Just know, that which is not understood is not necessarily “evil.”

This was posted on my Facebook news feed. For the most part, it’s a “documentary” moment of Haiti, their recovery and how many of them choose to deal with the devastation that overtook their land. That’s all well and good and it deserves to be recognized that many people are turning to [various] faiths in their time of need. They’re finding strength in God/gods and each other.

Ok, so the message they were apparently trying to convey is “Yay! Christianity!”
That’s cool with me. I was raised Christian… I’m still relatively Christian, but I hesitate to use the term because it conjures up thoughts of self-righteousness and self/ruler-imposed ignorance.

Here’s the thing. The basic rule behind Christianity (and most other world religions) is making the world a better place… Putting faith in something bigger and higher and better than yourself. I like that. Even if I don’t worship the stereotypical man in the sky, I can appreciate trying to improve the world.

Most logical people would think that improving the world would include things like:

  • Being less judgemental
  • Being more forgiving and understanding
  • Helping those in need
  • Providing for those around you
  • Giving your time and energy to caring for others

And yes, a LOT of people do this. But there is a vocal group of people (in all religions) that like to ruin it for the rest of us.

As I watched the video, my first thought was, “Three days of fasting? Wait, aren’t they all trying to not starve right now? Is not eating really a good idea?” Then I thought, “Well, if their Faith is helping them rise up and try to be better and rebuild, all the power to them. That’s quite nice, actually.”

THEN… they started to talk about conversions. That’s when I knew it was going to go downhill… very quickly.Conversion implies that one path is the only way to redemption or peace.

You see, I am of the belief that many faiths lead to the same basic deity/belief set. For example, nearly every world religion emphasizes charitable giving, prayer/reflection/meditation, declaration of faith, etc. They all have so much in common.

This includes Voodoo.

Voodoo (actually, Vodun) is derived from a variety of sources, one of the main ones originating in Africa over 6,000 years ago (before Christianity). It was brought to Haiti by slaves. Of course, the slaves were forced to convert to Christianity, so what many practice now is a sort of hybrid religion.

You can find a really nice summary of the religion here, actually.

There are, of course, evil spirits and possible misuses of power, just as there are in nearly every other world religion (because what would faith be without demon possession?) and evil “sorcery.” But then again, the religion itself does not teach followers to do wrong. Wrong is done because sometimes people are weak and manipulative.

It just drives me nuts that people will demonize anything they do not understand.

In my humble opinion, ignorance is one sin that cannot be forgiven.

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4 thoughts on “Just know, that which is not understood is not necessarily “evil.”

  1. I disagree. Firstly no one demonised anything in the video, but as they see God as the answer they were pleased that other people are looking in that direction for the answer. Why shouldn’t they believe that? If that is a million people who have hope that they did not have before is that not an awesome and powerful thing?

    You know what, I’m the first to say that often a loud minority of Christians will say dumb and uncaring things that get the rest of us a bad name, but I’d like to draw attention to how many Christian organisations do good works, go help sick, go help starving, go help orphans. For every one loud mouth who wants to get on Fox News so says something offensive there are many others who will be quietly doing good. But because of the one loud mouth you get all these other people who look for any opportunity to attack Christianity. Jesus’ teachings are by far the most compassionate and loving teachings around. People can’t always live up to them but then people are fallible, whether they follow a faith or not.

    The guy in the video believes in God and that God can save people so when he sees people turning to God and saying ‘Help me, save me’ he is naturally pleased. I don’t see a thing wrong with that. He’s happy because someone who believed in becoming possesed by a spirit then drinking the blood of a sacrificed animal may now have the belief in a God who wants to help them without all of that rigmarole, who wants to help them and they just need to ask. No zombies, no sacrifices, no sorcery. Just a prayer.

  2. Oh boy, it took me three tried to get to my “reply” screen.

    They did not directly demonize, but they made a special point to mention Voodoo, which typically has a very negative connotation in Christian circles. Living in a conservative area, I realize that when they make a special point to emphasize how these people were different from an “ordinary” convert (say, a born-again type of person), they’re playing into people’s fear of the occult.

    Voodoo, magic, spells, dolls and pins and curses, etc.

    But I did say that a small vocal group makes it hard for the rest to get the attention they need/deserve. There are “a LOT” (as I mentioned above) of people who work hard to improve lives. Often times, they don’t get any screen time or publicity.

    And it’s unfortunate that those loud mouths get all the attention and I also feel it’s unfortunate that fellow believers remain so quiet about it. (Obviously I’m not talking about this particular video, rather some of the idiotic remarks that various televangelists have made recently and throughout the years. Nothing in this video was quite that blatant. And really, this video just sparked a thought that I felt compelled to write about.)

    On animal sacrifice though, a lot of mainstream religions offer animal sacrifice. And while Christians don’t literally drink blood, they do partake in communion — a figurative intake of Christ’s blood. People who speak in tongues are possessed by the holy spirit, etc. Sacrifice, possession (good or bad) and blood drinking is really nothing new.

    And while this may be beside the point, Lazarus *was* raised from the dead. Just sayin’.

    (I’d like to add that I think it’s awesome that people are finding faith. Faith can be a very constructive thing if it’s utilized correctly.)

  3. Ah, but communion is, as you say figurative, transubstantiation went out with the reformation and is not really what the bible says, it’s just done in remembrance. Indeed, Christians are expressly told not to drink blood. (Which is gross, I know that it’s up to people what they do but drinking blood is gross.) I think they emphasised that those people had converted because it’s a demonstration that people who are in a position religiously are now believing in the power of Jesus; just like in the Cold War a run of the mill Communist starting to believe in the free market economy was good, but a member of the Pollitburo doing so would have been specially highlighted because they were influential in spreading one ideology and had changed. Also, I’d argue resurrection in the sense of a Lazarus or a Dorcas was different to Zombie-ism, they were resurrected as whole people, mind, body, soul, not as spiritless drones or undead or anything.

    Anyway, I think I know who you mean as the particular loud person in question and I was appalled as well. Horrible.

    (And don’t worry, I probably have a million typos and I could find the button)

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