“Haitian Theodicy, the God of Dutty Boukman, and the Claims of the gods of Haitian Prophets and Prophetesses”
There is a current crisis in the Haitian society that has invaded the sphere of theological and religious education. This religious crisis is also epistemological and political; it has deeps roots in a profound misunderstanding and misinterpretation of Haitian history, political theology, and human history, correspondingly. This miseducation of history, politics, and religion is particularly evident in the lips of certain Haitian Christians who have claimed to speak in the name of God and have heard divine revelation for the Haitian people, both in Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora. Also, there is a catastrophe of false gods misleading the Haitian people through false promises about the coming of the new Haiti and a new system of government.
Recently, I have been able to collect diverse information from various sources, including Haitian news media, radio stations, and television channels. The collected information emerged from the lips of some Haitian preachers, prophets, and prophetesses who made the claim that God told them there will be a greater disaster in Haiti, eve more dangerous and deadly than what the Haitian people have experienced in the past.
Some have even prophesied that Haiti will be divided into seven kingdoms that will eventually establish a theocratic government in the nation of Haiti. Others have declared that there will be no more presidents and presidential elections in Haiti. Still, others have claimed that God is restoring the Haitian people, but he must clean up the nation of Haiti first, that is, he must further terrorize, torture, and kill a few more Haitians before the creation of the new Haiti and the establishment of his new theocratic government in Haiti.
To make sense of this absurdity, I would like you faithful readers to consider these recent catastrophes and traumas that have impacted Haiti, the Haitian people, and the Haitian Diaspora:
- On January 12, 2010, the nation of Haiti was hit by a magnitude 8.0 earthquake, leading to the death of 300, 000 people and more than 3 billion dollars in damage and deficit. Many of the earthquake victims continue to live in temporary housings and tents.
- On July 7, 2021, Haiti’s former President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated, and as a result, more political instability and civil unrest continue to impact the lives of 11.26 million Haitians in Haiti and more than 5 million Haitian people in the Haitian Diaspora.
- On August 14, 2021, another earthquake devastated the Southern Region of Haiti, leaving thousands of deaths, more than 500 people are still missing, causing thousands of injuries ((12, 268 people), and catastrophic damages to hundreds of homes (53,000 houses).
- On August 16, 2021, Tropical Depression Grace expanded the damages and catastrophes in Southern Haiti, leaving more desolate homes and traumatic experiences.
- On August 26, 2021, the Haitian government has reported 20, 833 cases and 584 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In 2016, the country of Haiti was hit by hurricane Matthew, resulting in thousands of deaths and 140,000 families were displaced.
- In 2010, the UN peacemakers infected the Haitian people with cholera, leading to 819, 000 infected Haitians and 10,000 deaths. The after-effects of cholera continue to impact those communities and families.
- I am not even going to talk about the mass deportation of thousands of Haitian migrants and undocumented refugees during the Obama administration.
- I will not even be going to mention the current mistreatment and dehumanization of Haitian migrants and undocumented refugees in Del Rio, Texas, and the mass deportation to Haiti. It was estimated more than 14,000 Haitians were located at the border.
- I will not even reference the current plagues, including mass kidnappings, civil unrest, political instability, food insecurity, major health crises, ongoing gang violence and deaths, and rampant insecurity in many neighborhoods, shanty towns, and cities in Haiti.
- You are welcome to add more catastrophes to the list…
As a result, I would like you to consider with me these puzzling questions:
a) How much more can we bear as a people and nation?
b) How much suffering and pain can we endure, and shall we tolerate?
c) When is enough is enough?
If this God, the neocolonial God of these false Haitian prophets and prophetesses, has a further plan to destroy more Haitian people and inflict more pain and suffering upon us—as those charlatan Christian preachers and prophets have declared and continue to prophesy—I do not want that God and would rather side with Dutty Boukman, who summoned the enslaved population at Saint-Domingue-Haiti to radical action and complete freedom by pronouncing these powerful words on the night of August 22, 1791:
“Bon Dje ki fè la tè. Ki fè soley ki klere nou enro. Bon Dje ki soulve lanmè. Ki fè gronde loray. Bon Dje nou ki gen zorey pou tande. Ou ki kache nan niaj. Kap gade nou kote ou ye la. Ou we tout sa blan fè nou sibi. Dje blan yo mande krim. Bon Dje ki nan nou an vle byen fè. Bon Dje nou an ki si bon, ki si jis, li ordone vanjans. Se li kap kondui branou pou nou ranpote la viktwa. Se li kap ba nou asistans. Nou tout fet pou nou jete potre dje Blan yo ki swaf dlo lan zye. Koute vwa la libète kap chante lan kè nou.”
[“The god who created the earth; who created the sun that gives us light. The god who holds up the ocean; who makes the thunder roar. Our God who has ears to hear. You who are hidden in the clouds, who watch us from where you are. You see all that the white has made us suffer. The white man’s god asks him to commit crimes. But the god within us wants to do good. Our god, who is so good, so just, He orders us to revenge our wrongs. It’s He who will direct our arms and bring us the victory. It’s He who will assist us. We all should throw away the image of the white men’s god who is so pitiless. Listen to the voice for liberty that sings in all our hearts.”]
a. Anathema to all false teachers!
b. Anathema to all false prophets and prophetesses!
c. Aba Charlatan Christian preachers and ministers!
d. Aba to all false gods!
To paraphrase Cornell West in “Race Matters,”
The Haitian people need Haitian leaders–neither saints nor sparkling television personalities and prophets and prophetesses—who can situate themselves and Haitian theological and political history within a larger historical and religious narrative of the country of Haiti and the world. We need Haitian leaders and religious men and women who can grasp the complex dynamics of Haitian history, global history, and of Haitians’ peoplehood and imagine a Haitian future (and promising possibilities) grounded in the best of Haiti’s past, yet who are attuned to the frightening obstacles and catastrophies that now perplex the Haitian psyche and nation of Haiti.
Here is the original quote:
“We need leaders-neither saints nor sparkling television personalities—who can situate themselves within a larger historical narrative of this country and our world, who can grasp the complex dynamics of our peoplehood and imagine a future grounded in the best of our past, yet who are attuned to the frightening obstacles that now perplex us.”
–Cornell West, Race Matters