Posted on Sep 3, 2018
SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira
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African Traditional Religions (ATR) include Vodou, Abosome, Ifa and many others. African Diaspora Religions (ADR) are not usually considered separate outside of the community but within it the distinctions are stark. ADRs include Santaria, Voodoo, Hoodoo, Camdomble, Palo, and many others.
Commonly these are characterized by Christians as devil worship and come with a fair amount of discrimination. Would it be fair to expect the same treatment in the military?
Posted in these groups: World religions 2 Religion2000px christian cross.svg ChristianityTolerance logo Tolerance
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LTC Stephen C.
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Edited 4 y ago
SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira, your profile indicates that you are a retired Army staff sergeant. Were you not in the Army long enough (retired status would generally indicate yes) to reach these conclusions based on your own experiences in the Army?
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SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira
SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira
4 y
The operative word here being, were. Cultural attitudes shift and they do so often. My question is about who the military is now.
As for my own experience one Chaplain was especially disagreeable another bent over backwards to help me with most falling somewhere in between the two. One 1SG was openly bigoted towards me, the rest only cared that my dog tags and ERB were correct. Most of my seniors cared only to make sure I wasn't distracted, my juniors thought it a "cool" novelty, and my peers just wanted me to carry my share of the load like everyone else.
From there the pendulum could have swung in any direction. So which way did it go?
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LTC Stephen C.
LTC Stephen C.
4 y
I’m retired as well, SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira, so it’s not a question I can answer.
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PO3 Phyllis Maynard
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Well, SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira my experience in and out of the Navy with those who practice this form of religion has been negative and frightening. In the Navy, I met Trinidadians who wholly expressed their act of voodoo was to destroy any who opposed them, to protect their drugs (and they smoked much hash and mj and reeked of it in their clothing) nothing ever happened to them, and they cause terror to rise up in Christians who spoke out about their beliefs. Outside of the military has been my same experience. Drug dealers, anti-traditional society proponents, those who feel they are the have-nots and want what the haves have, those who wish to harm any who simply pissed them off, and the list goes on. There are even those who mingle Christian prayer with Africian Traditionalist practices and call it "of God" whatever the deed that is done. Because of these experiences I respectfully avoid this community and anything remotely or sutlely that makes me feel on edge, I don't stick around to sort it out. But this dispensation of the military may have the community of believers as does the athesist community. So as times are changing quickly, I and those like me may be the minority.
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PO3 Phyllis Maynard
PO3 Phyllis Maynard
4 y
SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira I cannot pronounce, let alone repeat the sects and explain what was told to me. To tell you the truth Santaria is the only proper name I can remember. All the others are general such as voodoo, hoodoo, black witchcraft, white witchcraft. Even currently, their are African countrymen in my area, whom I have become acquainted with that openly admit they attend, "your religion and listen about your good" just to get along with the white man and the spoiled milk. I learned from a Nigerian woman that I am spoiled milk. So just like Christianity African Traditional Religion has nany sects
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SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira
SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira
4 y
PO3 Phyllis Maynard yes ma'am I named a few in the details to illustrate how diverse are. Indeed, I'd dare it's even more diverse than that but this is part of the reason why I asked the question?
Consider this comparison, a hypothetical person hates all abrahamic faiths because they heard that witches worship Satan from the Bible and boil babies.
This is nonsensical on many levels and no doubt offensive having Christianity conflated with Satanic witchcraft. This is often my experience as illustrated by your own comments.
I am not looking for an argument, I'm looking for an opportunity to find common ground so that my community doesn't find itself the next target in America's ongoing Culture Wars.
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PO3 Phyllis Maynard
PO3 Phyllis Maynard
4 y
SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira I totally get what you are saying. What I can offer as a comment is this, I believe it spiked in the 1980s, whereby the issue arose concerning people should stay in their like-minded environments and not mix and mingle (I am stating this very tamely compared to the hot emotional words that were being passed during that time. 30 years ago I was not interested in that particular event so I don't have any specific details or examples) but research events that had racial and cultural overtones before the mellinials arrived. See if History can assist you. Particularly, check out the uprising of "blacks go back to Africa", I think late 70s and 80s and dev into what was happening during that time. Also, see what you can find on Christian ministers, Evangelists, the Non-Denominational/Charasmatic Movement of the 1990s that had a worldwide focus on converting the continent of African people's and countries away from the traditional beliefs. These two pieces of research may help you find a common ground for your community of believers and those communities you interact with. Best to you.
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PO3 Phyllis Maynard
PO3 Phyllis Maynard
4 y
SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira read the Slave History of African Slaves brought to America and how the slaves brought their voodoo's with them. I believe you will find many reasons slaveowners tried to convert them to Christianity. There are those who say if slave voodoo was real they could have enslaved their masters. But getting away to where, was real. The continent of Africa and all of her could tries are where? So they used their traditions to make the masters sick, or to revile them, or even to curry favor by killing the master's enemies. The Slave History will be enlightening
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PVT Leighton Bader
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I might not like it or agree with it, but I dont have the right to tell you not to, and god says not to judge.
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SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira
SSG Nana Togonmessie Abloklu Danfira Adedufira
4 y
I asked the question to start a conversation. Let me state first that Vodou is hereditary and is almost never open to people outside of an existing lineage. I am not proselytizing.
With this understanding, I can appreciate your opinions on it but what about Vodou do you dislike or disagree with?
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PVT Leighton Bader
PVT Leighton Bader
4 y
Just the basics is that in christianity, magic and "dark arts" is a no go, I believe that infused wrong, in can lead to some bad juju.
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CPT Special Forces Officer
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4 y
While you are not called to judge your brother, you are still expected to exercise discernment.
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