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Holy Week, Christianity, and Freedom

Cristianismo, El American

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Holy Week is the most important festivity for Christianity. There are many theological and mystical reasons for this. Yet, what transpired during that time frame, particularly with the Crucifixion on Good Friday and the revelation of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, impacts our lives more than most people imagine, including the unfaithful and nonbelievers. A seismic transformation came about that causally developed in linkage to the events of that short time span. This should not be underestimated.

The fact that this small group or faction within Judaism was able to exponentially spread this new faith and way of looking at the world is an unparalleled fact in history. The leader of this movement was viciously executed by the occupying authorities premised upon trumped-up political charges and heard in a mock trial where His accusers lent false testimony. All this occurred, only after having been first subjected to barbaric tortures in public. In other words, the tyrannical foreign regime in power and the collaborating organized religion hierarchy wanted to make sure that these “Christians”, as they would later become known as, would cease and desist from this revolutionary preaching.

To further emphasize the unmerciful determination to wipe out anything having to do with Jesus of Nazareth, the colluding forces in political power persecuted His followers, affording them no less benevolent treatment or outcome. Mundane logic would surmise that this sect would die down. After all, its leader had been eliminated, right?

The irrefutable transition of events manifested the complete opposite and not in minuscule proportions but in gigantic leaps. The ruling imperial power even made a sport out of repressing, hunting down, and sentencing the Christians to death, some as amusement with stadium-filled audiences, while others found the similar path of the crucifixions. Yet, nothing humanly possible was able to curb the proliferation of Christianity. Think of it in today’s cynical, secularized, materialistically focused world. Who would insist on preaching and following the doctrines of Jesus the Christ, amid the skepticism of His death and the ensuing systemic oppression?   

The answer can only be found outside the realms of transient and naturalist understanding. The higher echelon of a superior transcendental order, where the supernatural permeates the physical world and manifests itself in many ways, affords us this comprehension. One of these mechanisms is what the Scriptures refer to as the Holy Spirit. God has many instruments and undoubtedly, His use of them propelled Christianity well beyond its foundational territories.

Holy Week 2021, Avila Cathedral – Spain (EFE)

The paramount place that freedom has had, since the initial beginning of that factiousness movement we call Christianity, is structurally embedded. One cannot quantifiably be a faith-based believer without the perquisite “leap of faith” that can only be exercised in freedom. The free choice to believe or not. The teachings of Jesus and subsequently later the Church, communicate that as doctrinal dogma. Individual freedom, the notion that this is only superseded by Divine Law is pivotal in Christian principle.

So important was freedom for God’s plan, that He established this as a “right”. Natural Law, the bridge between the transcendent order and the material world, bestowing freedom as a God-given gift. Thus, no conventional structure such as government or human law, the lowest level of universal authority after Divine and Natural Laws, can abrogate this natural right. Secular conceptualization refers to this, in a categorical sense, as the first generation of human rights.

Democracy, an imperfect but the best possible model for popular self-government and consensual political power legitimation, inherently contains the parameters of inalienable, preeminent rights. This space which limits human political power is necessary when the seminal notion of Original Sin, another Christian concept, is weighed in. If all humans are imperfect, then those with governing authority must be “checked and balanced”. Therefore, freedom is Natural Law’s most salient and protected right.

The left lauds schemes like the so-called Athenian democracy because of its “direct” imagery. This is a faux version. Greek democracy was never a functional or authentic democracy. Natural rights, directly connected to Christianity, had no place there. This was the case also with the General Will constriction from Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This was nothing more than a prelude to totalitarianism.

Holy Week, where Christianity took off, affects everyone, particularly those that value democracy and freedom. It is a good time to open one’s heart and mind to the immenseness that was communicated to all from those events of long ago. Therein lies an enormous fountain of wealth.       

Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.

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