Discussion prompt

Changed Beliefs on Religion Based on Mama Lola School Changed Beliefs on Religion Based on Mama Lola Upon reading about Mama Lola and her practices of religion and how she uses it in everyday life, I realize that religion is much more than just practicing it. It becomes a way of life. I had always believed that religion was based primarily on teachings that were learned within some type of congregation. The teachings came from the books that each religion based their faith on such as the Bible or the Quran. What I knew about religion was mostly what I knew in regards to mainstream religions.
My understanding of what Vodou was is quite different than what I originally anticipated. When I previously thought of Vodou, of course the dolls came into my mind first. I thought of practitioners of Vodou were like witch doctors. I thought of it more as a witchcraft type of religion. I can presume that my opinion of this religion was based only on what I had learned from the media, primarily in movies. I had stereotyped the religion and thought of it as a practice with male hierarchy who worked in the Bayou in Louisiana. That is simply not the case with Mama Lola as a priestess of Vodou. She is everything that is good and is very welcoming to the people who need help.
Mama Lola is actually one of the most well-known priestesses in Vodou. She learns from the spirit what people’s problems are. Anyone can come to her regardless of their own religion, status, class, ethnicity or some other classification. She teaches more about Vodou to others and she is strong in her belief system. She simply wants to help others based on what she has learned from the philosophies of the religion of Vodou and the worship of the spirits.
Much of Vodou is practiced through various traditions such as songs and chants. It is not through the use of Vodou dolls. Mama Lola introduces the humanism and spiritualism that are intertwined within the practice of her religion. Any theology about Vodou that I previously assumed was void. Her religion is a lifestyle and it her entire life encompasses the belief. Vodou actually encompasses more than what meets the eye as well. As long as she has a faith in what she is doing and is able to practice and help others, she is doing what she truly believes she was put on this earth to do.
That is what I believe religion actually is now. I think it is finding a way to discover a meaning to life and making it count for something. We may never know our purpose here on earth but through religion, we can look at the bigger picture. No one way could be the right way but as long as we have some type of religion, it help to drive us and make us better people. It made me question my own beliefs and recognize that any spiritual practice can be deemed religious. Songs and chants are one way while prayer or lighting a candle on an altar might be another way. It is all about taking faith and combining it with a belief system and working it in to everyday life. It helps to guide us morally and spiritually regardless of what that practice or belief is. It is meaningful to carry on traditions that have been passed down through the religions of the world and to eliminate any stereotypes that one may have. Mama Lola encompasses everything that is good and it is refreshing to learn more about a religious practice that is not nearly as foolish as I had been so judgmental to believe.
In response to someone else:
I had always thought about religion but it was something that was instilled in me. Vodou is not a religion I would have ever given much thought to but with so much attention on the Muslim world today, it can be easy to stereotype that of which we do not know. I personally knew that not all religions followed the same guidelines. While I still do not even know what each of the differences are, I do recognize that some people believe in one god and others believe in multiple gods. Some communicate with spirits and some believe in reincarnation. I agree that some things such as mentioned like zombies or possession are not religion. Religion can be difficult sometimes to differentiate from pseudo-science. Many of the beliefs are intangible which often makes them hard to understand.