In a small blurb I would have missed had my wife not pointed it out, today’s paper carried a brief follow-up on the religious implications of the Haiti earthquake. The story (caption) ran: “A Christian mob circles a burning stack of items to be used for a Haitian voodoo ceremony for earthquake victims while singing church hymns in the Ti Ayiti neighborhood in Cité Soleil. The voodooists were run out of the central pavilion under a hail of rocks, and all the ceremonial items they left behind were destroyed and burned.”
My mind, at seeing burning religious symbols in the picture, turned to the infamous burning crosses used by equally intolerant “believers” in the last century in this country. Perhaps the motivation for burning the symbols is different, but the message is the same – a very narrow band of the wide continuum that is Christianity has decided that another variety of human being must be brought under control or destroyed. I don’t seem to recall reading in the Gospels, or even Paul for that matter, that throwing stones at believers in other faiths was a recommended activity. The voodou service, according to the blurb, was intended to help earthquake victims. Instead, the Christian faction forcibly drove them out and violated their religious symbols. Could they not have been spending helping victims instead?
I am not the sort to throw the first stone, knowing my own faults all too well, but the rampant supersessionism of an entitlement generation Christianity is showing its ugly side in such an instance as this. If religions are not here to improve the lives of others, then what is their purpose? To placate mythical gods to ensure one’s own blessed future, no matter who has to be hurt along the way? It seems to me that less time burning religious symbols and more time helping the needy is a platform worthy of any honest religion.
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