Oscar Romero on May Day

Today is May Day. May Day is a day that, in much of the world, people are committed to the cause of organized labor and overcoming the class consciousness that has so engulfed our world. Much of this takes a Marxist bent. However, as a Christian I have a problem with the Marxist atheism. But, we have to remember the atheism of Marxism is found in its stout materialism; similarly, capitalism carries with it a form of materialism, but it finds ultimate value in the “material”, the product, in capital. At least Marxism’s materialism is one that values all material things, especially the people being used to make stuff.

Oscar Romero critiques this materialist similarity of Marxism and capitalism. He says,

“The real problem is that, to the traditional condemnation of atheistic Marxism, the church now adds in equal measure the condemnation of the capitalist system, which it denounces also as one of the practical materialisms.” (As quoted in Brockman, Romero: A Life, pg. 83).

[A note of explanation: Basically, Romero is under criticism and threat because he has lead the church to critique capitalism. As long as the materialism of Marxism was the target of the church, then the upper class of El Salvador was content to allow Romero and the church to continue on. However, at the time of this quotation, Romero has lead the church to also criticize the upper class’ practice of capitalism, which has oppressed and dispossessed thousands. The protection of the upper class has also resulted in death, destruction, and “disappearing” of numerous people and villages, as well as churches. In the church’s critique of capitalism, it has been labelled as Marxist by the upper class, who control the media. Romero corrects, saying that they are not Marxists but neither are they capitalists. In fact, as Christians, they believe in the reign of God, the Kingdom of Christ, and it is their the church places its citizenship. And this has serious consequences for the way that we live our lives.]


About nmcrawford

I'm also a theologian with a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago. I work at a church. I live in northern Indiana with my wife and three sons. I also have bipolar II disorder. This is a blog for working out whatever it is I need to work out.
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