Irreligion in Mexico

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Irreligion in Mexico refers to atheism, agnosticism, deism, religious skepticism, secular humanism, and secularism in Mexican society, which was a confessional state after independence from Imperial Spain. The first Mexican constitution was enacted in 1824, it stated that the religion of the nation is and will perpetually be the Catholic, and prohibited any other religion.[1] Since 1857, the country has no official religion[2] and some anti-clerical laws contained in both the 1857 and 1917 Constitutions imposed severe limitations on religious organizations and sometimes codified state intrusion into religious matters. A 1992 constitutional amendment lifted most restrictions, granting all religious groups legal status, conceding them limited property rights, granting voting rights to religious ministers and lifting restrictions on the number of priests in the country.[3] However, religious ministers cannot be elected to public office, the government does not provide any financial contributions to religious organizations and they can not participate in public education. Although historically the Catholic Church has dominated the religious landscape of the country, according to the Catholic News Agency, there is a growing community of atheists and non-religious people,[4][5] reaching 10% according to recent polls by religious agencies.[6]

Irreligion by state[edit]

Percentage of state populations that identify with a religion rather than "no religion", 2010.
Rank Federal Entity % Irreligious Irreligious Population(2010)
1  Quintana Roo 13% 177,331
2  Chiapas 12% 580,690
3  Campeche 12% 95,035
4  Baja California 10% 315,144
5  Tabasco 9% 212,222
6  Chihuahua 7% 253,972
7  Sinaloa 7% 194,619
8  Tamaulipas 7% 219,940
9  Sonora 7% 174,281
10  Veracruz 6% 495,641
11  Morelos 6% 108,563
12  Baja California Sur 6% 40,034
13  Coahuila 6% 151,311
14  Federal District 5% 484,083
-  Mexico 5% 5,262,546
15  Yucatán 5% 93,358
16  Oaxaca 4% 169,566
17  Nuevo León 4% 192,259
18  Durango 4% 58,089
19  Nayarit 3% 37,005
20  México 3% 486,795
21  Colima 3% 20,708
22  Guerrero 3% 100,246
23  Hidalgo 2% 62,953
24  San Luis Potosí 2% 58,469
25  Querétaro 2% 38,047
26  Aguascalientes 2% 21,235
27  Michoacán 2% 83,297
28  Puebla 2% 104,271
29  Jalisco 2% 124,345
30  Guanajuato 1% 76,052
31  Tlaxcala 1% 14,928
32  Zacatecas 1% 18,057

Religion and politics[edit]

The Street Gazzete : Anti Clerical Manifestation depicts Mexican cavalry repressing anti-Church peasants. The cartoon by Posada satirizes the social tension between the Church and the citizens of Mexico.
When the Roman Catholic politician Vicente Fox assumed the Mexican Presidency (2000–06), liberal Mexicans feared that the official secularism of public life would be compromised.[7]

Since the Spanish Conquest (1519–21), the Roman Catholic Church has held prominent social and political positions concerning the moral education of Mexicans; the ways that virtues and morals are to be socially implemented; and thus contributed to the Mexican cultural identity. Such cultural immanence was confirmed in the nation's first political constitution, which formally protected Catholicism; thus, Article 3 of the 1824 Constitution of Mexico established that:

The Religion of the Mexican Nation, is, and will be perpetually, the Roman Catholic Apostolic. The Nation will protect it by wise and just laws, and prohibit the exercise of any other whatever".

(Article 3 of the Federal Constitution of the Mexican United States, 1824)[1]

For most of Mexico's 300 years as the Imperial Spanish colony of the Viceroyalty of New Spain (1519–1821), the Roman Catholic Church was an active political actor in colonial politics. In the early period of the Mexican nation, the vast wealth and great political influence of the Church spurred a powerful anti-clerical movement, which found political expression in the Liberal Party (Mexico)Liberal party. Yet, during the middle of the 19th century, there were reforms limiting the political power of the Mexican Catholic Church. In response, the Church supported seditious Conservative rebels to overthrow the anti-clerical Liberal government of President Benito Juárez; and so welcomed the anti-Juárez French intervention in Mexico (1861), which established the military occupation of Mexico by the Second French Empire, of Emperor Napoleon III.[8]

About the Mexican perspective of the actions of the Roman Catholic Church, the Mexican Labour Party activist Robert Haberman said:

By the year 1854, The Church gained possession of about two-thirds of all the lands of Mexico, almost every bank, and every large business. The rest of the country was mortgaged to the Church. Then came the revolution of 1854, led by Benito Juárez. It culminated in the Constitution of 1857, which secularised the schools and confiscated Church property. All the churches were nationalised, many of them were turned into schools, hospitals, and orphan asylums. Civil marriages were obligatory. Pope Pius IX immediately issued a mandate against the Constitution, and called upon all Catholics of Mexico to disobey it. Ever since then, the clergy has been fighting to regain its lost temporal power and wealth. (The Necessity of Atheism, p. 154)[9]

At the turn of the 19th century, the collaboration of the Mexican Catholic Church with the Porfiriato, the 35-year dictatorship of General Porfirio Díaz, earned the Mexican clregy the ideological enmity of the revolutionary victors of the Mexican Revolution (1910–20); thus, the Mexican Constitution of 1917 legislated severe social and political, economic and cultural restrictions upon the Catholic Church in the Republic of Mexico. Historically, the 1917 Mexican Constitution was the first political constitution to expilicity legislate the social and civil rights of the people; and served as constitutional model for the Weimar Constitution of 1919 and the Russian Constitution of 1918.[10][11][12][13] Nevertheless, like the Spanish Constitution of 1931, it has been characterized as being hostile to religion.[14]

The Constitution of 1917 proscribed the Catholic clergy from working as teachers and as instructors in public and private schools; established State control over the internal matters of the Mexican Catholic Church; nationalized all Church property; proscribed religious orders; forbade the presence in Mexico of foreign-born priests; granted each state of the Mexican republic the power to limit the number of, and to eliminate, priests in its territory; disenfranchised priests of the civil rights to vote, and to hold elected office; banned Catholic organizations that advocated public policy; forbade religious publications from editorial commentary about public policy; proscribed the clergy from wearing clerical garb in public; and voided the right to trial of any Mexican citizen who violated anti-clerical laws.[15][16]

During the Mexican Revolution, the national rancour provoked by the Church's history was aggravated by the collaboration of the High Clergy of the Mexican Catholic Church with the pro–U.S. dictatorship (1913–14) of General Victoriano Huerta, "The Usurper" of the Mexican Presidency; thus were the anti-clerical laws integral to the Mexican Constitution of 1917.[17][18][19][20][21] In the 1920s, the enforcement of the Constitutional anti-clerical laws, by the Mexican Federal Government, provoked the Cristero Rebellion (1926–29), the clerically-abetted armed revolt of Catholic peasants, known as "The Christers" (Los cristeros). The social and political tensions between the Catholic Church and the Mexican State lessened after 1940, but the Constitutional restrictions remained the law of the land, although their enforcement became progressively lax. The Government established diplomatic relations with the Holy See during the administration of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988–94), and the Government lifted almost all restrictions on the Catholic Church in 1992. That year the Government ratified its informal policy of not enforcing most legal controls on religious groups by, among other things, granting religious groups legal status, conceding them limited property rights, and lifting restrictions on the number of priests in the country. However, the law continues to mandate strict restrictions on the church and bars the clergy from holding public office, advocating partisan political views, supporting political candidates, or opposing the laws or institutions of the State. The Church's ability to own and operate mass media is also limited. Indeed, after the creation of the Constitution the Catholic Church has been acutely hostile towards the Mexican government. As Laura Randall in his book Changing Structure of Mexico points out, most of the conflicts between citizens and religious leaders lie in the Church's overwhelming lack of understanding of the role of the state's laicism. "The inability of the Mexican Catholic Episcopate to understand the modern world translates into a distorted conception of the secular world and the lay state. Evidently, perceiving the state as anti-religious (or rather, anti-clerical) is the result of 19th-century struggles that imbued the state with anti-religious and anti-clerical tinges in Latin American countries, much to the Catholic Church's chagrin. Defining laicist education as a 'secular religion' that is also 'imposed and intolerant' is the clearest evidence of episcopal intransigence."[22] Others, however see the Mexican state's anticlericalism differently. Recent President Vicente Fox stated, "After 1917, Mexico was led by anti-Catholic Freemasons who tried to evoke the anticlerical spirit of popular indigenous President Benito Juárez of the 1880s. But the military dictators of the 1920s were a more savage lot than Juarez."[23] Fox goes on to recount how priests were killed for trying to perform the sacraments, altars were desecrated by soldiers and freedom of religion outlawed by generals.[23]

Demographics[edit]

As many students of Latin American religion have pointed out, there is a substantial difference between describing oneself as religious or culturally religious and practising one's faith literally. In the case of Mexico the decline of religious influence of the Church is specially mirrored by the decline of church attendance among its citizens. Church attendance itself is a complex, multi-layered phenomenon that is subject to political and socio-economic factors. From 1940 to 1960 about 70% of Mexican Catholics attended church weekly while in 1982 only 54 percent partook of Mass once a week or more, and 21 percent claimed monthly attendance. Recent surveys have shown that only around 3% of Catholics attend church daily, however 47% percent of them attend church services weekly [24] and, according to INEGI, the number of atheists grows annually by 5.2%, while the number of Catholics grows by 1.7%.[25][26]

Timeline of events related to atheism or anti-clericalism in Mexico[edit]

  • 1831 - Vicente Rocafuerte was arrested in Mexico for publishing an Essay on Religious Toleration. He was accused of violating Article 3 of the constitution, which stated that Mexico was a confessional state.[27]
  • 1844 - Ignacio Ramírez "El Nigromante" wrote "There is no God: natural beings support themselves", causing several controversies throughout the country.
  • 1855 - The Ley Juárez (Juárez's Law) of 1855, abolished special clerical and military privileges, and declared all citizens equal before the law.
  • 1906 - Flores Magón published his Manifesto to the Nation, The Plan of the Mexican Liberal Party declaring: "The clergy, this unrepentant traitor, this subject of Rome, this irreconcilable enemy of native liberties, in place of finding tyrants to serve and from whom to receive protection, will find instead inflexible laws which will put a limit on their excesses and which will confine them to the religious sphere."[28]
  • 1926 - In June 1926, Elías Calles signed the "Law for Reforming the Penal Code", known unofficially as the Calles Law. This provided specific penalties for priests and individuals who violated the provisions of the 1917 Constitution.
  • 1926 - On November 18, 1926, the Pope issues the encyclical Iniquis Afflictisque (On the Persecution of the Church in Mexico). The Pope criticized the state's interference in matters of worship, outlawing of religious orders and the expropriation of Church property. Alluding to the deprivation of the right to vote and of free speech, among other things, he noted that, "Priests are ... deprived of all civil and political rights. They are thus placed in the same class with criminals and the insane."
  • 1927 - November 23, 1927, Miguel Pro, SJ is killed after being convicted, without trial, on trumped-up charges of conspiring to kill President Obregon. Calles' government carefully documented execution by photograph hoping to use images to scare Cristero rebels into surrender, but the photos had the opposite effect.
  • 1927 - September 29, 1932 Pope Pius XI issued a second encyclical on the persecution, Acerba Animi.
  • 1934 - There were 4,500 priests serving the people before the rebellion, in 1934 there were only 334 priests licensed by the government to serve fifteen million people, the rest having been eliminated by emigration, expulsion and assassination.[31][32]
  • 1934 - Between 1926 and 1934 at least 40 priests were killed.[32]
  • 1935 - By 1935, 17 states had no priest at all.[33]
  • 1940 - Between 1931 and 1940 at least 223 rural teacher were assassinated by the Cristeros and other Catholic armed groups, because of their atheist and socialist education.[35][36][37][38][39][40]
  • 1940 - By 1940 the Church had "legally had no corporate existence, no real estate, no schools, no monasteries or convents, no foreign priests, no right to defend itself publicly or in the courts, and no hope that its legal and actual situations would improve. Its clergy were forbidden to wear clerical garb, to vote, to celebrate public religious ceremonies, and to engage in politics", but the restrictions were not always enforced.[41]
  • 1940 - Manuel Ávila Camacho, a professed religious believer, becomes President. This was a change from his predecessors in the first half of the 20th century who had been strongly anticlerical.[42] His open profession of faith was politically dangerous as it risked the ire of Mexican anticlericals.[42]
  • 1940 - By 1940 open hostility toward the Church began to cease with the election of President Ávila (1940–46), who agreed, in exchange for the Church's efforts to maintain peace, to nonenforcement of most of the anticlerical provisions, an exception being Article 130, Section 9, which deprived the Church of the right of political speech, priests of the right to vote, and the right of free political association.[43]
  • 1948 - In June 1948, Diego Rivera painted the mural Dreams of a Sunday in the Alameda at the Del Prado Hotel depicting Ignacio Ramírez holding a sign reading, "God does not exist". Rivera would not remove the inscription, so the mural was not shown for 9 years – after Rivera agreed to remove the words. He stated: "To affirm 'God does not exist', I do not have to hide behind Don Ignacio Ramírez; I am an atheist and I consider religions to be a form of collective neurosis. I am not an enemy of the Catholics, as I am not an enemy of the tuberculars, the myopic or the paralytics; you cannot be an enemy of the sick, only their good friend in order to help them cure themselves." The Publicity in the newspapers had been riot-provoking, and Rivera's stand - "I will not remove one letter from it" - brought forth a mob of some thirty persons who vandalised everything in their path. They further violated the mural by defecating the self-portrait of Rivera as a young boy. On that very night, not far from the Hotel, Rivera, along with Mexico's leading artists and intellectuals, was attending a dinner honouring the director of the Museum of Fine Art. When the word arrived about the attack on Rivera's mural, it caused a stir in the audience. David Alfaro Siqueiros exhorted the guests to go to the Del Prado Hotel and, arm-in-arm with José Clemente Orozco and Dr. Atl, marched at the head of 100 people. Among them were Frida Kahlo, Juan O'Gorman, Raul Anguiano y José Revueltas. When they arrived Rivera climbed on a chair, asked for a pencil and calmly began to restore the destroyed inscription: "God does not exist".[44]
  • 1979 - Pope John Paul II visits Mexico and violates Mexican anticlerical laws by appearing in public wearing clerical garb and by engaging in public religious observances; some anticlericals objected to the violation of the law and President José López Portillo himself offered to pay the 50 pesos fine.[45]
  • 2009 - Mexico City played host to international symposium on religious freedom in Latin America sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the first time such an event has occurred in Mexico City.[45] Sociologist Jorge Trasloheros noted that many powerful Mexicans see religion not as "the opium of the masses", but as "the tobacco of the masses"—a bad habit to be banned from the public arena.[45] Supreme Knight Carl Anderson denounced this idea still commonly held in Mexico that "religious beliefs are not welcome in the public square, or worse are not allowed in the public square".[45]
  • 2010 - In March 2010, the lower house of the Mexican legislature introduced legislation to amend the Constitution to make the Mexican government formally "laico"—meaning "lay" or "secular".[45] Critics of the move say the "context surrounding the amendment suggests that it might be a step backwards for religious liberty and true separation of church and state".[45] Coming on the heels of the Church's vocal objection to legalization of abortion as well as same sex unions and adoptions in Mexico City, "together with some statements of its supporters, suggests that it might be an attempt to suppress the Catholic Church's ability to engage in public policy debates".[45] Critics of the amendment reject the idea that "Utilitarians, Nihilists, Capitalists, and Socialists can all bring their philosophy to bear on public life, but Catholics (or other religious minorities) must check their religion at the door" in a sort of "second-class citizenship" which they consider nothing more than religious discrimination.[45]

Mexican atheists and agnostics[edit]

Mexican writer and free-thinker El Nigromante was hailed as the Voltaire of Mexico due to his outspoken criticism of religion

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States (1824)
  2. ^ Article 130 of Constitution
  3. ^ "Mexico". International Religious Report. U.S. Department of State. 2003. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  4. ^ Catholic News Agency Rise of atheism in Mexico
  5. ^ Aciprensa - Mexico still Catholic... but atheism is on the rise
  6. ^ http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2013/12/02/el-90-de-los-mexicanos-cree-en-dios-encuesta-8448.html
  7. ^ "Candidate Vicente Fox contributed to this perception, by sending a letter, in May 2000, to the religious authorities of various churches, in which he presented a list of ten promises, ranging from defending the right-to-life, from the moment of conception until natural death (which meant a condemnation of abortion and euthanasia), to granting religious associations access to communications media. Many of those promises were hard to keep, because no political party had an absolute majority in the Congress elected on July 6, 2000. Nonetheless, Fox's ‘Ten Promises’ were regarded, by many, as a proof of the alliance between the Catholic Church and candidate Fox." Laura Randall (2006) Page 433
  8. ^ Mexico - Religious Freedom Report 1999
  9. ^ David Marshall Brooks, The Necessity of Atheism, Plain Label Books, 1933, ISBN 1-60303-138-3 p. 154
  10. ^ a b Akhtar Majeed, Ronald Lampman Watts, and Douglas Mitchell Brown (2006). Distribution of powers and responsibilities in federal countries. McGill-Queen's Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-7735-3004-1. 
  11. ^ a b Yoram Dinstein (1989). Israel Yearbook on Human Rights 1982, Volume 12; Volume 1982. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-7923-0362-6. 
  12. ^ a b Gerhard Robbers (2007). Encyclopedia of World Constitutions. Infobase Publishing. p. 596. ISBN 978-0-8160-6078-8. ISBN 0-8160-6078-9. 
  13. ^ a b Harry N. Scheiber (2007). Earl Warren and the Warren Court: the legacy in American and foreign law. Lexington Books. p. 244. ISBN 978-0-7391-1635-7. 
  14. ^ Maier, Hans and Jodi Bruhn Totalitarianism and Political Religions, pp. 109 2004 Routledge
  15. ^ Ehler, Sidney Z. Church and State Through the Centuries p. 579-580, (1967 Biblo & Tannen Publishers) ISBN 0-8196-0189-6
  16. ^ Needler, Martin C. Mexican Politics: The Containment of Conflict p. 50, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995
  17. ^ a b John Lear (2001). Workers, neighbors, and citizens: the revolution in Mexico City. U of Nebraska Press. p. 261. ISBN 978-0-8032-7997-1. 
  18. ^ a b Ignacio C. Enríques (1915). The religious question in Mexico, number 7. I.C. Enriquez,. p. 10. 
  19. ^ a b Robert P. Millon (1995). Zapata: The Ideology of a Peasant Revolutionary. International Publishers Co. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-7178-0710-9. 
  20. ^ a b Carlo de Fornaro, John Farley (1916). What the Catholic Church Has Done to Mexico. Latin-American News Association. pp. 13–14. 
  21. ^ a b Peter Gran (1996). Beyond Eurocentrism: a new view of modern world history. Syracuse University Press. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-8156-2692-3. 
  22. ^ Laura Randall, Changing structure of Mexico: political, social, and economic prospects, (M.E. Sharpe, 2006) ISBN 0-7656-1404-9 Page 435
  23. ^ a b Fox, Vicente and Rob Allyn Revolution of Hope p. 17, Viking, 2007
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ Aciprensa
  26. ^ Catholic News Agency
  27. ^ Jaime E. Rodríguez O., Kathryn Vincent (1997). Myths, misdeeds, and misunderstandings: the roots of conflict in U.S.-Mexican relations. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 5. ISBN 0-8420-2662-2, ISBN 978-0-8420-2662-8.
  28. ^ Ricardo Flores Magón, Chaz Bufe, Charles Bufe, Mitchell Cowen Verter, Dreams of freedom: a Ricardo Flores Magón reader (AK Press, 2006) ISBN 1-904859-24-0
  29. ^ David A. Shirk (2005). Mexico's New Politics. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 1-58826-270-7. 
  30. ^ Krauze, Enrique. Mexico: Biography of Power. A History of Modern Mexico, 1810-1996. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. New York, 1997. Pages 403
  31. ^ Scheina, Robert L. Latin America's Wars: The Age of the Caudillo, 1791-1899 p. 33 (2003 Brassey's) ISBN 1-57488-452-2
  32. ^ a b Van Hove, Brian Blood-Drenched Altars Faith & Reason 1994
  33. ^ Ruiz, Ramón Eduardo Triumphs and Tragedy: A History of the Mexican People p.393 (1993 W. W. Norton & Company) ISBN 0-393-31066-3
  34. ^ Philippe Levillain The Papacy: An Encyclopedia p. 1208, 2002 Routledge
  35. ^ Nathaniel Weyl, Mrs. Slyvia (Castleton) Weyl (1939). The reconquest of Mexico: the years of Lázaro Cárdenas. Oxford university press. p. 322. 
  36. ^ John W. Sherman (1997). The Mexican right: the end of revolutionary reform, 1929-1940. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 43 to 45. ISBN 978-0-275-95736-0. 
  37. ^ Carlos Monsiváis, John Kraniauskas (1997). Mexican postcards. Verso. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-86091-604-8. 
  38. ^ Christopher Robert Boyer (2003). Becoming campesinos: politics, identity, and agrarian struggle in postrevolutionary Michoacán, 1920-1935. Stanford University Press. pp. 179 to 181. ISBN 978-0-8047-4356-3. 
  39. ^ Marjorie Becker (1995). Setting the Virgin on fire: Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán peasants, and the redemption of the Mexican Revolution. University of California Press. pp. 124 to 126. ISBN 978-0-520-08419-3. 
  40. ^ Cora Govers (2006). Performing the community: representation, ritual and reciprocity in the Totonac Highlands of Mexico. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 132. ISBN 978-3-8258-9751-2. 
  41. ^ Mabry, Donald J. "Mexican Anticlerics, Bishops, Cristeros, the Devout during the 1920s: A Scholarly Debate." Journal of Church and State 20, 1: 82 (1978).
  42. ^ a b Tuck, Jim, "Mexico's marxist guru: Vicente Lombardo Toledano (1894–1968)" Mexconnect, October 9, 2008
  43. ^ Mexico: Church State Relations Country Studies Series by Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress June 1996
  44. ^ Philip Stein, Siqueiros: his life and works (International Publishers Co, 1994), ISBN 0-7178-0706-1, pp176
  45. ^ a b c d e f g h Goodrich, Luke, "Mexico's Separation of Church and State" OffNews March 18, 2010, originally published in the Wall Street Journal
  46. ^ Humanist Studies - Atheists To Hold Global March in Mexico, Spain and Peru
  47. ^ Atheists take to the streets in Mexico - Philadelphia Atheists
  48. ^ High Beam - Atheist take their views and issues to the streets
  49. ^ Calderon calls non believers likely to become addicts
  50. ^ La Jornada: No creer en Dios hace a la juventud esclava de narcos - Felipe Calderón
  51. ^ Lamenta Felipe Calderón muerte de Jackson por 'consumo de drogas'
  52. ^ La juventud no cree en Dios porque no lo conoce: Calderón
  53. ^ ABC New York
  54. ^ Ateos responden a Calderón
  55. ^ Ateísmo desde México
  56. ^ "I don't believe in god, but I believe in destiny." "Our working relationship involves a lot of dialogue...we have very different viewpoints on certain things, like Alejandro's Catholicism and the fact that I'm an atheist." Filter Magazine
  57. ^ Sense about science
  58. ^ "Guillermo Kahlo was an educated, atheist, German-Jewish immigrant, who had come to Mexico as a young man and become an accomplished photographer, specializing in architectural photography". Samuel Brunk, Ben Fallaw, Heroes & hero cults in Latin America, (University of Texas Press, 2006), ISBN 0-292-71437-8 Page 174
  59. ^ "Her father Guillermo, from whom Frida inherited her creativity, was an atheist". Patrick Marnham, Diego Rivera Dreaming with His Eyes Open: A Life of Diego Rivera, (University of California Press, 2000), ISBN 0-520-22408-6 Page 220 [2]
  60. ^ "Marcos' revolutionary weddings were breaking the Church's monopoly on matrimonial services, and the Subcommander's presiding over them was perceived by the diocese as both an encroachment on Church prerogatives and as sacrilege. Marcos and the bishop were diametrically and vehemently opposed on certain issues, in particular birth control. Marcos believed whole-heartedly in it. The guerrillas were issued contraceptive devices at a clinic in Morelia which the government had helped found and fund. Nor was the encouragement and distribution of contraceptives restricted to the guerrillas themselves. Marcos believed that one of the major contributing factors to hardship and poverty was its overpopulation. Finally, according to one source at least, Marcos was becoming increasingly intolerant regarding questions of faith, even going so far as to preach atheism" Nick Henck, Subcommander Marcos: The Man and the Mask, (Duke University Press, 2007) ISBN 0-8223-3995-1 Page 119
  61. ^ The War Against Oblivion : The Zapatista Chronicles 1994–2000
  62. ^ "Hasta ahora no profeso religión ni tengo razón para profesarla puesto que no creo en ninguna forma teológica". Juan O'Gorman, Autobiografía, (UNAM, 2007) ISBN 970-32-3555-7 [3]
  63. ^ "God is an excuse, a foggy abstraction that everyone uses for his own benefit and moulds it to the extent of his convenience and interests". Fernando Vallejo during the ceremony of the Rómulo Gallegos Prize in Venezuela