Oh No! White Christians Are Being ‘Erased’

I have to laugh when conservatives talk about the “grievance culture” on the left. Some grievances, of course, are entirely justified and legitimate. And then there’s the grievances of Pat Buchanan and the rest of the xenophobic right. He actually thinks white Christian men are being “erased” from American culture.

The culture war against Christianity is picking up speed.

Last week came word Saint Louis University will remove a heroic-sized statue of Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet S.J. from the front of Fusz Hall, where it has stood for 60 years.

The statue depicts Fr. De Smet holding aloft a crucifix as he ministers to two American Indians, one of whom is kneeling.

Why that’s just horrible. However shall you survive a statue you’ve probably never even seen being moved? And I like that term “ministers” to American Indians. That “ministry” was usually accompanied by a great deal of bloodshed as an incentive to convert.

According to SLU Assistant Vice President for Communications Clayton Berry, “some faculty and staff … raised questions about whether the sculpture is culturally sensitive.” Senior Ryan McKinley is more specific: “The statue of De Smet depicts a history of colonialism, imperialism, racism and of Christian and white supremacy.”

But if the founder of Christianity is the Son of God, then Christianity is a superior religion. What Ryan and those faculty and staff seem to be ashamed of, uncomfortable with, or unable to defend, is the truth for which Saint Louis University was supposed to stand.

Notice that he does not deny the argument that the Catholic conversion of Native Americans was, in fact, colonialist, imperialist, racist and white supremacist. He doesn’t even engage that fact at all. He just thinks that if Christianity is true, that’s all okay. And I have to admit, his position fits very well with the Bible, which contains repeated commands to slaughter people and force them to convert. But whether Christianity is true or not, such actions are barbaric and vile.

Another drive is underway by feminists to remove the visage of Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replace it with that of a woman, preferably a minority woman. Jackson, it is said, was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the Cherokees in the Trail of Tears.

Yet, Jackson, slashed across the head by a British soldier in the last days of the Revolution for refusing to polish his boots, was also arguably the greatest soldier-statesman in American history.

Gen. Jackson led the 1815 defense of New Orleans against the British invasion force, and crushed the Indian marauders in Florida, drove out the Spanish governor, and cleared the path for annexation.

In other words, he engaged in colonialist genocide. Again, note that Buchanan does not even attempt to engage the undeniable fact that Jackson was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the Trail of Tears. He just doesn’t think it matters. Poor Pat. It’s just so hard to be a white Christian man in America.

"Like Lyekka, angels are smooth around the bend."

Wiles: Gays Would Rape Angels if ..."
"Maybe Republicans...and Trump didn't try grab their pussies."

How to Think Critically About the ..."
"No. Trump and Moore haven't asked for investigations of themselves. You are upset because it ..."

How to Think Critically About the ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Pieret

    What Ryan and those faculty and staff seem to be ashamed of, uncomfortable with, or unable to defend, is the truth for which Saint Louis University was supposed to stand.

    It is a Jesuit university, so I guess he’s complaining that the students and faculty aren’t as rabidly Catholic as he is and willing to tell the world to stuff it because they have God on their side.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    And I like that term “ministers” to American Indians. That “ministry” was usually accompanied by a great deal of bloodshed as an incentive to convert.

    Look, you use the stick and carrot. Sometimes you have to hit with the stick, and the rest you stab with the carrot.

  • raven

    He actually thinks white Christian men are being “erased” from American culture.

    So what? What is the downside here?

    Actually, white xians are a minority in 19 states. And more will follow.

    But if the founder of Christianity is the Son of God, then Christianity is a superior religion.

    Which xianity? There are 42,000 sects that differ a lot among themselves. They used to fight wars among themselves over which one is the real one.

    This BTW is very Catholic and started long ago.

    St. Augustine, one of the creepier Catholics, thought it was OK to torture heretics and apostates to make them back into Catholics.

    St. Thomas Aquinas thought it was OK to simply kill them. And kill them they did.

    This worked well against the Albigensians and Huegenots. And then they tried it on the Protestants. And lost. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eo.raptor.3 eoraptor

    … the greatest soldier-statesman in American history.”

    WTF?

    Citation, please.

  • raven

    But if the founder of Christianity is the Son of God, then Christianity is a superior religion.

    1. That is a religious belief not a fact.

    The vast majority of the world’s population disagree. Xians only make up 28% of the world’s population.

    2. Assuming it is true, so what? That still doesn’t mean xians can do whatever they want.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eo.raptor.3 eoraptor

    Raven, you often mention that 42,000 christian sects number. Do you have a citation? I’m not arguing with you, I’m truly just curious.

    Thanks.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    raven “2. Assuming it is true, so what? That still doesn’t mean xians can do whatever they want.”

    Doesn’t it? Who’s gonna stop us? You? (/me pokes Raven with finger) You gonna stop us? (/me pushes Raven) You gonna stop us, tough guy? (/me attempts to push Raven again, Raven pushes back)

    Help! Help! Raven’s oppressing me!

  • raven

    Raven, you often mention that 42,000 christian sects number. Do you have a citation? I’m not arguing with you, I’m truly just curious.

    Wikipedia.

    Why are there 42,000 Denominations? | The Twelve Tribes

    https:// twelvetribes. org/articles/why-are-there-42000-denominations

    According to a report published by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, in mid-2011 there were over 42000 …

    The source BTW, is a…xian source.

    I doubt if anyone really knows. The churches schism constantly and new cults are formed often. It might well be higher.

  • eric

    Last week came word Saint Louis University will remove a heroic-sized statue of Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet S.J. from the front of Fusz Hall, where it has stood for 60 years.

    So a private organization decided, based on feedback from its internal membership, to make a change to better serve its investors/clients. What’s the problem here? Why do you hate small-town democracy? Why do you hate unregulated free market capitalism?

  • Al Dente

    a heroic-sized statue

    Is that larger or smaller than a courageous-sized statue? How do bold-sized statues fit into this size regime?

  • jonathangray

    The ‘Eldest Daughter of the Sect’ continues to function as intended …

  • caseloweraz

    The statue depicts Fr. De Smet holding aloft a crucifix as he ministers to two American Indians, one of whom is kneeling.

    Priest: “Down on your knees now! Do ye know what I’m holdin’ over your heads, lads?”

    Indian: “It’s a cross — a symbol of the quartering of the universe into active and passive principles.”

    Priest: “God have mercy on their heathen souls.”

    h/t: The Firesign Theater

    I think “Temporarily Humboldt County” is the finest thing they’ve ever done: The whole history of the American Indian (except for physical violence) in about six minutes.

  • abb3w

    Wait, Jackson as “the greatest soldier-statesman in American history”? Is Buchanan forgetting George Washington?

  • Numenaster

    I note that the statue of Fr. De Smet has only been in front of Fusz Hall since the McCarthy era. Considering that the university itself predates the Civil War, why did it take so long to recognize this shining example of Jesuitry?

  • Tsu Dho Nimh

    Oh wow … Jesuit university has a statue of a JESUIT on the grounds. And not just any old Jesuit, but Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, who spend decades in Montana and Idaho and Wyoming.

    Wonder where they are moving it to?

  • garnetstar

    Oh, he crushed the “Indian marauders”, did he?

    Try not to use racist epithets while you are making the case that minorities have no grievances, you moron.

  • lofgren

    I don’t think anybody could deny the less appealing aspects of Jackson’s life. The best any defender could do is say, “Well, it’s Complicated,” which is what Buchanan is doing here, and is likely to be true for just about anybody who we put on the $20. I gather that Harriet Tubman is in the running. People are always talking about what a badass Jackson was, but Tubman was at least his equal and mostly fought on the right side of history so I’m all for that.

  • felidae

    I wish we could transport Paddy back to the middle of the 19th century where he could fully experience the full flavor of the discrimination suffered by his Irish Catholic predecessors and it would be nicer still to leave him there

  • Synfandel

    I strongly suspect that you could still have a “well regulated Militia” even if you didn’t allow any firearms whatsoever inside airports.

  • Synfandel

    I beg your pardon. I posted on the wrong thread.

  • Artor

    Buchanan is just talking up his old buddy. He and Jackson went to school together, after all.

  • naturalcynic

    Pat may not think that It’s “culture”, but if you look at the free weekly entertainment magazine here in Las Vegas, about 80% of the faces of entertainers, DJs, politicians etc are white males. If you only include rock bands and DJs, it’s more like 85%.

  • Juniper

    Oh wow … Jesuit university has a statue of a JESUIT on the grounds. And not just any old Jesuit, but Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, who spend decades in Montana and Idaho and Wyoming.

    This sort of comment reminds me of a conversation I had with fans of science fiction and fantasy who are angered by other fans who want more books about non-white characters. They interpret “It would be nice to read more about non-white characters” as proof that the fans who feel this way refuse to read any books about white characters, lack the ability to identify with white characters, lack imagination, desire to ban books about white characters, desire to ban books written by white male authors, insist on the inclusion of (for lack of a better word) diverse characters in every science fiction or fantasy novel written on Earth, feel entitled to the inclusion of diverse characters in books, lack the motivation to write books of their own, and can feel no emotion in a discussion about race other than foaming-at-the-mouth anger.

    In other words, you are missing the point again. Of course a Jesuit university wants to display statues of Jesuits in general. Of course a Jesuit university can display any statues of Jesuit priests that they want. They have the right. They’re statues on private property. It’s not as if the government erected them on the White House lawn or anything.

    Personally, I don’t interpret the display of this statue as proof that the university endorses genocide or white supremacy, either. I reserve my right to dislike it, but it’s still a statue depicting something that happened in history. Ugly things happened in history.

    The point is that Buchanan’s defense of the statue is dishonest and vile. First, he ignores that the university elected to remove the statue themselves. Oh, wow! Private Jesuit university has a statue of a JESUIT on the grounds THAT THEY ELECTED TO REMOVE THEMSELVES!

    Second, as Ed Brayton points out, Buchanan implies that Christians were right to convert American Indians by either threatening them with violence or committing violence because Christ is the Son of God and therefore American Indians had incorrect beliefs. He thinks that’s the most important justification of the university’s display of the statue. That’s a horrific argument. Why is it unreasonable to complain about it?

    Also, the prominence of Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet among Jesuits is just as irrelevant to this complaint as the size of his statue or how long it’s stood in front of Fusz Hall.

  • moarscienceplz

    Wait, Jackson as “the greatest soldier-statesman in American history”? Is Buchanan forgetting George Washington?

    Don’t be silly, Washington didn’t kill a fraction of the non-white folk that Jackson did.

  • jonathangray

    Juniper:

    Buchanan implies that Christians were right to convert American Indians by either threatening them with violence or committing violence because Christ is the Son of God and therefore American Indians had incorrect beliefs. He thinks that’s the most important justification of the university’s display of the statue. That’s a horrific argument.

    No he doesn’t. He says that Christians were right to convert American Indians because Christ is the Son of God.

    Did Fr. De Smet convert American Indians by either threatening them with violence or committing violence?

  • Nick Gotts

    jonathangray@25,

    Did Fr. De Smet convert American Indians by either threatening them with violence or committing violence?

    As far as I can ascertain, no; and he appears to have been genuinely concerned for the material welfare of the people he aimed to convert. But the religious, commercial, scientific and miltary aspects of imperialism cannot be disentangled. De Smet, for example, took part in a War Department funded mapping expedition of the Missouri river valley. He would have to have been very naive not to realise that his maps might have military use against the local Indians.

  • StevoR

    @23. Juniper : Good comment there – seconded by me.

    @17. lofgren :

    I don’t think anybody could deny the less appealing aspects of Jackson’s life. The best any defender could do is say, “Well, it’s Complicated,” which is what Buchanan is doing here, and is likely to be true for just about anybody who we put on the $20. I gather that Harriet Tubman is in the running. People are always talking about what a badass Jackson was, but Tubman was at least his equal and mostly fought on the right side of history so I’m all for that.

    Yes. me too. I think Harriet Tubman and also Rosa Parks and maybe alongside MLK, Coretta Scott King among a whole long list of other African -American women worthy of recognition. (Sojourner Truth? Bessie Coleman? Shirley Chisholm?)

    See also : http://hellobeautiful.com/2011/03/03/30-black-female-leaders-you-should-know-about-2/

    @16. garnetstar :

    “Oh, he crushed the “Indian marauders”, did he? Try not to use racist epithets while you are making the case that minorities have no grievances, you moron.

    Serious question : Is using “indian” for “native American” actually now considered to be racist rather than simply old fashioned, out of date and inaccurate?

  • lordshipmayhem

    Dear Tea Party hillbillies: No, having the fire department come by once a month and hose you down does not mean “Christians are being erased”.

  • StevoR

    Edit :

    I think Harriet Tubman and also Rosa Parks and maybe alongside MLK, Coretta Scott King among a whole long list of other African -American women worthy of recognition on the various dollar notes and generally.

    Must admit there were a lot of powerful and good people listed on that link @ #27 that I hadn’t heard of till now.

    (Yes, I’m sure that’s only scratching the surface of my ignorance in this area.)

  • Nick Gotts

    Serious question : Is using “indian” for “native American” actually now considered to be racist rather than simply old fashioned, out of date and inaccurate? – StevoR@27

    In fact, I’m told many of the people it refers to prefer it. Ideally, one would use the name(s) the group(s) concerned use of themselves; in this case, I don’t know all the groups concerned, but according to Wikipedia De Smet spent time with Potowatomi, Cree, Chippewa, Blackfeet and Flathead groups. (In the case of the last two names, those are presumably not the ones they would have used themselves!)

  • marcus

    Nick Gotts @^

    Blackfoot – Niitsitapi (meaning: original people)

    Flathead – Salish (meaning: the people)

    Because I was curious.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ marcus & #30. Nick Gotts : Thanks for that. Much appreciated.

  • birgerjohansson

    He would have been worthy of a truly heroic statue if he had converted the Indians, from Hindu-kush to Assam. In the 18th century that would have been a cople of hundred millions.

    — — ——-

    “Erased”…..wake me up if if Arnold actually tracks down Pat Buchanan.

    BLAM!!! “You have been erased*”

    *spoken with an austrian accent.

    —- — — — — — — —

    (legion of Cybemen close in on Pat Buchanan’s house) “Delete! Delete! Delete!”

  • eric

    If Pat Buchanan is afraid of being erased, I have just the eraser for the job.

  • Nick Gotts

    Thanks, marcus@31.

  • garnetstar

    I was thinking more of the “marauders” description of native people who were fighting off invaders.