Talk:Plutarco Elías Calles

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Very similar to the Obregon entry, it needs more on what he did. Calles was a central figure in the development of Mexico, and should be treated more thoroughly. also obviously needs to be organized with headings. Finally, the article leaves out almost completely Calles' career before and after the presidency, during the latter of which he was still very influential.

category:Anti-catholism is already a subcat of category:religious persecution, so adding this page to the cat:religious persecution would be double categorization. And although it's undeniable that PEC violated human rights, we can't add every dictator and human rights violator in that cat. Firstly it would become huge (arguable could could add almost every leader at every point in history from every countryt), secondly it would become very POV-sensitive, thirdly if you look at the category, you'll see that this policy is already followed, there are (almost) no people in it and fourthly the universal declaration of human rights did not puta madre hijo de la chingada exist yet when Calles was president, so adding him in that category would be anachronistic. Mixcoatl 02:48, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Anti-Catholicism is not a subcategory of religious persecution any more than anti-semitism is a subcategory of religious persecution. For example, Mel Gibson's rant was anti-semitic but it was not persecution. Amanda Marcotte's writings are anti-Catholic but were not religious persecution. Sometimes you have bigotry but no persecution, and sometimes you have both. Mamalujo 08:30, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

What happened to this page? It became again a long rant against Calles. --Hugo Estrada (talk) 09:27, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Atheist or agnostic?[edit]

IIRC Enrique Krauze's Biografia del Poder mentions that Calles was agnostic rather than an atheist. I currently don't have the book here, so could somebody check it? Mixcoatl 03:50, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I checked this fact in the book that you talk about. It is actually very hard to figure out what Calles' beliefs are. It doesn't seem that he was a committed atheist or agnostic, although he was definitely anti Catholic clergy. The books says that this was rooted on a strong anticlerical tradition in his family and in Sonora. --Hugo Estrada 02:57, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

The article says that Calles was a Freemason and has a paragraph dedicated to this. I see an inconsistency since it's impossible to be both a Freemason and an atheist. Also the article does not belong to the 'Freemasons' category. Can this discrepancy resolved in the text? Pictureuploader 14:40, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

It is possible to be a part of Continental_Freemasonry while being an atheist, though. -- (talk) 21:15, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Continental_Freemasonry is irregular Freemasonry, not recognized by the majority of the world's Freemasons. Implying that Calles was anti-clerical because he was a Freemason is as misleading as saying that the Jefferson_Bible is a Christian document. --Moly 21:00, 20 October 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Moly (talkcontribs)

Biased language under presidency[edit]

I am no fan of Calles, but the first sentence on the section of his presidency had a string of adjectives that are not relevant to the discussion. I took them out. --Hugo Estrada 19:55, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Calles was in fact an atheist, anti-Catholic and anti-clerical; these matters are factual (and sourced) and are not bias but are very pertinent to the actions he took and his rule. He personally admitted to a great contempt for the church and acted on that, resulting in a rebellion that killed perhaps 90,000 Mexicans. I have reverted the changes.Mamalujo 00:05, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Mamalujo, There are two problems with your position. First, that your string of adjectives reflects a conservative Catholic point of view. It is a fine point of view to have, and it contributes a lot to the understanding of Calles, but this being under presidency doesn't contribute anything at all. However, I do understand that it is fair to include evidence that will show his acts, and let them make their own mind about this.
To do this in an unbiased way, I am doing the following: highlight the Cristero War by creating a new subsection, and turning Legacy into Legacy and Controversy where each relavent view of Calles can be shown attributing the ideologies that back one criticism or another. --Hugo Estrada 17:58, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Yet he is rumoured to be a Freemason; atheism and freemasonry would seem incompatible views. As with Tomás Garrido Canabal there does seem a desire to promote atheism ahead when it would seem a minor view to other traits. It is interesting that both Calles and Canabal are strongly against booze. I suspect my view on The Power and the Glory with respect to prohibition has the stronger weight rather than this desire to characterize them as primarily "atheist".
Again I also feel that here undue weight is given to "atheist" when "anti-Catholic" and "anti-clerical" are the only two descriptions needed. The relevance of "atheist" has not yet been proven. Ttiotsw 01:19, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. And also see my earlier remark, if I'm not mistaken Calles wasn't even atheist but agnostic. And it is also interesting to note that Calles, although undoubtly violating freedom of religion, never violated freedom of conscience or wanted to outlaw catholicism, unlike the Cristeros who were actively opposed to freedom of conscience the constitution to forbid any religion except catholicism. Mixcoatl 02:00, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
No, he was not an agnostic but an atheist, and that fact is backed up with a reliable source. The idea that the "relevance" of his atheism has to be proven so ridiculous, it is hardly worth comment. It belongs in the article. It is also ridiculous to say he did not violate freedom of conscience or attempt to outlaw the Church. It was indisputably his intention and he made sweeping efforts to carry it out and allowed and encouraged others to take even more draconian measures. The letter of the legislation did not outlaw the Church but it undisputably gave the state the power to do so. For just one example, the government could control the number of priests who served in an area. In Chihuahua only one priest was allowed in the entire state. Forced marriage (in Tabasco) in violation of ones religious vows plainly violates freedom of conscience. Federal troops attempted to coerce apostacy by execising the threat of torture and execution, and carried out those threats, often in inhuman way. For an example, one of many, see José Sánchez del Río.Mamalujo 16:50, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree on your claim - "The idea that the "relevance" of his atheism has to be proven so ridiculous, it is hardly worth comment. It belongs in the article" - We've been over this in other articles too and you haven't come up with any cogent reason why other than you like it. As with the other articles it is picking one attribute of a person and giving it an undue weight. For example, Winston_Churchill only mentions religion in the infobox and never in the article, Adolf Hitler is never described as "stridently" "theist" or much else "stridently" anything. "Stridently atheist" is quite simply hyperbole worthy of weasel and "atheist" on its own to remain would be given undue weight to one attribute when the other descriptions suffice.Ttiotsw 02:02, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Here's a cogent reason, his atheism is biographical! And its not getting undue weight, he was particularly involved in matters of religion, so his religious views are of heightened historical interest. As to the word "strident", it is not my word but the word used by the reliable and unbiased source. It is not hyperbole, but factual accuracy. Hitler is not described as stridently theist because he was not. It is well documented that he rejected his faith while still a child and only used faith as a political tool. Churchill does not have more mention of his faith because it did not play a large part in his rule. More mention of the religious views are warranted in cases such as Ferdinand and Isabella, Stalin, Henry VII, Mao, Constantine, etc. Calles falls into this class. Mamalujo 20:07, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

On the issue of Calles' purported Freemasonry, it is not necessarily inconsistent with his atheism. In English speaking lodges it was less common, but in the Latin lodges atheism was very common and in certain instances specifically permitted. Freemasonry in Mexico, like the continental tradition, was often rabidly anti-clerical. (As an aside, although the subject of the Masons often is the subject of wild paranoid theories, the role of Freemasonry in Mexican politics is not the realm of wingnut conspiracy theories. It is well documented in reputable academic works.) Mamalujo 17:00, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

It was indeed very much so in the 19th century, especially during the independence war, in the 1820's (during which masonic lodges pratically functioned as political parties) and during the reforma. But it was not any more in the Mexican Revolution and aftermath. The source you gave about those "Marvelous cristeros" can't possibily be considered unbiased. It says for almosts every person mentioned whether he was a mason or not (often with no or little base in fact) and uses it mainly as a term of abuse ("Betrayed by Masonic generals", "in the United States Hoover, who was not a Mason, was elected") while passages like this one are hilariously biased nonsense: "The puppets successively made presidents of Mexico were all corrupt Masons who immediately enforced the orders issued from Washington to "defanaticize" the country, that is, to destroy its Catholicism which dated from the 16th century when the Spanish (especially the Franciscans, had evangelized Mexico; the order also demanded defiling the memory of its European heritage by exalting the pre-Columbian era and the "marvelous" Aztec civilization where the wheel and the vault were unknown, but where slavery, human sacrifice and cannibalism were practiced on a grand scale even in the 16th century!" Mexican presidents puppets of the US? Exalting the indian past (most were outright racist towards the indians)? To destroy catholicism? The article has some nasty antisemtical insinuations ("this descendant of Spanish Jews") as well. Also the source for Calles receiving a masonic medal is a cristero newspaper, you can hardly expect Calles' enemies to be neutral against him. Unless you manage to provide a more neutral source, I consider those accusations to be unproven. Furthermore it may be interesting to note that the Cristeros opposed freedom of religion, murdered teachers and blew up passenger trains. The article goes on listing federal atrocities (which were undeniably commited) but is completely silent on the atrocities of those "Admirable Cristeros". Atrocities were commited on both sides, you can't put all the blame on Calles In fact he passed the Calles law after a failed attempt to assasinate him by a catholic radical and although it's unsourced, the Cristero War article says more people died on the federal side than on the cristero side. Mixcoatl 05:31, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
I understand that the role of Freemasonry in Mexican politics changed by the twentieth century; they no longer acted as de facto political parties, but I think it is mistaken to say that it no longer played a large part during the twentieth century. Mexican Freemasonry, itself, maintains it played this part: "After the defeat and exile of the dictator in the 1910 revolution, a succession of Presidents who were Masons and strongly anticlerical ruled the country under the 1917 Constitution" and "a number of the Grand Lodges are and, the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite are closely identified with the ruling party "Partido Revolucionario Institucional". (see MEXICAN MASONRY- POLITICS & RELIGION - speach of Senior Grand Warden-York/Mexico). I understand the concerns regarding the bias and reliability of the source re Calles' Masonic associations - I have no intention to revert that and I think it is fine as it is, unless someone provides a better source. You are right that the Cristeros also engaged in atrocities, but hardly to the degree that the state did. Moreover, they were the victims of a supression of, and state intrusion into, religion and were forced into rebellion. There is no moral equivalency. You assert that Cristeros were opposed to freedom of conscience. Maybe, maybe, that is the case. I have never read anything which asserted that fact. The fact that more people died on the federal side doesn't mean those deaths were atrocities, more likely they were legitimate combat and reflect the widespread popular dissatisfaction with Calles' actions.Mamalujo 20:07, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
The Cristero war was hardly widespread. It was contained in strongly Catholic areas, and it varied within it. For example, my mother's family has strong emotional involvement in the Cristero War, yet my father's family, living a relatively short distance from their town, hardly ever mentioned the war.--Hugo Estrada 18:04, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
The story this article spins seems to gloss over the making of Calles. Yes, he was "stridently atheist" (which has been quotemined from the reference as it is mention in passing), but the article fails to highlight that the reason why his brand of anticatholicism was supported was in part due to the Church support for Victoriano Huerta a few years beforehand. Anti-Heurta sentiment begets the 1917 Constitution which I understand is anticlerical and that then paves the way for Calles. Ttiotsw 20:32, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
The 1917 Constitution is the child of the 1857 one, which was pretty anticlerical itself. And being anticlerical was an important part of Mexican liberalism since the early 19th century. There seems to have been some kind of arrangement, probably informal, that those provisions would not be enforce. That same tacit understanding was continued after 1917. For some reason, Calles seemed serious about enforcing them, and the Ley Calles was the signal for this. I really don't know why he was so eager to enforce these provisions. After Calles, the old tacit understanding was continued.
In any case, Calles' main work is not as an atheist but as the builder of the state party in Mexico. --Hugo Estrada 23:35, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Bias language and controversial interpretations[edit]

I am starting this section of this discussion to make it clear to some people that we must avoid biased language.

As much as some of us want, we cannot describe people or laws with adjectives. This is biased language; we are injecting our point of view into the subject through this subtle manner. We should all have the maturity to understand that some of our beliefs on people, which seem clear to us, are our opinions, and other people may disagree with them.

As for expressing biased opinions which can illuminate on Calles, please use the legacy and controversy section. This let's readers know that the opinions reflect an ideology or point of view.

P.S. Mamalujo, please write notes here after you edit justifying your edits, please. Your behavior seems to be leading to an edit war. --Hugo Estrada 23:51, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Noting that a person, a party or movement is anticlerical, assuming it is factually accurate, is decidedly not bias or POV. Otherwise, how could there even be an article on anticlericalism. It is an historically recognized and identifiable phenomenon. Like Maximilien Robespierre and Émile Combes, Calles is pretty much universally recognized as being anti-clerical. He is almost as frequently referred to as being anti-Catholic.
For examples of this usage see the Columbia encyclopedia article on Calles which refers to the Calles law as anti-clerical, the Historical Text archive article on Calles which likewise refers to the constitution as anti-clerical and Mexico connect article which refers to his anti-Catholicism and anticlericalism.
You say "we cannot describe people or laws with adjectives." I'm afraid that sorely misaprehends the NPOV policy. If an individual or a state closes monasteries and convents, abolishes religious orders, deports clergy, bans public religious demonstrations, and closes church schools, they are by definition indisputably anti-clerical. If an individual or group attempts to get the faithful to renounce their Catholic faith by threats of torture or killing, they are indisputably anti-Catholic. Like Calles' atheism, his anti-clericalism and anti-Catholism are historical facts, not bias or POV.Mamalujo 19:05, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Mamalujo, My position is that we should properly qualify any judgment and let people make up their own mind, rather than inject POV through the use of adjectives in our language.

It is very different to write "the atheist, anti-clerical, and anti-Catholic Calles" than to explore each of these aspects of him under a heading. The string of adjectives is name calling; writing a paragraph on each of these headings is substantiating these claims. In a way, especially with someone like Calles, it serves your point of view more to explain what he did to be considered anticlerical and anti-Catholic than to just call him that.

Also, I don't think that non-Mexicans are going to get what the significance of him being an atheist is. This is a loaded adjective for Mexicans, a country who is very religious. For non-Mexicans, it doesn't contribute anything to the understanding of Calles because being an atheist in the U.S. or Europe is different from being an atheist in Mexico. Now, listing his anticlerical acts and briefly outlining how the Ley Calles was anticlerical does more to highlight this aspect of his life to all readers.

Why don't you we write a subsection called "Anti-Clerical and Anti-Catholic Actions" under presidency, right before the "Cristero War" section? I agree that these parts of his life should be explore, but we who dislike Calles must be extra careful to be fair to him. Don't you agree? And I really dislike Calles :P, which makes our exchanges pretty absurd.

Why don't you go ahead and write the first draft of this section? --Hugo Estrada 19:38, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't know that we need a separate section on anti-clerical and anti-Catholic actions. It seems it fits well within the Cristero section. In an attempt to compromise, rather than listing a string of descriptors before Calles name, I have left the fact that he was a "strident atheist" (accurate words of a reliable source) and described the legislation, rather than him, as anticlerical (accurately so). Finally, later in the paragraph, I indicated that his actions have been "characterized" as anti-Catholic. I also included some additional instances of anti-clericalism. I hope this is an acceptable compromise. Quite frankly I thought the original was factual and neutral. Many neutral accounts, including encyclopedias, scholarly works and the like, point out Calles as anti-Catholic and anticlerical. More than a few sources state that this is what he is primarily known for. There is a good argument that his persecution of the Church overshadowed his substantial political actions.Mamalujo 21:16, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
I am fine with the changes. I made one change to "strident atheist" into "vocal atheist" trying to make this meaningful in the context of the Cristero war, showing how his statements on atheism got him greater antipathy from Catholics. Strident is too biased, even in the source that you quoted. Vocal means the same, but it doesn't have in itself a negative connotation. And I hope that placing it where I did makes his atheism meaningful to the discussion. --Hugo Estrada 13:27, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Bad source, Robert Royal's "Father Miguel Pro: A Mexican Hero"[edit]

I checked this source, and I found it not only strongly biased against Calles, stating without documenting at all how Calles admired Hitler and Stalin, but it also contains a mayor historical inaccuracy when it says that Calles banned masses in Mexico. This is a popular myth spread by the Catholic Church, probably to misinformed Catholics and inducing them into participating in the Cristero War. In fact, it was the Catholic Church that decided to go into a "Mass strike," which helped fueled the Cristero war.

I will request another citation for this section claim.

The untrustworthy source is: Robert Royal, "Father Miguel Pro: A Mexican Hero" Arlington Catholic Herald (2000). --Hugo Estrada 17:23, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I strongly disagree that Royal is an unreliable source. He is a noted scholar and author and has taught at Brown University, Rhode Island College, and The Catholic University of America and was a Fulbright scholar. You did not include an edit summary when you deleted the source, so when I reverted I indicated that it was unjustified. After seeing your explanation here, I still assert the justification is inadequate. Mamalujo 17:46, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't care where he studied or what: he made a gross error when he claimed that Calles banned mass, and this makes me doubt of his work. Furthermore, I am not taking out the text with the claim; I am just asking for a better source. If you find a scholarly work by Royal which is actually acceptable, we could put that in.
But your source current link is not.
Also, notice how I substantiated Calles reading Mein Kampf :) --Hugo Estrada 18:03, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't know that it is a major historical innacuracy to say that Calles banned masses in Mexico. He did ban, in violation of religious freedom, all masses outside of a Church building. He also supported the banning of Masses in Chihuahua, Tabasco and elsewhere. Moreover, the hierarchy's Mass strike was a result of Calles' refusal to compromise. They approached him in an attempt to soften the persecution and state intrusion into the Church. He would not bend and essentially forced the Church's hand. Mamalujo 18:58, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Royal made a gross historical error which makes it impossible to use his piece. The Church, as you stated, went on a Mass strike. It was the decision of the Church to take this step. Your argument that the Church was 'forced' to do this is weak and irrelevant since the reason why the Church is went on strike is not the topic: the topic here is whether Calles banned masses or not, and he didn't.
Had Royal qualified his statement, saying that Calles had banned all religious ceremonies outside of churches, then we would be correct. However, he failed to qualified, so his statement makes it sound like Calles banned all masses, and this is a gross inaccuracy, especially in this topic, and especially because many within the Catholic Church spread the myth that Calles banned all masses.
Understand that Royal is either too biased in the quoted document or he is too sloppy. In neither case you want to use him as a source, especially when there are many reliable sources out there that you can use to make a strong case about Calles' sympathies towards the Soviet Union or fascism. Find another source, one that is reliable. And if you insist on using Royal, find a work on him where he is either not biased or he is not historically inaccurate.
I suspect that I will find substantiation to Calles sympathizing with the Soviets in Krauze's book. Let me find it, and I will use Krauze's work instead.
Please omit Royal's piece as a source. --Hugo Estrada 19:56, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Quite frankly, I don't know why you are making such a fuss about the source. It is not even being cited for the fact which you object to and the fact which it is cited for is backed up by an additional source. And the statement you take exception to, being somewhat ambiguous, is susceptible to more than one interpretation, thus making in not patently false.Mamalujo 20:06, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Mamalujo, Royal as a source for the topic of Calles is bad because it is overly biased against him, doesn't support the claims that it makes against him, and commits a gross historical inaccuracy that puts Royal's knowledge on the subject to question. In more blunt words: Royal doesn't seem to know basic history of the Cristiada. He may be a good source for padre Pro, which is the true subject of his article. You must know that it is not acceptable as a source to find a printed source where an author like Royal name calls other people.
Why do you insist on using Royal? The part that you are quoting is just the standard biased rant that Catholics in Mexico do when talking about Calles. I could get the same material if I qoute my uncles and my aunts. It has no usefulness for the topic.
As for the claim that he had sympathies towards Nazism, Enrique Krauze's book is a better source, and I have kept his sympathies for Nazism in the article. Unfortunately I was not able to find in his biography of Calles anything that would suggest that he was a Communist sympathizer, so I took that out. Calles couldn't show any sympathies towards the USSR during his presidency because this would have brought a war with the U.S. Krauze considered him a reformer and not a revolutionary in Marxist terms, and within Marxist circles being a reformer is no good.
However, there may be some source that documents his sympathies towards Communism, and if I find it, I will put it back in the article. :) --Hugo Estrada 18:40, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

In a spirit of compromise, I've removed Royal as a source. I don't think your exceptions to his article are well founded, though. There are no innacuracies in the article (at most you've pointed out an ambiguity). And I don't think any source which characterizes him as anti-Catholic, anticlerical or a persecutor of Catholics is necessarily biased. He was all of those things and all kinds of reliable sources say so, including encyclopedias. Its like saying a source on Hitler (not to say Calles is equivalent to Hitler) is biased because it says he was antisemitic or persecuted Jews. I'll agree that the statments regarding his sometime admiration of communism should remain out until a reliable and unequivocal source is found which states so as more than an aside. I have seen more than one refernce to it though (obviously I don't recall them all), and it is noteworthy, as noted in the article, that the U.S. feared he contemplated taking the country in that direction. Mamalujo 21:41, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Bad source, ""[edit]

Footnote 17, which references a "medal" given to Calles by "Freemasonry", is a very biased site, ultraconservative, and not a professional academic or journalist source, nor an eyewitness. This is Freemason-Conspiracy Theory stuff.

Calles becoming rightwing[edit]

I believe that it is fair to call him "rightwing" since we have two sources that substantiates his sympathies towards fascism and Naziism. Considering the political atmosphere of the time, I "rightwing" seem a lot more accurate than, "moved to the right" which could imply that he was only a moderate from then on.

However, I will leave the text as it is unless other people feel that stressing Calles documented sympathies towards fascism must be included in the article. --Hugo Estrada 00:49, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

New Section on Mexico-U.S. relations[edit]

I added a new section under Mexico-U.S. relations. This was a major theme of his presidency, and an important chapter on Mexico's oil theme. Also, Ambassador Morrow, who arrived to Mexico in 1927, was going to play a key role in getting oil agreements and peace agreements of the Cristero War.

Please comment and edit. --Hugo Estrada 03:01, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Ancestry / Ethnic background[edit]

I was surprised to see the following line in the Calles article:

According to (false) rumours, his parents had been Syrians or Turks, giving him the nickname El Turco (The Turk). In order not to draw too much attention to his bad childhood, Calles chose to ignore those rumours rather than to combat them.

Can anyone provide evidence to substantiate the claim that Calles' father was not of Levantine (Syrian or Lebanese) origin or descent? Note that his father's last name was Elías (not Calles); Elías is a Syrian/Lebanese Christian surname, not a Spanish surname that I am aware of. (Note also that Syria/Lebanon were part of the Ottoman empire until after 1915, and all immigrants from the region were known in Latin America as turcos regardless of ethnicity.) --Potosino (talk) 03:48, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Krauze mentioned it in the biography of power. He had no Turkish/Arab ancestors, the Elías lived in Mexico since at least the 18th century. I added the references. Mixcoatl (talk) 19:54, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Sephardics and Turks were deported to Mexico in colonial times. (talk) 04:36, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Unsupported claims on allerged Communism &Fascism[edit]

The article claims "Although he may not have called himself a Communist, he enacted polices in line with the 10 planks of Communism, such as the Central Bank and the government schools. Whether someone professes to be communist, socialist, marxist, or fascist the objective is always the same, smash the existing social order and rebuild it in your own image through violence. It has to be violent because these revolutions are never popular, contrary to the myths perpetuated by some."

ad sentence 1: the "ten planks of communism", i.e. the ten immediate measures proposed in the "Communist Manifesto" are not supposed to define what Communism is all about, and many of these measures have been carried out by governments w/o any communist ambition. That someone may have carried out a few or all of the immediate measures says nothing about their relationship with Communism.

ad sentence 2 & 3: completely unsupported claims! Left and right do not want the same, and there are moreover many cases in history of both leftist and right-wing revolutions with extensive popular bases.

All of this should be deleted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:14, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

LOL... You are so wrong. Calles himself wrote several times to the Ambassador of France denouncing Catholicism as something that hypnotizes the masses, and that he wished to see Catholicism and any religious faith eradicated so that the people will rely solely on the government and its resources. Do your research more. Calles was atheist and then later became "animistic" in his later years. But he was born out of wedlock, grew up with an alcholic father and hated religion because he thinks it corrupts the people into relying on deities rather than the government and Mexican constitution. Thats as plain englsih as it gets HeartyBowl1989 (talk) 22:43, 29 May 2012 (UTC)HeartyBowl

Being an atheist is not the same as being a communist. Mexico has a strong anti-clerical streak. --Hugo Estrada (talk) 15:15, 30 July 2012 (UTC)


It seems very unlikely that Calles was both a Freemason and an atheist, given that freemasonry requires a belief in a "higher-being". The only source given seems very low quality, a sort-of pop-history "Who's Who" of Freemasons that lacks any primary sources. Does anyone know of a reliable source supporting the claim that Calles was a Freemason? Glaucus (talk) 20:05, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

So called regular or Anglo-American freemasonry purportedly requires belief in a supreme being (some dispute this stating that you simply may not be a "stupid atheist" as opposed to a clever one), but continental or latin freemasonry does not. In fact, I believe it is this issue which was responsible for the schism. Mexico is seen as following the continental or latin pattern. There are many other sources citing to his masonic membership. Mamalujo (talk) 00:27, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
"Calles himself was appointed Grade 33 mason by the Mexican Rite in 1927, in recognition of his "eminent services" to the Patria in fighting Catholicism. And freemasonry remained a major factor, alongside Marxism, in the anticlericalism...." according to Matthew Butler (2007). Faith and Impiety in Revolutionary Mexico. Macmillan. p. 7.  Rjensen (talk) 00:51, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

"Religion = None" vs. "Religion = Atheist" or "Religion = None (atheist)" in infoboxes.[edit]

Per WP:BRD and WP:TALKDONTREVERT, This comment concerns this edit and this revert.

(Please note that nobody has a problem with the use of "Atheist" in the article text. This only concerns infoxoxes.)

"Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby." --Penn Jillette

"Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position." --Bill Maher

There are many reasons for not saying "Religion = Atheist" or "Religion = None (atheist)" in Wikipedia infoboxes. They include:

It implies something that is not true

Saying "Religion = Atheist" in Wikipedia infoboxes implies that atheism is a religion. It is like saying "Hair color = Bald", "TV Channel = Off" or "Type of shoe = Barefoot". "Religion = None (atheist)" is better -- it can be read two different ways, only one of which implies that atheism is a religion -- but "Religion = None" is unambiguous.

It is highly objectionable to many atheists.

Many atheists strongly object to calling atheism a religion,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] and arguments such as "atheism is just another religion: it takes faith to not believe in God" are a standard argument used by religious apologists.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

It goes against consensus

This was discussed at length at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 142#Changing "Religion = none" to "Religion = Atheist" on BLP infoboxes. Opinions were mixed, but the two positions with the most support were "Religion = None" or removing the Religion entry entirely.
More recently, it was discussed at Template talk:Infobox person#Religion means what?, and again the consensus was for "Religion = None".
On article talk pages and counting the multiple "thank you" notifications I have recieved, there are roughly ten editors favoring "Religion = None" for every editor who opposes it. Of course anyone is free to post an WP:RFC on the subject (I suggest posting it at Wikipedia:Centralized discussion) to get an official count.

It is unsourced

If anyone insists on keeping "Religion = Atheist" or "Religion = None (Atheist)" in any Wikipedia infobox, they must first provide a citation to a reliable source that established that the individual is [A] An atheist, and [B] considers atheism to be a religion. There is at least one page that does have such a source: Ian McKellen. Because we have a reliable source that establishes that Ian McKellen considers atheism to be a religion, his infobox correctly says "Religion: Atheist". In all other cases, the assertion that atheism is a religion is an unsourced claim.

It attempts to shoehorn too much information into a one-word infobox entry

In the article, there is room for nuance and explanation, but in the infobox, we are limited to concise summaries of non-disputed material. Terms such as "atheist", "agnostic", "humanist", "areligious", and "anti-religion" mean different things to different people, but "Religion = None" is perfectly clear to all readers, and they can and should go to the article text to find out which of the subtly different variations of not belonging to a religion applies.

It violates the principle of least astonishment.

Consider what would happen if Lady Gaga decided to list "Banana" as her birth date. We would document that fact in the main article with a citation to a reliable source (along with other sources that disagree and say she was born on March 28, 1986). We would not put "Birth date = Banana" in the infobox, because that would cause some readers to stop and say "wait...what? Banana is not a birth date...". Likewise we should not put anything in an infobox that would cause some readers to stop and say "wait...what? Atheism is not a religion..."

In many cases, it technically correct, but incomplete to the point of being misleading.

When this came up on Teller (magician), who strongly self-identifies as an atheist, nobody had the slightest problem with saying that Teller is an atheist. It was the claim that atheism is a religion that multiple editors objected to. Penn Jillette wrote "Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby", so we know that Penn objects to having atheism identified as a religion.
In the case of Penn, Teller and many others, they are atheists who reject all theistic religions, but they also reject all non-theistic religions, and a large number of non-religious beliefs. See List of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episodes for an incomplete list. Atheism just skims the surface of Penn & Teller's unbelief.

In my opinion, "Religion = None" is the best choice for representing the data accurately and without bias. I also have no objection to removing the religion entry entirely. --Guy Macon (talk) 08:08, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Guy Macon knows nothing about Calles and his complicated relationship to religion in Mexico. That does not matter. He posts this identical spam to hundreds of articles because he has not read the most basic books on comparative religion. He has not even seen Wikipedia's Religion article where the consensus of over 1000 active editors explains: "The terms "atheist" (lack of belief in any gods) and "agnostic" (belief in the unknowability of the existence of gods), though specifically contrary to theistic (e.g. Christian, Jewish, and Muslim) religious teachings, do not by definition mean the opposite of "religious". There are religions (including Buddhism and Taoism), in fact, that classify some of their followers as agnostic, atheistic, or nontheistic. The true opposite of "religious" is the word "irreligious". Irreligion describes an absence of any religion." Macon is simply unaware that some major religions include atheists. For the record Calles's father was a leading atheist who taught his son all about religion and made him one of Mexico's most famous proponents of atheism and enemy of the Catholic church. [ref = The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940 By Michael J. Gonzales p 203] Rjensen (talk) 08:19, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Your continued personal attacks on multiple talk pages do not make your argument stronger. Quite the opposite, actually. Keep it up and we will end up discussing your behavior at WP:ANI. The fact that some religions include atheists is irrelevant to the question of whether atheism is a religion. Some ice cream contains chocolate, but that does not prove that chocolate is an ice cream. Some houses have basements, but that does not prove that a basement is a house. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:40, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
you have zero to tell readers about Calles so go away, Rjensen (talk) 20:27, 3 December 2014 (UTC)