SexPosFemme Journal

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Vodun take on Hurricane Katrina

So far I've heard two Christian views on Hurricane Katrina. The first one, I call the fundamentalist take, is that the Hurricane is divine retribution for among other things Southern Decadence, debauchery and paganism. After Noah's Ark Yahweh promises not to destroy creation by water. How ironic that by the letter groups seem to have overlooked that or aren't haven't alluding to this passage in scripture. There's a counterview, what I would call the fundamentalist Vodun take on the hurricane. That is that, the New Orleans Voodoo is not the Real McCoy and that this is divine retribution for exploiting the religion and scamming tourists. The problem I saw with both of these fundamentalist takes is that neither account for the impact of the tragedy of innocent bystanders in the region.

Then there's liberal viewpoint:

"As humans, we do not possess the lifespan, intelligence, wisdom and
vision to try to make sense of tragedies such as Katrina.
Faith becomes the only consoling factor as we have to believe that
Olodumare acts through the Orishas for the "long-term" good of this
world."

I was aware of the liberal Protestant view and this seems to be the Vodun twin: ultimate good, incomprehensible to humans, things happen for a reason.

But I stumbled across what sounds to me like the voice of reason. It happens to come from the Afro-Diasporan side of the coin and is as follows:

"I do not disagree with the statements about the authenticity of the Voodoo in New Orleans. However, I do think we are treading a slippery slope when we begin blaming individuals for the actions of mother nature. Historically, no religion or good charater has saved any group of people from any type of disaster. If we used that line of reasoning we would be asking ourselves "if orisha is so powerful, then how did we end up in slavery". There are some questions that we seek answers to because we feel a degree of safety if we can explain why things happen to one and not the other but, the truth is, we will never know. All we can do is try to gather enough faith to believe in some divine plan. Be thankful because there but for the grace of God go I."

If it weren't for a messenger's stigma I think these types of reflections would just put the Shame and Blame Game to rest and refocus our attention on things that common sense rather than common consensus deems important.