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The Acceptance of Santeria in Modern Day Society

Freedom of religion and spiritual practices is one of the main issues granted by the Constitution. Santoria is a unique authentic form of religion that causes criticism and controversies because of its cruel practices and animal killing. Thus, the Constitution grants rights and freedoms to all citizens in spite of their religious values and ideals (Stout and Buddenbaum 11). Their complexity does lie in the relation between religion and social welfare. It lies in the manner in which the Americans relate religion to their life. The popular religion, by making its followers rely upon appeals to saints for amazing aid or the performance of rites to generate help, tends to make them fatalistic and passive. Support is expected from above, not from one’s own efforts. Believing has as one of its goals to overcome this surrender to an inevitable fate, by making the populace realize the human cause of their unhappiness and, hence, be aware of the possibility of doing something about it (Emerson 82). The motivations of the clergy opposing diverse religions have at times been very difficult to discover: whether their cooperation with states was expedient or whether it was a deliberate identification with the aims of the government (Stout and Buddenbaum 87).

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Similar to religious values, freedom of speech is one of the main liberties all people should have the aright to express their views and opinions even if it does not coincide with the state policies. In this case, Santoria should be seen as a right of a person to express his individuality and self-identity. When governments complain about Marxism in the church, they refer to down-to-earth political dangers to themselves. When the official church complains about it to the freedom theologians, the controversy assumes the form of theological discourse (Baker 32). The public is described as confused and neighborhoods as split. The followers, more interested in praying than politicking, often go to the church or priest of their preference, where factionalism plays a more minor role, or they abandon religion altogether (Hoover and Lundby 87).

In contrast to these views, some opponents of Santoria argue that this religion promulgates cruelty and oppression and violates tights of animals and their freedom. The Lukumi rituals prove that Santoria practices can result in killing of a person as happened with Charity Miranda (John and McQuiston 1998). This young girl was killed by her mother and sister attempting a practice of exorcism. Thus, the majority of people recognize the actual value of the radical process and participated in it. Unfortunately, the survey ended, there was no dialogue among all these contending factions, and no institution to initiate it (Opinion Courtesy 2008). Tensions and splits were found to be greater than at the beginning of the revolution (Janis a 43). Groups of the most diverse convictions must therefore be able to reconcile themselves to cautious and not always clear-cut expressions of the church’s posture (Janis b 82). “Both lawyers indicated that they would seek to convince a jury that while their clients were not psychologically ill or mentally diseased when they suffocated Charity, they were nevertheless suffering from a mental defect because of their intense religious belief” (John and McQuiston 1998).

In sum, freedom of speech and religion are the main rights but they should be carefully considered and controlled by the state. similar to other religions, Santoria should be legal but the religious leaders should educate the people who use and practice these beliefs. No one religion can expect to find forever full approval or disapproval of its views, doctrines, or actions, except in regard to the most fundamental religions. Today, there is important agreement at least on the need for changing social structures, having freer religious practices, providing more education to people.

Works Cited

Baker E. C. Human liberty and freedom of speech. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Emerson T. I. The system of freedom of expression. New York: Random House, 2004.

Hoover S. M. & Lundby K. (Eds.). Rethinking media, religion and culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2000.

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Janis M. W. (Ed.). The influence of freedom on the development of international law. New York: Martinus Nijhoff, 2006.

Janis M. W. (Ed.). The influence of religion on the development of international law. New York: Martinus Nijhoff, 1991.

John T. McQuiston (1998). Mother who killed daughter. (Late Edition – Finaled.). The New York Times. pp. B/5. Web.

Opinion Courtesy: 508 US 520. Web.

Stout D. A., & Buddenbaum J. M. (Eds.). Religion and mass media: Audiences and adaptations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2003.

Stout D. A., & Buddenbaum J. M. (Eds.). Religion and mass media: Audiences and adaptations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2006.

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