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Santeria.

DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
edited August 2012 in Faith & Religion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santería

There is the Wikipedia article at the top of the post, but in a grossly oversimplified sense, Santeria is an Afro-Carribean/Latin form of voodoo mixed with Roman Catholicism. A friend of mine who is a pagan told me about and it seems great: open to other religions, open to homosexuality and transgendered people, about finding faith within ourselves, etc.

However, there is one thing that is a huge turn-off for me: animal-sacrifice. It is still performed in almost all sects of this religion. My friend says that the animal is not wasted. It is killed in respect to God/the earth and is cooked and made into a feast. The only difference is that the animal is killed in person and not processed in a factory.

I don't know, I just don't like that one aspect. I feel like a food offering is just as sufficient and far more humane. Am I looking too much into this, or is there a way of justifying animal sacrifice?

Comments

  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited August 2012
    Well if you're not a Buddhist (or leave Buddhism), if you haven't already taken a stance that animal sacrifice is somehow wrong, then no need to try and justify it (you need to start from a "it's wrong" view to think it must be justified). It's not like we can apply Buddhism's ideals to other religions... really in this world people have a lot of differing views. Who is to say, who says, that anything is right or wrong? We do, that's who, and we differ on our views. So smoke 'em if you got 'em. This is really just a personal choice of how you want to relate to the world and to animals, and if that religion thinks nothing wrong of animal sacrifice and you choose to believe as they do... who is to say otherwise?

    Of course if you accept everything else of that religion, and reject their animal sacrifices, well that could be a problem with others of that religion. That's about it.
  • DaftChris said:

    Am I looking too much into this, or is there a way of justifying animal sacrifice?

    No, there's no justification for it. It's barbaric. Sorry.
    seeker242
  • DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
    edited August 2012
    RebeccaS said:

    DaftChris said:

    Am I looking too much into this, or is there a way of justifying animal sacrifice?

    No, there's no justification for it. It's barbaric. Sorry.
    Pretty much how I feel. Which is why I stated that, personally, I think a food/flower offering is better.

    Hinduism used to have animal sacrifices and now they put food, flowers and milk at the feet of the deities. Seems to be working just fine.
  • I don't practice Santeria, I aint got no crystal ball...




    sorry, you typed for it :p
    DaftChrisKangaroo
  • DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
    @onelifeform

    Is that a Maroon 5 reference?
  • It is from a song by Sublime called Santeria..

    I don't practice Santeria,
    I ain't got no crystal ball,
    Well I had a million dollars but I,
    I'd spend it all,
    If I could find that heina and that sancho that she's found,
    Well I'd pop a cap in sancho and I'd slap her down.

    What I really wanna know,
    My baby,
    What I really want to say I can't define,
    Well it's love that I need, oh,
    But my soul will have to,
    Wait till I get back find heina of my own,
    Daddy's gonna love one and all.

    I feel the break,
    Feel the break,
    Feel the break and I got live it out,
    Oh, yea huh, well I swear that I,
    What I really wanna know,
    My baby,
    What I really want to say I can't define,
    Got love make it go,
    My soul will have to...

    Ohhh, what I really wanna say,
    My baby,
    What I really wanna say is I've got mine,
    And I'll make it, yes, I'm comin' up.

    Tell Sanchito that if he knows what is good for him he best go run and hide,
    Daddy's got a new .45,
    And I won't think twice to stick that barrel straight down sancho's throat,
    Believe me when I say that I got somethin' for his punk ass.

    What I really wanna know,
    My baby,
    Oh what I really wanna say is there's just one,
    Way back,
    And I'll make it, yea,
    But my soul will have to wait.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah
    DaftChris
  • JohnGJohnG Veteran
    The Orisha's are the gods of this religion, placed into the forms of Catholic saints. Just like when the pagan's of Europe where christianized, the church, in attempts to keep the people docile, replaced the pagan god's, and replaced them with the saints. For example in Polish paganism, the chief god is Perun; when chritainised this god became st. Elisa.

  • DaftChris said:

    RebeccaS said:

    DaftChris said:

    Am I looking too much into this, or is there a way of justifying animal sacrifice?

    No, there's no justification for it. It's barbaric. Sorry.
    Pretty much how I feel. Which is why I stated that, personally, I think a food/flower offering is better.

    Hinduism used to have animal sacrifices and now they put food, flowers and milk at the feet of the deities. Seems to be working just fine.
    Yeah, the Hindus are a lovely people.

    I really would stay away from groups that advocate ritual killing in that way, I think that even if they seem to be doing other things "right" it might be coming from a really dark place. Some actions look the same, but when you get down to their essence or intention, some people are doing it for the right reasons and some people are doing it for the wrong reasons.

    I'd really have to question the intentions and motivations of all the actions of a group that are so unevolved that they think animal sacrifice is ok, because who knows what else they find acceptable?

    And then I'd run far, far away from them :lol:
  • One CAN practice Santeria without doing any ritual killing themselves. As far as I remember from meeting and talking with people in Santeria at various gatherings and festivals, a regular Santeria practitioner can go to a Santeria priest or priestess to have serious (intense) rituals done for them, instead of doing it themselves.

    Animal sacrifice does still happen in the most strictest of traditional observances, but in modern Santeria, there are many ways around that for ritual and spell-making purposes.

    Those Priests and Priestesses who do animal sacrifice do not view it the same as Buddhists or other cultures. However, to be fair, Santeria is NOT the only religion or culture in which animal sacrifice as part of a ritual or celebration is still done. To say it's "un-evolved" or "primitive" is pretty bigoted. It's just 'different'.
  • RebeccaSRebeccaS Veteran
    edited August 2012
    No, it's really not just different, it is most definitely unevolved, primitive and barbaric. And I'm no bigot, I assure you. Is female circumcision just "different"? No. It's unevolved, primitive and barbaric. Some cultures and religions do still have practices that are primitive, unevolved and barbaric, but it doesn't make me a bigot for saying so. I really don't buy into moral relativism.

    "a regular Santeria practitioner can go to a Santeria priest or priestess to have serious (intense) rituals done for them, instead of doing it themselves."

    I don't think that would really make a difference because the intention is still the same. If I hire an assassin rather than killing someone myself, I'd still be guilty of murder.
  • Hi Rebecca,
    It is no more primitive or barbaric than killing cows, pigs, chickens or goats, or gophers, birds, snakes, deer or any other game for eating or wearing of skins.

    True, some people DO believe that is all barbaric as well, but most people don't, and certainly those who do those things aren't breaking any laws and being condemned socially or legally by the majority of their society.

    A Santeria priest who kills one chicken, swiftly and without pain, drains the blood and uses the meat for food is worse than the chicken farmer who breeds and kills thousands of chickens every week, and makes profit from it? Really?
    Is there that much of a difference? Well, I don't see it.

    As for the comparison to FGM and other atrocities against humans, or any other torture or cruelty towards animals - totally unfair comparison for this conversation.
    We weren't talking about anything other than Santeria and (their ritual) animal sacrifice...

    Orthodox Jews ritually kill and prepare the game/meats they eat, which also entails throat cutting and bleeding out in many circumstances. Different? Barbaric and primitive? If no, Why not?

    Many cultures do the same thing for different reasons. I may not agree, and I certainly would not (Could not!) do that sort of thing myself... but I try to understand why its done without disparaging and condemning a whole culture or religion.
    I have met several Santeria followers and they were some of the most peaceful, serene and accepting people one could imagine. Animal sacrifice is but a tiny fraction of their practice that a tiny fraction of them still do.

    Peace.


    CloudIndigoBlueSky9
  • RebeccaSRebeccaS Veteran
    edited August 2012
    There's a huge difference between killing for food and killing for sacrifice. There's a huge difference between giving thanks for food, and for offering it up for sacrifice. The actions result in the same thing - the death and eating of the animal - but the intentions are wildly different, and that's what counts.

    And to answer you question about Jewish practice, we don't eat kosher or halal in our house. We don't buy the meat and we avoid halal restaurants.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited August 2012
    Santeria sacrifices animals because they believe that their gods need the food to eat. Not very nice for the goat that has it's throat slit though! There is no way to justify animal sacrifice. The Buddha himself condemned the practice as wrong action. He also condemned the killing of animals for food as well.
  • cazcaz Veteran
    If they sacrifice Animals they are practising something which is evil and will lead to immense suffering in the future, If one goes on behalf to a priest or priestess to engage in sacrifice for them they will compound the suffering.

  • DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
    @onelifeform

    Well I feel like a noob. There is a Marion 5 song that had the lyrics "I'm not a fortune teller, don't have a crystal ball...".
  • DaftChris said:

    @onelifeform

    Well I feel like a noob. There is a Marion 5 song that had the lyrics "I'm not a fortune teller, don't have a crystal ball...".

    lol They might have gotten that from Sublime

    "Noob Mind, Beginners Mind" by Shunryu Suzuki

    hehehehehehe
  • As a buddhist I think you should have no interest whatsoever in santeria or such kind of low arts. These kind of rituals involve demonds, non enlightened beings, which suffer as much anger, envy, and sadness, as the human beings. But that also, have the power to cause you harm.

    Most people that practice santeria are interested in material wealth or in doing damage to other people. Hows that similar to the path of Enlightenment...
  • As a buddhist I think you should have no interest whatsoever in santeria or such kind of low arts. These kind of rituals involve demonds, non enlightened beings, which suffer as much anger, envy, and sadness, as the human beings. But that also, have the power to cause you harm.

    Most people that practice santeria are interested in material wealth or in doing damage to other people. Hows that similar to the path of Enlightenment...

    This is a very prejudicial view. And nearly all the same negative things can be said about Buddhism - and probably every other religion - by those on the outside who do not understand more than a fraction of the whole religion.
    I've known some racist, bigoted, compassion-less people in my time, people who call themselves "good Christians" and go to church, etc. Should I make that the stereotype by which I explain what ALL Christians are like? I've met Buddhists who are fundamentalist, fanatical hard-heads about their religion. Should I think ALL Buddhists are the same?

    So, how did you come to your stereotype about Santerians? How many have you met/known personally? If you have known some, is it fair to think they are all as bad as the ones you have met?

    Sorry, but I find your post offensive - on a few levels.


  • MaryAnne said:


    So, how did you come to your stereotype about Santerians? How many have you met/known personally? If you have known some, is it fair to think they are all as bad as the ones you have met?

    I don't think you have to have met every single one ever to develop a reasonable point of view. Like it or not, sacrificing animals is straight up evil. I wouldn't like to share an elevator with someone who thinks that is ok. I mean... If there was this awesome guy who was totally cool and funny and always brought great wine to dinner, and then he turned out to be a pedophile... Well... He wouldn't be coming for dinner anymore, you know? It's the same with animal sacrifice. You can be as funny or as charming as you like, as long as you think it's ok there is something desperately wrong with you and I don't want anything to do with you.
    seeker242
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited August 2012
    That's a personal value @RebeccaS. Not everyone believes sacrificing animals is wrong (or they wouldn't do it). While I think it's wrong, I only think it's wrong because it's unnecessary suffering for sentient life-forms (it's still my opinion). Others might think killing in any circumstance is wrong, or the opposite... that killing is never wrong. There are as many different opinions as there are people. Many think killing animals is wrong, and yet many people eat animal meat regularly. We all have different views, it's not very correct to say anything is absolute good or evil. More than that, it's not correct to hold everyone to the same opinion or set of values... this is why we have different religions, and what one says does not apply to the other. It's religious intolerance to do so.

    "Like it or not, sacrificing animals is straight up evil." may be your truth, your opinion, but it is not true for a practitioner of Santeria. Please be a little more tolerant of those of different religious views.
    MaryAnne
  • RebeccaSRebeccaS Veteran
    edited August 2012
    @Cloud I agree we all have different views - I think it was Descartes (some philosopher anyway) who said all men at all times do what they believe to be in the highest good - and that's totally true. However, it doesn't mean that what they do is objectively good. Without a degree of objectivism, all we have his relativism, by which we can excuse any behaviour no matter how grotesque with the view that "well the pedophile thinks it's ok to touch children, different strokes and all that..."

    As humans we're prone to error, unless we take a relativistic view which would say "we're not prone to error because we think all our actions are ok". If we didn't think our actions were ok, we wouldn't do them.

    Thinking it's ok to sacrifice animals doesn't make it any less of an error. Perhaps evil is a word with too many different connotations, and describing it as error would be more appropriate here. But just because you think it's ok doesn't make it so. There has to be an absolute.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited August 2012
    Just because you think it's not ok doesn't mean it's not ok. Where do you get your conceptions of good and evil from anyway? This is what I'm trying to show you, that in the end it's a matter of opinion... a value judgment. If we apply our own values to everyone else, that's intolerance. There is no "like it or not, this is the way it is" concerning these types of values.

    Judge not lest ye be judged applies between religions. If we're going to judge Santeria, imagine how other religions will judge us. And would we consider their judgments to be "true" since they believe differently than we do? We certainly wouldn't! We all have our own value judgments and opinions, whether individually or through religion.

    Santeria is right for Santeria. Buddhism is right for Buddhism. Crossing the line and telling practitioners (or potential practitioners) of other religions that they are straight up wrong, like it or not, isn't tolerant or accepting or compassionate or even true.

    I think with that, this thread has been answered. I hope you got what you were looking for in any case @DaftChris...
    IndigoBlueSky9
This discussion has been closed.