Bom Jesus da Mata My Ass

Written in reaction and as commentary towards “Death Without Weeping / Has poverty ravaged mother love in the shantytowns of Brazil?” by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, for a cultural anthropology class I’m taking…

I have a difficult time with this.  We live in a world where this type of thing need not be.  The wealth of the world is astounding and people still suffer indescribably from what we call poverty.  Coming, as I do, from a background of Christian “virtue”, it’s been stunning to realize that so much horror occurs in the name of “Jesus”. In this situation we hear of a midwife speaking, “just to dust the infant with baby powder and wait for it to die”, this sort of thinking justified as “cooperating with God’s plan.” It’s certainly hard to comprehend how anyone could see such a thing as being part of the “plan” of an all powerful deity. My own ethnocentrism temps me to explain it as the ignorance of a substandard civilization, but I see the same logic used right here in our own glorious, civilized, academic territory of wisdom where many see everything as directed by some unseen, inexplicable deity and all the misfortunes as being part of “his will” and the fault of our “unworthiness” of some sort. We see beliefs and behavior in another culture which are very similar to our own, and see it as horror, which many of us also see as “his will”.  The solution to such problems as this is indescribably simple, unfortunately the first requirement is logical concern against which, Gods, politics, power and money are vigilantly on guard. Bom Jesus de mata doesn’t mean “beneath the quiet” in my book..  But then, I’m just cooperating with God’s plan… ‘er somethin’.

3 responses to “Bom Jesus da Mata My Ass

  1. I am having to read Mothers Love now. The “racism” comes across as scholasticism but Nancy Hughes keeps putting her foot squarely in her mouth by writing in the first person , having convinced herself that these people are her discovery, giving her the rights to redefine them and their culture in the same way early racists hid behind pseudoscience . Where are the professors with enough courage to call this what it is?

  2. I’m reading the same article and I could not help but laugh at your response to it! Not in a mocking way, but in complete agreement! Everything you said was spot on! The title was what caught my attention, and you explained your reasoning behind the title in a great way. You definitely have a way with your words. This was both funny and eye opening. I absolutely applaud you on this!

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