Sunday, February 8, 2009
I know today is traditionally a day of rest, but my mind won’t stop racing when it comes to the great religion debate, I just had to post my latest discoveries. This must have been how Charles Darwin felt when he got back home from his trip on the Beagle.
Incidentally, a Beagle is literally a Hound Dog. I wonder if Elvis was really singing about a Beagle.
I’ve been thinking long and hard about how I should grapple with religion. According to infamous atheist Richard Dawkins, Man is predisposed to ‘believe’. Ironically, he thinks we have evolved needing the comforting belief in a higher power to help explain the unexplainable. I think it’s fair to say he debunks religion on the grounds that it is man-made self-believe.
If Dawkins had spent just a few minutes looking at Wikipedia and actually doing some research, he’d soon discover that there are so many religions out there it would be literally impossible to make them all up. I bet Christmas dinner round at the Dawkins’ place is a bag of fun.
I have decided to carry out a chronological journey through religion. If Charles Darwin et al are to be believed then Africa is the cradle of life, and you don’t have to do any research to realise that before the Europeans imposed Christianity on the locals, Voodoo was almost certainly the incumbent faith and as such is clearly the oldest religion in the world.
Voodoo is very much like Christianity, which must have made the missionaries jobs all the easier. Every village would have had a Witch Doctor. These guys were essentially the local vicars and carried out all the hatchings, matchings and dispatchings (as Rev. Smyth used to say).
As with Christianity, there are a good number of rituals in Voodoo.
When Jimi Hendrix wrote a song about a Voodoo Child he could well have been singing about Jesus.
Incidentally, readers, I have discovered an amazing new site on the Internet. It’s called YouTube (wtf??). It’s got literally hundreds of funny videos and songs. It’s not really much use to a Citizen Journalist. But if you don’t watch out, you can spend hours on there ‘surfing’.
Anyway, back to Voodoo. Another similarity it has with Christianity is that it is divided into a plethora of subsets. For instance, if I decided I was a believer, I could be a Buddhist Haitian Voodooer.
How did Voodoo get all the way from Africa to Haiti? I hear you ask. Slaves readers. But that, as they say, is a whole separate issue that I might have to come back to another time.
I’ve left the most famous thing about Voodoo until last. The Voodoo Doll is NOT A TOY! It was made most famous in the James Bond film Live & Let Die starring English rose Jayne Seamour. The doll represents a chosen enemy (in the case of James Bond’s Live & Let Die, it represented James Bond), by sticking needles into the doll (James Bond) you can inflict extreme pain on your enemy. You can buy them on Amazon.
KK readers, I’ve got to go and have some Shreddies now, I think Hollyoaks is about to start and Gill’s coming around later with some breakfast.