, John Paul II — also a saint today.
When the Buddha attained enlightenment, after meditating nearly to death under the bodhi tree, he saw the interrelatedness of all things.
In this sense, all of us are guilty for what is happening in the United States today.
Make no mistake, my friends: Donald Trump and his sycophants have already heated up the cauldrons in which they are boiling people in blood.
Consider Shakila Zareen, who was “conditionally approved” for political asylum in the United States in 2016. Her husband shot her in the face in Afghanistan in 2012, when she was 16 years old. She had been forced to marry a Taliban nearly twice her age, and neither the Taliban nor the government of Afghanistan give a damn about women’s rights.
When the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001, though, we said one of our missions was to protect women’s rights.
The sympathetic Indian government flew Shakila to New Delhi and paid for nine surgeries on her face. The United Nations granted her refugee status, and suggested she apply for resettlement in the United States, which approved her for admission as President Obama’s term ran out.
But in June this year, the Trump administration barred her, for “security-related reasons.”
Consorting with the Taliban, I suppose. Who shot her in the face. Or not having a “bona fide” relationship with the United States.
People like Shakila are fleeing to the United States every day, not just from Muslim countries, but from Mexico: shot or threatened by their own government. I know plenty of people like that. Shakila’s story, however, came from this week’s Guardian newspaper.
Many moons ago on our Southern border, I met a wonderful man, a creyente, a believer, who ran a house of refuge for victims of rape and torture. A house for refugees. After he’d run his sanctuary for years, openly, under the eyes of the authorities, my Main Man met Mother Teresa.
I interviewed him in his sanctuary — a rickety house in Texas, rent paid, grácias a Diós, by the Catholic Church. My Main Man told me he’d asked Mother Teresa — another Catholic saint: “Mother, if God is kind, why are there so many children starving? So many people tortured? So much desperation, so much hunger, inhumanity and injustice?”
And Mother Teresa told him: “To pay for my sins and yours.”
Didn’t expect this from a leftie columnist, did you?
Get it together, America.
This is happening every day. We are doing it. All of us. We are letting it happen. These are my sins, and yours.