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MEXICO: Religion

Raśl Escalante comments on the posting about the contrast between the religiosity of the Mexican people and the startling anticlericalism displayed in a humorous TV program. He correctly points out that in Mexican there is a strong satirical tradition, of poking fun at everything including death. Diego Rivera's painting of the Alameda in Mexico City shows his mother as a skeleton in the center of the the crowd out for a walk. Diego Rivera had a strong sense of humor. I attended one of his lectures on art in which he simply walked across the platform telling funny stories. Cantinflas was the most famous of Mexican humorists. At the same time Mexicans are very religious, and there are powerful religious organizations such as Opus Dei and the Legionaries of Christ on the right and the more liberal Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. Much can be learned about a culture from its sense of humor or lack of it. Politically, a sense of humor (which Hitler and Mussolini lacked) can be a strong force for democracy.

Ronald Hilton - 11/23/00