St. Hugo of Rhetorica
Religion & Liberty Online

St. Hugo of Rhetorica

Sorry, gang, I just can’t seem to get away from Hugo Chavez. I must be drawn to idiocy. As I posted yesterday, Hugo Chavez continues his zany antics, saying no one can stop Venezuela’s movement toward socialism.

Well, today it is reported that he has bolstered his Marxist position by appealing to the most famous socialist of all: Jesus!

You have probably noted the recent forays into what I call religio-politics by folks like Jim Wallis, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Carter, attempts to counter the (often equally opportunistic) religious Right by using religious rhetoric and quoting the Bible indiscriminately to support policy. I had no idea this fad had made its way to Venezuela.

In addition, you tell me if there is an unstated threat when, after ‘scolding’ the Church “for criticizing his decision not to renew the license of an opposition-aligned television station,” Chavez said:

the state respects the church. The church should respect the state. I wouldn’t like to return to the times of confrontation with Venezuelan bishops, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to the Venezuelan bishops.

Translation: If there is a conflict between me and the Church, the Church must be wrong. If Chavez was the first to spew the sort of nonsense he does so often, he might be cutely incorrigible.

But this isn’t the first time faith has heard in the distance the report of socialist war drums. What then?