And by “we,” I mean “me.”
Anyway, it’s been a VERY eventful series of weeks. Randomology.org will return with articles three times a week, and Charcoal Streets, for anyone who misses demons, angels, and ghosts, will now run Mondays starting next week. Also, note the redesigned logo.
In the meantime, let’s talk about Texas and why voodoo nearly destroyed a local school board meeting.
Yeah, it’s good to be back…
The story’s actually a month old, but it was too good not to talk about. You can read the full text here, but here’s the section at the very end that really made me do a double-take.
At the start of Tuesday’s special called meeting, trustee John Peter Montalvo raised eyebrows when he sat in the audience instead of his designated chair on the dais. When asked why he didn’t sit in his chair, Montalvo said he had been told that a woman dressed in black had put something in his seat.
“I already put some holy water (on it),” Montalvo said. “I know people who were here before that would probably like to do things of that nature and work with the devil.”
He added that: “I don’t believe in voodoo and the devil’s workshop. It is hard to know what’s happening, and I don’t mind losing an election or whatever the right way with votes, but this is not the right way because none of u would like to (have) any type of election problems with voodoos and dealings with the devil.”
Everyone on board with this?
An elected official does not want people using “voodoo” to influence elections or the educational process. Other than the Boy Scout-level knot that is that paragraph, I had no idea what else he was saying, but I get the general idea.
This was a local meeting, but it does lend more evidence to my eventual thesis, “Why Texas Needs to Go Away.” Not that I’m going for secession. I wrote about how stupid that idea is, but the mentality down here is frightening. Even worse, Moltavo needs to get schooled in religion.
Voodoo is a religion that can be split into three major sects. You’ve got Haitan Vodou, New Orleans Voodoo, and Vodun. I really don’t want to get into it, but the version he was probably referring to was the combination of Catholicism and African mysticism associated with Louisiana Voodoo.
Vodun is the original set of beliefs that started everything. It’s practiced in many West African Nations. One of its chief tenets is that there are vodun, spirits that govern the Earth. Ancestor worship is also prevalent. Unlike the stereotypical portrayals in movies, Vodun is not an evil faith. While there are sorcerers and sorceresses who claim to call upon spirits to curse others, the majority of practitioners do not use their faith to hurt others.
Haitan Vodou is the Vodun that came to North America in Colonial times. It’s most identifiable features are a belief in spirits called Loa that serve a deity named Bondyé. While this is the tradition associated with zombies and voodoo dolls, these are as much a part of their religion as… actually I can’t think of a good metaphor. Suffice to say, these things don’t happen.
We all know it’s evil military-industrial complex projects that create zombies.
The last variety, Louisiana Voodoo, is the version that came to the United States. Like Haitan Vodou, it contains elements of Catholic mysticism. However, Louisiana Voodoo, also called New Orleans Voodoo, has a strong emphasis on a gris-gris, a small talisman that is said to protect the wearer from evil. True voodoo practitioners went underground in the 1930’s because of the commercialization of the faith.
Of course, there’s also Santería, which is a mixture of West African faith, Catholicism, and Native American traditions. The result is something I grew up seeing and hearing about. It’s practiced in many Latin American countries. Like some voodoo practitioners, what later became Santería followers had to disguise their faith as Catholicism. The term “Santería” was originally a derisive term meant to mock the African slaves’ apparent devotion to the saints instead of God.
What the colonials didn’t realize was that the slaves were secretly practicing their faith, not Christianity, and disguised their rituals as Catholic rituals.
In yo face, Colonial authority!
I’m guessing Mister Montalvo was referring to Santería when he felt someone had palced a curse on him. Of course, it’s not an uncommon practice. Various types of folk magic, many I’m sure based around Santería, are common in many Mexican households. I know a few.
He could also have been thinking of followers of La Santa Muerte… but that’s another story for another article.
Still, it’d be nice he’d made the effort to call it the right name.
Or at least admit that he thought someone was trying to curse him. Now I kind of want to go to one of these meetings with a set of voodoo dolls and see what happens…
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