1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

"How a skeleton folk saint of death took off with Mexican transgender women"

Discussion in 'Religious News' started by Saint Frankenstein, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Messages:
    21,219
    Ratings:
    +7,955
    Religion:
    Olympianism (Greco-Roman polytheism) / Heathenry (?)
    I just thought this was interesting and worth posting. I've always been fascinated with Mexican culture and religion, going back to the pre-Columbian Aztecs. Santa Muerte seems to be a folk Catholic revival of the Aztec Goddess of Death, Mictecacihuatl. (I had a pulling towards her husband, Mictlantecuhtli, a few years back so I really respect them both.) Also, I am transgender and am very aware of the plight of trans people, especially trans women of color, who have it the worst out of all the LGBT community.

    "GUADALAJARA, Mexico (RNS) — Betzy Ballesteros, a 26-year-old transgender sex worker, keeps a shrine to Santa Muerte, the skeleton folk saint, in her home.

    Surrounding the statue are candles, candy and the grainy photos of several friends who were murdered and abandoned — people such as the transgender woman whose mutilated body was stuffed into a suitcase and dumped by the roadside on March 11. (A 43-year-old suspect has been detained, but authorities have still not released details of the victim’s name or occupation.)

    Violence against transgender women is common in Mexico, mostly because employment discrimination forces many to turn to sex work for money.

    The skeleton saint — with her female form and association with death — is particularly appealing to transgender sex workers, who face the persistent threat of violent clients and transphobic hatred.

    Unlike official church figures such as Our Lady of Guadalupe whose images are ethereal, Santa Muerte appeals to those with practical problems and passions living on the country’s margins. Devotees ask her for protection, even when sex work is their only occupation.


    “The majority of us believe in Santa Muerte,” said Ballesteros. “She’s a god to us. I ask her to shield me from danger and provide work and clients.”

    [​IMG]
    Betzy Ballesteros holds a photo of her deceased transgender friend Ana in Guadalajara, Mexico, on March 26, 2017. (Photo: RNS photo by Stephen Woodman)

    The cult of Santa Muerte is an example of religious syncretism, with roots in European Catholicism and Aztec beliefs.

    Condemned as satanic by the Catholic Church and frequently portrayed as a narco-cult in the media, worship of Santa Muerte is nevertheless a fast-growing new religious movement in the Americas, according to Andrew Chesnut, professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint.

    “Mexican Catholics and evangelicals tend to view transgenderism as a lifestyle choice,” said Chesnut. “But the fact that Santa Muerte is outside the orbit of both evangelical and Catholic Christianity makes her much more appealing. It’s much easier for followers to feel that she’s not going to be judgmental.”

    In contrast, many transgender women feel rejected by mainstream churches.

    “I went with some transgender friends to Mass one time,” said Ballesteros. “The priest stopped his sermon and told us to leave the house of God. After that, I decided I wouldn’t ever go back.”"
    Rest of article here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...erte-death-transgender-women-mexico/99867052/
     
    • Informative Informative x 4
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Messages:
    21,219
    Ratings:
    +7,955
    Religion:
    Olympianism (Greco-Roman polytheism) / Heathenry (?)
  3. Rival

    Rival Hanging around at the back of the synagogue
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    5,170
    Ratings:
    +4,818
    Religion:
    Noachide
    The hell? That priest should be excommunicated.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. DanielR

    DanielR Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    831
    Ratings:
    +126
    Religion:
    Advaita, Eka-Jiva-Vada, Ajativada
    You are aware of the homophobia present in Judaism right?
     
  5. Rival

    Rival Hanging around at the back of the synagogue
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    5,170
    Ratings:
    +4,818
    Religion:
    Noachide
    It's against the act, not the person. And in any case, if a Rabbi told a Jew to leave shul because of such a reason I'd denounce him too.
     
  6. ZooGirl02

    ZooGirl02 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,744
    Ratings:
    +140
    Religion:
    Roman Catholic