Who would have believed that our neighbor to the South, Mexico, once had a dictator who tried to eliminate Religion; not just Catholic, although that took up the majority of Mexicans' beliefs, but ALL religions. It didn't succeed, but it was not for lack of trying on this particular president's part. The Mexican citizens first tried peaceful protests and nonviolent methods. This didn't make a dent in Plutarco Calles' plans. People decided that maybe it was time to go ahead with the violent methods.
A general was hired and the Cristero War was launched. From 1926-1929, Mexican clergy were executed as criminals. Men, women and even children fought, were captured, tortured and executed. By 1929, with the help of the Knights of Columbus and the US ambassador to Mexico, a tentative truce was arranged. However, this didn't stop Calles, who insisted not only on no more religion, but taking over ALL schools in Mexico. It wasn't until the 1930s that Calles and his cronies were finally completely knocked out of power. Mexico still has laws on the books that prohibit exercise of free speech when it comes to religion, including approval needed for any outdoor worship, and government prohibition against any denomination owning a media outlet, paper or otherwise.
So why should I direct you to go to the movie, For Greater Glory, and urge you to take any grandkids you feel can handle it to see it despite the R rating? After all, even if you have Mexican heritage in your family, the odds are good you are an American who knows that Freedom of Religion is one of the hallmarks of our great Constitution.
You might not have heard about it, because the network media hasn't been reporting on it much, and when they do, they tend not to deliver all the facts. The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ruled that all religions must provide contraception and abortion coverage to all their employees. A very narrow exemption was made for denominational facilities where everybody is a member of that denomination. However, most denominations hire people outside their own faith, as well as operating ministries to those who aren't actually members.
Not every denomination believes contraception is wrong, and not every denomination has a problem with varying degrees of abortion. But gosh darn it, Catholics and Evangelical Protestants have more in common than they ever thought when it comes to abortion and drugs that cause abortion! And to their minds, their First Amendment rights are being violated!
The Catholic Church has 43 of its entities suing the federal government, HHS and the present Administration on the subject. Catholic and Protestant entities alike have, in answer to this, removed any insurance from their employee benefits and college campuses. The Supreme Court is set to pronounce its verdict on the Patient Protection and Affordable Act (Obamacare), from whence all the trouble started, as a result of lawsuits from 26 states' attorneys general.
You can say what you want about the left or the right side of the arguments. I won't go into it. My mind is firmly made up, and I don't have the energy to argue with my fingers, typing away when I have other things to do.
I want you instead to consider that this movie, For Greater Glory, is rated R. The R rating is usually reserved for movies that have piles of nudity, sex scenes that leave little to the imagination, and big-time gore and violence. We older folks might think that the R rating is controlled by law, and is there for the betterment of our children.
If you think the R rating means you can't take your grandkids, think again.
The Motion Picture Association of America invented this voluntary rating system. To say the members of the MPAA are capricious in their application of ratings is an understatement.
The latest feature movie, the Avengers, is rated PG-13. Why? Because of the intense sci-fi action. Madagascar 3 is rated PG. Why? Mild "action" whatever that is, and potty humor. Yet, I can guarantee you that little children saw or will see both movies, and not in the least be effected by the woeful content per the MPAA.
The R rating means that there is harsh violence, explicit sex or drug use, including excessive alcohol and cigarettes. It means kids under 17 should be accompanied by an adult. Cooperating theaters will require parents and guardians to attend with their children.
The reason the MPAA claims to have given the R rating to For Greater Glory was not because of unbridled sexual escapades throughout the film, nor was it because there are scenes where the actors shoot up or run a crack house. It was given because For Greater Glory depicts the harsh violence the Calles government inflicted upon men, women and children, the torture that was allowed to flourish in Mexico in the 1920s. Far from being gratuitous violence, it is necessary to the movie to show just how cruel Calles allowed various arms of his government to be!
And yes, violence could happen anywhere, even in the United States, even with our Constitution. Do you not remember the Riots of 1968 in Washington and Chicago? How about the Black Panthers intimidating voters in 2008? How about the young couple in Virginia who were beaten by a mob? It happens every day in the US. And yes, we need to be aware of it and prevent it.
Take your grandkids to see For Greater Glory! Go for the matinee showing and save some bucks. Insist that the teeny-bopper running the counter allow those kids access with you present. Let the kids ask questions of you (but not during the show). Point out things that happen in our very own country that are violent, starting with the Revolutionary War of 1776. Remember that violence can happen, and does in the US, sometimes for awfully good reasons.And when it comes out, buy the DVD.
Besides, it's Andy Garcia! How can you ladies NOT want to go see Andy Garcia? How can you gentlemen not want to see Andy Garcia on horseback, cowboy-movie style, with guns a-blazin'?