Corazon Aquino

Corazon Aquino has passed away. Aquino was the President of the Philippines in the late 1980’s.

As far as my impression of her in the 1980’s goes, my thought was, “At least she’s not a Communist.” President Reagan supported her autocratic predecessor, Ferdinand Marcos, because he thought that Marcos was preferable to Communism. (Plus, according to Lou Cannon, Reagan looked at Marcos through rose-colored glasses, viewing Marcos as the war hero from World War II rather than the corrupt dictator that he had become.) Right-wingers at the time liked to say about right-wing dictatorships, “Look, this dictatorship is bad, but it’s far better than the oppression that the Communists would bring if they took over.” But Aquino brought about a democratic regime that was preferable to both Communism and Marcos’ oppressive dictatorship.

And she did so peacefully, through prayer, non-violent protests, and subverting the loyalties of the soldiers Marcos sent to crush her. Michael Westmoreland-White cites her as an example of “just peacemaking,” in that she accomplished peace and democracy without the use of violence (see JPT Practice #1 Nonviolent Direct Action).

She is remarkable in so many other respects as well. She fought for peace and democracy in the Philippines after the Marcos regime had killed her husband, meaning she channeled her grief into something positive. Her revolution inspired peaceful protests throughout the world, including in Eastern Europe. She was a female head of state, which was a rarity at the time (aside from Margaret Thatcher and Benazir Bhutto, and perhaps a few others). And she entered office with virtually no political experience. Although many characterize her Presidency as a mixture of good and bad (see here), she was beloved in the Philippines and throughout the world. Even Imelda Marcos (the wife of Ferdinand) led prayers for Aquino after she was hospitalized for colon cancer. And the AP reports that Filipinos are setting aside their differences to honor Corazon Aquino, going so far as to line up in monsoon rains to pay their respects (see here).

Aquino was also renowned for her deep religious faith. The wikipedia article on her states that, when her husband was incarcerated under Marcos, “Aquino drew strength from prayer, attending daily mass and saying three rosaries a day” (see here).  And Aquino continued to champion democracy and help others after her Presidency.

Corazon Aquino characterized herself as an ordinary housewife, yet she did extraordinary things. I’d like to think that God used her for his glory, and that he can use us as well.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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