Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quote of the Week- Red Jacket in his address of the "White Man"

Pictured- Natives totally not being white.  FRUSTRATING!
Red Jacket was about as badass as they came back then.  After all of the evil that was put upon them by the Europeans, he had the strength to speak out against them when they came among their chiefs council to speak of the works that their missionaries meant to work in their communities.  Even though he was himself religious, he completely deconstructed any real argument for Christianity (or Islam, Judaism and most religions for that matter) in a speech that should be a model of eloquence and courage for all who followed.

"You have got our country, but are not satisfied; you want to force your religion upon us. Brother, continue to listen. You say that you are sent to instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to His mind; and, if we do not take hold of the religion which you white people teach we shall be unhappy hereafter. You say that you are right and we are lost. How do we know this to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a Book. If it was intended for us, as well as you, why has not the Great Spirit given to us, and not only to us, but why did He not give to our forefathers the knowledge of that Book, with the means of understanding it rightly. We only know what you tell us about it. How shall we know when to believe, being so often deceived by the white people? Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book?" -Sogoyewapha

He hit the nail on the head almost 2 hundred years ago. 

If there is "but one way to worship" why do we differ so much about it?

There are a few answers that apologists love to give, but they are all unsatisfying to me.  I can't believe that a loving god, (or even just an intelligent one) would give us a set of instructions that was so open to interpretation. 

Because it's way more fun to punish than to instruct clearly...

Either God isn't able to give us clear instruction, or it isn't God's instruction. 

Ever notice how no one ever disagrees with the book to which they adhere?  No one ever reads the bible and says;

"Jeez, I wish that I COULD do all this stuff, but the bible says that it is bad, so I won't"

No one ever says that...

Ok, maybe this guy does... 

That is because they are only using the book to confirm whatever they already believe.  It has little or no bearing on their system of morals.  Their parents have more effect.  People seem to interpret their books to mean whatever would support their previously held convictions. 

They are looking for righteous permission.

A way to appear moral for immoral judgments and acts.

But I digress..

How is it that if there is only one way to worship, that all men don't have this upon their hearts and minds instead of in the pages of a book?

How is it that there are some areas of the earth who have never even SEEN this book?

Seems like Red Jacket captured the elephant in the room quite eloquently.

If there was but one way and one god, we would all agree on it.

Unless he was a completely incompetent God.

I will break "Quote of the Week" rules and give you a second quote by Red jacket.

"It teaches us to be thankful for all the favors we receive, to love each other, and to be united. We never quarrel about religion."

Be thankful, love and to be united?  I think that is a "religion" that we can all back.

Let's give it a try!

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