Friday, March 19, 2004

Haiti & liberation theology

Interesting opinion piece by Fr. Sirico of the neocon Acton Institute, on what the recent troubles in Haiti betoken for liberation theology.
Lacking a coherent view of economics or an understanding of how society functions and develops, Liberation Theology ends up with precisely what it decries most of all: centralized power exercised on behalf of the few at the expense of the many. The story has been repeated so many times in the past 100 years that one would think that even theology students would get the message that socialism is a very bad idea. But somehow, there are always those who think that the next attempt under the right person will at last bring Heaven to Earth. Thus was Mr. Aristide's rule despotic not despite his professed adherence to the theology of liberation but precisely because of it.
Of course, liberation theology does not necessarily insist on the economic ascendancy of socialism. That's a bit of strawman, but his argument should be taken seriously in seminaries and div school still teaching liberation theology. If it's to have any life beyond the liberala academy, it's got to move beyond deconstructing capitalism.