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June 8, 2011
"Freedom of conscience is an axiom of liberal thought. If
man is a theotropic beast, inclined to believe in a hereafter," to
paraphrase The Economist, in addition to quoting the prestigious weekly
magazine, he is sure or must be at liberty to choose his faith.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the time being an adherent of, say, the
Roman Catholic faith, does not stop there. Religion (in the 20th century, it was
assumed by Western intellectuals, politicians, and even a reduced number of
clerics, to becoming marginal to public life), Karl Marx famously wrote, is the
"opium of the people." Sure, this is when in many parts of the world it can
easily be equated to gunpowder, treason, plot, to cite only these ones.
After feeling deeply offended, are convinced that the
faith is threatened by obliteration, more than 100 intellectuals, writers, to name only these
two, unreservedly respond, in more than six languages, to a Professor Yves A. Isidor's article, Aristide, the Man who
Turns to Voodoo to Place a Curse on United States' President George W. Bush,
to fight for Voodoo god (the principal slave of Satan), force him to even most overtly invade the public
square. And, too, to offer a robust defense of deposed murderous dictator
Beauvoir, king, but of grand Voodoo priests, ordinary voodoo priests), the religious cult of African origin, is
practiced in the Western Hemisphere mainly in Haiti and characterized by a
belief in sorcery and fetishes and by rituals in which participants communicate
by trance (a religious ceremony) with
ancestors, saints, or animistic duties.
|Haitians, nearly all,
practice with two hands
The idea that the vast majority of Haitians truly practice
only Voodoo (blame is also distributed to the pariah religion or cult, whichever
applies, for Haiti's crushing poverty), in fact in the open, as the famously controversial American pastor,
Pat Robertson, claims, is an illusion, if not an absurdity.
Especially, members of Haiti's de minimus (next to nothing)
middleclass; Haitians who are classified as bourgeois or those (smaller, in
number) who control the few means of production, regularly attend Catholic
masses during the day and practice Voodoo in the wee hours of the night or in
private, and this, most of the time, in the comfort of a locked room in
their private residences. All that convincingly says Voodoo is clearly
co-practiced with Catholicism (the religion of Peter, and traditionally the
first bishop of Rome), which the honor always goes to since it is the
socially accepted, dominant, in absolute terms, Christian faith. So much it also
maintains it primacy among the dirt-poor Caribbean nation's other religions,
from Baptism to Seventh Day Adventism to Mormonism, it is
always argued that its appeal is universal, in social class terms, and it
possesses the power to command respect.
|The House of Hell?
Rightly or wrongly, all faiths (they, too, are "assemblies of
crooks," famously wrote Voltaire), have long been proven to be rather "opium of
the people." For example, consider the unwanted quality of life in most of
the Third World nations, as defined by the generational blanket dehumanizing
poverty citizens are forced to endure, and where, too, as a result desperation,
ignorance becomes the norm, the promotion of religion as a way not to ultimately
inter the "House of Hell," rather God will fully protect you, certainly is not a futile exercise.
Nationals are experiencing an incalculable
number of social problems (A
three-day charismatic rebirth congress in Haiti), for example they cannot pay their (economic)
rent, forced to inhabit violent crime-infested neighborhoods, still they believe
in time they will be proved right. The day when God's plane, if I may refer to
it as such, will rightly transport them to paradise will soon come. "Alleluia!
Amen! No more suffering; we are now all saved," they always exclaim with
excitement during religious services, especially when the musical bands are
performing live, or the pastors are delivering sermons - also called "homilies."
For example, "Today's message ... was Jesus' teaching message to his followers
and can be found in Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6:20."
Below is a journalistic sample of the intellectuals and
|Tyrant Jean-Bertrand Aristide's photograph, at Voodoo ceremony.
"Those who are attempting to
help the totalitarian world achieve democracy or
a sense of civility cannot be wrong, but only
those who have failed to even attempt to help
the totalitarian world achieve democracy or a
sense of civility are proceeding to help retard
the course of history and certainly prolong the
extreme suffering of victims." Yves A. Isidor
International Report 2003, via wehaitians.com.
|The writer, Yves A. Isidor, who teaches
economics at the University of
Massachusetts-Dartmouth, is executive editor of
| Wehaitians.com, the scholarly
journal of democracy and human rights