Religious Left Infatuation with Puerto Rican Terror

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As though visiting the imprisoned apostles of the early church, the ultra leftist hierarchs of the United Church of Christ recently visited and offered “pastoral leadership” to an imprisoned Puerto Rican “nationalist” complicit in bank robberies, bombings, and at least 5 deaths in the 1970s.

“It’s been a longtime mission of the church,” explained the Rev. Linda Jaramillo, executive minister for the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministry, in a UCC news release announcing her planned prison visit. “We feel a strong commitment to support the movement to get him released, but we wanted to visit him and offer pastoral care.”  She was reportedly joined on the August 3 visit to the maximum security prison in Terra Haute, Indiana by UCC President the Rev. Geoffrey Black.  They were hoping to spend about 4 hours with Oscar López Rivera, now age 70, who has spent 31 unrepentant years in prison.

López Rivera was a leading henchman in the now thankfully defunct Armed Forces for National Liberation (FALN), which sought to “liberate” a Puerto Rico imprisoned by U.S. imperialism through terrorism in the U.S.   The UCC release cites the FALN’s more than 100 bombings (actually more than 140), and notes that he was convicted of conspiracy to commit sedition, meriting 55 years.  He also considers himself a “political prisoner,” a claim the UCC and the rest of the Religious Left readily embrace.  The UCC release omits that López Rivera was arrested in the wake of an attempted armored car robbery and that two of his homes were full of bomb making material. Nor does it mention that he gained 15 more years in prison sentence after plotting a violent escape.

The UCC news release recalled the denomination has urged release of the FALN “political prisoners” since 1991.   But actually the UCC has been approving statements on behalf of the Puerto Rican terrorists since 1977.  The first one in 1977 was called “Grand Jury Abuse;” the second one in 1979 was called “The Release of Four Puerto Rican Nationalist 21 Prisoners;” the third one in 1985 was called “Discriminatory Treatment of Prisoners of Conscience;” the fourth in 1989 was called “Ministry to Prisoners of Conscience.”

It can be assumed that the UCC has not approved anywhere near as many resolutions, if any at all, on behalf of countless Christians imprisoned for their faith around the world.  Nor has the UCC likely said much if anything about persecution of countless persons of conscience globally since 1977 by communist, Islamist and other repressive regimes.  The pretended oppression of Puerto Rico, and its tiny handful of violent nationalist advocates, singularly has merited the UCC’s sustained attention across four decades.

In 1999, President Bill Clinton controversially granted clemency to11 other FALN terrorist inmates, in a bid, some believed, to win Puerto Rican votes for his wife’s impending New York U.S. Senate candidacy. López Rivera declined clemency, refusing to admit wrong, or submit to parole.  His lack of regret for complicity in the bombing spree does not disturb the UCC.  Last year, the UCC’s governing General Synod urged release for López Rivera and one other remaining inmate.

“I just want to let him know we care a lot about him, his well-being, that we continue to advocate for his release — and tell him that directly … I’m looking forward to meeting him,” explained Rev. Jaramillo. “I’ve heard good things about his character.”  These “good things” must include aspects of his “character” other than his lack of regret for complicity in bombings and murder.  The UCC news release says nothing negative about his unapologetic terrorism.  “I would encourage people to read this story with an open heart and open mind,” Rev. Jaramillo urged.  One of López Riverak’s terrorist colleagues, who was released in 2010, has a painting displayed in the UCC’s nation office in Cleveland, the UCC news release boasted.  This inmate received a “hero’s welcome” after his release, the UCC has noted.

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  • richard sherman

    The FALN commuted murderer at Fraunces Tavern. Only sociopaths joined it who had the blood lust and enjoyed commuting murder.

  • Omar

    the majority of the people in Puerto Rico do not support seceding from the United States. In fact, many support becoming the 51st state of the Union. In 2008, the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (which consists of people who identify themselves with either the Democrats or Republicans), which champions statehood, won their largest electoral victory in island history. the NPP are the real American patriots while the small separatist movement in Puerto Rico are communist traitors to the U.S and. have no seats in the island's government. Despite the word "Progressive in the NPP, the statehood party has many prominent conservatives, including the island's governor, Luis Fortuno, who cut taxes in the island by 20% in two years.

  • dale

    I didn't hear one word about Christ the saviour in their rants. Maybe that's why the UCC is losing membership so fast.

  • Flynn McMahon

    We may've had a long relationship with PR but I cannot see any rational reason to accept them into the Union. Give them some (and I mean "some") legal, technical, and financial support and let them form a sovereign nation.

    • Omar

      " Give them some (and I mean "some") legal, technical, and financial support and let them form a sovereign nation".
      That's what the communist separatists and their supporters want. The majority of Puerto Ricans favor either becoming the 51st State of the USA or remaining a territory (also called Commonwealth). The separatists and communists (virtually the same entity) get less than 5% of the island electoral vote every four years. Meanwhile, the elections are always divided between the New Progressive Party (which favors statehood and consists of Republicans and Democrats) and the Popular Democratic Party (which favors the current status and consists mainly of Democrats) There are many reasons why Puerto Rico should become the 51st State in the Union. Virtually all of the Republicans and conservatives on the island support statehood for Puerto Rico. Having the island secede from the U.S. would only benefit the Castro dictatorship in Cuba and the radical left. That's another reason why the mainland needs to support statehood for PR. Remember, Puerto Rico is a part of the United States.

  • poetcomic1

    Free Puerto Rico! Free Puerto Rico from the aging 'Pol Pots' who wanted to destroy the economy, sever its 'dream relation' with the U.S. and turn it into a little Cuba. Why is this murderous narcissistic terrorist still alive at all?

    • Omar

      The "aging Pol Pots" consist of less than 5% of the island's vote. The real patriots in Puerto Rico are statehooders and members of the New Progressive Party. The statehooders are proud to be American citizens. In addition, many prominent members of the NPP like Governor Luis Fortuno support the Cuban dissident movement. Just like the separatists in PR support the Castro dictatorship in Cuba, the statehooders in Puerto Rico support the Cuban dissidents' struggle to bring democracy to Cuba.

  • Ghostwriter

    I don't believe the FALN has any real support in Puerto Rico. The only support they have is among people like the UCC. Why do they do such stupid things?

    • Omar

      You're right, Ghostwriter. The FALN (and the separatist movement in general) has virtually no support in Puerto Rico. The separatist party has no members in the island's government because the separatist movement only gets less than 5% of the vote in Puerto Rico. The other 95% of the island support remaining a part of the United States (either statehood or the current Commonwealth status). Organizations like the UCC support them and other far left groups support them because they all hate the United States and support tyranny. In reality, support for statehood (meaning joining the Union as the 51st state) in Puerto Rico has increased throughout the years, while support for secession has remained near the bottom. Of course, the UCC does not care about the statistics in the island. Instead of focusing on a totalitarian movement that seeks to impose a Stalinist dictatorship in Puerto Rico, the UCC needs to focus more on Tibet, where real oppression is going on at the hands of Communist China. But, of course, the far-left is against Tibetan independence because it is against the Communist agenda. Tibet is the land that needs independence from China.

  • Western Spirit

    My church broke off from the UCC because it has fallen into apostasy and no longer preached Christ crucified but crucified Christ by preaching the Left's doctrines instead of Christian teaching.

  • MLCross

    I don't know why they're sweating it. What's the point? Obama's going to pardon Rivera and Mumia right after the election (win or lose) in November. Why wouldn't he?