Guest blogger Todd Unctuous is top commentator for MSM. With a degree in Media Studies from Scranton Community College, Todd writes for many papers and websites, and is known for his incisive writing, objective reporting and razor sharp comment.
I have been following for some time the travels of the Pope from Rome, and I see that this week he has been visiting Mexico and Cuba. Leaning on a cane and struggling to speak, the aged Pontiff must realize that his religion is now as old and frail as he is.
One of my colleagues at CBS–which is probably one of the most fair and objective sources for fair reporting and fine writing–sends this report from Cuba. It seems that the Catholic Church in Cuba is withering and will soon be swamped by two new religious movements. Santeria is a religion that is derived from the ethnic people themselves. A creative blend of African folklore and elements of Catholicism, it is a colorful, enjoyable and peaceful religion. Their ‘priests’ are called ‘spiritists’ and engage in colorful, enjoyable and peaceful customs like animal “sacrifice” in which they symbolically “kill” an animal and dancing. At night they “summon up spirits” of the dead in a symbolic ritual that is intriguing in it’s ancient symbolism.
The other new religion that is swamping the Catholic Church in Cuba is Pentecostalism. This colorful and enjoyable faith is built around the number five and has the Pentagram as it’s main symbol. And its adherents practice intriguing and colorful rituals in which they claim to be “healed” and “saved by the blood of the Lamb”. Kitty Shori-Chidduster is the English woman in charge of the Pentecostal religion in Cuba. As well as a Pentecostal Ms. Shori is also a priestess in the Episcopal faith. Ms Shori-Chidduster said joyfully, “We practice joy in our religion. I am joyful that I follow Christ. I am at peace and I am a woman!” She often speaks in tongues and is married to a Santeria spiritist named Abu Jeremiah.
I am not myself a religious man, but I do have respect for very religious people like the singer Madonna, Nelson Mandela and former President Jimmy Carter. They show us that it is possible to be people of faith without being bound and blinded by dogma and strict moral regulations. Ms. Shori-Chidduster has said, “These Catholic rules are man made rules. The Pope is just an old white German man in a white dress.” Although I do have a great deal of respect for the Pope, the Dalai Lama and Joel Osteen, I have to admit that she does have reason on her side.
Why should the people of Cuba and other countries with poor people in them have their country invaded by an Italian pope who only wants to take over their country and control them with his outdated and superstitious rules? It is my wish that the people of Cuba shake off the shackles of Roman Catholicism. It is time for them to leave such an out dated and superstitious religion and embrace the colorful folk religions of their own past. Santeria, Pentecostalism and Episcopalianism are very good religions for people who live in a country like Cuba where they have had very little education.
Happily, here in the United States the growing trend is for people to shake of the shackles of religion altogether. This week in Washington DC which is our nation’s capitol we heard inspiring speeches from many of the top thinkers in our society. Comedians and television presenters joined with another top comedian from Oxford University in England to declare that religion was finished and that all intelligent and funny people should not argue about religion, but simply mock it. This is clearly the only way to deal with people like Catholics who insist on imposing their harsh religion on everybody else.
Finally, I leave you with these inspiring thought for the day from John Lennon, “Imagine a world without religion.” and perhaps most profoundly he would say to all followers of religion, “Let it Be.”
Todd Unctuous is forty-two.
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