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7226: White re: Ruckle, Vodoun and prejudice (fwd)

From: kwhite2@drew.edu

> One thing I emphasize to people here in the States is that Vodou is a
> real
> religion, one which Christians should dialogue with, just as we dialogue
> with
> Islam and Judaism.

I commend you, Mr. Ruckle, for your efforts regarding the image of Vodou in the
United States.  Unfortunately, your ideas about ecumenical discussion are not
going to happen any time in the near future.  There are plenty of white people
in the U.S. (and let's not pretend that race does not make a difference when
discussing Vodou) who practice Neo-Paganism who are targeted for religious
discrimination and persecution. Most Neo-Pagans (and that is a broad, broad
term), do not have animal sacrifice in their practices, but are often "accused"
of such because of thier insistence on using the word "witch" to describe

Let me define my term of Christian before I go on.  I know that many Vodouists
are Christians.  I don't know if there are any who do not consider themselves
Christians - I just don't know enough about the religion.  When I say Christian
here, I mean Christians in the United States, mostly protestants, who include at
least smoe people from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

If white, middle class people in the U.S. can't get a fair shake, religiously
speaking, then it is less than feasible that Christians and Jews and Muslims are
going to dialogue with a religion that uses animal sacrifice - automatically
defined as Satanism - and is practiced mostly by blacks who are labeled as lower
class and foreigners.  The "Christians" are going to be the last of the groups
you mentioned willing to dialogue with members of the Vodou community.  I know
that is an overwhelmingly generalized statement, and that there are Christian
communities which would be thoughtful and respectful enough to bring Vodouists
into religious dialogue.  Those groups are very few and far between.

I agree with all points made here by Bebe Pierre Louis and Patti Harris.
Unfortunately, there's going to be a long haul before Vodou is likely to be
accepted into a dialogue with Christianity, most of whose adherents have chosen
willful ignorance and prejudice over tolerance and knowledge.

Krista White