History, Memoir, Politics

“Heroic Guerrilla”—From Revolutionary Militant to Saint

The author’s father in Guatemala (1950)

In 1954, my father was working for the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture as a veterinarian in charge of the artificial insemination of cattle. He was asked if he would like to meet a fellow Argentine—another recent graduate from the University of Buenos Aires, an M.D. named Ernesto Guevara de la Serna. He said sure. They met “almost daily to talk and drink un cafesíto.” Guevara was broke; my father always paid. They talked politics, as any university-educated Argentine of the period would; of the injustice, the poverty, and the callous indifference of the elites to the suffering of the poor. Nothing out the mainstream for the time and place. My father said there was no talk of Marx or guerrilla warfare. Guevara mentioned that he wanted to practice medicine in the countryside, but the Ministry of Health insisted that he join the Communist Party. Ernesto refused and told them that he would not join the Party in order to practice medicine. My father was not required to join the Party, I assume because livestock are not in need of political indoctrination while being inseminated. To him, Guevara was an interesting but not exceptional expat.

That year, the U.S. orchestrated the overthrow of Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán’s government, which forced Guevara and my father to flee Guatemala—Guevara went to Mexico to meet a Cuban named Fidel Castro and his destiny; my father went to Miami, Florida, to start a family and an import–export business. In 1960, a regular customer of shortwave radio gear, a Nicaraguan, asked if my father wanted to take a trip to Cuba. My father demurred saying he wasn’t in a financial position for such a trip. The Nicaraguan explained that travel expenses would be taken care of by an old acquaintance. My father, with the help of his business partner, secured a $3 million line of credit from a U.S. bank hoping to do some business with the new regime. At La Cabaña Fortress in Havana, Cuba, Guevara—now Commandant Ernesto “Che” Guevara, co-author of the Cuban revolution of 1960—warmly greeted his former coffee drinking companion with a hug. He asked my father to come to Cuba and work. My father made a counter-offer to use the line of credit and begin commerce. Che declined, explaining, “Humberto, we will not do business with the gringos because we can’t trust them.” My father said he would think over the offer and consult with his wife. They parted with an embrace, never to see one another again.

Guevara was executed on October 9, 1967, during his futile attempt to repeat his revolutionary Cuban success in the Bolivian countryside. My father, sometime between the late 1960s and early 1970s, while travelling in the Soviet Union for a U.S. pharmaceutical firm, stood in front of an exhibit dedicated to the martyred guerrilla revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara. The reverence of the exhibit (I have been unable to find any documentation) made a deep impression on my father. “It occurred to me that this is how religions are started,” he related to me many years later.

The Cult of “Che”

The first indication of Guevara’s deification came in the May 17, 1968, issue of Time magazine. The article “Communists: The Cult of Che” chronicled the “cult of almost religious hero worship among radical intellectuals, workers, and students across much of the Western world.” Time reported that students rioting in Europe were carrying his photo, wearing Che-style beards, dark blue berets, and sweatshirts and blouses with his “shaggy countenance,” that “half a dozen books by or about Che have published since his death,” and that at least as many filmmakers were in a race to bring a Guevara biography to the screen. I believe that my father was vaguely aware of the events that followed Guevara’s death, but the exhibition in the U.S.S.R. made the cult of Che tangible in a manner that no news article could have managed.

In fact, the cult of Che began within hours of Guevara’s execution by a Bolivian army sergeant. After his body was placed in the Vallegrande, Bolivia, hospital laundry room, hospital nuns, the nurse who washed his body, as well as several women of the town, had the impression that the dead Argentine resembled Jesus Christ and clipped snippets of his hair to keep for good luck (Anderson, 1997). A photograph in that room, by Freddy Alborta, of Che’s body on a stretcher—head propped upward, eyes open, surrounded by his enemies—bears a passing resemblance to Andrea Mantegna’s “Lamentation over the Dead Christ” (1480).

Andrea Mantegna’s “Lamentation over the Dead Christ” (1480)

But it would be another photograph—beret with a star, long hair, beard, and faraway look—that would propel Ernesto Guevara onto T-shirts, posters, cups, stamps, and hundreds of other consumer goods. Taken by Cuban photographer Alberto Korda in 1960 at a rally in Havana, and dubbed “Heroic Guerrilla,” an Italian publisher had thousands of posters made and distributed just months before Guevara’s death. Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick created a stylized version of the photograph shortly thereafter; it is an icon, a symbol, almost as recognizable as the Christian cross or Islamic crescent. But what does it signify? And does it have the wattage to light up the religious circuits of the human mind for the long haul?

Before trying to answer this question, a brief review of Ernesto Guevara’s deeds and words is necessary to refute the idea that he is worthy of beatification. I begin my indictment, as many others do, at La Cabaña, the eighteenth century fort in Havana where my father met Guevara for the last time. Guevara had been named “supreme prosecutor” of the revolutionary “Cleansing Commission”—the euphemism for the show trials of former regime functionaries, mostly lower-level police torturers and deputies, the top men having fled the country or hidden in foreign embassies. The trials began at eight or nine in the evening, a verdict was usually delivered by two or three in the morning, and a firing squad executed the condemned shortly thereafter (Anderson, 1997). Guevara defended the trials and executions, explaining that the people demanded justice. In private, he would tell subordinates that the real reason for the executions was that Arbenz in Guatemala had fallen because he had not purged the armed forces. Guevara was not about to permit the same to happen in Cuba (Anderson, 1997). The body count totals at the La Cabana vary, but if Guevara had had his druthers, it would have been pocket change. When the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis was defused by a Soviet agreement to withdraw the nuclear missiles from Cuba in exchange for U.S. concessions, including a pledge not to invade Cuba, Guevara was furious. He saw it as a monstrous betrayal and, a few weeks later, declared that if the missiles had been under Cuban control, he would have fired them all into the United States (Anderson, 1997). This was not hyperbole, he was serious; Guevara advocated for an atomic holocaust.

In his short book, Guerrilla Warfare: A Method, subsequently translated into many languages, Guevara instructs his readers in the techniques of becoming killing machines. It was studied as catechism by his disciples who went with guns in hand to spread revolution and were martyred in their turn. He hoped for “a bright future should two, three or many Vietnams flourish throughout the world with their share of deaths and their immense tragedies, their everyday heroism and their repeated blows against imperialism.” (Guevara, 1967)

In the years immediately following his death, young people from Montevideo to Berlin followed Che’s example of bloodshed. In language that could be mistakenly attributed to any of the tyrants he had striven to overthrow, he said:

Hatred as an element of the struggle; a relentless hatred of the enemy, impelling us over and beyond the natural limitations that man is heir to and transforming him into an effective, violent, selective and cold killing machine. Our soldiers must be thus; a people without hatred cannot vanquish a brutal enemy. (Guevara, 1967)

It wasn’t just Bolivian peasants that sainted Che, Western intellectuals immediately began to transcribe the Che canon. British author and historian Andrew Sinclair in his 1970 book Che Guevara identifies “the untrue and irrational” elements of the Che cult, specifically the analogy with Christ—a man fighting for the poor, martyred in his youth for all of humanity. Sinclair acknowledges Che was inhuman, a killer who hated, and yet “he transcends all these facts.” Ultimately, Sinclair can’t resist joining the cult:

He appears as larger than a human being, as somebody approaching a savior. When all is said and done, when his words and acts have been coldly seen and sometimes condemned, the conviction remains that Che was always driven by his love for humanity and for the good in mankind. (Sinclair, 1970)

If I understand Sinclair correctly, it was Che’s love of humanity that made him kill as many humans as was necessary to consummate that love. It sounds like the justifications of a domestic abuser.

In the village of Vallegrande, Bolivia, where the captured Guevara was brought, some of the locals pray and attribute miracles to San Ernesto. A nurse who washed Guevara’s body said, “None dies as long as he is remembered. He is very miraculous” (Schipani, 2007). In Cuba, the Afro-Cuban faith Santeria has incorporated Guevara (as a black man) as a divine entity that can, for the supplicant, intercede with God (Alvarez de Toledo, 2010). But it’s the secular world that keeps the Che cult from withering. In 1997, the thirtieth anniversary of his death, five biographies were published; that same year, his remains were discovered in Bolivia and reinterred in a mausoleum in Santa Clara, Cuba, the site of the battle led by Guevara that defeated the former regime and installed Castro and Guevara in power.

The apex of the Che revival, at least at the time of this writing, was in 2004 with the release of the Walter Salles film, The Motorcycle Diaries, based on young Guevara’s travels throughout Latin America (my father and I enjoyed the film together). The Che cannon grows yearly: Chesucristo: The Fusion in Image and Word of Che Guevara and Jesus Christ, a coffee table art book (Kunzle, 2016); a Guevara biography published in 2018 and another to be published in 2019; journal articles such as “Resurrecting Che: Radicalism, the Transnational Imagination, and the Politics of Heroes” (Prestholdt, 2012) and book chapters such as “Desperately Seeking Something: Che Guevara as Secular Saint” (Passariello, 2005) are regularly published by European, U.S., and Latin American academics.

But the cult of Che sustains itself primarily with Korda’s iconic image, Heroic Guerrilla, always front and center and everywhere on earth as journalist Michael Casey chronicles, in his book, Che’s Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image, the origins, permutations, legal battles, and iterations of what is perhaps the most reproduced photo of the 20th century. Casey calls the Korda photo:

...the crucifix for the Church of Che. It’s not for nothing that this image is described as an icon, a word derived from the Greek eikon, which itself means “image” and was first used in the Greek Orthodox Bible in reference to God making man in his image. (Casey, 2012)

Che the Myth

“Heroic Guerrilla” by Alberto Korda (1967)

Before his corpse was cold, the Che cult had a ready-made logo; a brand. But what exactly does it signify? From Argentina to Bolivia, the Korda photograph can signify almost anything. For the businessman creator of a tourist trail at the location of Ernesto’s childhood home in the province of Misiones, Argentina, Che embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship. For a Bolivian bottler of a premixed rum and cola drink, Cuba El Che, Che’s image is an instrument of successful marketing. Argentine activists, in preparation for a protest march, guide young people to draw the Korba Che photo on a flag—the image is a totem: “Che is the force in our marches, our actions…We called on him then. He is the one inside of us” (Casey, 2012).

Ernesto Guevara was born, raised, and died in the Latin American milieu of Christianity. The Bolivian women who tended to the corpse of Guevara reported that he resembled Jesus Christ, and not, unsurprisingly, Osiris, Zoroaster, Krishna, or Buddha. As we have seen, many analyses by secular intellectuals of Che instinctively draw on analogues with Christianity and its eponymous divinity. In Latin America, and arguably Western society, the “mythic lore” of Jesus Christ is one the “filaments of myth that are everywhere in the air” acting as magnets to “the great and little heroes of the world” (Campbell, 1964). Guevara’s narrative, in particular his death—the whereabouts of Che’s body was unknown for decades—contains a strong field of mythic magnetism to attach itself to the Christ myth. Joseph Campbell observed in his magnum opus The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology:

For the function of such myth-building is to interpret the sense, not to chronicle the facts, of a life, and to offer the artwork of the legend, then as an activating symbol for the inspiration and shaping of lives, and even civilizations, to come. (Campbell, 1964)

In the same volume, Campbell traces the mythological Levantine antecedents of the god death and resurrection myths adapted in the Christian tradition to a one time historical event, the earliest of which date back to 5500 BCE. For the cult of Che, the Korda photo is the activating symbol to inspire and shape lives. The Che narrative morphed from the historical to the mythological at the speed of light. Che Guevara the myth and icon does possess an activating polarity to propagate a myth for civilizations to come.

When Campbell wrote of the filaments of myths that floated in the “air,” he argued that myth did its heavy lifting in the human mind. He defined a “functioning mythology” as a “corpus of culturally maintained sign stimuli” that catalyze a release of energy. Myth functions as a sign, stimuli triggering an innate releasing mechanism, terms borrowed from ethology, the science of animal behavior:

The reader hardly need be reminded that the images not only of poetry and love but also of religion and patriotism, when effective, are apprehended with actual physical responses: tears, sighs, interior aches, spontaneous groans, cries, bursts of laughter, wrath, and impulsive deeds. Human experience and human art, that is to say, have succeeded in creating for the human species an environment of sign stimuli that release physical responses and direct them to ends no less effectively than the sign of nature the instincts of the beasts. (Campbell, 1959)

Che as God

I will reframe my father’s question; what could keep the cult of Che from becoming a religion? The Ernesto “Che” Guevara narrative, now more mythology than primary source history, and the Korda photo contain an abundance of “sign stimuli.” The cult of Che awaits a Paul to rewrite the passion play and address the questions of mortality, misfortune, and “general order of existence.” In the meanwhile, if you wear a shirt with Che’s image or paint it on a flag, he offers protection, perhaps comfort, and with the proper supplications an active interdiction against injustice.

Gods have their origin in ancestors who climb the mount of deities. Guevara might become the first god of the twenty-first century with universal appeal; he’s got the sex appeal, branding, and martyrdom in the name of the downtrodden. A painting of Che and Guatemalan national hero Tecún Umán (1500?–1524), the last ruler of the Mayans killed in battle fighting the Spanish, greets visitors to a Guatemalan hostel, suggesting that Che is an ancestor to a local tribe and also an ancestor to a modern cosmopolitan tribe. Even his nickname, given to him by Cubans, is appropriate. In Argentina, the word “che” is a term of endearment meaning pal, buddy, or mate.

To my father, this was how religions began, a messianic man kills and is killed and decades, perhaps centuries later, is worshipped as a deity. He was astonished that his path had crossed, however briefly, with such a man. My father didn’t believe in religion; he was critical of the Catholic church in particular. He probably didn’t believe in a god or gods, although I can’t be sure because we never explicitly discussed the topic. I wish he were still around to talk of all these things.

 

George Schifini is a graduate of CUNY with a B.A. in Communication and Media. He lives in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter @gschifini

References:

Alvarez de Toledo, Lucia. (2010). The Story of Che Guevara.New York. Quercus Publishing. 
Anderson, Jon, Lee. (1997). Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life. New York. Grove Press. 
Casey, Michael J. (2012). Che’s Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image.   New York. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.  
Campbell, Joseph. (1959). The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology. N.Y. Viking Press. 
Campbell, Joseph. (1964). The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology.  N.Y. Viking Press,
Guevara, Che. (1967, 16 April). Message to the Tricontinental solidarity organisation in Havana in the Spring of 1967. The Che Reader, 2005. Ocean Press.
Kunzle, David. (2016). Chesucristo: The Fusion in Image and Word of Che Guevara and Jesus Christ. De Gruyter.
Passariello, Phyllis. (2005). Desperately Seeking Something: Che Guevara as Secular Saint. In Hopgood, James F. (ed), The Making of Saints: Contesting Sacred Ground. Univ. of Alabama Press. 
Prestholdt, Jeremy. (2012). Resurrecting Che: Radicalism, the Transnational Imagination, and the Politics of Heroes. Journal of Global History. vol. 7, no. 03, pp. 506–526., doi:10.1017/s1740022812000307.
Redford, Robert. (Executive Producer), & Salles, Walter (Director). (2004). The Motorcycle Diaries.  United States. Film Four. 
Schipani, Andres. (2007, Sept 23). The final triumph of Saint Che: Forty years after his death in Bolivia, Guevara is a living force in the town where his body was paraded. The Guardian
Sinclair, Andrew. (1970). Che Guevara. New York. The Viking Press.
Time Magazine. (1968, May, 17). The Cult of Che. 0040781X,, Vol. 91, Issue 20

 

35 Comments

  1. Cris Crawford says

    I so appreciate the footnotes. I knew of the brutality and had seen quotes but had a hard time finding the sources. The final nail
    in the coffin of my membership in a liberal Massachusetts church was when the minister compated Che to Jesus in passing in a sermon. After a few emails in which he tried to defend his words he admitted he did not know of his role in the summary executions at La Cabaña.

    • A. D. White says

      This article about Che raises again the eternal question about ignorant voters electing tyrants whom they believe to be Gods. It happens repeatedly in third world countries throughout the world with no indication that any lessons are learned from the disastrous experience.

      • Emmanuel says

        @ A D WHite, you should not forget that in many poor countries, the majority of the population has very little formal education and little access to means of communication. That situation has considerably changed over the last decades, but the problem of lack of understanding of national political and economic situation plus very limited access to information is still a huge problem regarding the establishment of democratic institutions in many parts of the world.

    • Angela says

      Wat denomination was the church? Just curious. It’s a hoot regardless but it’s especially funny imagining some WASPY Episcopal pastor saying that.

  2. In Spanish, you write “cafecito”, this is pronounced with a sharp -s-, written as above,the -s- would have sound like an english -z-.
    I still have to read the piece tomorrow, rather long again.

    • Darius Caconicus says

      Depends on the dialect, here in Argentina cafecito would sound as it is written, we barely use the z….we actually mock those who wanna be all pure castellano

      • I was thinking at that, Darius, because, I know the latin world little bit, but not Argentina,lamentably. Last time, I was criticising a Dutch cook for the ingredients of chimichurri, parsley he said, no, it’s coriander, I reprimanded him, but, of course, his parsley was correct. -Cafecito- is how I know it, but -cafesito- is the name of quite a few latino bistros in Germany (wrongly, but logical because of language differences). Now, I wonder, is -cafesito- correct in Argentina? Or Guatemala??Or does spelling and pronounciation depend on the district? I would like to hear so from you! Never to old to learn!

  3. “To execute a man we don’t need proof of his guilt. We only need proof that it’s necessary to execute him. It’s that simple.”

    This is the Che quote that best describes the man and the ideology IMO.

    • Truthseeker says

      Isaac … that motto would work for the #metoo movement as well, as evidenced by the Savannah hearings.

        • Angela says

          Hah I was super confused and even googled Savannah hearings. I got a hearing aid company in Savannah, Georgia .

  4. Farris says

    The best thing one can say about Che is he didn’t live long enough to execute any more people. His death was befitting a murderer.

  5. Johan says

    Compare Che and the prophet Muhammed. Both were warlords…

  6. “To my father, this was how religions began, a messianic man kills and is killed and decades, perhaps centuries later, is worshipped as a deity.”

    Jesus killed whom exactly? And Buddha? Not sure what religions you’re referring to.

    The cult of marxism long preceded Ernesto. He’s simply another “saint.”

    • Florentine says

      Jesus killed *who* exactly.
      I guess the killing has been in Jesus’ name. The Buddha, not so much. But, yes, this particular sentence was a bit too generalising, though he was relating how his father saw religions beginning, and it no doubt reflects some truth.

      • Wentworth Horton says

        Che wasn’t a carpenter, Elvis never killed and Jesus never had a hit record but a single line can be drawn through every story.

  7. E. Olson says

    Does anyone notice how so many Leftist heroes are mass-murderers? Does anyone notice how so many Leftist heroes never lift up the poor and downtrodden they claim they wish to help? It seems for Leftists that “good” intentions are always important that actual outcomes.

    • @E.O.: unless you call Hitler and Djengis Kahn also leftists, I really do not understand where you are talking about, if it comes to mass murderers. Why should people think that murdership depends on ideology? E.g., the left are murderers, the right are do-gooders? It’s too ridiculous, though, I must admit, as a child in primary school, I also thought along these lines (education??).

      • E. Olson says

        Hitler and the National SOCIALISTS certainly were big government Leftists (e.g. big taxes, big regulations, pro-gun control, pro-environment, pro-government run health care), and I believe Genghis Khan’s time was well before there were any well defined political/economic Left or Right. The Left has to resort to murder because they insist on remaking society by rules that go against human nature and economic logic, which consequently lead many citizens to not cooperate. Since the Left is also for big government, they also have the levers of power to enforce their dictates and send “trouble-makers” to “re-education” camps, work camps, or death sentences. The Right may not be pure as the driven snow, but they tend to support (conserve) things that work pretty well and as small government types don’t have the secret police and military resources to enforce their much smaller and less intrusive government mandates. Pinochet is the only modern era Rightist dictator, and he locked up and killed a few Communists (about 3,000 dead) to deregulate and reduce taxes and shrink government, and then peacefully relinquished power to free-elections, and guess which South American economy is on the most solid footing since that time?

        • I consider D.Khan as a very good example, E.O., he was a dictator, big boss, before there was any right or left (or, would you call rebels left?), meaning you can execute or mass kill whom or where you want, as happened, e.g, by dictator Videla, or by the rightist colonels in Guatemala ,with 200.000 Maya peasants dead ( genocide in the eyes of the UN). There is no fair jurisdiction either under far right or far left, that depends on the trias politica democratic system, initiated by Montesqieu (after much bloodshed, as always).
          I worked as a botanist in those latin bush areas for some 10 yrs, for a Dutch chemical company, so, know very well the two parties operating there (far left vs far right), left and right there is not something of discussion,political parties, dialogue and protesting students, like in US or NL. In Peru, I just escaped (and saved my life) from the Marxist Sendero Luminoso, a friend of mine lost his farm by FARC actions, and therefore (from being rather leftish once) has now shifted to the right. When there, I really couldn’t chose between the two, they both made points where I said: Yes, I understand that you think so, and act thus, and join this or that organisation (even where executions were part of the game, belonged to the culture).
          In the meantime, I live again a peaceful and quiet life, in a country having the luxury of many leftish and rightish parties, though, in your ears, even our rightish parties probably sound rather socialistic (but not the nazi type of socialism, of course).

        • peanut gallery says

          @Olson
          I think you are reducing it too far down. It’s over simple to just say the “left is X.” Left/right is a spectrum that is very wide. In communication, it’s better to use a precision strike rather than carpet bombing. You get too many innocent “left” causalities and turn them against you. IMO, the most precise way to elucidate your thought is to say that they are authoritarians that think they can change the world and bend it to their will. I’m a big fan of the Horseshoe Theory.

          • But, peanut, here you forget an important psychological need, men need an ennemy, whatever. In my youth these were the communists (I had not the slightest idea how and where these people lived, what they ate, whether they liked their kids, but I knew they were bad), now it seems to be the muslim, and I wonder, what or who will be the ennemy in, say, another 30 years. But, no doubt, there will be ennemies around (without anything positive), then! For many, even socialist is the absolute ennemy now, can you imagine??

      • Dirk, Hitler was clearly a leftist – he strongly opposed capitalism but adopted a different brand of socialism than Marxism, hence Marxists condemn him as a capitalist for propaganda purposes. Nazis and Marxists are totalitarian socialists who differ on a few matters that are basically theology.

        Imposing modern political philosophies on Ghengis Khan is quite the anachronism.

  8. To my surprise, not far from here, in a new suburb, a street is named Che Guevarastreet. I wonder what was, then and there (time of Vietnamwars??) in the heads of the municipality to decide to this name? Everybody in that street happy with that name? Imagine you live in the Stalinstreet!! The street is one of a bunch of liberators and even real saints (bishop Romero of S.Salvador),but also of Chico Mendes (OK), Steve Biko, Augusto Sandino (saint of the sandinistas), Agostinho Neto, but also of, bien etonnee, Andrej Sacharov en Ben Goerion. I also wonder, is there any Che Guevara place or street or lane in the US? I can’t believe, but in Argentine? Venezuela? Mexico? Sweden (Stockholm? Johan?)??

    • Found out in the meantime: no street named after Che in Argentina, but 2 statues of him, of which one beheaded. In Durham, S.Afr., the Moore street changed into Che Guevara street (after exit-apartheid), in Argelia even a complete Boulevard named after him, not bad at all. Also in Valencia, Sp.,a street named after him, but I wonder, in how many other West European nations, and in the former sovjet nations? That’s a matter of googling and googling, uptil you know.

  9. Mike Walsh says

    I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that Castro had a hand in Che’s death. If he hadn’t died in Bolivia, Fidel would have had to make other arrangements eventually. As a roving revolutionary psychopath, Che was useful. But that growing cult of personality would eventually have forced Fidel to edit him out of the picture, as communists are wont to do.

  10. Gringo says

    Very well written article, After reading the first few paragraphs, I was going to add a comment that the Arbenz experience led Che to advocate executing officers that had fought under Batista, but I subsequently saw that had been added to the piece.

    I added the following to a Che T-shirt: “Si sos hincha de Che, sos hincha de pelotudo sin cerebro.” Translated from Argie-speak: If you are a Che fan, you are a fan of a brainless jerk (polite version.”

  11. “The Bolivian women who tended to the corpse of Guevara reported that he resembled Jesus Christ, and not, unsurprisingly, Osiris, Zoroaster, Krishna, or Buddha.”

    These women actually met the historical Jesus, face to face?

  12. I think a pretty good way to figure out whether someone is a serious person or not is to get there opinion on Che Guevara. Anything remotely positive and you are dealing with a complete ignoramus or crazy person. I hold people that have no clue who he is in higher esteem then the nut jobs that think he is some kind of hero. Ignorance is bliss in this case.

    • Whether somebody is seen as a hero or a villain, Kevin, depends a great deal on the socioeconomic or religious segment you belong to, for the landless poor or the peasants in Latin America, the heroes or saints will be different than for the landlords there. Quite logical, I think. Just consider, that not long ago (see my list of the liberator sector of my township in the NL here above), that law abiding and quite decent citizens put Guevara and Sandino on one line with Sacharow, Ben Gurion and bishop Romero, in a diverse society, this is (was) possible and widely accepted. Even now, I scarcely can believe what went on in their heads at that time.

      • That the distinction between heroes and villains is determined by which side you support and who won is a cliche. What is interesting is the boundary between those accepted as heroes, those accepted as villans and those somewhere between.

        Ben Gurion is listed in a context where it is taken for granted he is a hero but was undoubtedly involved in ethnic cleansing, what was at the time the worst terrorist attack ever committed and attempted to form an alliance with Germany during WW2. I am an admirer of Churchill yet he is strongly criticised for various actions. Perhaps the reality is that any significant leader in time sof conflict will perform actions which are questionable.

        Seeing Che Guevara as a secular saint is ridiculous.

        • dirk says

          Again, AJ, it all depends, and therefore I was curious about the where and by whom of naming a street after Che. In Rosario, Argentina, there is a statue of him (he was born there), still with his head on (the other statue of him in Argentina is beheaded). But no streets named after him there, whereas in the NL in two cities, yes. So, following Kevin, civilians of the council there,responsible for it, and probably hard working and polite citizens and familymen, are complete crazies and ignoramus.

  13. It is interesting, Castro and Stalin don’t get excessive love, so it can’t be that just 6- or 7- figure body counts of innocent lives shed in the name of social justice is enough for love.

    I think to really be loved by the Left, you have to murder lots of innocent people AND be a loser who ultimately fails (like Che) and gets martyred. I think this says a lot about left wing psychology, in the sense that it is based on a hatred of life and finds its greatest exultation in large scale acts of collective destruction THAT PROVE ULTIMATELY WORTHLESS. Thus, Castro and Stalin are at fault for trying to do something constructive for their countries after they murdered and purged everyone and consolidated their power.

    This is also the religious dimension of Leftism, because a useless act of destruction is the essence of a true sacrifice to the gods.

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