2018 Elections: Brazilian Catholics for Choice fighting for democracy, against fascism and religious fundamentalisms
We live in a country with one of the largest prison populations in the world. The murder of women and LGBTIs is at an alarming high rate, and the black population is being killed systematically by the hands of the state. In the countryside and in the cities, greed for power and accumulation of money destroys lives in the name of “God” and “the family.” In the wake of the multiple violences we witness in Brazil, the compulsive incitement of hatred in the 2018 electoral race has reached unprecedented scope and destructive power.
Throughout his political career, far-right front-runner candidate Jair Bolsonaro gave numerous racist, misogynist and LGBTphobic statements. In addition to saying he is in favor of torture, he said that the civilian-military dictatorship of 1964 should have murdered “at least 30,000 people and if innocent people died, that’s fine.” We have to remember that the candidate said it would be better for his son to die in a traffic accident than to see him dating a man. Let’s remember what the candidate said about black men he saw in a quilombo, that they would not even serve for procreation. He clearly stated what he thinks about violence against women when she said: “(Maria do Rosario) does not deserve to be raped because she is too ugly, I would never rape her.” Black women were also deeply disrespected when Bolsonaro said that his sons would never date a black woman because they “are very well educated.” The list of offenses is as extensive as the list of Bolsonaro’s votes favorable to the withdrawal of human’s rights in the Chamber of Deputies.
Violence has a political purpose in a young democracy like Brazil. By creating alarm and moral panic against nonexistent enemies, Bolsonaro immobilizes the population and deflates any possibility of serious and constructive debate on progressive proposals for the government. Dishonestly using the motto “God above all,” Bolsonaro’s defamatory campaign resorted to mounts, false audios and lies denied, confirmed and denied again, many of them coming out of the mouths of priests and shepherds, false prophets of the supposed apocalypse that would take place if we did not vote for that candidate.
Let us not deceive ourselves. Religious fundamentalism is an extremist right-wing strategy to seize power. Covered in mystical robes, its language serves to justify the harshness and radicalism of its anti-democratic political and economic propositions.
In Donald Trump’s campaign, women, immigrants, black people and LGBTs were used as scapegoats for national problems in a compulsive and criminal way. Hate was propagated without limits through fake news on all social networks. Bolsonaro has taken the American example and, with the help of right-wing ideologues who have actively participated in the Trump campaign, uses the same dirty techniques to sabotage our democracy. Paranoid sentiment and fearful conspiracy theories have mobilized the subjectivity of much of the Brazilian population, which is informed mainly by Whatsapp, through alarming and apocalyptic texts.
Across the world, we watch astonished the malignant process of financial crises in countries. Their wealth are sold at the lowest price to transnational interests, locally represented by fund managers, corrupt politicians, banks and pseudo-intellectuals of the global economy. Bolsonaro’s financial guru Paulo Guedes, in addition to having the economic proposals questioned by prominent names of the “market” itself, was a professor at the University of Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and collects bad impressions from his peers about his little disposition for production of practical knowledge.
The policies of austerity preached by the neoliberal economists of the likes of Guedes and promised by Bolsonaro to the “market” are nothing more than processes that penalize the poorest in favor of the richest. Social security, labor and privatization reforms are capitalist tentacles that take away earned rights and destroy the possibility of a decent life for the majority of the population. Contrary to any religious ethics, such reforms find support in religious fundamentalism and its historic mechanism of fear and hatred of “communists.” Brazil has become a host country of global capitalism, with its policies that prioritize the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few in a deregulated way, rather than fostering the development of our economy. The rich will be richer, and there will be less income distribution and more poverty. This will be Bolsonaro’s agenda.
We, brazilian feminist women in the religious field, denounce the use of religion and spirituality to spread hate against minorities, against the most vulnerable and fragile population, and against those who, in the full exercise of their citizenship, refuse to vote for a fascist candidate.
We will not stop our fight!
From now until October 28th we are strong, alive and together against fascism, violence and religious fundamentalism!