Revista Proceso

Anticomunismo Arzobispal. ¿En que consiste el cambio de estructuras?
Proceso 116; Enero 2, 1979. Farsa Oficial de Inocencia. Escucha Pontífice.

¿Fidelidad a la Iglesia o a Cristo?
Proceso 118; Febrero 5, 1979.

Sugerencia a la Izquierda del Celam
Proceso 119; Febrero 12, 1979.

SNTE: La Niñez Mexicana en Manos de la Mafia
Proceso 120; Febrero 19, 1979.

Autonomía e Irracionalidad Universitaria
Proceso 121; Febrero 26, 1979. Bajo el Control.

Meollo Fascista de Nuestro Sistema Político
Proceso 122; Marzo 5, 1979.

Petróleo para el Socialismo
Proceso 123; Marzo 12, 1979. Sugerencia al PRI.

Empresario Modelo: Católico y del PRI. HILSA, Hulera Industrial Leonesa, SA. “Remedio Contra la Mafia Nacional del SNTE”
Proceso 126; Abril 2, 1979.

Que Triste Encíclica
Proceso 127; Abril, 1979. Redemptor Hominis. Cristo de Nuevo Crucificado. Elecciones y Oportunismo.

El Desengaño: Régimen Contrarrevolucionario
Proceso 130; Abril 30, 1979.

Represión e Intimidación en Coyoacán
Proceso 131; Mayo 7, 1979. Manipulación de la Biblia (El Celam y el Evangelio). Apelo a la Conciencia Cristiana. Cuba y Nosotros.

Matanzas que Ignoramos (Amenaza Nacional de Militarismo
Proceso; Junio 11, 1979. Matanza del 26 de abril de 1979. Lachitaá, Municipio de Betaza, Villa Alta, Sierra de Juárez. Anticomunismo y Neurosis. ¿Para seguir siendo libres? Nicaragua y Nosotros. Junio 13-18, 1979. Represión Hank González en Milpa Alta.

El Entendimiento entre Poder y Oposición. Pro-Unificación de la Izquierda
Proceso; Julio 9, 1979.

El SNTE Oprime a Indígenas Michoacanos
Proceso; Julio 16, 1979. Indios Tarascos de Nurio, Poblado de Paracho. Violencia del SNTE Contra Maestros Disidentes. Secuestrado por la Brigada Blanca en Gómez Palacio Durango. Por una revolución diferente. Octubre 3, 1979. “Vocero de los que No Tienen Voz”.

You can only come to God through Justice.

Porfirio Miranda challenges the ideoligy of Liberalism

Interview by María Esther Ibarra
Proceso Magazine, No. 738; December 24, 1990

 

CULTURAL SECTION

His conviction of the existence and validity of God is not sustained by having been a priest, or by his training as a philosopher and even less by a question of faith, dogma or mystery. Porfirio Miranda y de la Parra says: “If theologians hesitate here, that is their problem”.

He is not speaking from the pulpit which he occupied for several years as a priest, or from the classroom at UAM  (Autonomous Metropolitan University, Mexico City), where he teaches History of Social and Political Doctrines. He speaks from what he considers the unavoidable and unequivocal imperative of being human: his very own conscience and challenging the rest.

Prostrate in a hospital bed in Cardiology with symptoms of a heart attack, the author of the polemic books Marx and the Bible and Hegel was Right, which he wrote in the 70s when  Liberation Theology emerged; he puts  them in the social and religious debate of Latin America and  he accepts being interviewed by Proceso. Pale of face, looking very ill, his eyes small in the enormous circles under them, he comes more to life answering the questions of the journalist than listening to the little understood explanations given by the doctors.

MEI: In today’s world how can one understand God or the idea of him?

JMP: Firstly it is not necessary to change the idea or concept of God, it is enough to rely on the Bible. Each day it is more pertinent to today. This God is only conceived through the clamour of the oppressed who ask for justice and help. This is very clear in both the Old and the New Testaments: God is only accessible, able to be approached from this moral imperative that not only daily becomes more valid but it is the only thing capable of revolutionizing both humankind and the world. It is this moral imperative, that obliges, that is implacable, that is the clearest way God can speak to us. Yes, it is traditional in Christianity, but the voice of the conscience is the voice of God.

MEI: This voice, this idea of God. How is it experienced, how is it lived, how is it part of today’s world?

JPM: What happens is that those who have become atheists, agnostics or skeptics think that God is a bearded man with a body. That is absurd. God is spirit and only is recognizable by one’s conscience, by reasoning. Not by sight nor by imagination, nor by feelings or affectations. God is only known by reason and we perceive Him in the moral imperative of justice.

MEI: But what does God signify or not signify to today’s human being?

JMP: The theologians are guilty of propagating this belief that God is accessible only through feelings. That is false. It is the moral imperative that allows us to know God, and not this calculating of losses and gains, the remuneration or covering up, which is how the idea of God is presented or one’s relationship with Him. And it is not a question of denying that there is a heaven or a hell, but simply to assume this imperative without turning back.

MEI: How have you experienced God through this imperative?

JMP: First, I discovered God in the face of a poor man, of one who suffers. This has been my experience and relationship with God.

Why did I find it there? Because there is where the imperative of justice obligates. It is where God is interminably exacting. Here, there are no limits or concessions. I discovered it consciously thirty years ago, but from the inawareness of childhood one can discover God. You do not have to be a magician.

MEI: It is difficult to experience God thus. How can one achieve it or establish this relationship?

JMP: It is not difficult but it is exacting. In this relationship it does not come naturally because by nature we would be animals, we would be beasts, we would definitely not be human. Certainly, in this sense God is not an easy God. But neither is it difficult to obey this moral imperative, even though sometimes we face difficult situations.

MEI: Have you at any time found it difficult to obey this moral imperative? Think about the question. Find an example, may be something you experienced.

JMP: Yes, one time it was difficult but it was worth it. It was in 1961 with Cardinal Garibi in Guadalajara. He did not want me to go among the workers and teach them about Christianity, even though they had asked me to. The easiest thing would have been to do as Garibi said, I would have stayed out of trouble. The reprisals were obvious: a confrontation with the cardinal is not an easy thing. How did I resolve it? I heeded what Saint Peter says in Acts: judge whether one must obey God or man. Full stop. It was difficult but at the same time worth it.

MEI: What did you gain?

JMP: It is not a question of winning or losing. It is not a question of personal satisfaction. You do not do it to obtain something. God is not a means to an end. He is an end in himself, he is the goal and that is that. This is where the church is inadequate when it states that it is the feeling of satisfaction on completing an obligation. If that were God’s purpose, we would be becoming a means and our neighbor the maximum immorality.

MEI: Is this how you are living the experience with God?

JPM: I do not know exactly, but I feel that the situation is bad. The Mexican ideologists or intellectuals, quote unquote, are teaching the public something that is totally superficial. No, I prefer not to give names, because it is nearly everybody. But what we see being spread is a type of liberal ideology, in which they are taking liberty to mean irrationality to uphold what they think and believe without giving reasons. That is not liberty.

Liberty is to feel responsibility for this moral imperative of justice. Human beings are responsible or they would not be human beings and to be responsible means to be accountable for one’s actions.

“To this one must add that the priests and the theologians, from the bishop down, are showing themselves to be incapable of challenging this idea of liberty using the true idea from God and the Bible. And it is not that they are in agreement with it, but they do not realize what they are doing. They are overwhelmingly superficial. They are missing precisely who God is and what He wishes us to do. What they do is spread the idea that God is known by one’s feelings not by reason”.

MEI: You are speaking about the God of Christianity, which defines God as love.

JPM: The church has said many things. I am not willing to back them all. I neither prohibit nor approve, nor criticize nor back this concept. That God is love has no meaning for me because it is a formula. Also we would have to make a clear distinction concerning the word love. Love for one thing, love for something else. Thus we would not resolve anything. It does not mean anything. Whereas, if you say to me “love is justice” then there is no mistaking it.

MEI: Besides the concept or idea of God how do you explain the imperative of God concerning  justice in a world known for the despotism of one authority over another, the abuse, the hunger?

JPM: Why should we suppose that all this depends on God? God is a superior being, but this does not signify that all depends on Him. He is morally superior.  He has a personal power and richness superior to ours. I do not understand where they get these ideas from.

MEI: To what do you contribute the dismissal or denial that there is a God?

JPM: Probably it is a person’s fear or terror of finding out that there is a being infinitely superior to them morally. There are people who wish to be the absolute number one and to not be accountable to anyone. In other words they do not want to be human as that signifies being responsible. They try not to have this responsibility and then conveniently call it liberty. When someone comes out with the stupidity that God does not exist, the first thing I say to them is that they define what they are denying.

MEI: To show the non-existence of God; is that not as difficult as showing that He exists.

He pauses.

JPM: No, no, those who deny the existence of God are looking for immortality. That is all and no more.

MEI: Does God continue to be the great incomprehensible for human beings?

JPM: No, no, it is very evident that He exists. There are plenty of theologians who have put forward this business of the mystery giving it so many meanings that we can never understand it. It is masochistic to torment oneself as if god were a mystery when it is so evident. In Him we live and are, as St. Paul says. And his existence is perfectly provable.

MEI: How can one demonstrate the existence of God in the scientific sense?

JPM: First of all there is the concept of the soul. The soul is strictly exalting oneself and prescinding material questions, utilitarian questions. The soul is that moral imperative of justice. For a long time the idea of positivism was prevalent. Founded by Auguste Comte in the middle of the nineteenth century, wherein one cannot talk of the soul in as much as it something you cannot touch. For positivists, science is only something that can be seen, touched, smelled. So it is something insustainable.

“The soul is known by introspection. It is through their awareness that human beings know that He exists. That is the soul. Just the fact that we know that we exist is what gives humans the “I”. To sum up, the soul consists in self awareness.

It has nothing tangible, of ideals or intellectual. Obviously only another soul can bring into existence another soul. In Hegel’s words: without a “you” the “I” is impossible. To put it another way: the soul is self awareness, and this can only come into being through another self awareness which has existed from the beginning and that is none other than God.

MEI: But what was the self awareness that produced the self awareness that you call God?

JPM: Do not ask me from where it came. It existed from the beginning. So as St. John says that the Word existed since the beginning so did self awareness.

MEI: In today’s world, for the ordinary person, for a simple mortal is this explanation or idea attainable, is it comprehensible, is it commensurable?

JPM: We are not going to explain God, because explaining is to give the origin of something. If it existed since the beginning, there is no origin. I do not think anyone would have any difficulty in understanding this; nor understanding about self awareness. It is enough to think about oneself to know what is the soul, self awareness, what is God. For this, it is necessary for someone to show us and for this we have history. We have Aristotle, Plato, Jesus Christ himself who made humanity evolve.

MEI: is not it more comprehensible to accept God using the principle that it is a question of faith?

JPM: It has nothing to do with faith. But if for faith self awareness is understood, then we can call it faith. It is not for dogma or mystery either. What is meaningful is reason, it can show us the things that cannot be seen. And yes, the moral imperative that I have been talking about, certainly cannot be seen, touched but it is found with greater certainty than that which is seen. What is frequently seen is deceiving. One cannot trust one’s senses.

Why talk about these people, one asks oneself, why say that the moral imperative of justice is how one comes to God and it is the only thing capable of revolutionizing the world and humankind. It is simple, especially when democracy and Human Rights are discussed”.

The ex-Jesuit concludes the interview with this idea:

“Democracy and the obligation to respect Human Rights is only found in Christianity. The Greeks invented the word democracy, but they never had it, they never applied it. When the West meditates on Christ’s life and the significance of his death, it is that they see that all humans have infinite dignity.

Before this moment the idea that human beings are definitely to be respected does not appear anywhere in history. Here is the beginning of Human Rights and of democracy, that all humans are equal, because without any doubt we all possess infinite dignity. This is what gives legality to the moral imperative of justice and of God. There is nothing else”

Entrevista Rodrigo Vera: “El Problema de Chiapas es que se Cruzaron los Zapatistas: Era mucho mejor lo que hacían don Samuel y sus misioneros; Porfirio Miranda. Rebate al EZLN: El recurso de las armas legítimo… con tal de que se tenga probabilidad de ganar”.
Proceso 1063; Marzo 16, 1997; pp. 20-23.

Entrevista Rodrigo Vera: Porfirio Miranda considera que Zedillo se “expresó mal”: No hay teólogos de la violencia y ningún obispo en Chiapas la justifica.
Proceso 1127; Junio 7, 1998; pp. 7-9.

Miguel de la Vega: “Para el filósofo Porfirio Miranda, el presidente Zedillo no es autista, sino incapaz, inútil y poco inteligente”
Proceso 1140; Septembre 6, 1998; pp. 16-17.

Un Pleito con la Iglesia, lo Peor para el PRI
Proceso; Marzo 16, 1997.

No Se Da Cuenta
Proceso; Septiembre 6, 1998.

Laicicismo es Ateismo
Proceso 1223; Abril 9, 2000.

Intolerancia Laica
Proceso 1226; Abril 30, 2000.

Laicisimo: Intolerancia por Definición
Proceso 1238; Julio 23, 2000.

Palabra del Lector
Proceso 1239; Julio 30, 2000.

La Lógica y el Aborto
Proceso 1242; Agosto 20, 2000.

Porfirio Miranda: Contra el indigenismo
Proceso 1269; Febrero 25, 2001.