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Forgive Me Father….

For I have sinned. And then some. Do you have time to hear me out? No, I don’t mean do you have time before your next appointment. I’d barely get started. I mean, do you have time? Have you asked him up there how long you’ve got? You of all people must be in the know.

And my list of perfidious deeds, carnal sins and general debauchery is gonna take some time to get through. Another 10 years? That all? I guess I’d best wait for your replacement then. I don’t want to get half way through confession and then have to start all over again with the next chap. What’s that? Speak to the hand, because the pope  ain’t listening? Really….tsk.

Really, the Pope photographed below is just a waxwork. In case you hadn’t guessed. I hope you had. He and JPII were amongst the more realistic models the Wax Museum had on show. Not totally realistic, of course. I mean there were no young choir boys…wait, I shouldn’t go there. I may already have upset those of the faith with yesterday’s post! Well, the ultra sensitive ones anyway.

Speak To The Hand

But there’s no getting around it. Whilst Mexicans are generally extremely tolerant of other religious beliefs,  (and the younger the Mexican the less interest, if any, they are likely to have)  that’s not to say they’ll have anyone messing with El Papa. Or the Lady of Guadalupe. Virgin jokes are off the menu. Which is kind of a shame, because I’m just absolutely full of them. I’ve been here so long and been so inspired, yet there is no release for the more wicked puns in my head. I’ve so full of pent up frustration. Now I understand how those celibate priests feel, and…wait, no I wasn’t going there.

In six months I’ll be back in the UK and free to let them all burst out. But no one’ll get any of these jokes there. Virgins have gone the way of the Dodo back in Blighty. By the time they’re old enough to be told about it, they’ve got a couple of bundles of joy already. Perhaps there is something to said for this religion stuff after all.

But anyway, back to the point. Mexicans do like their religion in general. Some take it to real extremes, particularly outside of the city, where beliefs can be held so strongly that adjectives such as ‘conservative’ and ‘traditional’ just don’t come close to describing the sentiments the people hold. Some would call it downright narrow mindedness at times.

But what really made me chuckle, just a little, was watching peoples reactions in the Wax Museum. The ‘chingas…’ that echoed around the room containing the Mexican presidents disappeared, and the visitors became sombre. And some even kneeled and crossed themselves when they approached JP and Roly. Ay caramba, amigos and amigas…..it’s wax!!! You’re praying to wax! It won’t help. Unless you happen to be in urgent need of a candle, in which case…

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17 thoughts on “Forgive Me Father….

    • You have inspired me. I shall rush down to the patents office with my new traffic control system tomorrow. Plastic popes everywhere with hands that rise and fall to direct the traffic. Lights don’t work, after all…

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  1. Pope jokes are probably safe, as are jokes about the clergy in general: after all, this country is anti-clerical in the extreme. There are a lot of Jesus jokes, but making jokes about the Virgin of Guadalupe … that’s a different story. It’s not so much she’s the mother of Jesus, or Quetzecoatl (asTonatzín, the lady of Tepayac), but everybody’s mom. And you don’t make fun of mom.

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  2. Not surprised about the crossing and kneeling at the wax works – here they get pictures and painting of the popes blessed and then each time they pass the picture they cross themselves – very common round these parts.

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  3. Ian says:

    Let me say I have nothing against people with religious beliefs of whatever leaning, provided they don’t push them on anyone else. But it amazes me that the majority of Mexicans cannot comprehend that this religion was imposed on them by Spanish colonial rule. The Spanish violently (and I stress ‘violently’) eradicated pre-Columbian religious culture, brought over missionaries, and told enslaved Mexicans that the only way they could be redeemed was to worship the European “God”.

    What’s more, it strikes me that the most devout Catholics are the poorest people in the country, who have been ripped off by the money-grabbing elites for years. The same elites who are largely descended from Europeans who indoctrinated them in the first place.

    This is one reason why I find it very hard to celebrate Mexican Independence. It all depends which Mexicans you are talking about…

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    • I hear what you’re saying Ian, but then most Mexicans alive today have not an awful lot in common with either Conquistadors nor the Aztecs.

      That’s not to say that what you’ve posted is untrue (because it’s pretty much spot on), but every country needs some sort of rallying point/celebration etc that unites them.

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  4. And, Ian… you seem to be basing your history on the “Black Legend”… As Mr. Spock used to remind us, legends are based in reality, but for the most part the acceptance of Christianity was relatively non-violent and incorporate (and still does incorporate) pre-Colombian beliefs and practices.

    While Mexicans seem to show more religious enthusiasm than others (and among the poor everywhere in the world, you find the most pious), it’s more custom than piety. If you want to find religiously enthusiastic lower class Mexicans, you need to visit the Jehovahs’ Witnesses (the second largest denomination in Mexico) or one of the Evangelical sects.

    Anti-clericalism is a long tradition here, and — just as a practical matter — if even 10 percent of Mexicans went to Sunday Mass, there wouldn’t be seating for them in the churches, per the Archdiocese of Mexico. The reality is that Mexico is no more — or less — Catholic than France or the Czech Republic.

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    • humphrey says:

      about he jehova’s, it seems to me that their “system’ of shunning a member to make him not want to leave the “tribe” goes against the grain of mexican culture. I spoken to a few ‘former’ members that took their whole family once a member was “shunned”…the chatolics seem more forgiven of those who “sinned”…hahaha…

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      • humphrey says:

        Whole books have been made of why the catholic church was embraced by the indians and mestizos. Culture.

        Here in america the perception of a catholic is not what a mexican thinks of the church.
        For example, the american catholic is very conservative where the majority of so called catholics in mexico barely go to church every wedding and quinceanera.

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  5. Kim G says:

    You’re praying to wax! It won’t help. Unless you happen to be in urgent need of a candle, in which case…

    Burn, baby! Burn!

    Couldn’t resist.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we put quite a bit of faith in wax, actually.

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    • There are some politicians, both here where I am and where you are up north, whose productivity and credibility would substantially increases if they were replaced with wax models. And a wick….

      🙂

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  6. Obet says:

    I can’t believe that in the XXIst century the people do things like adoring to a bunch of wax, it should have been a very odd and akward image. As chilango I’m just workship local gods, like Tláloc.
    ————————–

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