In common language we use expressions that have connotations related to our vision of the world, even if we don’t carry out religious practices. During centuries, in the West as still today in the East, religion and culture could not be separated although it’s legitimate to distinguish each one of them. Religion gave culture its ultimate sense while culture lent religion its language. Every language is culturally conditioned and every culture is informed by an ultimate vision of reality.
People no longer know what they’re saying when the use words such as “sponsor” and they reduce them to the commitment of paying a specific monetary quantity with beneficial ends. In many cases, this gesture alleviates the tension produced by the news of natural catastrophes, war and hunger victims, health and educational lacks that are perfectly controllable, according to the reports of the most solvent international agencies such as UNDP, UNESCO, WHO, UNICEF and FAO.
It seems to be easier to get rid of a cash quantity than questioning the causes of those injustices, of those development models or those socio-political systems that produce innocent victims, oppressed people and exploited regions while less than a fifth of humanity maintains an economic growth they confuse with their well-being. They forget that universal solidarity is an ethical imperative beyond any religions phenomenon emerged at a specific time, as a product of an undesirable reality that is not accepted or as the result of the sublimation of fears of the unknown that are later converted into believed myths.
The powers of the sovereign State and the institutions succeeded the power of religions. Now it is the large economic and financial groups that dictate their politics to States and, in a collateral way, to civil society organizations that, with the best will, can serve as a wall against inhuman development programs.
Since three decades ago, we witness the proliferation of humanitarian associations that promote social justice beyond frontiers and beyond those pressure groups that today decide States’ policies.
Along with this promising social reaction there are confessional, political and interest groups that take advantage of feelings through “sponsorships” showing playing children, taking advantage of the religious subconscious to obtain funds of questionable administration. They can cause a lot of damage because hope is directed towards future events, but rather to things that are not yet visible. Nobody has the right to hide the interests of soulless people who confuse value with price and development with uncontrolled economic growth underneath noble feelings.
José Carlos García Fajardo
Profesor of Contemporary Social and Political Thought. CCS Director