Reflection by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

GUADALAJARA, December 24, 2008 ( – As I approach my third Christmas in Mexico, what comes to mind is the adjective “grateful”.  I am grateful to God for allowing me to participate in the incredibly rich culture of this great nation, so deeply influenced by the Catholic faith and the beautiful traditions of the Spanish and indigenous peoples of the region.

  It is an even greater blessing to be in the cultural heart of Mexico, the State of Jalisco.  Here began the traditions of Mariachi bands and the iconic Mexican drink, Tequila.  And here, in the 1920s, thousands of people laid down their lives in the struggle to save the Catholic faith from extermination by the US-backed Callas regime.  Their fight, today known as the Cristiada or Cristeros War, has left a legacy of piety and humility in the people of the state.   And, I might add, they are some of the friendliest and hospitable people I have ever met.

  The Christmas season has a special importance for the people of Mexico, which is doubtlessly related to their profound reverence for the institution of the family and their love of children.  The images of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph resonate deeply in a society in which the extended family is the primary form of social organization.

  The love of Mexicans for the Holy Family is expressed in gigantic nativity scenes that can be found throughout Guadalajara during the Christmas season.  In one neighborhood I visited this year, the developers created a nativity scene that covered a vast area of the sidewalk just outside the neighborhood, allowing people to walk through, surrounded by scenes from the birth of Christ.

  Sadly, however, the traditional family values of Mexicans are increasingly under the threat of the “culture of death,” financed again by foundations largely from the United States (and Europe), which relentlessly propagandize Latin America in favor of abortion and contraception.

  This past year saw a new front open up in the international culture war.  The National Supreme Court ruled that the Mexico City’s abortion law, which was passed in 2007 and permits the procedure without limitations for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, was constitutional.

  The decision confirmed a breach that grown in Mexico between the famously corrupt Federal District, and the rest of the country.  The same city in which graft, armed robbery, kidnapping, and murder are all too common, is the city that has now made it legal to dismember one’s own child in the womb.

  Mexico City’s government has also approved homosexual civil unions, created no-fault divorce, and began distributing sex-ed literature to the public schools that legitimize sodomy and other unnatural forms of sexual behavior. All of these measures are utterly alien to Mexican culture, and are deeply offensive to the majority of Mexicans.

  Mexicans outside of the Mexico City metropolitan area, who are contemptuously referred to as “provincials” by Federal District residents, have reacted strongly to this terrible cancer that has appeared in the nation’s capital. They have stoutly resisted the push by some to extend Mexico City’s laws to the rest of the country, and have proposed and passed amendments to state constitutions affirming the right to life from conception.

  Even within Mexico City, the vast majority of citizens believe that abortion is evil, and only a tiny majority support the law.  They have protested outside of Mexico City hospitals and say that many abortions have been prevented.  They have also begun a memorial to the unborn in a cemetary in the city. 

  In addition, thousands of Mexicans have volunteered to adopt children who would otherwise been aborted.

  The culture of death has opened a terrible wound in the capital of this great nation, but the nation continues to resist.  There is much hope for Mexico, and for the rest of Latin America.  Other than Mexico City, Cuba and Puerto Rico (the latter of which is subject to the US’ Roe v. Wade decision), the whole Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world in this hemisphere is holding fast. 

  Christians throughout the hemisphere are fighting energetically to prevent the incursion of the culture of death in Latin America.  The bishops of the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil have been notable in their efforts, although the firm stance of Catholic leadership, along with many Evangelical Protestants, seems universal.

  There is much to thank God for at the end of this important year.  As the shadow of a new US presidential administration looms over Latin America, with the prospect of vast new funding for pro-abortion organizations throughout the region, let us pray that Latin Americans continue to fight against the hedonism and selfishness championed in Anglophone North America.  May Latinos win this new Cristiada, never forgetting the call of the Cristeros as they fell under the rifles of firing squads: Long Live Christ the King!