Voodoo shamanism turns to self-blame; Pat Robertson into the mix; Ditto, Danny Glover and Catholicism
Haiti’s voodoo turns against itself and into spiritual self-retribution
Actor Danny Glover has recently stated that global warming and climate change is the cause for the devestating earthquake in Haiti. Glover also made charges that the US should not have a relation of ”dominance” over Haiti and the climate summit in Copenhagen had some role to play in the disaster. This is not Glover’s first commentary on Haiti. In 2008 Glover directed and produced a film on Toussaint L’Ouverture, the man who lead an armed struggle for independence against the Spanish, French and British in what was called the Haitian Revolution.
Some spectators of the earthquake’s devastation attribute the multitude of deaths and injuries to the earthquake (naturally) and the rampant poverty that has plagued the island for nearly two centuries. Compared to the relatively few deaths and limited destruction wealthier cities suffering earthquakes, Port-au-Prince’s poverty allowed for unstable buildings, limited emergency medical treatment, and weak infrastructure to deal with the crisis. Moreover, the same critique includes voodoo beliefs and practices as a cause, helping inspire a climate of poverty and encouraging an econimic fatalism.
The Vatican quickly turned to US Catholic charities to send aid to Haiti. While Haitians are predominately Roman Catholic, the majority of Haitians practice Voodoo, often called a “spirit religion” because of its beliefs and practices involving a multitude of spirits in day-to-day life. Voodoo practitioners communicate with spirits through dance, song and sacrifice, and the spirits often communicate through possession. Having its origins in Africa, and brought over to Haiti through the slave trade, Voodoo blends many of its practices with Roman Catholicism. In 2003 the Haitian government officially recognized Voodoo as a religion.
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