The mouthpiece for the status quo of acquiesce to corruption in the Church on Guam has repeatedly promoted in its blog pages the insult of JungleWatch’s “manamko army.” It was an insult intended for Tim and those who in the name of human decency couldn’t take the reckless disregard of the people of God any more. I was infuriated when I heard it because our elders are being reviled and mocked by people who at the same time hypocritically claim to stand for Chamorro values. Yet MORE poisonous fruit from the Kiko tree.
But quickly my anger (by the grace of the Good Lord) changed to a deep peace when I saw what all the insults and abuse really mean. It means that there is very great cause for hope, right here, right now. It means that without intending it, these spiritual colonizers dressed as Catholics are actually the ones who helped the JungleWatch blog give birth to the JungleWatch Nation—a people of the Truth dedicated to the fullness and the purity of the Faith of the Apostles.
Some may object to the word nation, opting instead for a family or a people or a club. Call it whatever you’d like, but it’s not some grass-roots movement. It’s grown far beyond that, and what makes it precisely a nation is how we became what we are.
There are two ways a nation comes to be. First is born of blood. One is born into such a group, as one is born a Chamorro or Sicilian or Irish or Sioux.
The second way is by common experience of an event that permanently makes the group what it is. When the Patriarch Jacob and his family of 70 or so went down to Egypt, they went to make a life; 400 years later, that life was one of slavery. We all know the story: God sent Moses to lead them out, and they were brought out into the desert, and with them came others—some Egyptians, some Midianites, and some from other tribes and races.
But those who were brought out of Egypt weren’t the same as those who emerged from the desert 40 years later. That original generation grumbled against the Lord and complained that the manna he gave them wasn’t good enough. It didn’t meet their expectations. So in that 40 years of purification, they died and were replaced by those born in the wilderness, raised in the wilderness, dependent on God and His lawgiver-prophet at every turn. And when they came out of the desert, they were no longer a bunch of random tribes.
They were Israelites. They were the people of God.
It was by their shared experience of the Exodus Event that made them Israelites, and that’s why Jews even today celebrate Passover as they do: based on memory and not on blood, it remembers who they are based on the Exodus Event that made them who they are.
Christians are Christians in the same way. We share that common experience of the real, actual event of the Incarnation: the conception, birth, life, passion, death, and resurrection of Christ our God. That is what makes us Christians. Life in Christ is the full incorporation into Christ in this world and in Eternity.
Now, on a far less dramatic level (but no less true), we have become a JungleWatch nation. It began as the initial refusal to acquiesce, and it gained momentum. The NCW folks speak of Tim as some leader with “followers,” as if he were some guru or founder of a cult (actually, that would be Kiko). No, Tim speaks for himself, and always has. Everyone here at JW comes as an independent, free person of his own choosing to speak out against so many many things that are so clearly contrary to the Faith and the salvation of souls.
The NCW propaganda machine throws regular tantrums insisting that JungleWatch is some small party of fringe extremists and that the rest of the island is solidly for Apuron and his whole regime. They may even believe that. But if our evidence shows us anything, it’s that the faithful are waking up, more and more every day. And now that things are in motion, the time came for a bit of rest from serving at the vanguard.
Tim’s recent stepping back has been viewed by those who hate him as some act of abandonment or cowardice. As usual, this is because his attackers can’t imagine that someone would do anything without an aim for profit. For that matter, it’s incomprehensible to them that ORDINARY PEOPLE would step up --unlike zombies like them, who can only follow blindly and never think without being bullied. That’s the only world they know. That’s not obedience, it’s a slavery that betrays the freedom of the human person in the love of Jesus Christ.
As for Tim, he should be congratulated. Whether anyone recognizes it, that move took real humility. It takes humility to say, “I am one man. I just an ordinary man. I cannot do this alone.” It’s even harder to begin a work, and just as it gets more and more vibrant, to hand off the reins; human ambition doesn’t do this. Say what you like, but for me, that's an indicator that the Holy Spirit is afoot.
It doesn’t take hours of meditation to see that this is far larger than Tim Rohr or any other woman or man. And so the Nation that seemed somehow inchoate before has come together with a ferocity of Faith and Charity (not of the greeting card, effeminate variety, but strong and manly and great-souled).
Yes, mockers: we are JungleWatch. And We are a Nation of the Ordinary who refuse to let simplicity of life and faith be code for slavery and self-loathing. Ours is the Faith of the Apostles, handed down by Tradition. And more: it is the preservation of the Eucharist and its celebration, from which all else in the Church flows.
We have no power. We are ordinary, common. And truly our army is manamko. But our army is also the weak, the fragile, the simple, and the plain. We are ordinary.
We are parents and children, students and teachers, the clean and the addicts, sick and well, the quiet and the gentle, the uncle who is far-too-loud at parties after too much beer, and the wife who gives him that look that he’s going to get it when he gets home. We are ordinary.
We are blue collar intellectuals and failed artists. We are lawyers who wanted to change the world and didn’t. We are social workers who made mistakes. We are hip-hop wannabes and slam-poets and musicians who will never do more than play at family parties and try to look cool. We are ordinary.
We are survivors of rape and incest who have to suffer in silence because no one believes or wants to believe us. We are those who forgive and those who struggle to forgive. We are those who seek forgiveness. We are human beings in all our frailty. We are just ordinary people.
We are not robots. We are not heretics. We are not schismatics. We are not disobedient children.
We are the Nation of the Ordinary. We are the little ones the Lord commanded his Apostles not to harm or scandalize.
And now JungleWatch is a nation of people coming out of the wilderness of Apuron and his lust for power and control, and we will have no more of it. Eyes are opening to the bright light of day and seeing only then how dark the darkness really has been. We have had quite enough of all this rejection of 2000 years of the Faith. We are DONE with a catechesis founded on the complete slavery of man to sin, even after Baptism.
Case in point: so the NCW allows the Rosary only after they have come to a certain point of conversion? Since the Rosary is one of the most powerful tools for conversion of oneself and others, to ban it from those who need it is like only giving good food to the already well-fed. Sorry Mary, no-go on Fatima request. Kiko says we’re not allowed? See how well that goes over at the Judgment.
No, we—now and always—reclaim what is ours as Roman Catholics. The Church doesn’t belong to any bishop, nor even to the people. We make up the Church, but the Church BELONGS to Christ, and we as His members know when a disease is so corrupting us that we feel our own selves being poisoned. And no poison could ever come from Christ.
We are JungleWatch. The Nation of the Ordinary. And we are the ones to proclaim the Gospel to all nations by our lives in all their simplicity, humility, and love for the Truth. Even if it does ruffle the feathers of those who use Chamorro culture as a smokescreen for their plotting, clergy or layman.
God love you.