Thursday, March 7, 2013

Am I a bad Catholic for not caring that Hugo Chavez is dead?

I don't know.  Over at Mark Shea's blog, there're a couple posts about Mr. Chavez.  For some reason, the focus is on Matt Drudge and the Evil Conservatives   I'm sure there are some who are cheering his death, and we probably shouldn't cheer that anyone has died.  I guess we ought to pray for him like we pray for anyone.

But truth be told, it's easy to pray for him.  What was he to me?  Several on Mark's blog point out that Chavez was well loved in his country.  Of course Russians wept when Stalin died.  And Chinese still venerate the memory of Chairman Mao.  So the love of the people doesn't seem to equate good living.

From what I can tell, and given the attitudes of those in the West who celebrate Chavez, I'll guess he was a petty dictator who gained immense wealth and power by catering to the masses with bread and circuses, and keeping their minds off their problems by continually stirring up hatred toward other countries (like ours).  Of course in some corners of the Catholic blogosphere, that's a feather in his cap.  It certainly was for a large swath of American progressives who have always known of the eternal evil of America.

But despite it all, I didn't really suffer under him.  He didn't do anything to me.  He didn't hurt me, help me, or mean anything to me.  He was one of those cheerleaders hoping for my country's decline.  Too many in his country testified to brutal totalitarian tactics that Americans only think we suffer under but don't.  He cozied up to our enemies, those proud and open in their desire to slaughter and kill us.  But in the end, I still didn't really get hurt by anything he did.

So I can pray for him all I want.  It doesn't cost me a cent.  But what does it matter?  Personally, I will pray only so far as I say I hope he is in the hands of a loving, merciful and just God.  Beyond that, not so much.  It's not my job to forgive him.  It's  not my job to defend him.  I can say I saw what he did and that it was bad.  Even evil.  Catholic though I am, I'm not ready to believe all evil ends at the exit sign of 1600 Pennsylvania. So personally, I don't care that he's dead.  My guess is the world will be no worse off because of his passing, and there might even be some in the long run who are better off.

Perhaps that makes me a bad Catholic, but it's how I feel.


  1. I'm of course even worse.

    But maybe instead of being glad he's dead, we can at least be glad that there's an end to his evil.

    I have enough trouble caring for the souls that touch my life. I don't bother thinking any more about those beyond it other than "the world is better" or "it is worse" without them.

    (actually speaking of which... is there say... a Catholic thing where you can... I dunno, "lobby" for someone to be admitted to heaven who was maybe taken before they could come to Christ on this side of the veil?)

  2. What's funny is watching "Marthe L├ępine" in Shea's thread who is... well doing what you did on another thread just with different defendants.

    And... so far she/he/it is being treated better than you were.

  3. There does seem to be a growing segment in the Catholic blogosphere that is anything but progressive, yet is not necessarily 'non-partisan'. I don't consider looking at only the bad of both groups, or the country as a whole, as non-partisan. It's just another type of partisan.

    Personally, I worked with a fellow from Argentina for a few years, and he knew people in Venezuela who were anything but thrilled with Chavez. And yet, I doubt they matter. There seems a growing tendency to act as if hating on America is already nearing the Park Place toward beautification.

  4. Yeah, I thought of that. Not that I'm a big fan of Walmart. My biggest beef is that it was once the store of Made In America, but dropped that hot potato when it became financially advantageous to do so. Still, the great force of evil in the world, when Chavez was given a litany of doubt benefiting? Had Chavez been greatly criticized along with Walmart, that I can handle. But I think it's not too hard to see the winds have changed in some corners of the Catholic blogosphere.


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