Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ideological colonization

the pope and ideological colonization. cartoon by rob g

His Holiness Pope Francis, speaking in the Philippines last week (January 2015), expressed concerns about ideological colonization. The Associated Press reports:
Speaking about the regulation of family size, the pope said:

African bishops, in particular, have long complained about how progressive, Western ideas about birth control and gay rights are increasingly being imposed on the developing world by groups, institutions or individual nations, often as a condition for development aid.

"Every people deserves to conserve its identity without being ideologically colonized," Francis said.

"... When imposed conditions come from imperial colonizers, they search to make people lose their own identity and make a sameness," he said. "This is ideological colonization."
GLAAD also reports:
Pope Francis came out with his strongest comments against marriage equality, calling it, "ideological colonization that we have to be careful about that is trying to destroy the family."

Ironically, the Roman Catholic Church and other denominations has been engaging in ideological colonization for years, ever since they first sent missionaries out.

Oops. Of course, we don't call it ideological colonization, but evangelism, spreading the gospel, reaching the lost. Which reminds me of how easy it is to consider something good when I do it, but bad when others do it.

Take, for example, how the Unites States provides funding, training and weapons to "freedom fighters" in some countries, while at the same time fighting against terrorism in other parts of the world. The difference between freedom fighters and terrorists? Some would say it's only a few letters and a matter of perspective.

"Every people deserves to conserve its identity without being ideologically colonized"

Think about this statement. If we take Pope Francis' words seriously and put aside contradictory actions, what might this mean in our relationships with others, both individually and corporately? How can we interact with others in ways that are full of humility and mutuality?

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