Voodoo dolls, Author Brendajos70, Source Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/7960800@N04/2959709431 (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

An outgrowth of the tribal religions of West Africa, Voodoo originated among Haitian slaves.  The religion varies from place to place, but generally combines belief in a chief god and many powerful spirits with ancestor worship [1][2].

Catholic saints and symbolism were superimposed on the Voodoo belief system, and Catholic hymns, prayers, relics, statues, and candles incorporated into Voodoo rituals.  Though many practitioners of Voodoo self-identify as Roman Catholic, Protestants for the most part consider Voodoo incompatible with Christianity [3].

Tragically, this attempt by slaves to cope with the cruelty and hardship to which they were subjected continues to create victims of its own.

Latarsha Sanders recently stabbed her 5 and 8 year old sons to death with a kitchen knife, subsequently telling Massachusetts police the violence was “Voodoo stuff” [4].  The older child was stabbed 50 times.  Sanders has no known history of mental illness.

Meanwhile, two sisters in a nearby community deliberately burned and scarred a 5 year old girl, and threatened to behead her 8 year old brother, in the course of a Voodoo ritual.

” ‘And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination…’ ” (Jer. 32: 35).

Many cultures have engaged in child sacrifice – the Canaanites, the Etruscans (predecessors of the Romans), the Carthaginians (contemporaries of the Romans), the Celts, the Maya, the Incas, and the Aztecs to name a few [5][6][7].

The Bible records that Jephthah vowed he would sacrifice the first creature that came out of his doors after a successful battle with the Ammonites.  It was Jephthah’s young daughter who came to meet him, dancing with joy at her father’s safe return (Judges 11: 34).

God does not, however, ask that we sacrifice our children.  Child sacrifice is, in fact, something He abhors.  Instead, God sacrificed His Son, Jesus Christ, for the sins of mankind.

This turns all false religions on their head.  God is not an ogre waiting to devour our children in exchange for the favor of allowing us to live.  Violence against children grieves and appalls Him.  It epitomizes the evil of which human beings are capable.

[1]  ThoughtCo., “Vodou:  An Introduction for Beginners” by Catherine Beyer,  9/20/17, https://www.thoughtco.com/vodou-an-introduction-for-beginners-95712.

[2]  Huffington Post, “What is Voodoo?  Understanding a Misunderstood Religion” by Saumya Arya Haas, 2/25/11, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/saumya-arya-haas/what-is-vodou_b_827947.html.

[3]  TRACE:  Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange, University of Tennessee, “Haitian Protestant Views of Vodou and the Importance of Karacte within a Transnational Social Field” by Bertin Louis Jr., January 2010, http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=utk_anthpubs.

[4]  Washington Post, “Cops:  Woman says Voodoo ritual led her to kill sons, 5 and 8” by Associated Press, 2/6/18, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/police-woman-stabbed-her-sons-ages-5-and-8-to-death/2018/02/06/ce4e7084-0b44-11e8-998c-96deb18cca19_story.html.

[5]  TopTenz, “10 Ancient Cultures That Practiced Ritual Human Sacrifice” by Paul Jongko, 7/29/14, http://www.toptenz.net/10-ancient-cultures-practiced-ritual-human-sacrifice.php.

[6]  Wikipedia, “Human Sacrifice”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice.

[7]  Archaeology Archive, Vol. 55, No. 1, “Celtic Sacrifice” by Jeremiah Dandoy et al, January/February2002, https://archive.archaeology.org/0201/etc/celtic.html.





Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Religion

9 responses to “Voodoo

  1. Is there a connection between voodoo and zombies that you know of? And what about monster/horror films?

    • Some practitioners of Voodoo argue that zombies are a figment of the Western imagination. Others argue for their reality as a reflection of the power of Voodoo sorcerers (“bokors”). Personally, I do not believe that corpses can be reanimated through black magic or that souls can be stolen from the living.

      Anthropologists Zora Neale Hurston and Wade Davis attributed the legends to the use of drugs like puffer fish toxin which induce a trance-like state. There is, also, the possibility that psychotropic drugs, mental illness, learning disabilities, and brain damage make certain subjects more susceptible to the abuse characterized as zombification.

      • Thanks, Anna. I wondered because the dolls you pictured reminded me of someone I know, who is “into” horror-monster stuff. I dislike these sorts of things myself, but it is impossible to avoid them entirely.

      • I don’t really know why zombies are such a popular topic in fiction, at the moment. From what I’ve heard devotees of the genre say, they may indicate an apocalyptic foreboding. That is not necessarily spiritual, however. Environmentalists take a dim view of the prospects of mankind.

  2. You have been nominated for the Liebster Award !
    Thank you for sharing your talent 🙂

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