Religion is what.......
Off to the museum today but first find the bakery - early, get coffee, find DVD store we’d heard about and keep an eye open for the perfect t-shirt. The DVD store turned out to be a café with a movie buff owner and Fred stocked up with a selection of movies. T-shirt was elusive.
The museum is on the main square and was the family home of Ignacio Allende who was instrumental in launching the Mexican Revolution in the early 1800’s that saw the separation of Mexico from Spain. Unfortunately, Ignacio didn’t see the separation as he was caught and executed in the early days of the campaign. The Allende’s were a wealthy family and it was interesting to see how the homes of the upper class would have been set up.
After the museum we went looking for another bowl of Sopa de Tortilla or Aztec Soup as it’s sometimes called. There was one area of downtown that we had not walked to so checked it out after lunch. Our final stop was the mercado to pick up some things for dinner plus sticking our noses into a few churches we have not visited.
Mexico is the classic example of the phrase “Religion is the opiate for the masses”. The Catholic Church has had in the past an extremely powerful position in all aspects of Mexican life including but not limited to; culture, politics, wealth and the economy. In its early years in Mexico, the church was in fact the moneylender to individual families and business interests who used the land they held as collateral which often ended up in the churches hands. At one point, until the govt’ of the day took much of it away, the church held most of the wealth in Mexico.
Mexico historically has been a very class-conscious and rigidity stratified society. The social-economic level you were born into is where you stayed, very little upper mobility occurred. The church played a major role by reinforcing the concept that if you worked hard, struggled all your life and obeyed both church doctrine and the laws of the powerful; you would get your reward in the afterlife. The ruling elite embraced this concept as it assisted them at keeping the masses poor, uneducated and limited their ability to push for any real economic change.