Haiti and the Philippines: Cursed by the Gods?

Another event is added to the collection of Mammoth-size destructions since 2000. On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the tiny island of Haiti killing close to 100,000 people.

On that same day, Tuesday, I began composing a blog on man’s approach to his own expanding consciousness. I wrote about the impact of destructive events and the void it creates into our minds. Just as man would attempt to fill that empty space and fathom the unfathomable, s/he develops theories by correlating it with other existing theories. Anyone who has the ability to communicate does this, including myself and the rest of us.

For Tele-evangelist Pat Robertson, the killer quake was as an act of punishment for the pact Haiti made with the devil. According to him, Haitian ancestors sought the devil’s intervention and vowed to serve him in lieu of independence from the French occupation. The devil agreed and a deal was made.  In Robertson’s own words: “We will serve you if you get us free from the French.”

Robertson also attributed Haiti’s extreme poverty as direct manifestations of the curse. He compared levels of prosperity/progress between Haiti and the Dominican Republic (the former’s closest neighboring country). The stark differences he said are the malevolent features of the curse.

From a pastoral standpoint, Robertson amplified the Haiti disaster to re-stress the theological foundation of duality, better described as the struggle between good and evil. But he did not go further clarifying whose handy work the destruction was.  He did not identify who, between God and the devil did the job. Most likely, Robertson knows it that God and Satan could work together and become partners to destroy, wreck havoc and create confusion (see Job Ch.1 and 2).

If I follow Robertson’s theosophical line, I would also interpret the misfortunes of Filipinos, both under the hands of God and acts of man, as a curse hovering above, beginning the time when this nation embraced a foreign religion.

Consider this.  The Philippines is a pious nation and conforms to the standards of Christian expectations religiously. Whereas, no damnation should prevail because God is supposed to protect a nation that’s His.

But why so, despite its natural wealth, the country remains poor? Our marine life is abundant. The soil is fertile and produces well under its climate. Yet, the numbers of hungry Filipino children and families are increasing.

We have injustice, inequality, cruelty, crimes, corruption, gluttony, greed, vanity, avarice, barbaric acts and many more of the attributes that the Bible tells God hates.

I ask, are Christians really sure that they are praying to the right God? Could it be one reason why God is not heeding because nobody knows how to call Him by His real name?

Compared to our indigenous form of worship, native priests would know how to summon the gods.  They perform ceremonies and offer sacrifices to appease them. It works wonders because if they ask for rain when the soil is dry, water pours down from heaven. If the people pray for bountiful harvest or catch, God would grant these to them. They don’t need pesticides for they know what to put in the middle of the rice field and the prayer to recite. Native priests are able to cure the sick without any need for Western pills.

Between pagan and modern religions, which do you think is more beneficial and closer to godliness? In remote places where indigenous practices are observed, life is simple, humble, peaceful, honest, sincere, green and eco-friendly. They have tribal norms and ways of resolving disputes quicker than the blind justice system. And nobody has to worry about hiring someone to lie for them.  Healing is free. Money is never a consideration for healing sick people but a shaman’s obligation to God.

Most likely, zealots would put a label on these practices as demonic, evil or Satanic as did for the origin of the story of the Haitian curse when the Haitians sought the intervention of their god/s for freedom more than 200 years ago.

There are similarities between Haiti and the Philippines. Both are island nations with ancestral religions before they were converted to Christianity by their Colonizers.  Haiti used to be a rich Colony and so was the Philippines. Voodoo, both as a religion and spiritual practice is observed in Haiti. In the Philippines tribal rituals and magic are also exercised.

Granting therefore that Pat Robertson and I would agree on the same pretext that there is a curse causing poverty and ravaging calamities into Haiti and the Philippines; I would nevertheless disagree with him if he insists that it was his god who casted all these damnations. I am more inclined to take it as a punishment from the respective ancestral gods of both countries for allowing a foreign god to plunder their wealth.

The difficulty is, whenever people observe rituals that are different from their religious conventions, they’d banish it right away as works of evil without weighing-in the dual nature of God’s law. For most of them, they are of God and any act of non-conformance is an act of the devil. But little do they know that there are many gods (Gen. 1:26) while neither would know which god they truly represent.

The attitude of labeling ancient gods and religions as pagan, Satanic or devilish is a simple sign of arrogance, spreading ignorance and shunning the way to knowing God better. Besides, no one among us could exactly tell.

Better be, ponder on this as I leave with a quote:  “I say unto you, ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Luke 11:9).

But please before you do, make sure you are knocking on the right door.

-ooo-

(Anyone may repost this article. Author acknowledgement is requested).

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