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Posted April 27, 2010
Last modified June 8, 2011
The War of Religion


"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 Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Voodoo (Max 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.  

house of hell
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 writers' responses.                                               

Hv4.jpg (96688 bytes)
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

Source: Amnesty International Report 2003, via
The writer, Yves A. Isidor, who teaches economics at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, is executive editor of, the scholarly journal of democracy and human rights
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