Although I love words, lately, I have been reluctant to use them, at least not in writing, so I expect blogging to be light for a few days. Perhaps this is because I have been up to my ears in reading (and writing) for class; I have also been busy with other obligations.
When I have had a moment to spare, I have been more introspective than expressive (so to speak). Perhaps some of my ideas will find their way into future posts. Class reading has also kept me thinking. One or our assigned books, Maya Deren’s, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti , has helped open my eyes to a religion which I had once thought was little more than witchcraft, concerned largely with zombies and kewpie dolls — the focus of ridicule and horror movies.
As I learn that what we call “voodoo” is far more than a cult, I wonder at many things we misunderstand. In reading just a few pages of Deren’s book, we learn how the Voudoun religion developed when European colonists brought West Africans to Caribbean islands as slaves. Those enslaved people developed a new religion, mixing elements of their African spiritual heritage with the Christian tradition of their masters. A rich faith, as complex and nuanced as Christianity, Judaism or even the ancient Greek religion, resulted.
When I compare what the Voudoun religion really is to what I had thought just a month ago, I wonder if many on the Left see the GOP as I once saw (what most people call) “voodoo.” They define it not by what it is, but what others have portrayed it to be. We have, alas, learned about voodoo from those who wish to dismiss it as sorcery and witchcraft. Just as all too often, those on the left dismiss the GOP as a reactionary force. Both are wrong.
Much as I have come to appreciate the richness of the Voudoun tradition, I dare say I will not convert to this fascinating faith. By the same token, I would hope that those on the left would learn to appreciate the GOP for what it is — and not the caricature that its enemies have presented.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com