‘For Greater Glory’ Inspires the Religiously Persecuted

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Mexican president Plutarco Calles (1924-28) thought the Catholic Church was part of a foreign plot to topple his government and control Mexico. He duly unleashed the Mexican military against the churches, but the repressions created an armed rebellion that forms the back story of For Greater Glory, a film that should inspire audiences, filmmakers and any group confronting oppression.

Calles deployed anti-clerical measures in Mexico’s 1917 constitution and added to them. He punished priests for wearing vestments in public, imprisoned priests for criticizing the government, deported foreign-born priests, and placed churches under government control. The National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty (LNDLR) responded with petitions, protests, and then a boycott. Those only had the effect of further enraging Calles, who then deployed federal troops against the churches.

In cinema, out of sight is out of mind. To its great credit, For Greater Glory shows this persecution in considerable detail. Mexican federal troops ransack churches, raid villages, slaughter civilians and hang them from telegraph poles. Mexican federal troops execute priests by firing squad and torture captives, demanding that they say “long live the federal government.” They resist and respond.

A rag-tag guerilla army of ranchers and peasants rises up against the federales, led by a priest and supported by the LNDLR and its clandestine network. The Cristeros, as they called themselves, hire Enrique Gorostieta, (Andy Garcia) an agnostic liberal and boastful ex-general to unify their forces. Though without formal military training they prevailed over Mexican federal troops in key battles. Historians may quibble about details but overall the account is accurate and balanced.

Guerilla war is always a bloody business and the film shows the Cristeros burning a train, with civilians still inside. This action hurts their support from abroad. Gorostieta was betrayed by a federal spy and gunned down, but the cause was not lost.

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  • H&R_ Barack

    What a difference a few decades in Mexico make. Today the Roman Catholic Church owns Mexico's churches.

    Originally Catholicism was spread across Latin America with the sword. Reportedly, in a heated discussion, Cortez rebuked Aztec chief Montezuma for offering human sacrifices. With amazing insight, Montezuma responded, "At least we don't eat the flesh and drink the blood of our god."

    The Spaniards slaughtered thousands of Aztecs in their attempt to force them to submit to baptism into the Roman Catholic Church.

    TODAY, one need go no further south than to Mexico to see the effects of Roman Catholicism in its continuing dominance throughout Latin America.

    Evangelicals attempting to bring the gospel to Latin America still encounter stiff opposition from the priests in every town and city.

    Jesus did not come to start a crusade.

    • Indioviejo

      What a bunch of crap, sophistries, and half truths. This sort of dribble may work among the ignorant, but anyone seeking the truth should do their diligent research into the subject.

      • intrcptr2

        The word is "drivel", and you would be far better by attacking his points rather than simply trying to through mud.

        And, yes, I have done quite enough research already to know that this is not dribble.

        • Indioviejo

          Then you should know dribble and drivel. Look it up.

        • H&R_ Barack

          Replying to intrcptr2 – bump.

          …….."dribble" is the oatmeal in Indioviejo's ear.

          • intrcptr2

            Funny who gets the jokes and doesn't, init?

        • intrcptr2

          Oh, wow, that's a horrible typo; "through" mud?


          • Indioviejo

            Pretty smug, from so much dribble.

      • H&R_ Barack

        Replying to (hair on fire) Indioviejo:

        When the Roman Catholic priest, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the church door in Wittenburg, his nail drove deep into the hearts of truly born-again Christians who, for centuries had been laboring under the tyranny of the Roman Catholic Church, the true source of the "attacks" on millions of Christendom through the centuries.

        Indioviejo – If you want some – "full truths" READ the historic, classic,
        Martyr's Mirror. and educate yourself.
        (here it is for your convenience – on line!) http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/contents.htm

        This classic 1660 Dutch book memorializes the godly lives and glorious deaths of European Anabaptist martyrs between 1524 and 1660 and thousands of other early Christians.

        The truth will make Christians (and Jews) weep!

        • Indioviejo

          The Reformation was needed because the Christian Church became corrupted by absolute power. It is a historical fact. The religious wars that followed created MARTYRS on all sides, because of man's inhumanity to man. The human condition. No matter where we go, there we are! I believe this was Jesus's plan in order to teach us to follow the word and not men. The point during the Cristero Rebellion was freedom. The Mexican Government's point was TOTALITARIAN control over the Mexican people. It couldn't be fully implemented but look at the damage it is still doing to the Mexican people. Socialism is the prettiest girl at the Ball.

      • H&R_ Barack

        Replying to Indioviejo's quote, -"What a bunch of crap, sophistries, and half truths. This sort of dribble may work among the ignorant, but anyone seeking the truth should do their diligent research into the subject"

        Okay. Do some of your own "diligent" research into the persecutions and slaughter of the Waldenses, (also spelled Valdenses), the French Vaudois, and the Italian Valdesi, or, say, the Jews in Worms.

        Just for starters.

        The history of the Roman Catholic Church makes Calles look like a choir boy. Grotesque Indeed.

      • H&R_ Barack

        Indioviejo –

        If this is really about the "Religiously Persecuted"…The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade (1209–1255) that was a 45-year military campaign initiated by the Catholic Church to wipe-out and completely eliminate Catharism in Languedoc is a documented event that bares consideration among the intellectually honest.

        "Mexican federal troops execute priests by firing squad and torture captives, demanding that they say “long live the federal government.” "

        The Roman Catholic Church's Inquisitions, Crusades, and brutal persecutions as well as their horrendous torture and murders of MILLIONS of innocent Christians, Jews and Muslims who would not be "baptized" into Roman Catholicism's non-biblical "sacrament" of baptismal regeneration.

        Moreover, – no Pope hated Jews more than Paul IV (1555-59) whose cruelities defy the bounds of human reason!

        This movie's construct is grotesque in light of the Roman Church history of torture and unspeakable inhuman acts.

        • Indioviejo

          The Church's History is public knowledge, it is a study in power and corruption, and it is all part of the human condition. As Lord Acton said, absolute power corrupts absolutely, nevertheles the word is eternal. The message is clear, simple, and almost imposible to live by, but the Church is made of simple and humble christians more than you would admit.

          • H&R_ Barack

            What an inappropriate ignorant quote.

            Lord Acton, while he was a Roman Catholic was a individual liberties advocate whose sympathies lay entirely with the Confederacy, for their defense of States' Rights against a centralized government.

            Lord Acton, it then would follow, – would NOT have approved of his church's making tiki-torches of Biblical Christians, and Roman Catholicicm's wanton slaughter of literally millions of non-catholics who refused his church's "baptism" unto death.

            This movie's construct is a grotesque satire of the Roman Church's own history of torture and unspeakable inhuman acts.

            Millions upon millions were torturred & died under the sword of Rome.

            In the meantime, you challenge my historic sagacity to a duel, then fob off my subsequent serious historic references, and links with your vacant, Non Sequitur bromides.

            So. Central is burning and Rodney King says: "Ca-ca-can't we all jus git along?"

          • Indioviejo

            Your hatred of The Roman Catholic Church leads you to purposely forget that persecution was conducted by Protestants and Catholics alike. Even in the new World as you can confirm by events in Salem, Mass. And In spite of your rabid hatred, Lord Acton, a Catholic himself, was speaking of a universal flaw in human character, so I still think its an appropriate quote. As for ignorant of these matters, I don't think so.

          • H&R_ Barack

            Strawman. –
            Universal Character flaw? – ~ " It was the year 1569, at the height of Catholicism's Spanish Inquisition in Holland. Dirk Willems, a humble and pious follower of Jesus Christ, lay in prison awaiting a fiery death at the stake. His crime? Having been rebaptized upon confession of faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The official town records stated that the prisoner, "…persisting obstinately in his opinion…shall be executed by fire, until death…." "

            Martyr's Mirror. educate yourself. (here it is for your convenience – on line!) http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/contents.htm

            Islam's earnest goal, that they set forth in their Qur'an – remains the same: to bring all mankind into submission (that's what "Islam" means) and to kill or enslave all "infidels"

            Is that an Islamic "Character flaw"??? – Do I "hate Islam" for stating a FACT?

            In your economy of flawed reason and selective religious comparisons; DO explain the difference, amigo.

          • autdrew

            Why would there be a SPANISH Inquisition in HOLLAND?

          • Questions

            The Inquisition was a European-wide system of courts to enforce Catholic doctrinal purity. It was by far most brutal in Spain, but it was practiced in many countries.

    • Asher

      However the theme Freedom from Oppression ignites a Firestorm because people will rebel against all dictatorships!

    • Willy Rho

      you're last sentence indicates you do not know much about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • H&R_ Barack

    The gospel is not to be forced upon anyone. Unfortunately, special efforts to preach the gospel are often called "crusades," even today. No poorer word could be chosen for spreading the good news of the gospel of Jesus the Messiah to Jews, who Scripture specifically declares are to be given priority in receiving it.

    The cross-waving soldiers of the First Crusade, motivated by Pope Urban II's promise of instant entrance into heaven without suffering purgatory for those who died, slaughtered Jews all along their path to Jerusalem. In 1096, not one of the 1,600 Jews living in Worms, Germany, survived when the Crusaders passed through that city. About half were hunted down in their homes and on the streets.

    BTW: Eva Jacqueline Longoria, a twice-married, twice divorced Roman Catholic is also a Hollywood Leftist and rabid defender of President Obama. After Desperate Housewives was cancelled she stated she was, "dedicating my life to President Obama's re-election effort."

    • Indioviejo

      The Crusades came after 400 years of Muslim aggression and savagery in their Jihad. The Crusaders were men from the middle ages, the fall of Rome and the continuous chaos of society had forged them. Most noblemen and accordingly most serfs were illiterate. The knowledge inherited from Greece and Rome lay in the monasteries, so it is silly to judge XI Century people with XXI century mores. When you study History don't forget to place events in the context of their times. Jewish persecution has been a historical constant going back to the Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, etc., because of a simple idea: The "One God over nature and mankind and independent of them both" (Abba Eban.) Humanity has this tendency to destroy what you can't subjugate.

      • VivaCristoRey!!

        Well said Indioviejo!! H&R_Barack has so much hatred in his heart in addition to being a smart-a– as well as condescending. His 'knowledge' is actually quite small and if that, very biased. That's what our mainstream society is producing nowadays.

  • Indioviejo

    The Mexican Revolution was the first Marxist Revolution in the World as witnessed by their 1917 Constitution, but the Catholic Church was born in persecution by the Romans, Greeks, etc. Corruption, Reformation, schisms, the French Revolution, and on, and on, but it SURVIVES as Jesus promised St.Peter. The word is here, it is Eternal, the last shall be first, and the first last.

  • Kuffar


    • Flower


    • Indioviejo

      QUE VIVA !

  • Western Spirit

    as a protest-ant i contend jesus's promise to peter was predicated on what peter had said, not on peter himself. and peter had said that christ was the messiah. and on that statement is what jesus was to build his church.

    therefore the whole premise the catholic church is built on is suspect.

    • RoguePatriot6

      Intersting point!!!

    • intrcptr2

      Well, considering that the OT and the NT both testify that God (And hence Jesus) is the rock, it should be clear that "the stone" (Simon's new name given him by Jesus) is NOT the foundation of the church.

      It is entirely likely that Jesus was in fact referring to the Messiah, himself, as the rock upon which the church would be built. Raather odd to place something like that on a mortal man, no?

    • Indioviejo

      Your contention may be true and I won't dispute it, because I don't know enough to say different, but Christ is the Messiah and God incarnated as his son. So why would I suspect the Catholic Church being built on a false premise? It has survived the Worlds evil and will continue to survive and thrive especially now against the Satanic Cult. There is no time for Christians to continue bickering on dogma.

      • Western Spirit

        you're absolutely right this is no time for christians to be bickering about doctrine.

        i just thought the point should be made that christ built his church on the premise that he was the messiah. and all christian church's can claim that fact and be valid, not just the catholic one.

    • Elizabeth K.

      How, then, do you explain the reference to "the keys to the kingdom" and that what Peter and apostles loose/bind on earth shall be loosed/bound in heaven? It's a direct reference to stewardship as understood in the Old Testament and, understood in its correct, Biblical context, therefore a clear indication that Christ is giving the same kind of power to Peter and those who succeed him (apostolic succession). Peter was the first Pope–see Acts!

  • AntiSharia

    I've not seen this movie, but certainly intend to. Religious liberty is in danger the world over with Muslims threatening one flank, and leftists threatening the other. People of faith better wake up and take notice.

  • ratonis

    This movie seems to have been shut out of the city in which I live, which is a state capitol. Here the politically correct reigns.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Sounds like another murder and mayhem film that will have historical backgrond but with all
    movies there is a message and most often political in which the moviegoer may or may not
    pick up on or may or may not care. If my grandmother was alive the film would be another
    "shoot em up" where violence is for violences sake. It is amazing how things change but
    in fact do not until people change, it may be that these types of films come out to have
    people work out their violence vicariously, most like excitement and seeing the bad guys
    have their bad day and the oppressed win. People still have to change in order for there
    to be a step up in human reality, how are we doing since the Mexican revolution where
    over a million died, is the World getting any better, are we better people?…….Have
    Mexicans become a people of peace, has anyone…………………….William

  • Consider

    Plutarco Calles should be awarded the peace Nobel Prize posthumously for suppressing one of the most disgusting totalitarian ideologies that unfortunately still lingers on, Christianity. What a shame that ‘religious freedom’ was denied to the Catholic community in Mexico while on this pages the elimination of Osama Bin Laden was hailed as a big achievement disregarding completely his ‘right’ to practice his religious freedom against a faith that makes human sacrifice a foundation of its doctrine.

  • c. boyer

    …nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition…lol

  • c. boyer

    Funny what passes for “Christian” now-a-days; also, the beliefs that pass for “faith” are equally absurd. It is no wonder to me that peoples of similar non-Christian “Christian” faiths bicker at one another, and the secular backbite and attempt to devour them. Christianity is Hewbrew, started by Jews, who were faithful to their Messiah, Jehova-shua (God is our Salvation) through much persecution. Salvation is from the Jews. It is to the Jew first. And God–who is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (aka “Israel”)–told His people to the very exact day when their Messiah, Jesus, would ride into Jerusalem on a colt and allow His disciples to claim Him king. All Biblical scholars know this. Also, they are aware, unlike some non-Christians, that this guy, Jesus, was not born of the male sperm, hence He was/is sinless. Everyone else, born of the male sperm has the sin of Adam coursing through their veins. They are incapable of not sinning. They are incapable of stopping themselves from backbiting and attacking their fellow humans. It is impossible for them to stop. Though one rose from the dead, they still will not believe, not turn from their rebellion against their Creator, which makes them do vile things to their fellow man. As God told us beforehand that He had a time table for when the Messiah would come to His people, He also has a time table for when He will stop dealing with the backbiting gentiles, giving them over to their vile selves, and will begin to deal personally again with His people Israel. Time is almost up, people. I’m not here to convince you. I’m here to warn you.

  • mrbean

    Like George Carlin said before you removed it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RT6rL2UroE

  • Consider

    Christianity is a sputum of Judaism.
    Tasted, chewed and spat out…
    But this not mean that Judaism is any better.