Hey Brendan! Thank you for your sensible reply. It’s not a problem to be more specific. I was thinking about the 40 year long dictatorship of Francisco Franco during the XX century, until 1975 when he passed. It wouldn’t be as simple as this, but in general terms, Franco took power by force during and through a civil war that started in 1936. All throughout his regime, he was closely associated with the Catholic church. It is of course very hard to establish to what extent one could genuinely speak of the catholic church in Spain (hard as it is to speak of collectives) willingly siding with Franco, but that is what it appeared as and what everyone experienced. So, for 40 years, at least, it was hard to separate the catholic church from a far-right political perspective. Even today these can get easily mixed here. Again, I want to emphasise I am not saying that every single member of the catholic church would have support Franco, but the institution, as a whole, was behind him. How much they would have resisted, or wanted to, it’s hard to clarify. In any case, my point wasn’t necessarily to say that the catholic church had messed things up, but to say that that is the impression that people has.
And so, even to this day, Christianity is often associated with a narrow political view, often mixed with nationalist or political reasonings. And I can understand why people may think that. My parents’ generation grew up being forced to sing and pray in schools. And so my generation grew up educated by parents and teachers who had experienced the evils of religion being abused.
I often say that it is a shame that people often think about Christianity in terms of what they think Christianity is against, instead of thinking what Christianity is in favour of. This phenomenon probably has mixed reasons, including failures from christians. In any case, I hope and pray for the day when people can think of Christians as people who are primarily for rather than against specific things.
This is very necessary in Spain, partly due to its history.