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.