... Is just not a good idea. After someone -- either the State, or the Church, or the in-between spaces that bind them -- ordered the demolishing of altars to the Santa Muerte in Mexico's northern regions, adherents have been staging protests and demonstrations in honor of their Niña Blanca in outright defiance, which is only raising her profile.
It took "A Pagan's Blog" though to focus on the obvious: the destruction of altars to the Santa Muerte in Mexico is a dangerous attack on religious freedom. Like it or not, the cult is growing, and now it's angry.
Last Palm Sunday at the Zócalo, I met the fellow pictured above, 43-year-old Jose Sanchez Martinez, after one of the recent demonstrations. "Will she avenge these demolitions?" I asked him. Sanchez responded, "She doesn't avenge anything. She forgives, because she's a saint."
"Are you a Catholic?" I asked. "No," he said. "I am a believer."
Here again is the video on the Santa Muerte that Time magazine correspondent Ioan Grillo and I produced for Current TV. For the piece, we reported from the largest known image of the Santa, a towering figure that looms over the industrial badlands of Tultitlan in the greater Mexico City suburbs.
* I'll be posting later on theories of the origins of the Santa Muerte. The current analogies to Mictlantecuhtli are apt, but don't tell the whole story.