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a806: haiti and satan (fwd)

From: Stuart M Leiderman <leidermn@cisunix.unh.edu>

dear group:

once more, someone has posted that legend about Haitians dedicating their
country to Satan in exchange for independence from France.  where is the
evidence that this took place? what are the names of the people who did
it? and from whom did they receive the consent?  what is the connection
to or culpability of Haitians living today, right now, anywhere in the
world?  isn't it time to leve that rationalization behind?

from my own experience, I know that there are talented people who could
be of extraordinary help and service to Haiti and Haitians but who
refuse to join Christian projects that so frequently are premised on
saving Haitians from some mythological Faustian Deal 200 years ago and
that frequently tie humanitarian assistance to the expectation or
requirement that the victims convert to Christianity; many would
consider that this, too, is a Faustian deal of a modern kind.  every time
that old Satan story is brought into the picture, I believe it further
reduces the numbers of people who might otherwise freely give of their
talent, money and resources for urgent and good causes...health,
education, housing, employment, civil society, etc.

you know, there are probably thousands of church-related activities in
Haiti today and there are even some large federations of churches.  but,
on balance, is the motivation pure?  has the longstanding attitude of
"saving" Haitians and Haiti from Satan actually helped progress towards
nationbuilding and peacekeeping or has it hindered it?  what have churches
done in the past ten years, on a national scale, to bring Haiti together
economically, socially and environmentally?  where are the countrywide
goals and objectives?  are there any annual or periodic meetings where
all churches and all churchgoers gather on even a single day in Haiti to
deliberate how to meet the everyday challenges of the country's future.

taken together, one could argue that all the church-related schools and
orphanages and clinics and food programs appear to be humanitarian, but on
the other hand, one could argue that, without evidence of a national
movement, they are historically and fundamentally designed and function as
superficial, isolationist and selfish activities.  while these maintain
the presence and predominance of churches in a country of relatively
defenseless people, it does not result in a nation of unified citizens.
I think the time has come for a new set of reasons, rights, roles and
responsibilities for religious institutions in Haiti.

thank you,

Stuart Leiderman

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Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2002 13:08:58 -0600 (CST)
Subject: a802:  Mardi Gras!!! (fwd)
From: Tal & Adele Woolsey <cleanwaterforhaiti@yahoo.com>

<snip> In 1804 the people of Haiti dedicatedthe country to Satan in return
for their freedom. This dedication was to last for 200 years and indeed it
has. You don't have to spend much time here to understand that Satan
indeed reigns here. There was lots of talk at this meeting about how we
must unite together to reclaim this nation for God. It is always amazing
when we talk to people who have been called to Haiti how there is always a
couple of common threads in our stories. Each of us has been called loudly
and clearly, never with any ambiguity. God has also told each of us that
he wants to save this nation. <snip>

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