Can believers actually help Haiti?

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Gelin_

Can believers actually help Haiti?

Post by Gelin_ » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:48 pm

Can Believers Help Haiti Move From Curse Into Hope?</b>

Jean Gelin, gelinjr@yahoo.fr

ApagePress, 08-11-06

Once called the "Pearl of the Antilles," Haiti has always occupied a special place among the Caribbean Islands. Is there any truth to the story that the country's founding fathers made a pact with the devil over 200 years ago?


More: http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/8/112006f.asp

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Sat Aug 12, 2006 6:11 am

Gelin my Friend, I would like to reply to that thread. But, unfortunately, Satan forces me to use Kinko which takes so much of my Satanic Money!!!
Anyway, I will be back on track next week...
Beware!
First, I will come back to the word Satan invented by Religion to differentiate "Good and Evil".
The same way, Lucifer is the most feared by so-called Religious People.
I will say it again. The World is controlled by Religion which is based on Fairy Tales and Pure Fabrication!!!
Haiti can be cursed, based on some Believers! What about America, France, Britain and Israel? I guess, they've been blessed!!

God Bless America!!!
Leonel

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:29 pm

Interesting text Gélin, However, I do not agree that the sum total of the contribution of christianity or protestantism in Haiti has been positive. We would have to set up some specific measures and then go through them systematically to arrive at a conclusion. But, I understand why our views diverge on this issue.
Jaf,

I mention some key areas where we can attempt to measure the "positive" impact - as I tend to call it. In areas where the State fails to provide the basic care and meet the basic needs of the population (especially rural) - for obvious reasons - it's hard to imagine what life would have been like without the presence of these church-supported schools and clinics...

For example, I was part of a church that collects money "religiously every sunday morning" with the sole purpose to help feed the needy during the week. That single church also had schools and cooperatives...

gelin

Empress Verite

Believers in What Faith?

Post by Empress Verite » Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:10 am

One and Respe!

Dr. Gelin while I am thankful for all of the "good" things that Western (White and others) Christians have contributed to better Ayiti/Haiti I must say that I resent the missionary aspect of their endeavors. It seems to me that these folks that you wrote about in your article are happy to contribute their knowledge to Haiti so long as Haitians go along and convert to their religious doctrines-in this case Christianity. First, I object to this enterprise because it is ultimately another weapon used by colonials to mentally and physically enslave Haitians and others around the globe. As Ngugi Wa Thiongo pointed out so long ago, colonialism never ended in Africa because when the Whites left they took the riffle but left the bible. And although the Church officially left Ayiti for decades or perhaps a century upon the revolution when they returned they brought back the same mentality that their predecessors used against our African Haitian ancestors.

Furthermore, as much as I find the bible to be an informative text about ancient practices I have to say that it's main use has been to indoctrinate. I have to agree that in the past 5-6 centuries it has been used to enslave and justify colonialism. Moreover, I completely disagree with the dichotomy that you set up in the article which placed Boukman as an evil Voodoo practitioner and the colonials as benign Christians. I want the demonization of African religions specifically Voodoo to stop. And I am shocked when Haitians (natif natal) go along with this trashing. I think that Voodoo like Jazz and other so-called New World creations provide a map to understanding the experiences of our ancestors from when they were kidnapped in Africa were traficked on over crowded boats through the middle passage and put into slavery.

Voodoo unlike Western interpretations of Christianity provides a good insight into the worldview of millions of Africans and from where I am looking it is a good one. Voodoo is multifaceted, it is creative and it empowers both genders. What can Christianity say in light of these contributions? Most importantly, Voodoo is OUR own creation and it embodies not just our experiences and feelings about them but also our most deepest yearnings and desires. (You should really check out Erol Josue at http://www.eroljosue.net/. He is a great Voodoo practitioner and anti capitalist and I feel strongly that he represents this religion and belief in a good and positive way.)

Finally, I do not like the current trend of placing (Western) Christianity above other world religions such as Islam and its various "denominations". The Muslims who will protest at the White House today against Bush's crude and racist statement regarding "Islamist Terrorists" are right to stand up for their beliefs and religious doctrine. As a people Haitians cannot afford to buy into this mentality because at its core Western Christianity fundamentally places the Black African in hell as the Devil. And as a Nyabinghi Rastafarian who recognizes and accepts that some of the oldest Christian institutions were in fact found in Ethiopia/Abyssinia I refused to bow down and be re-colonized by the Christian right. When well known "good" Christian whites make public calls to millions of followers to go and MURDER a democratically elected president-Hugo Chavez one must ponder the aims and benefits of this religion. My beliefs encourage me to forgive and to accept and to be open minded. It seems to me that Christianity's first act is to attack and oppress at least that is the impression that I get as the descendant of African slaves.

Peace and Blessings.

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:53 am

empress verite,

I guess you did not read me well.

gelin

Empress Verite

What Faith and Which Believers Will Help Ayiti/Haiti?

Post by Empress Verite » Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:27 pm

Dr. Gelin:

Please forige me for not "reading" you well. I think that you mean that I misinterpreted your statements in the article. I would like to thank you for pointing that out because it gives me an opportunity to elaborate on what I wrote.
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Can Believers Help Haiti Move From Curse Into Hope?

Feature by Jean R. Gelin, PhD
August 11, 2006

(AgapePress) - Once called the "Pearl of the Antilles," Haiti has always occupied a special place among the Caribbean Islands, not only because of its beautiful landscape and rich culture, but especially for its unparalleled history. Haiti is the only place in the new world where revolutionary African slaves successfully ended slavery and colonialism to build a new country. On January 1, 1804, Haiti proclaimed its independence from France and then became the second oldest republic of the new world after the United States.
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I AM HAPPY WITH THIS INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH WHERE YOU SET UP THE PREMISE THAT THE SUCCESS OF THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION WAS DUE TO THE WORK OF AFRICAN SLAVES. THEY WERE AT THE BOTTOM AND FOUGHT THEIR WAY BACK UP. NO ONE CAN ARGUE THAT SLAVERY IS EVIL AND HAD TO BE DESTROYED.
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Two centuries later, the two countries stand at opposite poles in terms of stability, prosperity and wealth -- with Haiti being the poorest of the entire Western Hemisphere. After episodes of foreign occupation intertwined with coup-d'états, Haiti is being led once again by a democratically elected government. On February 7, 2006, the people of Haiti elected René G. Préval as their new president. President Préval, who ran for the party LESPWA (meaning HOPE), will govern for a period of five years in accordance with Haiti's constitution.
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HEREIN LIES THE FIRST IMPLICATION THAT PERHAPS HAITIANS WERE NOT CHRISTIAN ENOUGH WHICH MAY HAVE CAUSED THEIR DEMISE OR IMPOVERISHED CONDITIONS. WE ALL KNOW THAT THE U.S. HAD A WHITE MAJORITY THAT WAS PREDOMINENTLY CHRISTIAN EVANGELICAL PROSTETANTS. AND THAT HAITI DID NOT HAVE THIS INFLUENCE TO THE EXTENT THAT THE US DID. YOU DID NOT SAY IT EXPLICITELY BUT THIS IS MY IMPRESSION OR THE CONCLUSION THAT I DRAW. WHY ELSE DID HAITI NOT RISE UP TO THE HEIGHTS THAT THE US DID?
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A Pact with the Devil?
In the midst of the country's instability, however, one segment of the Haitian society that has known a steady growth is Protestantism, since its introduction by American and British missionaries shortly after independence. As a believer myself, born and raised in Haiti, I can say that the general impact of the gospel in the country has been a positive one -- considering efforts made in educational and nutritional programs, as well as in the areas of spiritual, emotional, and medical care. But one particular movement among some evangelical churches that has puzzled me is a religious campaign based on the idea that God has cursed the land to keep it from prospering because Haiti's founding fathers -- among them a slave leader named Bookman -- supposedly made a pact with the devil over 200 years ago.
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WHILE I AM GLAD THAT YOU FEEL THAT THE INFLUENCE OF AMERICAN AND BRITISH MISSIONARIES HAS BEEN GENERALLY GOOD PARTICULARLY IN THE AREAS THAT YOU MENTIONED. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE SOME CRITICISMS OF SOME OF THEIR STATEMENTS CONCERNING THE SUPPOSED CURSE THAT GOD PUT ON HAITI. YOU WENT ON TO MENTION HOW IT HAS BEEN ALLEDGED THAT BOOKMAN (BOUKMAN) SUPPOSEDLY MADE A PACT WITH THE DEVIL. I SUPPOSE THAT YOU ARE REFERRING TO THE BWA KAYIMAN CEREMONY WHERE THEY KILLED THE PIG AND EVERYONE DRANK THE BLOOD? THESE RITUALS ARE COMMON PRACTICE AMONG GROUPS. YOU FIND IT IN THE SKULLS AND BONES AT YALE OF WHICH BOTH BUSH PRESIDENTS WERE MEMBERS. YOU FIND THIS IN CATHOLOCISM WHERE PRACTITIONERS OR CHURCH GOERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO DRINK WINE A SYMBOL OF JESUS CHRIST'S BLOOD. THIS IS ALSO COMMON IN SECRET SOCIETIES IT SERVES TO SOLIDIFY THE PACT MADE AMONG A GROUP OF PEOPLE. IT IS RITUAL MANJE THAT SERVES THE PURPOSE OF FEEDING THE SPIRIT TO SOLIDIFY THE BOND. BOUKMAN MADE A PACT WITH OUR AFRICAN/ALKEBULAN ANCESTORS AND SPIRITS. BY DRINKING THE BLOOD OF THE PIG (A VERY ANTI ISLAMIC) ACT, THEY WERE PERHAPS SIGNALING THEIR WILLINGNESS TO RETURN TO THEIR NATIVE/ANNIMISTIC AFRICAN BELIEFS UNEMCUMBERED OR UNINFLUENCED BY OUTSIDE SOURCES FROM THE NORTH (OF AFRICA). THEY WERE IN EFFECT SOLIDIFYING THEIR BONDS AS BLACK SUB SAHARAN AFRICANS WHO AGREED TO BELIEVE IN THEIR OWN NATURAL RESOURCES. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WHERE YOU PURPOSEFULLY DISREGARD THE DIRECT ASSOCIATION OF AFRICAN BELIEFS AND RELIGION WITH SATAN. IT IS CLEAR TO ME THAT WESTERN INTERPRETATION OF CHRISTIANITY SEES THE COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF NATIVE RELIGIONS, BELIEFS AND PRACTICES AS ITS ULTIMATE GOAL. AND PERHAPS AS ONE OF THEM YOU SEE THIS AS YOUR GOAL TO. TO PROMOTE EVANGELICAL PROTESTANTISM IN AYITI/HAITI. I ASK YOU AT WHAT COST? AND TO WHAT END?
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Several years ago, however, Bishop Joel Jeune made the following statement at the end of a series of worship services and meetings that took place throughout the country:

"All Haitians now know that Haiti is no longer under any contract with Satan. The contract is canceled, the curse is broken. Praise God for His great victory!"

He went on to explain the changes expected in the country as a result:

"Already people visiting Haiti testify to a fresh atmosphere in the country. The heaviness has been lifted up. God is going to completely change this country spiritually, economically, and socially. We now call it Haiti G.C. [God's Country]! Be encouraged with us and keep praying."
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I DON'T KNOW WHAT EVIDENCE THAT THE BISHOP PROVIDED FOR THE SUPPOSED PACT THAT HAITIANS MADE WITH SATAN. HOWEVER, I FEEL STRONGLY THAT PROSPERITY IS DIRECTLY TIED TO OR CONNECTED WITH THE PROLIFERATION OF WESTERN IMPERIALISM. THE INDICATIONS OF THIS ARE OF COURSE THE UN OCCUPATION AND THE TOPPLING OF ARISTIDE AND HIS TI LEGLIZ MOVEMENT AND ALSO THE VOODOO PRACTICE.
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But how much truth is there in the whole satanic pact and curse message? I have researched Haiti's history and found no record that suggests early Haitian leaders ever made a pact with Satan that would bind the entire nation.
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I HAVE DONE SOME RESEARCH MYSELF AND SATANIC PRACTICES HAVE STRONG ROOTS IN WESTERN EUROPE. I AM NOT WRITING OF THE PAGANS AND WICCAS BUT OF FOLKS WHO BELIEVE THAT SATAN IS THEIR GOD. IN AFRICAN RELIGIONS HOWEVER, IT SEEMS THAT THERE ARE MANY GODS AND GODDESSES AND THEY HAVE MULTIPLE PURPOSES. FOR EXAMPLE, EZILI DANTO WHOSE NAME ORIGINATED FROM A RIVER IN WEST AFRICA. IN AYITI, SHE HAS EMBODIED AT LEAST 2 VERY DIFFERENT GODDESSES. BOTH OF THEM SERVE DIFFERENT FOLKS IN DIFFERENT WAYS. ( I AM NOT AN EXPERT BUT THIS IDEA HAS ALWAYS FASCINATED ME A GREAT DEAL).
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First, Haiti's constitution does not sanctify Satanism, but guarantees freedom of conscience for all throughout the land. Freedom of religion is as much real in Haiti as it is in the United States, Canada, or France.
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MY DEAR SIR, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THAT. I THINK THAT ARISTIDE HAD TO MAKE VOODOO A LAWFUL PRACTICE. FROM THE BEGINNING, VOODOO WAS SEEN BY THE FOUNDING FATHERS NAMELY DESSALINES, TOUSSAINT AND PETION AS BEING A HINDRANCE TO FULL AND COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE. I WAS DISSAPPOINTED THAT THEY DISCOURAGED SUCH PRACTICES ESPECIALLY DESSALINES EVEN AS THEY WORE VOODOO ATIRE (THE HANDKERCHIEF) AND DANCED TO VOODOO DRUMS. ALSO, IF THE HAITIAN CONSTITUTION PROVIDED FOR FREEDOM OF RELIGION AS YOU SAY THEN THE CAMPAIGN ANTI SUPERSTITION WOULD HAVE NEVER OCCURRED! WHAT YOU MEAN IS THAT FOLKS IN AYITI WERE "FREE" TO PRACTICE WESTERN EUROPEAN RELIGIONS. (AND OF COURSE THIS IS A WELCOME CHANT TO THE MISSIONARIES.) I ASK YOU DEAR SIR, THIS FREEDOM TO PRACTICE, DID THAT ENTAIL FREE ACCESS TO CHURCHES AND SUCH SPACES? IN MY EXPERIENCE IN HAITI/AYITI EVEN THAT IS A CLOSE PRACTICE TO SOME FOLKS MAINLY THE POOR AND DARK AND DESTITUTE. ( I CAN GO ON ABOUT THAT BUT THAT'S ANOTHER THREAD)
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Second, there is no evidence that Bookman ever made a pact with Satan in the name of or on behalf of the entire nation of Haiti. Finally, the historical records show that Haiti's founding fathers put their faith in God during the Independence War -- and not in Satan. The best evidence available for this very important point is found in a letter sent by the leaders of the revolution to a French governor. In the letter, they wrote:

"God who fights for the innocent is our guide. He will not forsake us."
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I AM HAPPY THAT THE REVOLUTIONARY FATHERS BELIEVED IN MONOTHEISM AND FELT COMPELLED TO RELATE THAT TO THEIR FRENCH OPPRESSORS AND FORMER COLONIAL MASTERS. THIS IS AGAIN ANOTHER INDICATION OF THE VICTIM FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE VICTIMIZER. MY QUESTION IS THIS, IN THEIR VIEW IS THEIR GOD THE ONE CHRISTIAN GOD OR WHO? TOUSSAINT'S IDEA COMES BACK TO ME NOW. WHILE HE WANTED A FREE AYITI/HAITI THAT IS TO ERADICATE SLAVERY AS IT EXISTED THEN UNDER FRENCH COLONIAL RULE, HE DID NOT WANT TO GET RID OF THE FRENCH INFLUENCE COMPLETELY. PLEASE LET US REMEMBER THAT HIS INTENTIONS WERE TO BECOME A GOVERNOR OF A FRENCH COLONY OR PROTECTORATE. HE WANTED THE FRENCH PROFESSIONALS CLERGY AND SO ON TO REMAIN. HE WANTED TO REPLACE THE LAW ENFORCEMENT IN A WAY. IN OTHER WORDS, THESE GUYS WERE JUST AS GUILTY OF BEING ANTI AFRICANISMS SPECIFICALLY ANTI VODOU AS THEIR FRENCH MASTERS.
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If there ever was a satanic contract, those who sent the letter would have referred specifically to Satan as their leader and not to God as their guide and protector. Haiti's founding fathers knew or believed that their cause was just and God was going to help them succeed. The rest is history.
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I REALLY AND TRULLY APPRECIATE WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY HERE. AND FOR ME THIS IS THE BEST PART OF THE ENTIRE ARTICLE. YOU TRY TO REDEEM THE IDEA THAT VOODOO OR THE FOLKS TO WHOM BOUKMAN PRAYED WERE NOT SATANIC IN ESSENCE AND THAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS KNEW THE DIFFERENCE. PRAISES TO YOU AND I UNDERSTAND THAT GOD IN THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION HELPS THE GOOD AND PUNISHES THE POOR. YOU IMPLY HERE THAT THEY SUCCEEDED BECAUSE THEIR CAUSE WAS GOOD. WELL, I ALSO THINK THAT THEY HAD A LOT OF AMMUNITION NAMELY THE THOUSANDS OF VOODOO BELIEVERS WHO WERE FORCED TO FIGHT ALONGSIDE WITH THEM.
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Jump to the Present
Among the candidates who lost the last presidential race stands Pastor Chavannes Jeune, who ran for L'Union Nationale Chrétienne pour la Reconstruction dhoti (UNCRH). Earlier, Pastor Chavannes, an advocate himself of the curse theory, had served as the national leader for the MEBSH (Mission Evangélique Baptiste du Sud d'Haiti), one of the country's largest Baptist organizations. As rumors started coming out about possible efforts by election officials to manipulate the results, thousands of people took to the streets to express their frustration. That's when Pastor Chavannes, who finished fourth in the race, made a statement that the Haitian people will remember for a long time:

"Christian ethics prevents me from endorsing the schemes and manipulations committed during the vote count."

Pastor Chavannes continued by saying that Haitian voters had the right to protest if they suspected that their vote was being stolen -- a situation very similar to Ukraine's recent orange revolution! He also said that he would be willing to work with the new elected government for the benefit of the nation.

Now, could it be that by his active participation in Haiti's political life, Pastor Chavannes Jeune has just identified the real cause of the country's misery? Could it be that injustice, schemes, and manipulations (but not a curse from God) were all along responsible for Haiti's instability and poverty? After all, the old curse was removed about a decade ago, and Haiti's plague can no longer be examined through these defective and broken lenses.
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I AM ALWAYS SURPRISED WHEN FOLKS CHOOSE TO DRAW A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE STATE AND THE CHURCH OR TO MUDDLE THE LINE BETWEEN RELIGION AND POLITICS. WHEN THE EX DICTATOR FROM LIBERIA WAS BEING OUSTED A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, HE MADE A SIMILAR STATEMENT SAYING THAT HE WAS A CHRISTIAN LIKE BUSH AND THAT WOULD SAVE HIM. CHRISTIANITY CANNOT BE USED TO JUDGE AND TO "GUIDE" THE ACTIONS OF THE STATE. THE STATE MUST REMAIN AN INDEPENDENT ENTITY FREE OF RELIGIOUS FERVOR AND MOTIVATIONS. GW AND HIS GOONS FOR EXAMPLE HAVE USED THEIR BELIEFS TO JUSTIFY THE END OF WOMEN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE AND TO WHITENIZE THE WORLD. THIS WILL RESULT IN GENOCIDE OF BILLIONS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WHO CHOOSE TO PRACTICE OTHER WAYS. WE CAN FIGURE IT OUT WITHOUT THAT BRAND OF CHRISTIAN INTERPRETATIONS. IN FACT, I THINK THAT WESTERN CHRISTIANITY AND ITS DEEP PRINTS ON IMPERIALISM IS THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM THAT HAS TO BE UPROOTED ONCE AND FOR ALL. AND THIS IS WHY AYITI/HAITI IS IN THAT STATE. SIR, DO YOU FORGET THAT NO COUNTRY WAS ALLOWED TO TRADE WITH THAT NATION OF HISPANIOLA FOR OVER A CENTURY. THE FEAR WAS THAT DIRECT INTERACTION WITH THOSE FOLKS WOULD ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR INDEPENDENCE AND PERHAPS INTICE SLAVES AND OTHER FOLKS TO REBEL. THIS WOULD THREATEN WESTERN IMPERIALISM WHICH RELIED ON FREE LABOR AND THEFT OF NATURAL RESOURCES. ( I CAN GO ON BUT YOU GET THE DRIFT. AT LEAST I HOPE YOU DO. I'M WILLING TO PROVIDE YOU WITH SOME BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES).
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Although many secular societies have achieved stability and prosperity through education and law enforcement, there is a strong conviction among many believers that a shared faith in God is a requirement for societal health. In the case of Haiti, the religious argument went beyond mere faith in God to include a direct involvement of the divine in the day-to-day realities of the population. The message that attempted to spiritualize the agonies of the Haitian masses places both Satan and God at the center of the debate. It's worth noting, however, that prosperous societies -- secular or religious -- own their stability and success to the degree of respect they have for their own laws. In that particular regard, Haiti can certainly learn from them.
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AND FINALLY YOU STATE YOUR TRUE INTENTIONS. THEY ARE THAT HAITI SHOULD BE LIKE THE U.S. A CHRISTIAN STATE. MY POINT IS THAT RELIGION AND/OR BELIEF IS A PRIVATE MATTER. AT TIMES IT CAN BE SHARED AND THAT'S A BEAUTIFUL THING. UNFORTUNATELY, WHEN THE STATE STRIVES TO IMPOSE ONE RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE ON THE PEOPLE IT TENDS TO CREATE SOCIAL UPHEAVAL. THIS IS WHY THE PILGRIMS LEFT EUROPE AND WHY SO MANY COUNTRIES SUCH AS THE SUDAN ARE EXPERIENCING GENOCIDE OF NON RELIGOUS MEMBERS OF THEIR NATION STATE. (OR AT LEAST THE GENOCIDE OF THE FOLKS WHO DO NOT SHARE IN THE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF THE POWER STRUCTURE. THIS PROBLEM EXISTS AROUND THE GLOBE AND SECULAR SOCIAL MOVEMENTS ARE HELPING TO PUSH THE ENVELOPE AGAINST FUNDAMENTALISM AS A PARADIGM SPECIFICALLY FOR NATION STATES WITH FOLKS WHO PRACTICE MULTIPLE RELIGIONS OR NO RELIGION.

THANK YOU. I HOPE THAT YOU CAN UNDERSTAND SOME OF WHAT I HAVE TRIED TO SAY HERE. AND AGAIN, PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR MISUNDERSTANDING YOU. OR FOR NOT READING YOU WELL.

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Considering the lack of evidence that there ever was a spiritual contract with the devil, I wonder if the proponents of the curse theory can actually consider their work done. Now, how can believers help this ravaged little country leave the curse behind and move into a culture of hope? Maybe a strong push for law and order in Haiti should follow the religious campaign that has resulted in the cancellation of the supposed satanic pact. In the meantime, one simple thing Bible believers can always do when trying to understand Haiti's agony is to open up the Bible and read Exodus 20:16 for guidance: "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."
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FINALLY, YOUR TRUE INTENTIONS MADE CRYSTAL CLEAR. MISSIONARIES PLEASE COME SAVE HAITI AND MAKE SURE THAT THE CURSE IS GONE COMPLETELY. AGAIN, I IMPLORE YOU TO PROMOTE A SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. THIS IS THE WAY THAT THINGS SHOULD BE. AND I WOULD LIKE TO SAY TO YOU. PLEASE TELL THE WHOLE STORY WITH NO APPOLOGIES.

PEACE AND BLESSINGS.

Empress Verite

As a footnote

Post by Empress Verite » Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:33 pm

Dr. Gelin:

I forgot to write that in my personal view, drinking blood is a personal thing. I think that we've all been tempted to do so with ourselves. The first reaction when one is cut is to suck the blood ourselves. And of course, others with vampire like tendencies have drunk real human blood. Some folks have to have transfusions and that's a form of necessary blood drinking. Other folks wage wars in the name of their religion and shed the blood of millions to satisfy their thirst. Go figure, which one of these blood drinking practices deserves to be likened to Satanic practices? I would love to hear your response.

Peace and Blessings my brother.

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:40 am

...HEREIN LIES THE FIRST IMPLICATION THAT PERHAPS HAITIANS WERE NOT CHRISTIAN ENOUGH WHICH MAY HAVE CAUSED THEIR DEMISE OR IMPOVERISHED CONDITIONS...
I did not write/say/think that. It's all yours.
I AM HAPPY THAT THE REVOLUTIONARY FATHERS BELIEVED IN MONOTHEISM AND FELT COMPELLED TO RELATE THAT TO THEIR FRENCH OPPRESSORS AND FORMER COLONIAL MASTERS. THIS IS AGAIN ANOTHER INDICATION OF THE VICTIM FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE VICTIMIZER...

You can make whatever you wish with the historical records.
I AM ALWAYS SURPRISED WHEN FOLKS CHOOSE TO DRAW A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE STATE AND THE CHURCH OR TO MUDDLE THE LINE BETWEEN RELIGION AND POLITICS...
Again, it's all yours. I didn't say that.

When I wrote the following:
It's worth noting, however, that prosperous societies -- secular or religious -- own their stability and success to the degree of respect they have for their own laws. In that particular regard, Haiti can certainly learn from them.</b>
Your comment was
AND FINALLY YOU STATE YOUR TRUE INTENTIONS. THEY ARE THAT HAITI SHOULD BE LIKE THE U.S. A CHRISTIAN STATE.
It's really a big stretch on your part. Sorry!

I wrote:
...Maybe a strong push for law and order in Haiti should follow the religious campaign that has resulted in the cancellation of the supposed satanic pact...
And you said:
FINALLY, YOUR TRUE INTENTIONS MADE CRYSTAL CLEAR. MISSIONARIES PLEASE COME SAVE HAITI AND MAKE SURE THAT THE CURSE IS GONE COMPLETELY. AGAIN, I IMPLORE YOU TO PROMOTE A SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. THIS IS THE WAY THAT THINGS SHOULD BE. AND I WOULD LIKE TO SAY TO YOU. PLEASE TELL THE WHOLE STORY WITH NO APPOLOGIES.
Another stretch on your part.

gelin

Empress Verite

Faithful Helpers of Haiti/Ayiti

Post by Empress Verite » Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:57 pm

Greetings and Much Respect Dr. Gelin:

Thank you for pointing out that my interpretations of your statements were overboard. I do not mean to draw conclusions that are not there. However, as a reader, I feel free to read implications from the comments that you made or perhaps the intent and purpose of your article. I do not doubt that your motivations are pure and basically derive from a deep seated desire to help your native country. However, I must point out to you that for me your article sounded or read like a justification for missionary intervention or help. These missionaries would of course come from the Evanlegical Christian church whom you have admonished for even entertaining the notion that Haitians were ever Satanic or prayed to Satan. And at the same time you give them a way to redeem themselves by encouraging them to return to the scene of the crime, the supposed curse land to make it alright again.

I understand that we all achieve our successes based on our willingness to go the distance for our benefactors or sponsors. Still, do you really think that Evangical Christianity led by a Haitian (natif natal) missionary is really what Haiti and its people need? I am a US born 2nd generation transnational Haitian. I have experienced first hand the trauma of living under the Evangelical Christian dogma. And I am sorry, I find nothing in this religion that supports me and my identity nor my beliefs. For instance, during the last s/election of 2004 I was VERY angered by the Black Christian ministers who felt compelled to support Bush not just for all of the kickbacks that they received (faith based organization AID) but to take the time to BLATANTLY and LOUDLY utter their homophobic beliefs. This is the same group of folks that the sick and the needy are supposed to go to. And these same folks are the ones who are getting government money (from tax payers who are predominently working poor, unemployed, underemployed or dire) to help the needy. Where is the hope and the faith in this situation? And I have yet to hear the Haitian Christian step up and make any statement about these issues. Mind you, some may pay lip service and give do goder interviews to well known community folks in various fields on TV but I don't find the effort sincere.

I thank you again for your time and please forgive me if I have offended you.

Gelin_

Re: Faithful Helpers of Haiti/Ayiti

Post by Gelin_ » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:05 pm

... you give them a way to redeem themselves by encouraging them to return to the scene of the crime</b>, the supposed curse land to make it alright again.
Again, I did not write/say that. It's all yours. I was discussing a clearly defined issue using just the available records.
I understand that we all achieve our successes based on our willingness to go the distance for our benefactors or sponsors.
I don't follow...
...do you really think that Evangical Christianity led by a Haitian (natif natal) missionary is really what Haiti and its people need?
For the country to come out of the pit all we need is to know, make known, respect, and enforce the law(s) of the land.
...forgive me if I have offended you.
You have said nothing here to offend me. You can come out stronger if you feel like it. Sometimes things are heated on this forum....:-)

gelin

Empress Verite

The Faithful Believers Will Help Ayit/Haiti and Its People

Post by Empress Verite » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:33 pm

One and Respe Dr. Gelin:

First, thank you for not being offended by my "misinterpretation" of statements in your article. I have strong feelings about missionaries. I also do not agree with Evangelical Christianity. (As you may have concluded...but wait a minute you don't draw conclusions or insinuations. So I am telling you.) I feel that they should make a strong apology for slavery. And this should be primarily to Blacks in the US and in the West Indies and this would encourage the Catholic Church/the Vatican to follow suit and make amends in Ayiti. Those people have committed bloody murder, rape and so many violent acts including the brainwashing and colonization of our black people. I do not like proselytizers either and your article is doing just that it seems to me. Please do not use this good forum which is for all Haitians to promote your religious intentions. I feel offended and hurt.

I am sorry to have to write these words since this is not my forum but for goodness' sakes what has that church done. In my view the pennies that they have thrown to fix problems such as you mentioned in your piece-namely malnutrition, housing shortage (sp?) etc are just bandages for a big wound. And mind you in my mind, heart and soul, I believe that they kkkreated these maladies in the first place.

Is this strong enough for you sir? I have stated my point of view blatantly and I will never change my mind. I have had personal experiences with these so-called do goder Christians. I find that one must first be willing to convert to their way and accept their doctrine and join their church in order to benefit from any of their resources. And what about the (mis)treatment of church going sisters who slave away behind the paste to make the church run well but who are basically left with nothing. No acknowledgement and no home life as a result.

Please don't hand me the bible and your white long haired hippy christ and ask for my heart, mind, body and soul. That is what your religion has done all over the globe and I resent the premise that the world needs your brand of faith and truth. Give the rest of us a chance to thrive and stop being so predatory. THAT IS LOVE AND TRUTH. This is what faith and belief is supposed to be about.

Best regards and peace and blessings.

Gelin_

Re: The Faithful Believers Will Help Ayit/Haiti and Its People

Post by Gelin_ » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:36 am

...I have strong feelings about missionaries.
Some people do, others don't.
...I also do not agree with Evangelical Christianity...
That's ok, too. But that wasn't the theme of my article.
...I feel that they should make a strong apology for slavery. And this should be primarily to Blacks in the US and in the West Indies.

Not that I am defending them, but I believe the Southern Baptist Convention in the US has done that some years ago.
...Those people have committed bloody murder, rape and so many violent acts including the brainwashing and colonization of our black people.
Historical facts.
I do not like proselytizers either and your article is doing just that it seems to me</b>.
To you only, perhaps. I am not doing that and if you read me again carefully you may see that I am focused on one and only one thing.
Please do not use this good forum which is for all Haitians to promote your religious intentions. I feel offended and hurt.
Guy, could you step in just for a while now.....:-) Who is promoting what? So, you mean to tell me that you are offended and hurt JUST BECAUSE I put a link here to an article published elsewhere about a religious issue concerning my own Haiti...?
In my view the pennies that they have thrown to fix problems such as you mentioned in your piece-namely malnutrition, housing shortage (sp?) etc are just bandages for a big wound.
Again, you read more than I wrote. I gave Jaf an example of which I was a part. The church is in Haiti, still doing the same thing. The money collected every sunday morning is given freely by those who attend the service, not by the government of Haiti or by foreign missions.
Is this strong enough for you sir? I have stated my point of view blatantly and I will never change my mind.
Yes, I feel you.
...I have had personal experiences with these so-called do goder Christians...
Almost everybody has at some point.
Please don't hand me the bible and your white long haired hippy christ and ask for my heart, mind, body and soul. That is what your religion has done all over the globe and I resent the premise that the world needs your brand of faith and truth. Give the rest of us a chance to thrive and stop being so predatory.
That's a misguided missile...but I will say this (although I am not directly concerned): you are wasting your time by asking your perceived predator to give you a chance - won't happen, can't happen.

gelin

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Post by admin » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:12 am

Please do not use this good forum which is for all Haitians... I am sorry to have to write these words since this is not my forum...
Well, the forum [and those that preceded it or will follow it on WOH] is my initiative and has always been mine to manage until I find a way to pass the baton to someone else who might carry it to greater heights. However, a popular university does not belong to any one person but to all who participate in it. That is easily proven: without your voices, there is no forum (and I swear, you guys are out to prove it every once in a while...)

So, Empress Verite, the forum is also yours. Like Ezili, you've chosen to wander (for quite a while) but have come back to make sure that your lovers were not overly restless. With so many evangelical christians lurking in the shadows, that is a wise move. [Dr. Gelin thought he had it made... Brijitbado, me pa-w!]

But to be fair to Dr. Gelin (he knows that I am not going to keep the "Dr." part too long, as I do not have much reverence for biblical creationists), he has not, in my opinion, made unfair use of the forum at any time. He defends his religious positions without proselytizing. Remarkably, he has at times taken on Jafrikayiti, Bouli, Jonas, Leonel, and, at times, even fellow theologian Nekita in good-spirited debates on Christianity. [Perhaps even me, ;-) ] If Gelin were engaged in proselytizing, I think he would have given up on us a long time ago (though Leonel has announced to me this weekend that he has converted).

It is clear that Gelin's views on Christianity and Christian Evangelism (is there an essential difference between the two?) are drastically different than Empress's. But the beauty of it all is that those views may be laid bare on this forum, so we can learn from them and critique them. As long as the dialogue is driven by a sincere desire to educate and it is conducted in respect for our persons (not necessarily for the views that we hold), then who could reasonably ask for more?

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Post by admin » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:16 am

May Ezili guide us to wisdom!
Are you a Ezili lover or worshipper?

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:40 pm

...His critiicsm of the evangelical movement will always be guarded and will stay within the bounds of what is deemed reasonable for a christian minister to say in public.
The "...in public..." phrase may be suspect here as it seems to suggest I may be saying something else in private. Well....what can I say? I picked one message that I think has had many negative effects on the haitian people, and I analyze it using the records I have. That's all.
But to be fair to Dr. Gelin (he knows that I am not going to keep the "Dr." part too long, as I do not have much reverence for biblical creationists), he has not, in my opinion, made unfair use of the forum at any time.
Thank you, I knew I could count on you to put some water in EV's wine (to put it in Krenglish). As for the rest of it, pffft...

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Post by admin » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:28 am

I knew I could count on you to put some water in EV's wine (to put it in Krenglish).
Well, Gelin, that was not my intention. I just wanted to make clear that you had not made any unfair use of the forum by illustrating your view points. As for "putting some water in EV's wine" ('mete dlo nan diven-l'), that, my friend, could be badly interpreted as being sexist on my part, and I have had enough trouble with accusations of the sort on the forum already.

I want to distance myself from that particular expression as, once again, I did not set out to "put some water in anybody's wine". I am not claiming either that you wrote that in a sexist way. Quite simply, all the grey hair on my head attest to the wisdom I have acquired over the past several years, and that wisdom has been imparted - sometimes painfully - by people, dear to me, that I never dreamt of offending. How you phrase a thought, I have learned, will make all the difference in the world in how your thought is received.

As for the rest of it, pffft...
Hmm... Are we supposed to read your mind, Dr. Gelin?

Was that a "tchip"? (http://www.haitiforever.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=2026)

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:55 am

Guy, I was kidding about the "dlo nan diven" thing. I thought you knew me better than that by now...:-)

Jaf, I'll come back later with some comments on your post.

Also, for the next few weeks I'll be silent for some personal "grese sere".

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Post by admin » Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:14 pm

Surely, Gélin must question the wisdom, fairness and even the worth of the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" who behaves worst than any so-called "Satan" when it comes to mistreating the Children of the Amalekites (see: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se ... version=31;
Jaf, ou touye m ak pasaj sa!!! But I recall many other similarly violent and exceedingly mean-spirited passages in the Bible, some of which were brought to light on this forum. If I recall well, Gelin's answers to those were that we likely did not have the wisdom to comprehend them and that in any case, those were the consequences of the Old Covenant and we should now focus on the New Covenant. But I don't want to speak for Gelin, for fear of misrepresenting his thoughts. All I will say is that beyond the public and the private, there is also the intimate... and the innate fear of that white-bearded Father, with the mean and vengeful disposition, who reacts disproportionately when his instructions are not carried to the letter. Does that remind you of the behavior of the State of Israel? Like Father, like favorite sons... and everyone else had better shake in their boots.

I wonder whether Prime Ministers of Israel do not read those biblical passages in the morning as inspiration for their follies?

The message could not be clearer: bring total destruction to your enemies ("Now go, attack the xxxxxx and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.")

Yesterday, the Amalekites...today, substitute the enemy of your choice?

To Gelin, that is the Old Covenant... to others, it is the Torah. Call it by any other name, isn't it still the word of God? The one that George W. Bush and Ehud Olmert listen to??? That is a frightening thought, since we know who make and possess the most dangerous Weapons of Mass Destruction in this world.

What if the "the LORD Almighty" (who is still alive, I presume) appears to them and says: 'I will punish the xxxxxx for what they did to xxxxxx when they waylaid them... Now go, attack the xxxxxx and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'

Will they manage to rush in the end of this world, so they can obey the Father?

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:42 pm

...as much as he may want to dissociate the Evangelical's racist diatribes from the "orthodoxy" of Christianity, our brother Gelin cannot succeed in doing so.
I believe I have.
The dilemma for Africans who have adopted Christianity as their religion is a difficult one.
It's a false problem UNLESS we talk about the eurocentric version of christianity.
the compilers of the so-called "new testament" shared some of the same ethnocentric values as did those who compiled the Torah. That is how you will find justifications of slavery in both books.
Shall we go over this again? If you accept Christ's teachings you simply cannot have another human being as your slave or possession. Period!
Besides the issue of dogma and written books, there is the political aspect of organized religion.
There is no question about that, and it's the case in almost everything.
In conclusion, I will take Christianity seriously when, as easily as I can picture a huge assembly of 100 thousand black folks listening reverently to a white preacher with in the background a huge portarit of White Jesus, with other white biblical figures of all sorts.....as I would picture the opposite. i.e. a huge assembly of 100 thousand white folks listening reverently to a black preacher with in the background a black Jesus, with other black biblical figures of all sorts.
And even then it may still be different from the original version (about which I am concerned).
Now, will black folks continue to worship Leonardo da Vinci into the 22nd century...
I do not worship a work of art.

gelin

Michel Nau_

Post by Michel Nau_ » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:39 pm

Dr. Gelin di:
Can Believers Help Haiti Move From Curse Into Hope?
Sou zafe "curse" sa mwen pap fe konmante sou li paske se youn propagand ki egziste depi byen lontan pou demonnize pep la.
Believers sa yo ap repete bagay sa dimilfwa nan tet malere yo ki finn pa admet ke li gen madichon vre.
Se sak fe ke nou remake ke depi youn bon bout tan, potre jezi sou tout bagay an Ayiti.
Sou taptap kamyon, sou mayo, chapo, drapo, nan radyo, televisyon pelerinaj evanjelik.
CD ak mizik levanjil vann pi byen pase mizik konpa e souk.
Moun sa yo nan tout kwin e fin anvayi peyi a!!

Ki sak kreye fenomemm sa??
Jan Dr. Gelin di a se govenman yo ki pa fe travay sosyal nan peyi a. Yo kite pep la a la deriv kankou chyen pa gen met.
Pep Ayisyen, se pa salvesyon ke lap chache, ni poul al nan paradi, min youn ti ale myo. Youn system de vi ke sosyete aktyel la pa ofri yo.

Kestyon Gelin an si mwen pa tronpe m e se konsa ke m wel etan aktivis pou jistis sosyal:
Eske believers sa yo kontribye a developman peyi a, a trave fidel li yo kap viv dan lespwa e la disiplinn, dan le respe de la peson imenn.
Opinión pa mwen se ke sa depan!!
Si Leta pafe travay li e ke se Believers sa yo kap fe li dan la disiplinn e lamou di prochin, mwen pa gen poblem avek sa.
Si yo construí lekol, legliz, lopital, bank kominote e anpil lot sevis sosyal, map di bravo pou yo.

Min sepandan, fok leta pran chaj li an min pou li pa pedi kontrol pep li ni lese Believers sa yo an chaj vi spirityel e sosyal pep la.
Nou pata remin we youn Jonestown trajedi a la Gayana nan peyi d'Ayiti.

Si fenomenm nan relizyez min li sitou sosyal.
Le youn pep grangou e dan la mize, menm Hezballah si li vini nan peyi a pep Ayisyen ap pran la dann.

Fok nou gade realite a an fas e pale e fe komante pou pep la e dirijan yo sa konpran.

Pa chita filozofe, ni pale de kristyanite, Leonardo di vinci, bagay ki tro fo pou averaj pe la.
Mande youn nan senate nou yo ou byen youn moun nan pep la ki yes ke Leonardo Di Vinci ye ou byen ki kote ke kristyanite pran pye, yap di ke yo bwe pwa, yo pa konnin.

Si nou gen youn mesaj ke nap voye bay pep la e dirijan yo sou zafe Believers ke Dr. Gelin ap pale yo e ki finn anvayi e pran control pep la e kap ankasyone “coup d'etat” e lot move zak nan peyi a fok mamb Ann pale pale kle e nan lang pep la pou yo sa konpran.

Nou finn pa remake ke gen anpil moun le lespri yo feb e le yo nan grangou, si yo pa tounin zenglendo, yo tounin paste levanjil.
Fok nou lite kont 2 xtrem sa yo e bay pep la youn lot alternativ.

Michel

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:04 pm

Nèg pran nan gonm kounye a e sa lakòz m pap gentan abòde sou tout kesyon sa yo. Gen anpil ladan yo ki fé anpil sans pou mwen, e gen lòt tou ki fò anpil e m gen dwa paka reponn yo byen. Annatandan, m ap raple Guy ke se pa tchwipe m te tchwipe: I didn't tchweep...:-)

gelin

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:27 am

Michel, sa fè lontan nou pa kominike...
Sou zafe "curse" sa mwen pap fe konmante sou li paske se youn propagand ki egziste depi byen lontan pou demonnize pep la. Believers sa yo ap repete bagay sa dimilfwa nan tet malere yo ki finn pa admet ke li gen madichon vre....
E depi ou fin dakò ke bondye mete w anba madichon, prèske pa gen anyen ou ka fè pou ede sove peyi w ankò. Kilès ki ka reziste volonte bondye?
Se sak fe ke nou remake ke depi youn bon bout tan, potre jezi sou tout bagay an Ayiti.
E se pa menm figi Jezi vre.
Si yo construí lekol, legliz, lopital, bank kominote e anpil lot sevis sosyal, map di bravo pou yo.
E anpil nan yo fè sa vre.
...e pran control pep la e kap ankasyone “coup d'etat” e lot move zak nan peyi a fok mamb Ann pale pale kle e nan lang pep la pou yo sa konpran.
Sa a se yon move kout gidon. Se pa konsa m wè l mwen menm.
Nou finn pa remake ke gen anpil moun le lespri yo feb e le yo nan grangou, si yo pa tounin zenglendo, yo tounin paste levanjil. Fok nou lite kont 2 xtrem sa yo e bay pep la youn lot alternativ.
E politisyen yo, ki kote w kite yo?

............................

Jaf,
these evangelicals can easily identify in the "word of god" accepted by all of Christianity, where they find justification for their racism?
False or I should say, I don't agree. As far as I can see it, there is no racism in the message of Jesus-Christ as presented in the gospel.
...where the sun was ordered to stop in its course (which is a complete non-sense...)
I still hear the weater man talk about sunrise and sunset, and I still read the same terms in calendars...
...Where is the non-eurocentric version of Christianity?
It's in the text itself. It was praticed in northern africa and in eastern countries. A couple of examples: 1) where the text talks about the birth of Jesus (whether one accepts it or not - that's not the issue), the euro-centric version talks about the coming of santa claus down your chimney; 2) where the text talks about the resurrection of Jesus (one may or may not accept it, that's a matter of faith), the euro-centric version comes with the easter bunny in place of the passover.....and so on...
Therein lies the problem. The original version of which you speak was NOT Christianity.
The word christianity is not found in the original texts if that's what you want. But that's not what I am talking about here.
The simple fact is that Jesus, the man whose name has been used to create this religion (hundreds of years after his death) was never a Christian, never intended to create a religion named Christianity..
I could agree with you here, except that with his teachings Jesus DID create a new way of life IN HIS LIFETIME. That's all I am after.
It's a hopeless case Gélin. If Jesus could speak from his grave, I am sure he would advise us that it is useless to spend good energy trying to clean up that mess.
I agree with your first sentence. However, the biblical Jesus is not in his grave (the word bible is not found in the bible, but you know I mean the original texts). During his lifetime, Jesus himself could not clean up the mess he found in the religious establishement; and he told them: <i>"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." - John 8:24</i>.

-------------------------------

leonel,

li lè pou w retounen sòt nan kinko a.

-------------------------------

gelin

Michel Nau_

Post by Michel Nau_ » Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:22 pm

Gelin ekri:
E depi ou fin dakò ke bondye mete w anba madichon, prèske pa gen anyen ou ka fè pou ede sove peyi w ankò. Kilès ki ka reziste volonte bondye?
Zafe curse la e madichon an se pa mwen e pep Ayisyen ki santil nan lavi kourant nou.
Pep nwa a telman pase mize ke nou finn pa rezinye nou ke nou gen madichon vre.
Byen ke se pa Bondye ki curse nou etan pep nwa, min sosyete a mete nou etan pep nwa nan youn position sosyal dozado ki fe ke nou konprann ke nou inferye vre.

Se sak fe ke anpil nan nou, nwa, marabou, grimo, mulato excetera konprann ke parfwa nou siperye ou byen nou gen youn avantaj paske nou gen youn ti san blan kap koule nan venn nou. Se sosyete blan ke nap vinn la ki banou ilisyon sa pou kreye zizani pami nou etan ke pep nwa.

Gelin ekri:
E se pa menm figi Jezi vre.
Wi se vre, min nou telman abitye avek li, nou telman we li chak jou ke yo fe nou finn pa konpran ke se vre jezi a.

Gelin youn experyan ke sosyolog yo fe nan Washington, DC kote ke gen plis nwa edike nan peyi isit.
Jou krismas, sosyolog yo pran 2 tonton noel youn blan, youn nwa, ke yo mete nan mall la devan magazin yo.
Experyan ke sosyolog yo remake se ke tout ti moun, blan, nwa, asian, excetera yo tout kouri al chita sou jamb toton Noel blan an.

Apre youn setin tan finn pase, sosyolog yo retire tonton Noel blan an e kite nwa, pou yo sa we ki konpotman ti moun e paran yo, malgre sa, preske tout tiimoun yo blan kou nwa pa al chita sou jamb tonton Noel nwa e menm paran blan kou nwa, yo pito ale e di ya retounin nan landemin ak pitit yo.

Kamarad Jaf fe anpil jefo, promosyon, piblisite, anpil rele amnwe, frappe lestomak, frappe ko ate, pou montre ke “black is beautiful”, black has power, black people are blessed, e ke nou egal menm jan ak blan yo.

Malgre sa, malgre sa, gen anpil nan nou I konpri mwen menm tou, pafwa nan moman e sitiasyon difisil, mwen pedi la fwa, e mwen konpran ke mwen inferye vre paske mwen nwa. Realite a devan je nou chak jou, e nou pakab inyore li.

Gelin ekri:
Sa a se yon move kout gidon. Se pa konsa m wè l mwen menm.E politisyen yo, ki kote w kite yo?
Gelin mon frem, w se paste e w konnin ke spirityelman e sosyalman, chaj la lou!!
Fok nou travay la min dan la min avek politisyen yo tou pou nou di yo pou yo fe travay yo kom sa dwa tet etan ke dirijan responsab youn peyi, e fok nou travay tou avek Believers yo tou pou nou di yo pou yo ke se vizite ke yo ye lakay nou e fok yo sispand kontinye avek propagand sa kap di pep la ke yo gen madichon e ke salvesyon yo se nan jezi blan ou tonton noel blan ke li ye. E fok mwen di w an pasan ke tit atik w a "Can Believers Help Haiti Move From Curse Into Hope?" Insinuye an patan ke nou menm etan ke pep nwa, nou gen madichon e ke se la gras de dye ki kap sove nou.

W etan ke paste w osi koupab ke believers yo si w pa denonse move taktik sa. Fok youn kap fe youn peer review pou di konpayel believer yo ke negatif diminitif sa pa bon.

Salvesyon an se pa nan bondye selman ke li ye, gen youn travay sosyal tou ki pou fet avan ou an menm tan.

Il se pe ke nou gen devinn se vre min nou pa gen madichon. :twisted: :twisted:
We may have bad luck as a people, but we are not curse !!

Michel

Empress Verite

Believers and the Faithful will Help Ayiti/Haiti

Post by Empress Verite » Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:34 pm

Mesi Anpil pou diskisyon sa a paske li fenm plezi poum tande tout opinyon sa yo sou kesyon si la.

Firstly, I wanted to say to Ja that Ezili is not into group sex or orgies. In fact, she's a very clean figure. She does her work and moves on. She feels like a mercurial spirit just like the rivers. Both the river and Ezili give the same energy and message, which is ultimately cleansing to the soul. It is not ever destructive as in murder or genocide. The river in Oshogbe, Nigeria where the shrine has been maintained and kept by some foreigners (missionary workers) and I've heard that it's a most wonderful place.

For me Ezili/Oshun/Isis are goddesses in the Black pantheon of mythological figures. She represents desire incarnate on our planet earth. The river provides us with drinking water (if we're lucky) which fertilizes the land and gives us food. (La Lezarde/Fictiona/ Eduard Glissant) (Latibonit) (The Nile) (Quan Dong (in China) (if I'm not mistaken). They recycle human waste and so forth but however many roles or desires that she fulfills she should not be demonized. Men who worship her do so singularly never together on the days that they worship her (I think that it's Wednesdays (mercury). I also think that she is a liberating spirit and not a possessive one.

Please forgive my limited knowledge. I have not read that literature in awhile. And (groundbreaking) material is published every couple of years in important journals. I realize that various books are published all of the times so I don't know what the "experts" are writing these days. I think that in Ayiti/Haiti we need to understand the role of the Virgin Mary and its significance to the state.

For Michel, I would like to say that the works of the faithful will be used as a testiment of their true intentions. I mean the institutions that they build or support as well as the product in total of their efforts can be seen as the evidence. However, I dont' think that we can discuss the state apparatus in the same breath as faith. The idea is not to sell our laws to faith or belief. If anything Ayiti should in fact be a Voodoo/Veaux Dous state since it is trying to show the shephard's way. And for me that is the true beauty of the nation state and the implications of the Revolution. Like many including Dr. Gelin like to remind us, this was the first time and the only time Black African slaves of various generations and genders worked together to throw off the yoke of this violent injustice. And they suceeded in creating the 1st or 2nd republic in this world!

The folks from Kosanbo can help understand further the complete meaning of the idea of faith as it relates to the various religions (secular or otherwise) that are practiced in Ayiti. I know that I feel strongly that African derived belief and faith are fundamentally linked to Haitian worldview.

So far as the relevance of the Guyana-Jamestown incident I think that this was uncalled for and completly unrelated. Most West African beliefs and spiritual traditions are about life and living. They are about providing hope and a way. In fact, other African spiritual perspectives are related to the idea of life-as we see in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Rastafarian (ism) is most like a social movement that foregrounds Black self help and faith. It is also not an extreme way of life or perspective. The middle ground or way that you seem to advocate may work for some states but as I am sure Noam Chomsky probably recognizes in his new book, failed states are victims of their own narrow frameworks. They fail ultimately because they did not follow the course of their own citizens by providing them with true alternatives such as other ways other possibilities. In essence they fail because they become too rigid and locked into the one way or perhaps the closed way not flexible enough for the people. He apparently does not recognize Haiti as a failed state but he sees the US as being. Go figure.

Egal mwen pa kon ki sa enko mwen taka di. Paske mwen we ke se ou sel bagay nou ka fe. Nou pa kab kontinye akize moun "extremist" sa se ou tem ke failed states operators rezeve pou moun yo we konm rezon pou lakel ke yo pa kab fin detwi lam tout moun nan nasyon an. Social Democrats at this time are unable to provide true and real solutions to the problems facing nation states such as Ayiti primarily because they are caught up in their own rhetoric and this makes them unable to act. Hezbollah is a social movement that provided state infrastructure and build institutions such as hospitals and so on but it is seen as an extreme (terrorist) organization. Similarly, Hamas which has won many seats in the PLO government in Palestine continues to face a struggle over its success to become a democratic institution through the "state's own electoral process.

Ebyen wa di nou le ou ogazasyon pa ekstrem Michel paske m konen pou nou reyisi fok nou fe desizyon ki pap ple tout moun. Epi tou le the wretched nan nasyon ayiti ya jwen soulajmen nan sityasyon yo a boujwa yo a di ke se at their expense and the detriment of their profit margins. Konm se pa kapitalis mwen ye mwen ta di yo ki mele m.

Thank you Guy for providing us with this forum. This discussion is HOT.

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Sat Aug 19, 2006 7:13 am

L'eternel est mon Berger. Je ne manquerai de rien...
Pa bon dye fE mwen te gen anpil frE ak sE ki konprann Malatchong Relijion an...
No offense my Beloved Gelin. I still love you man (aba Kinko, mwen gen entEnEt kounye a)
I appreciate all your threads, Jaf, Emp, Guy, Nek, Mich and Gel!
A la bEl bagay se sEvi Bondye.
Bondye bay pi gwo dwa pou yo demantibile Piti, au nom de l'Eternel.
KOm oun gwo Real Estate Broker, li bay pitit prefere'l yo dwa pou yo kraze brize, piye vOlE oun lOt ki te ba yo la desant lakay li. Au nom de lEternel.
Li fE Zenglendo etranje matrake, imilye, matirize oun ras paske li panse diferan de Relijion santi ki baze sou etimolojy ejipsyen.
Au nom de l'eternel, le pap bay chimE ewopeyen yo dwa pou yo vOlE depi se tE nan Amerik la, avEk dwa pou yo mete nan esklavaj oun ras pezib ke yo rele enferyE.
Au nom de l'eternel, Etazini ap kontiye men kwazad ke lOt moun te antreprann anvan kote depi ou panse diferaman de yo ou bon pou al nan peyi san chapo.
Men, jou va jou vyen. Ak rechEch, nou kOmanse ap wE klE. Nou konn filozOf ke yo rele Jezi a. Nou konnen ke tout mirak li yo te fEt deja milan anvan ke-l te pran nesans nan 25 desanm menm jou ak Horus (pitit vyEj Isis).
Jou va jou vyen, nan wE ke le monn ki kontwole pa izrayel sa-a, ap vin wE klE.
Jou va jou vyen, Ayiti ap toujou peyi Boukman/Dessalines ak tout moun konsekan ki pa t'pran kaka poul pou jOnn ze!
M'ap kite nou ak ti pawOl levanjil sa:
Heureux, celui qui ne croit pas. Car, le Royaume des Cieux est a eux...
Sa se pawOl gran mEt la,
Leonel

Gelin_

Re: Believers and the Faithful will Help Ayiti/Haiti

Post by Gelin_ » Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:40 am

...If anything Ayiti should in fact be a <u>Voodoo/Veaux Dous state</u> since it is trying to show the shephard's way.
Ou tande koze!!!

gelin

Tidodo_

Post by Tidodo_ » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:07 am

I am always reluctant to enter in a discussion about religion because of my ignorance of this subject beyond my personal involvement in it as a child growing up in Haiti. But I am always baffled when the catholic religion in Haiti is being demonized as an Eurocentric instrument of doom for our country - my use of words. I use catholicism because my exposure to protestanism in Haiti was not enough to talk about it. The reason is that the positives brought by catholicism in Haiti outweigh the negatives, even if the colons used it to justify slavery [men have always used good or bad to justify their greed and crime]. By that, I mean, the education the catholic clergy provided to Haitians, when I was living there, was one of the best and had continued to serve the students even when they traveled abroad. Even if you did not share the faith, the teaching of morality in social life was exemplary even when the teachers themselves were sinners. In addition, there were the charities mentioned by others above. In fact, I even read here in the USA that it is an accepted truth that catholics' charitable institutions are the best and the largest in the world.

I was exposed to protestanism here in the USA for a short period of time. Unlike catholicism in Haiti, the clergy seems to take financial advantage of the practicioners. The ones I got involved with require the praticioners to give 10% of their earnings to the church. And the churches mushroom here the same way that shopping centers do. In fact, I found them to have something in common with the vodoo clergy. They both exploit financially their practicioners. I can't remember in Haiti pressure being put on us to pay the tide. I have seen a pastor here in the USA giving a sermon wearing a sword, a way to intimidate the practicioners in paying the tide. In his sermon, the pastor, who was the son-in-law and assistant to the main pastor, told us that those who do not pay their fair share of the tides were stealing God's money, even though their church was being run as a family business. I mean, the family had all the privileges in the church.

This brings me back to vodoo. Even if I accept it as a religion in comparison to the others - something I still have my doubts because of my limited knowledge - I can't see enough positives that outweigh its negatives after Bwa Kayiman. The majority of its practicioneers figure among the poorest and the least disadvantaged groups in Haiti and the world. The fear created among its followers is in this life, not in the life after. In terms of morality, they have no problem, and perhaps, openly advocating harming others for nothing other than innocent competitiveness. The clergy uses their position openly to financially exploit the followers. Their false claims of healthcare providers cause thousands to die of curable diseases every year. Some of their rituals cause the followers to eat or drink unsanitary concoctions that caused them more harm than good. On the positive side, someone on this forum mentioned that the Haitians in the countryside would have nowhere else to go if they did not have vodoo. Yet, I see the majority of other societies' country people live better than ours without vodoo. I don't get it!

J-M

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:33 am

...If anything Ayiti should in fact be a Voodoo/Veaux Dous state since it is trying to show the shephard's way.
Ayiti does not need to become a voodoo state. That's the other side of a debate that up to now has now produced any visible benefit for the country as a whole. Here is what the law says:
All religions and faiths shall be freely exercised. Everyone is entitled to profess his religion and practice his faith, provided the exercise of that right does not disturb law and order. - Article 30, Haitian Constitution
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J-M,

you made a lot of interesting points in your comments, and I agree with most of them.

gelin

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:56 pm

Guy, di m non, kisa w ap fè ak tout bèt sa yo k ap tonbe la a? Ann Pale a se yon gwo inivèsite l ye vre wi...

gelin

Tidodo_

Post by Tidodo_ » Tue Aug 22, 2006 6:22 pm

[quote]Jean-Marie wrote about the Catholic education provided in Haiti:
“when I was living there, (it) was one of the best there and had continued to serve the students even when they traveled abroad”.

[quote]It was the best “there” because it was being provided by the richest and oldest established institution on the island. Now, the fact that it was best does not mean it was adequate or the best for the country. I don't think it is a coincidence that the “education” provided by this clergy produced so many generations of Haitians who are tragically divorced from, when not at open war against both their African origin and the modern black nation they constitute in appearance. Yes, this education served the students in Haiti as well as when they dp travel abroad, however, this same education seems to be counter-productive to the nation as a whole. That's no coincidence. The students were being formed not for the real Haitian nation but for the neo-colonial project imagined by the “formateurs” – format as in disk-format. The information is in, it is of some use, somewhere but not is this computer.[/quote][/quote]

My comment was the observation of a reality in Haiti and not the theoretical ideal situation. This was true for most of my other comments. Another personal observation during my travels in the 80's troughout the Caribbean countries was that Haitians were among the proudest citizens of their island nation. Unfortunately, since then things have gotten worse.

J-M

Empress Verite

JM-- On Haitian Voodoo Doctors and Disease

Post by Empress Verite » Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:26 pm

Sak Pase?

Thank you so much Ja for all of the points and counter points that you made to JM-Tidodo's remarks about Voodoo and religion in Ayiti. The fact is that the governments of the G8 countries have sat back while 25 million people died of AIDS and related causes. Many of these folks were Black and poor and perhaps they did not care. And of course, JM some Voodoo dokte fey provide hokus pokus remedies but what about allopathic medicine ? Are they to be seen as the real deal in comparisson to the natural/alternative health care that dokete feys provide. Let me tell you first hand that I have benefitted a great deal from alternative health remedies and healers. Some Haitians in Ayiti who helped me overcome psychobiological problems that allopathic doctors refused to even address let alone find cures for or help me to heal from.

Moreover, I have recently decided that allopathic doctors specifically in the US need to come to terms with their relationships with the state. For instance, are their practices an extension of the state's war on terror or independent institutions that seek to serve the common citizen? I feel that you can find practitioners in both traditions who are good at their craft and can use their skills to help folks heal from serious illness. I also have had experiences with bad doctors from both traditions. It hurts when one seeks help from a healthcare provider and instead gets abused.

I believe that the so-called New Age movement that seeks to foreground alternative health has to be harnessed and encouraged in the nation state of Ayiti. I feel this way because allopathic medicine emphasizes external remedies too much. In addition the pharmaceutical industry controls the practices and in turn they are controlled by the state. As we discuss this, the US congress guided by the Bush propaganda machine is trying to make all of a patient's medical records available by computer to medical and healthcare practitioners! In my view this will contribute to the growing instances of abuse of patients who seek healthcare. This informatioin and whatever prejudicial notes made by previous doctors will influence the care and possibly the diagnosis. And as we know it has been found that Black people receive the worse care from allopathic practitioners. In addition, they are the least insured. These same folks who often cannot afford the care offered by allopathic doctors (recent cuts in medicaid are making the situation worse) often seek home or natural remedies. And even if they do have access to medical professionals, black folks tend not to seek their help because they fear discrimination and abuse.

There was an episode on ER that featured this situation as it pertained to Haitian immigrants living in Chicago. The woman was affraid to go to the hospital because she feared that they would have negative diagnosis for her. And just as she felt, she was on the hospital bed for a few minutes before she met her demise!

Thanks again for the discussion. I for one have benefitted from a Catholic school education in Ayiti and many of my peers have gone on to achieve great success in the US school system. Still, as Ja pointed out the school prepared us with certain skills but what else did they fail to teach us or instill in us?

Tidodo_

Post by Tidodo_ » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:17 am

First, although I have been reading your posts for some weeks now, let me join the others who have done it before me in welcoming you back. We are glad to have you active again on the forum.

[quote]And of course, JM some Voodoo dokte fey provide hokus pokus remedies but what about allopathic medicine ? Are they to be seen as the real deal in comparisson to the natural/alternative health care that dokete feys provide. Let me tell you first hand that I have benefitted a great deal from alternative health remedies and healers. Some Haitians in Ayiti who helped me overcome psychobiological problems that allopathic doctors refused to even address let alone find cures for or help me to heal from.[/quote]

Nothing is perfect in this world, as is often heard. At the same time, the opposite is often heard as well. You made some very good points in your post. But, I would like to clarify one of mine. I did not mean that all doktè fèy remedies were hokus pokus. I was using a number of statistics and personal observations while living in Haiti, including one that Haiti had one of the youngest mortality rate in the Caribbean. The latest published one I remember was that the life expectation in Haiti was 43 years.

I have no problems with alternative medicine, per se. Some work well on some specific illnesses. The problem with some alternative medicine practitioners - I am not an expert in this field and my observation is very limited to some specific ones - is that they don't recognize their limitations. Because they can cure one specific disease, I have seen many who tried to apply it to all other areas of medicine. I believe that is also true of the vodoo priests who practice medicine.

As far as the doktè fèy is concerned, which in my mind is different from the "vodooisant" curing diseases in the name of the vodoo religion, many play a good role in Haiti. Particularly, they fill the vaccuum left by insufficient health care providers and facilities in the country side and the poor areas of the cities. Unfortunately, because Haiti is not developed and organized enough, the doktè fèy's knowledge, it appears to me, is maybe waisted by the death of their most productive ones in the sense that it is not capitalized upon and transferred from generation to generation. I suppose that because there is not in Haiti an effort, to my knowledge, to record their success in books, accumulate the knowledge of previous doktè fèy who died, and allow new ones to learn from the old ones while adding to the existing body of knowledge, the full potential of their efforts and industry was not acheived. As a result of that, often, the doktè fèy try to cure dieases that are beyond their body of knowledge/experience, and their patients paid with their lives for it. I will confess that I don't have statistics on how often it happens in Haiti because I don't know if such records are kept. But there are enough anecdotal cases, plus the life expectations statistics, to sense that there is a problem in that area.

J-M.

Empress Verite

Dokte Fey, Voodoo Doctors in Ayiti

Post by Empress Verite » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:53 am

One e Respe:

Mesi anpil pou repons la Tidodo/JM. I would like to ask you about your insistence on making a correlation between the high mortality rate in Ayiti/Haiti, the relatively young life expectancy to Dokte Fey practices. I have some experience in that area and I don't believe that everyone who dies from whatever causes, illness or disease actually seeks the help of one of these alternative health care practitioners. It also seems to me that many of the learned ones live in the country or en provens. I can attest to the fact that there are quite a few very talented ones who helped me a great deal as a sickly child in Ayiti.

When I travelled to West Africa and stayed in Senegal for a few months. I had the priviledge of meeting a woman, an elder and a reknown healer. She provided a complete and holistic/wholistic healing to women who sought her help primarily for reproductive health issues. I am telling you this because she apparently had a VERY HIGH success rate and was HIGHLY recommended by VERY famous people. She reminded me of Haitian healers women and men whom I had known while growing up. le moun yo manyan ou ak lwil pal ma kristi e lot kalite remed epi yo fe priye pou ou se ou fenomen ki inkroyab. Paske bagay sa a sovem anpil tan apre tan apre tan.

Michel Laguerre has a book on Haitian natural medicine and I think that it's time that it's reprinted or something. A while ago, Legrace Benson, I believed challenged some folks on Corbett to cultivate some land and grow herbs for alternative healt problems. I think that this should happen and we should seek out the healers, the talented and successful ones and help them to grow their practice. I can hear t he naysayers making the connection to Divalye and how he went to the country and collected the heads of Voodoo and corrupted them. Well, I think that we've learned our lesson and we can make something better.

I agree with you that we should encourage the older ones to teach the younger ones who want to learn so as to pass on the tradition. Unfortunately, this does not happen enough in Ayiti and in the Diaspora. Children are discouraged from being interested in Voodoo and natural Haitian medicine for various reasons and that's truly unfortunate. Putting those subjects in a Haitian centered curriculum would be a great achievement.

Finally, I had wanted to make the connection between the millions who have died from complications due to HIV/AIDS in the past 26 years (almost 20 under the Bushes not counting the 8 with Clinton) and that the allopathic medical doctors have still not come up with a cure. I was watching a documentary of some healers in an African country that borders the Indian Ocean and the woman swore that she found a cure for the disease. About a decade and a half ago I read about some South African and West African healers who claimed that they had found a cure. All of these were natural health and herbal remedies. I have not heard how the Western medical community responded to these claims. I can tell you that every 10 minutes someone dies from the disease. I can't believe that billions have not been poured into finding a cure!

This is the worse TERROR attack since slavery and colonization. Unfortunately, since the problem is killing the undesirables in society, well, the powers that be don't care. And my point was that allopathic medicine is as guilty in these murders because they are not putting enough pressure on the state to fund cures instead they are choosing to help put bandages on the symptoms however many they are.

Look forward to more about this. I am an avid student of alternative health care and medicine and I advocate that practice to anyone. The good stuff works. I know that and I have benefitted from it.

Mesi anpil Tidodo/JM.

Tidodo_

Post by Tidodo_ » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:58 am

I would like to ask you about your insistence on making a correlation between the high mortality rate in Ayiti/Haiti, the relatively young life expectancy to Dokte Fey practices.
It would be wrong of me to state that the Doktè Fèy cause Haiti to have that mortality rate. My guess is, among other things, inadequate health care in Haiti is at the root of that problem. How much of it is caused by the unsystematic approach to health care by doktè fèy is something I don't know! The problem I was associating with high mortality rate was when people in Haiti are sick and they automatically believe that "se dyab k ap eseye manje yo." Instead of seeking a proven healer's care to try to determine the cause for their illness and see how they can cure it, they run to a voodoo priest office to get that spiritual healing. This is different to me from people in the country side where there are no doctors who consult a doktè fèy for their illness. I maybe wrong but it seems to me you can be a doktè fèy without practicing the voodoo religion, though many of them may use the cover of the voodoo religion to be successful in their trade.

As far as my position on the benefits and position of doktè fèy in Haiti, it is what you read in the fourth paragraph of my post above.
Children are discouraged from being interested in Voodoo and natural Haitian medicine for various reasons and that's truly unfortunate. Putting those subjects in a Haitian centered curriculum would be a great achievement.
I don't know about this. Before you teach people things as a scientific truth, it deserves to have passed muster with scientific research.

Regarding the other state and medical issues in your post, I don't know enough about them to have an opinion.

J-M.

Empress Verite

Prejudice and Isms Against Voodoo Lead to Murder

Post by Empress Verite » Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:10 pm

Sak Pase all?

JM and all, I have wanted to post one of the articles that I've read about the circumstances surrounding the murder of Edwige Danticat's uncle and how it's related to the prejudice and the isms associated with medicine and Voodoo in Ayiti. Please read the following article if you can so you can see that we're not immune regardless of how famous our relatives may be or what color suit we wear or how polite and honest we are about our intentions. What gets me the most about this is how his prescription medicine was dismissed as being Voodoo stuff and how he could not even talk and was using a voice box. This is so symbollic of the condition of the ultimate subalterns or folks without VOICE. My daughter was one such person who suffered the consequences and so are thousands if not millions of other Haitians who are stereotyped and condenmed.
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A death in custody: Homeland Security officials investigate treatment of novelist Edwidge Danticat's late uncle, who died seeking asylum
Black Issues Book Review, March-April, 2005 by Leslie Casimir

U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials have been investigating the death of author Edwidge Danticat's elderly uncle who fled Haiti with a valid U.S. visa, only to be detained and denied his own prescribed medication.

This past October, the Reverend Joseph Dantica sought political asylum in Miami, but the popular Baptist minister died handcuffed to a hospital bed on November 3, five days after federal authorities confiscated his medicine, dismissing them as illegitimate and "voodoo-like." [The uncle's last name was spelled differently than Danticat's father's and immediate family because of a clerical error.] Homeland Security officials have denied any wrongdoing,

Immigration officials had denied his niece--who lives in Miami and New York--the chance to visit her uncle on his deathbed, citing security concerns. "I think it's shameful and disgraceful the way he was treated;' said Danticat, 36, who was raised by Dantica until the age of 12, when she was reunited with her parents in the United States. "An 81 year-old man, he was incarcerated. Then he was left to die shackled to a bed in a hospital room where his loved ones were not even allowed to see him. And this country considers itself the greatest democracy in the world?"

It is a tragic story akin to the heart-breaking tales Danticat herself has weaved. Danticat is the author of Breath, Eyes, Memory (Soho Press, 1998), an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak! (Soho Press, 1995), a National Book Award finalist; The Farming of Bones (Penguin, 1999), winner of an American Book Award; and The Dew Breaker (Knopf, 2004; see BIBR, July-August 2004, "Haiti's Eloquent Daughter").
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Since former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was removed from power and escorted out of the country last year, Haiti has been in deep turmoil.

Dantica fled the country on October 29, after a mob turned on him and his son, Maxo Osnac Dantica. Thugs burned down his church and school, Church of the Redeemer, and seized his home in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Bel-Air.

The area had been rife with violence as armed loyalists battled United Nations troops and the Haitian police on October 24. During Sunday services, police chased gang members into Dantica's church, killing one as he attempted to escape. At least 15 others were also killed that day.

Once troops left the area, a mob confronted the pastor and his son, demanding that they pay for the funerals of the dead or face beheading. Unable to secure the money, Dantica snuck out of his house and sought refuge at a neighbor's. He crossed rooftops and hid under a bed for three days, relatives said. Dantica sought refuge at Miami International Airport. Instead, he was placed in shackles and hauled off to jail. "The tragic irony is that Rev. Dantica came because he wanted to save his life and then ended up losing it while in U.S. government custody," said Maxo Dantica's attorney, Cheryl Little, the executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center.

Dantica's relatives, some public officials and a growing chorus of writers (including Walter Mosley and James McBride) have decried the elderly pastor's death.

"It is really an upsetting case," said Anna Kushner, a spokeswoman at PEN, a writers' organization that has been monitoring the case. "It's just another indication that some of the policies and legislation that were enacted weren't really thought through."

Homeland Security officials have maintained that Dantica died of a pre-existing medical condition, pancreatis, that was cited in an autopsy report performed by the Miami-Dade County medical examiner. Danticat said she did not know her uncle had pancreatis, only that he had battled cancer of the larynx that was in remission. He also took prescribed drugs and herbal remedies for his high blood pressure and prostate condition.

John Pratt, the attorney who was representing the pastor, said immigration officials told him that the pastor was given an "equivalent" medicine to treat his ailments, something Dantica at the time had denied.

"He told me, 'They didn't give me my medicine,'" said Pratt, who witnessed Dantica vomiting and passing out during his asylum interview with immigration authorities. Pratt said medial staff called in to treat Dantica suggested that Dantica was faking his illness. "This could have all been avoided," Pratt said. "They could have exercised more humanity."

Edwidge Danticat said the U.S. government is getting away with countless abuses directed toward foreigners--here and abroad--under the veil of protecting the homeland. "If we can't tell an old man who'd just lost everything and was seeking some shelter, if we can't tell that old man apart from a terrorist, how safe are we anyway?" Danticat said.

Leslie Casimir is the immigration reporter at the New York Daily News.

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Post by Guysanto » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:27 pm

This discussion is very relevant to our times.

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