SANTIAGO, Chile – Chile’s conservative president rejected a proposal by the Roman Catholic Church for sweeping pardons of elderly and sick prisoners that would have freed military officers convicted of human rights violations during the Pinochet dictatorship.
President Sebastian Pinera announced Sunday that he will only consider case-by-case pardons on humanitarian grounds and that serious offenses related to crimes against humanity, terrorism or drug trafficking will not be considered.
It’s too bad. I’m not saying that they never did anything bad, but they were fighting for the soul of their nation against the vile corruption of Communism. It was a tough time all around. I used to not think so, but nowadays I’d be inclined to cut them some slack.
I agree. The fact that they were fighting against an evil government to me is enough reason to at least cut them a little slack. Not that what they did wasn’t wrong in some way or another but still, they were fighting against an evil government.
You have a good point. But I think the point the other poster was trying to make is that it was a difficult time and sometimes when there are difficult times, people resort to difficult measures regardless of how wrong they may be.
And what I’m saying is that what thse people did was evil, pure and simple, no excuses for ‘difficult times’. They overthrew a democratically elected government (no matter how odious), set up a brutal military dictatorship which ‘disappeared’ thousands of Chileans, tortured and detained thousands more, took children from their parents and gave them to military couples to raise as their own - to give just a flavor of what they did. And the Chilean Church didn’t exactly object to any of this either.
There is a reason why they’re in prison. What they did would mean at least a life sentence without parole (they could legitimately have been executed). This is a matter for the Chilean government. The Church should take its own advice and render to Caesar.
My first reaction is that the Church should stick to the spiritual and leave the temporal alone. My second reaction is a question, why should society have to pay to keep these now harmless criminals in jail? Isn’t there some way to mark them and make them lead what the Chinese communists referred to as a “ridiculous life.” Maybe shaving scalps and dyeing their heads purple every month or so; or making them wear sackcloth and ashes with no admittance to public accommodations. There has to be a better way than pounding money down this rathole of incarceration.
Overthrowing a democratically elected government is not necessarily evil, if that government is gravely evil (as the Allende regime was; Hitler was elected too). There’s nothing evil about having a military dictatorship, either.
Sorry but the first part of this is reading like a Socialist propaganda screed. When you start out by calling the ouster of a Communist regime and the establishment of a right wing polity “pure and simple” evil then that doesn’t exactly lend a lot of credibility to the rest of your charges.
Look, if you buy into the fetishism of democracy and the basic premises of the Socialist International (or Amnesty International, for that matter) then I think your conclusions will inevitably skew toward the Reds.
Like I said, these guys were trying to preserve the soul of their nation. You only have to look around you, to the persecution of all expressions of Christianity in public life, to the regime of homosexualists enforcing a gay cultural orthodoxy, to the Sexual Revolution… to see what they were trying to prevent.
Not far from where I live, you can drive down the highway and on your left see an Atheist billboard, and then on your right see a XXX sign for a pornographic media store. How many souls have these two things combined sent to Hell? Contemplate the eternal torment those poor souls are suffering. Did anybody ever suffer anything that bad under the Pinochet regime?
Sometimes, people need a bitter medicine lest they die of a dreadful sickness.