The stuff they don’t quote

The stuff they don’t quote January 19, 2012

“Don’t let anybody make you think God chose America as his divine messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with justice and it seems I can hear God saying to America “you are too arrogant, and if you don’t change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I will place it in the hands of a nation that doesn’t even know my name. Be still and know that I’m God. Men will beat their swords into plowshafts and their spears into pruning hooks, and nations shall not rise up against nations, neither shall they study war anymore,” – Martin Luther King, Jr., “Where Do We Go From Here,” an address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, August 16, 1967.

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  • Paladin

    Before he died King was writing a speech about how American was going to hell for an unjust war and for failing to take care of the least of these at home (i.e., fighting in Vietnam instead of declaring war on poverty).

  • randy

    Did not god make north america for the natives? Why were they here for thousands of years,just to be over run by christians. The survivors were rounded up and put on reserves. Was this part of gods plan?

    • faustina

      The treatment of Native Americans is a subject that troubles me greatly. I believe that is why Our Lady came to the peasant farmer in Guadelupe. It was only just after Christians (and Catholics!) have mucked things up.

      Regarding economic justice, I speak as “conservative Catholic”… Sodomy and abortion are not the only sins that “Cry to Heaven”. Also oppressing orphans and widow and depriving the working man of his just wage.

      This is one reason for the Rosary, our Mother give Catholics a portable means of reparation.

      • That’s a period in history that should bother folks, from all sides of it. It was a clash of cultures, not unlike what happened in ages past, and some could argue is still happening today. There was simply no living together in the same land. Indians gave as good as they got, and tens of thousands of European immigrants would fall to slaughter as well. Do I wish it would have turned out better, some solution, some how? Sure. Who in their right mind doesn’t. But the entire sad period was more complex than we made it out to be a hundred years ago, and more complex than we make it out to be today. Perhaps the lesson is that complex issues often result in much sorrow. I don’t know. Looking at the complex issues today being reduced to bumper sticker slogans, I’m not confident the end result will be any better than it was between the Indians and Europeans.

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        BTW, thank you, Faustina.

        I just found out, thanks to you, Juan Diego was FBI. Never really considered that angle before. So early Our Lady appeared to us.

        Thank you again.

  • Rosemarie

    +J.M.J+

    Did God make North America (and South America, for that matter) for the Native Americans? Well, He did make the whole earth for the human race. When the ancestors of the American Indians crossed the Bering Strait, those continents became their home and the first Americans had a right to their native land.

    The dealings between Europeans and Native Americans were complicated. Some Europeans simply wanted to bring the Gospel to them, but leave their culture and language as intact as possible (the Bible and prayers were often translated into Indian tongues for that purpose). Others wanted to kidnap them and sell them as slaves. Others simply wanted to trade with them and then return to Europe, while still others wanted to settle in the “New World,” either living peaceably with the local tribes or fighting to seize their land. There were many different motives in play, and cultural misunderstandings sometimes brought about tragic, otherwise avoidable conflicts. I don’t believe that God wanted such conflicts; He wanted them to hear the Gospel but not to be mistreated.

    Then there were the diseases that the Europeans inadvertently introduced to the continent, which wiped out vast numbers of indigenous people since they had zero immunity to them. I don’t believe God willed that at all; bad things happen on earth. Later, as the new country grew, shabby treatment of the Indians prevailed with broken treaties, the trail of tears, wholesale massacre of tribes, including women and children. I don’t flinch to call such treatment genocide, and consider it a great blotch in my country’s history, right up there with slavery/Jim Crow. No, that was not God’s will, either.

    • Well said. Thanks. I don’t think anyone condones the shafting of the American Indians either in the early days of European settlements, or later by the US government. The old ‘savage Indian vs. noble European liberator’ meme has played itself out, thank goodness. On the other hand, simply switching the players around and turning the Europeans into bloodthirsty savages with bad hair and bad breath, butchering and slaughtering a people of sinless perfection does no better, and forgets the atrocities committed on both sides, by both sides.

      Not being a multi-culturalist who believes such things are only bad when Christian Europeans do it, it was bad in either case. Innocents on both sides paid a price. That is of the world. Thus is the world, thus have we made it. The trick, when remembering history, is to remember it all, not try to force it into some ahistorical mold. You said it very well.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Maybe there’s hope yet. I have struggled lately as a Catholic b/c sometimes it still seems the Church doesn’t get us, and wants us to be white or euro or whatever. I see cultures of other indigenous people where the faith is actively inculturated and I get bitter there isn’t more for us. I try to do it myself but I am a layman, the line between ‘inculturated Christian practice’ and ‘pagan worship’ scares me. And so I say the rosary while I dance. It’s all I can do.

    • faustina

      I wonder if that is the part of the impetus behind Vatican II. The famous line : The faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith….. could be taken to mean that the Faith is white people’s religion. My hope, is just as, with struggle the Church assimilated the good from ancient Greek and Roman culture, she will take the good from other cultures as well. The other famous quote “Here comes every body…” comes to mind.

      • Ryan C

        “The Faith is Europe an Europe is the Faith”

        Augustine, Athanasius and their flocks in Egypt and North Africa probably had some choice words for Mr. Belloc when St. Peter got done with him. ha! Not to mention the great Ethiopian Church.

  • Monica Rafie

    Reminds of the passages that speak of the Philistines decimating the Isrealites, even after they had brought the Ark of the Covenant onto the battlefield with them.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    You can always count on Dave G.

    Can’t see the difference between defense and offense, huh?

    • Confederate Papist

      Hez –

      In the middle of Indian country in SD there is a wonderful little Catholic Church, St. Theresa in Whitehorse. Many Indians and their families, mixed or non-mixed, attend Mass there every week. The priest travels the countryside and celebrates at many such churches. These folks love their heritage and they love their faith. It was very interesting how they stay true to the faith in a Lakota sort of way.

      • faustina

        I was blessed to visit the Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. They have a Stations of the Cross with subtitles in Mohawk. The words are really long.

    • Ah, so you do support the right of indigenous people to slaughter immigrants? How interesting.

      • Confederate Papist

        Huh?

        I am not following your line of thinking…

        • Well, unless you assume that all Europeans were alike, they all had it coming, then you have to admit that there were times when innocent Europeans, including of the women and children variety, were put to the sword as well. Now, you can just say they were all just part of one big invading army, and therefore had it coming, but then I thought we were past that type of thinking given the last century.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Yes I have seen it too. And up north among the Iroquois. It’s not the Church’s fault most Cherokee are Baptist.

    Considering what they did to Prieber, I’d blame the English for that one!

    • Confederate Papist

      Yeah…when you consider the whites that settled the Plains were Spanish and French and Catholic, you can see why.

      Names like Duchenaux, Mendoza, Jewett (originally the French Juit) are common amongst the traditional Lakota names too.

      The medicine man who did the Lakota naming ceremony for my children (ironically on July 4) was a Mass-going Catholic.

  • randy

    Who gave the immigrants the right to come to north america by the millions?

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      Did anyone here say they had a “right”?

    • Well, it looks like the Church seems to favor immigrants, given what I’ve read in recent months.

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        I wrote what I wrote because I’m hesitant to give randy another in-depth answer. My reasons for this are:

        a) I’m not clear on how he defines “rights” and how it pertains to the question of immigration, and

        b) He failed to engage us in conversation over his first hot-potato question and now tosses another one into the mix. This makes me suspect he is a troll, raising controversial issues on this forum in order to watch the fireworks that ensue. Let’s face it, his questions are barely related to the MLK quote above, which has to do with American foreign policy, not American history.

        • Sorry Rosemarie, I was actually responding to Randy. I got what you said. I simply was taking issue with the modern ‘evil European Christians’…wait, strike that. This is a Catholic blog. The ‘evil non-Catholic European Christians coming to the New World got what they had coming to them’ perspective I see now and then.

          • Rosemarie

            +J.M.J+

            Yeah, I see it now, you were answering him, not me. Sometimes these comboxes confuse me. 🙂

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Immigrants?

    Amazing.

    • Yeah, immigrants. Believe it or not, most people who traveled into the Western Hemisphere, as well as those who populated the frontiers, were folks at the end of their ropes trying to eke out a living. The sad thing was, they were as caught up in the treason against the American Indians as the Indians. For in reprisals, they were often put to the sword when they probably would have happily lived in peace. Not all of course. Just like not all Indians were pure and sinless. Some actually did naughty things.

      I just prefer a more balanced look at it all. I read a great book on King Philip’s War last year. I loved his point: We still do a disservice to the story of the American Indians and the Europeans. It’s the same old ‘evil barbarian savage vs. enlightened and pure saviors’; we’ve just flipped the name tags around. A more balanced look would do us better.

      By the way, sorry for my last comment. It was a bit too snarky for my taste.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Im sorry, Dave, but you don’t know the first thing apparently about the spotsylvania and wautauga settlements, and that is probably just as well.

    Poor pitiful wretches indeed!

    • Do you know anything about Jenny Wiley?

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    The Bench, or maybe Glass, I’ve heard both, spared her life, as she was a Cherokee woman by birth.

    If she hadn’t been part of an invading army, she’d have had a larger family.

    I’m done here. I lack the stomach to read more moral equivalence of Neolithic pagans and modern Christians whose technology was orders of magnitude greater.

    • Goodbye then. The answer was apparently no, you shockingly don’t know about her, so there’s no sense continuing the conversation. Especially when your response was nothing more than an elaborate version of ‘since she was aligned with the bad guys, those children in her family who were slaughtered had it coming.’ My stomach can do without that mentality. So can my wife and her family, who are proud descendants of Native Americans and Jenny Wiley (who, by the way, managed to escape; she wasn’t ‘let go’).