Friday, January 15, 2010

Relative Worth of Beliefs

Beliefs are just that. They are not right and they are not wrong. They change. They evolve. Sometimes. They remain rigid and unchanging. Most of the time. And in this world, the worth of beliefs is simply relative. My beliefs are worth more to me than yours and vice versa. That doesn't mean yours are worthless (or bad for that matter) at least it shouldn't mean that. But to some people, it does.

I'm not a Christian now even though I was raised as one. I was raised to believe that anything outside of the Protestant Christian way of believing was a lie. That included Catholicism. Islam was especially despised given the history of Nigeria and my parents being Igbo. Indigenous belief systems were purely devil worship--originated by and in worship of the devil.

I do not see the world that way. I think everyone can believe whatever they want to so long as it doesn't infringe on my right to believe what I want. But humans have not evolved to that point yet. Will we ever? I don't know.

It seems for many the most disturbing part of voodoo is the animal sacrifice. Yet animal sacrifice was what was required in the Old Testament before Christ became the ultimate and final sacrifice. Abraham was quite ready to sacrifice his own son because God said so. It's always been disturbing to me that a loving God would sacrifice his only child for anyone or anything but hey, it's a Christian belief so according to some misguided folks, we should all take it for granted, no questions asked. Nothing too terrible about that. It's all mystical and historical and God-ordained so it's all good. For the Bible tells me so.

I don't mean to knock anyone's faith at all but it takes a special kind of hubris to think that you have a direct line to God Almighty to know His mind and know the reason behind all that happens in this world. Little you. Who doesn't even really know what's going on in your own subconscious.

Too much of what voodoo and other indigenous faith systems are about are unknown. As a consequence, there's too much misinformation and fear. Add to that the fact that these systems of belief come from people of color: dark people from a dark place and it's easy to see how people can callously talk about pacts with the devil and then turn around and try to do relief efforts--all in the same breath.

I think I've read it all today: that Haiti got it's independence "too soon" is another bit of foolishness floating around. That if it had waited till the 1950s or 60s it would have been so much better off.
I'm waiting to read a really good article about this by someone with more time and more energy to research it and write it. Me? I've been up since 5:20AM. Z2 woke up around the same time and never went back down. Exercising is a no go today--I've got pain in the tendon of my ankle and I've had it for two days. I also have a headache and I put on one pound. It's cold outside and this tragedy in Haiti is weighing me down tremendously. I feel powerless to effect change in the world. (((Sigh)))


Carolina said...

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Gandhi

Anything can be daunting when we're looking at the whole picture. The weight of the world, or even a recent event, is so much burden for one person to bear.

I would like to let you know that you've made a very positive impact on my life. You truly inspire me to be a more open minded person. I love reading your posts and seeing the world through your perspective. You are the origin of a ripple of change for me. I hope I do a decent job in passing that on to the next person.

I also hope you get feeling better and have a good rest of your day :)

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

I like your tolerance too. People like you make this world so much easier to live in.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I too would like to read something that is factual history on Haiti. . . time to do some i-searching.
I was also raised Christian but am now more closely aligned with certain (for lack of a better word) indigenous spiritualities.

Anonymous said...

I think for some people it is easier to blame Haiti's woes on some type of Godly vengeance rather than actually doing some research and realizing that there are a compendium of reasons that contributed to Haiti's incredible poverty. I believe this lack of deeper thinking to not only be intellectual laziness but also the height of arrogance.

Anonymous said...

Angry Black Woman has a great collection of links on Haiti:

Anonymous said...

Excellent post.

Everyone believes they are right and many are willfully blind to their own hypocrisy.

The Original Wombman said...

Carolina, that's one of my favorite quotes! I'm honored by your words. Thanks.

KIT, thanks. I think the same about you.

Sagacious, NGB link is really excellent. Really.

NGB, thanks for the link to ABW's site. I like what she writes! I subscribed. And I do agree . . . it is the height of intellectual laziness. But then again, so many of us are too lazy to think. It hurts our brains.

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