No One Is Mentioning The Role Of Chrisitanity In The Haitian Devastation

How come no one in the media is talkin’ about the role of the Catholic Church in the tragic loss of life in Haiti? If the Haitian people lived in harmony with their fragile, insufficient island, there wouldn’t be tens of thousands perishing under the mass of poorly constructed buildings and shanties. They were crushed to death like roaches under the heel of a boot.

If the Spanish conquistadors hadn’t invaded the island, Haiti could have been an earthly paradise. Imagine a tropical island lush in exotic animals and birdlife. Hispaniola offered serene togetherness of sky and sea, delicious climate and breath-halting loveliness.

But religion had destroyed the conquistador’s appreciation of nature. The first thing the Spanish wanted was a return on their measly investment for the cost of a triune fleet plus the meager salaries of a few hundred soldiers. Within a generation they recouped their money a million-fold with gold mines all over the island and the native Taino tribesmen mercilessly enslaved. They had turned Hispaniola into hell.

But slavery wasn’t enough. The Spanish invaders also brought small pox and Christianity. Fresh slaves from Africa had to be imported to work the mines, the Tainos virtually annihilated. The disease was devastating to the body, but the mind control of religion (including Voodoo) proved far worse, because the Haitian people were doomed to perpetual poverty and their fragile island the plague of ever-growing overpopulation. Two million human beings inhabit a port city highly vulnerable to natural disaster. Powerful people have to start asking “why?”.

If Haitians would have been living in harmony with nature—as many people as the farmland and sea could support, perhaps a million (instead of 9,000,000) happy, nature-loving, biophilic people, could be living in heaven on Earth this very day.

Instead poverty, illiteracy, filth, deforestation, crime and pollution are the way of life. The way I see it, Haitians need to stop going to church and make the clergy work for a living like everybody else, then institute strong anti-overpopulation measures. Within a few generations numbers could stabilize to around a tenth of what it is today. On average, every Haitian woman brings 3.8 babies into the world. Perhaps leaders should ask the Chinese how to bring this fecundity to one—for the sake of Haiti itself.

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Comment by Joan Denoo on October 15, 2012 at 4:33pm

I seriously doubt many people of USA have read the history of Haiti. It is easy to find out what happened, just go to the library and start reading. Lots of material, historically accurate material is available for those who are interested in why poverty reigns in Haiti. It did not just happen by accident. It was deliberately and consciously executed. Even the short piece on this site tells a brief and easy to read description of their being exploited. 

"Here's a wonderful response to so much of what's wrong about Americas perspective on Haiti:"

Steven Nunn on January 21, 2010 at 7:19am
Comment by Joan Denoo on October 15, 2012 at 4:16pm

Richard, you are so right! Use religion to pacify the people of Haiti, expect them to obey and submit to god and power mongers and then blame them for not having better conditions. The fact that Christian values infected the people of Haiti doomed them to overpopulation, deforestation, theft of natural resources, and lives of people living under boots of empire. Yes! No one talks about that. If it isn't allowed to be talked about, then it isn't allowed to effectively solve their problems.

There is no better proof on earth that religion is a catchable disease. 

Comment by Alan Perlman on October 15, 2012 at 2:14pm

PS. to my previous comment: religion is everywhere in Haiti, this bizarre mix of Christianity and primitive African animism.  Given the poverty/illiteracy, it is ineradicable.

Comment by Alan Perlman on August 23, 2012 at 8:52pm


I visited Haiti in 1979.  My brother was doing a 6-month residency in a hospital out in the boondocks.  I was there nine days.  I saw the misery first-hand.  People living on a dollar a day.  Pigs so thin they looked like dogs with snouts.  Voodoo is scrupulously kept from us blancs, but I understand it to be a mix of Catholicism and African religions.  I've seen the brightly colored, African/Christian iconography on their run-down trucks and buses (camions). 

On the other side of the island, the D.R. is doing much better.  The Haitians paid dearly for their freedom from France.  They were doomed from the start.  I can see how it was a tropical paradise (like Hawaii, which I've also lived in), methodically devastated. 

That they are mentallty enslaved doesn't help.  Perhaps no other country could cultivate and maintain a myth like that of the zombie.

Comment by Jo Jerome on January 21, 2010 at 9:15pm
On the Slumdog Millionaire actors - Actually the film producers paid for the children's education up until age 18 at which point they get a trust fund payoff (not in dispute). As well as an immediate payment which is in dispute. Some of their relatives say it wasn't enough. The producers say they don't want to disclose the amounts for the safety of the children and families (reasonable considering where they live) but that it was 'roughly three times the annual adult salary.'

Although in the slums of Mumbai, three times the annual adult salary is probably couch change by our standards.

Issue is, the parents get that immediate money, not the kids.

It's an awkward situation at best. It's not like anyone has the right to snatch the kids out of their slum and into the high life of a foreign country. Offer to relocate the family? It's probably a very big family.

The other option would have been to not hire local actors.
Comment by Steven Nunn on January 21, 2010 at 7:19am
Here's a wonderful response to so much of what's wrong about Americas perspective on Haiti:

I'm not saying it's a problem with everyone, but read and consider our governments actions and comments. You can bet this present "help" will bring greater debt and influence over this impoverished nation.

Also, consider that historically a fractured and downtrodden people seldom turn to reason for answers. In fact, our own culture of doubt wasn't the product of impoverished, disenfranchised Europeans. It was the product of a capable, financially independent middle/upper class who (often at great risks) questioned and opposed religious deceit. This action held value for them, in more ways than one.
Comment by Rich Goss on January 20, 2010 at 9:44pm
Mac's metaphor about the butter is spot on, as my London publisher friend used to say.

Jo, your comment is appreciated. About the 8 year olds, reminds of the Slug Dog Millionaire movie. A few kids from the slum hit it big. They wined and dined in London and Hollywood; the movie made millions. But the kids were ripped off by the producers and only got a few thousand rupees out of it. They had to go back to their shitty Calcutta hovel.

What would they think of the parents and multiple siblings after that? It’s like a canary let out of its cage and then catching again and putting it back.

About contraception, Jacqueline Homan sent me a well-done video on overpopulation in Manila. It’s shot by a cub journalist and really drives the point home. Here’s the link. My post back in July pretty much contains the same rebuke as this one on Haiti. You gotta see this Pilipino priest telling people not to use birth control. You’ll wanna kill this asshole soldier of Christ.
Comment by Jo Jerome on January 20, 2010 at 8:24pm
Mac Rex - Religion in Haiti is more like butter, ignorantly being put on a burn; thought to sooth burns, but make them burn more.

I am so stealing that line from you. What a perfect analogy! Because some of the greatest frustration in fighting religion is that the followers and even some of the leaders genuinely believe that what they're doing is good. They genuinely do not see the unhealthy aspects as unhealthy.

Richard - You ask if I were the 8 year old child, starving, malnourished, leaky roof, would I honor my parents? At 8 I doubt I'd be able to think that deeply about it. Was I a planned birth, knowing that they wouldn't be able to house and feed me but they intentionally got pregnant anyway because "God wants children and God will provide?" Then I'd hope to learn from that and not make the same mistake when I'm an adult. If I live to adulthood.

But I suspect it's more complicated than that. If the parents are that poor what are the odds they have access to decent contraception? Has their flavor of Catholicism banned contraception? Have they ever been educated properly on the subject? And even if the answers are good, no and yes, the only other alternative is abstinence. Which is easier said than done for most.
Comment by Steven Nunn on January 19, 2010 at 11:55pm
Six large? Wow, thats more than half the annual income of some of my neighbors. But of course it's less than two seconds profit for the ultra rich, all things being relative. Imagine taking a nap and earning more than 98% of the human family.

I suspect the Haitians would have a hard time with this notion. Many who have survived will soon succumb to infection from crushed organs, broken extremities and puncture wounds. And still praying the whole way down. I must, by moral necessity, hate such a god as this created by man. But my heart cries out for these folks. I wish a prayer would find them relief even as I know otherwise. I guess humor is the only refuge we have left.
Comment by Rich Goss on January 19, 2010 at 9:12pm
I think political corruption should be a capitol offense. But the powers that be won’t think it’s a very good idea.

As far as the tooth goes, my dentist says it’ll cost six large for a “triple crown.” I told her I don’t want to go to the horse races; I just want a new tooth.

That’s why I try to make jokes, so I don’t get down about it.



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