BY: LA JUANA CHAMBERS
- Because there is power in pious numbers. More than 30% of the world’s population is Christian. Missionaries and televangelists have spearheaded campaigns to help increase charitable giving and other donations in areas stricken with wrecking indigence. This facade is a powerful one that has effectively spread the religion by creating and recreating the conditions of the needy throughout the globe.
- Religion is important for collective memory. In addition to keeping religion in tact, as best as possible, the origin story of the Earth and the beings that roam its surface, there is an opportunity in religious syncretisms for liberation stories of the people the clergy intended to save from themselves. Syncretisms like Hoodoo retain African folklore and fable.
- Because of the liberation that comes with believing that there is something greater. In a world wrought with poverty and misfortune, it pays (quite literally) to believe that your present condition is temporary and that paradise is within reach in the next life.
- Because it’s customary. Most practitioners of religion are born into it. Practicing the religion of your foremothers and forefathers is both an intimate and sacred decision to make.
- Spirituality is connectedness to the womb (Gaia). Spirituality is what keeps us grounded to from which we came; just as Rastafarians forbid cutting their locked tresses, other spiritual beliefs allow us to be in tune with our true nature and essence.
- Because religion is racially egalitarian. Though there are masters and slaves in major religious texts and belief systems, the systems are racially ambivalent, allowing for equal practice among all walks of life. Existing religious systems tend to espouse teachings and provide guidance that is resonant to practitioners throughout the world.
- Because humility is fear. Humble and devout practitioners are so due to their fear in of what they don’t know they don’t know. More than 96% of the universe is unknown to man; this means that there are wavelengths, frequencies and other energy sources that are all around and passing through us that we are unaware of. The comfort of believing in something greater than ourselves allows us to go about living freely.
Devout Christians on the road to Cristo Negro in Portobelo, Panama.