I’m not going to pretend like I know anything about Bolivia’s political scene.
But this story caught my attention for obvious reasons:
A television ad that has aired around the country opens with a photo of Bolivia’s leftist President Evo Morales dressed in the garb of a traditional shaman. An image of Jesus Christ arrives to knock Mr. Morales off the screen, and a document labeled “New Constitution” appears amid flames. “Choose God. Vote No,” the ad advises.
The ad, funded by an evangelical church based in this stronghold of the political opposition, points up how religion is playing a growing role in the latest chapter of Bolivia’s sometimes bloody fight over a new constitution, which is up for a national referendum on Sunday.
If approved, Bolvia’s constitution would allow Mr. Morales, elected in 2005, to seek a second consecutive five-year term, reshape congress, and extend the state’s power — marking a victory for the strongly anti-American leader who recently expelled the U.S. ambassador, nationalized the country’s energy supplies, and whose key patron is Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.
… Bolivia’s current constitution allows for freedom of religion but specifies Roman Catholicism as the sole state religion.
For Christians, whose faith arrived in Bolivia along with Spanish Conquistadors almost 500 years ago, the fight is over fundamental values, which they say the new constitution tramples on, and replaces with ultra-liberal, atheist concepts or worse, those of indigenous religions. They say the constitution appears to open the door to abortion and gay marriage, although it doesn’t speak directly to either issue.
Here’s the commercial that The Wall Street Journal is talking about:
Almost looks like something we would’ve seen out of North Carolina this past election season…
Based on the commercial alone, I sympathize with Morales.
But if anyone would like to enlighten me on why I should or should not support Morales (even from a distance), I’d appreciate your wisdom.
(By the way, Morales appeared on The Daily Show in 2007. Jon Stewart was fascinated by him.)