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They took part in Apache ceremonies. Their schools expelled them for satanic activities | Native Americans | The Guardian

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  kavika  •  3 weeks ago  •  122 comments

By:   the Guardian

They took part in Apache ceremonies. Their schools expelled them for satanic activities | Native Americans | The Guardian
Educators on the Fort Apache Reservation have repeatedly condemned teens for participating in a sacred dance. It follows a pattern of Christian discipline begun more than a century ago

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Educators on the Fort Apache Reservation have repeatedly condemned teens for participating in a sacred dance. It follows a pattern of Christian discipline begun more than a century ago

3305.jpg?width=445&dpr=1&s=none View image in fullscreenMichelle Colelay (center left), her husband, Chester (center right) and their daughters Chanel, Laila and Kiiya'anii in Pinetop, Arizona, last year.

The way the school saw it, it was devil worship.

In October 2019, three teenage girls were punished for participating in a spiritual ceremony. Their Arizona school expelled two of them, and let the third off with a warning, citing their attendance as a violation of school policy and grounds for expulsion.

Caitlyn, now 18, says she and her friends were disciplined for participating in a Sunrise Dance, a traditional Native ceremony at the core of White Mountain Apache culture.

The Monday after the dance, Caitlyn's parents told her to stay home that day. They had received a call from East Fork Lutheran school telling them not to send their daughter in. She didn't know why. Then around noon, her mom got another phone call. The principal wanted to meet with Caitlyn, her parents and the local preacher. The principal and preacher also invited the two other girls and their families to their own private meetings with school leadership.

At the start of each meeting, the families were chastised for participating in the dance. Caitlyn remembers her mother telling the principal and preacher how hypocritical they were to say the Apache people were not praying to God. "In the Bible, God himself says to come to me in all sorts," she argued. "The dance is also a prayer; it's another way."

The leadership of the school, on the Fort Apache Reservation, disagreed with that interpretation and used pictures of the event posted on Facebook as evidence for their expulsions.

The other two girls were immediately given letters of expulsion. Caitlyn was just given a warning. "I knew that I was already one of the principal's favorites," she says. "I think they just gave me a second chance, but they gave me a strong warning not to have a dance."

5272.jpg?width=445&dpr=1&s=none View image in fullscreenThe East Fork Lutheran school at the Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona.

For the first 12 years of her life, Caitlyn looked forward to having her own dance - a sacred coming-of-age experience celebrating the transition from girlhood to womanhood. It's a great financial sacrifice for the family. Over four days, a girl's community prays for her. They offer her gifts and witness her as she participates in rituals symbolizing her maturity and growth. A medicine man presides over the event, praying and singing with holy members of the community called Crown Dancers, who recite the creation story to the audience.

The idea meant the world to Caitlyn. But she didn't have her own Sunrise Dance: if she were found out, she would be expelled from school immediately, a stain on on her permanent record that could affect her college opportunities.

At the time, her private school's teachers were mostly white people who would often discuss the satanic nature of Apache traditions. When Caitlyn was in fifth grade, she was given an F on an art project for drawing the White Mountain Apache crest and including an eagle feather. An "A" student, she was devastated to be chastised this way. As Caitlyn remembers it, her teacher smiled and explained that this kind of project wasn't allowed because it denoted "pagan worship". Her father was furious but the family couldn't do anything about it. It was what the girl and her family expected from the white people who worked on the reservation.

But these expulsions felt different. Watching other girls get publicly exiled from their school community meant that fear soon took root, cracking the foundation of Apache pride her family had worked to build beneath her.

Caitlyn finished her eighth-grade year at East Fork Lutheran school and then moved on to a school off the reservation, but the damage was done. For the next four years, Caitlyn struggled to integrate into her Apache culture. She explained: "I didn't allow myself to engage or talk about my culture," she says. "Even after I graduated, I had that paranoia that I would get in trouble for talking about or participating in it."

5472.jpg?width=445&dpr=1&s=none View image in fullscreenCaitlyn finished her eighth-grade year at East Fork Lutheran school and then moved on to a school off the reservation.

Three and a half years after the expulsions, in early 2023, nine women gathered in the front room of a small house on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation to talk about this pattern of expulsions.

In the middle of the room, two recording devices lay on opposite ends of the table. Abby, an older White Mountain Apache woman with her hair in a loose bun, hosted the evening. She sat down next to the black cast iron stove which had been lit hours before to keep the room warm and texted her sisters, Millie and Althea, who were coming.

Various women walked through her front door. Some were family members, others acquaintances. Nine women gathered to finally talk about what kept happening at East Fork Lutheran school.

Althea, the oldest of the sisters, spoke first. Two of her granddaughters were expelled from school in 2018 and 2019. She still has one of the school's letters tucked away in a box in her house.

It states that these 13-year-old girls will only be allowed to return to school if they agree to confess in front of the Wels church, school and community that they were worshiping the devil when they took part in the Sunrise Dance. They must promise never to do it again.

Maria, a younger woman in her late 30s, was there to share a similar story. The school board found that she had also participated in what they considered a satanic ceremony. Her children were not allowed to return to school the next year. The school had decided to penalize the children for the perceived sins of their mother.

Astonishingly, this pattern of Christian discipline, started more than a century ago, had never stopped.

A 'demonic manifestation'


The Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona spans 2,625 square miles - just a little larger than the state of Delaware, but with a population just over 14,600.

Based on our reporting and speaking with members of the tribe, there are over 80 churches on the reservation, representing 27 different Christian denominations. The tribe indicated that there was an official list the churches operating on the reservation but no list has been delivered.

East Fork Lutheran school was founded in 1951 by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (Wels), a religious group which has been active in Arizona since 1893 as part of its Apache Mission - an effort to convert "unreached tribes" to Christianity. This was one of many schools built on the reservation by Wels. The mission has shifted to now being focused on training Native American Christians to lead in the ministry and serve as missionaries to other Indigenous nations throughout the US and Canada.

3537.jpg?width=445&dpr=1&s=none View image in fullscreenThe St Francis of Assisi church at the Fort Apache Reservation.

The school is not unique in its dogma opposing traditional Indigenous practices; the vast majority of the churches on Apache land teach families who participate in traditional ceremonies that they're damning themselves by worshiping the devil. The Whiteriver Assembly of God, a Pentecostal church, stated in its missionary handbook that Crown Dancers - those who help welcome the girl into womanhood during the Sunrise Dance - could be a "demonic manifestation".

Since 2020, Wels has published 180 sermons on its YouTube channel, Native Christians. Thirty-one of the 190 videos - almost a fifth - include disparaging remarks about tribal practices including the Sunrise Dance or medicine men, including two completely dedicated to convincing the congregation of the evil within the Sunrise Dance.

Only two Christian denominations operating on the reservation told me they do not include anti-traditional-Apache rhetoric in their sermons and ideology: the Catholic church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church. Families on the reservation commonly have a similar understanding.

The influence of this religious teaching throughout the community affects the tribal government as well. Less than half of the 11-person White Mountain Apache tribal council participates in Apache ceremonies, according to the councilmember Annette Tenijieth. She believes seven council people do not participate in Sunrise Dances or support the work of medicine men.

Apache families who send their children to the East Fork Lutheran school face a complicated choice. Some families do so because students in Christian schools are seen as more successful than those attending the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools down the road. Others simply value a Christian education, and feel that their children might get on the "right path" with that background.

Still, many families have their children participate in Native ceremonies, ignoring the school's racist policies. They just hope they do not get found out by the teachers.

'Mom, did you know you are worshiping false idols?'


"One would think that a story like this would be out of 1890, not 2024."

When I talked to Dr Robert P Jones, the president and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), a non-profit, non-partisan organization, he was dismayed that churches still teach against Indigenous tradition.

"It is worth noting that the posture being described comes from this conviction that European Christianity is the pinnacle of human civilization," he said. "And anything other than that is inferior and worse religiously because it can lead you to eternal damnation."

The Sunrise Dance is a celebration of puberty endowing girls with blessings from God and their community. It is one of the few Apache rituals that has survived the Indigenous genocide that resulted in the death of as many as 15 million Native Americans over the last 500 years.

The dance is sacred both because of its origin and the spiritual impact it has on a girl's life.

Bruce Burnette, a White Mountain Apache medicine man - a spiritual leader endowed with traditional knowledge of healing - oversees these dances. Burnette explained:"It's about the girl. The Sunrise Dance is not for today, not for tomorrow. It is fixing the room for her, fixing the road to success. The reason why it is so important is that a woman has got to be strong to move on the path to what she is going to become."

According to Burnette, the dance came in a vision to an early medicine man. The ceremony has remained the same through the generations.

"The prayer that is put down for her is that it would be easy for her, that it would be comfortable for her in whatever she wants [to do]," Burnette said. "If she wants to go to military life, school, or look to find a job - everything will be there to be successful. That is the prayer that is put down."

Maria's crime, as the school saw it, was that she sponsored a Sunrise Dance - never mind that it took place on the weekend and off school grounds. In doing so, she helped welcome a friend's daughter into adulthood and created a familial bond for the rest of her life, which is a huge honor. But just before the school year started, she received an email telling her that her children were not allowed to return.

Maria had sent her children to East Fork because she hoped a Christian education would harmoniously supplement the foundation of their Indigenous heritage and identity; she now realized that East Fork was extreme in its anti-traditionalism.

She was devastated. During our interview, she cried as she explained the shame her daughters felt at not being allowed to go back to school. They were also nervous about being sent to the Bureau of Indian Affairs school, where the classes were bigger and they didn't know anyone.

Just last year, the youngest of her three children attending the school came home from East Fork and asked: "Mom, did you know that when you go to Sunrise Dances, you are worshiping false idols?"

Maria was shocked. "Who told you that?" she asked.

"My teacher. She said watching the Crown Dancers is worshiping Satan."

To hear this - and for her daughters to be told such insulting falsehoods - was mind-blowing. "Our ceremonies are what we were blessed with, our language, our everything," Maria said. "Those are the things we were blessed with to be Apache people. So I try to explain it to them in a way where they understand: no, we're not doing anything bad here. We're not."

Maria described feeling powerless - like she was hitting a wall in speaking to church leaders. (The Guardian received no answer from Wels after asking about Maria's experience.)

All the while, her kids were wading in uncertainty about the nature of their cultural identities. Were they evil if they participated in ceremonies, or was it permitted? Who was right?

"I felt like the longer I kept them at the school, the more confused they were," Maria said.

Still, she hoped to keep them there because the classroom setting was good. The student-to-teacher ratio was small. They received guaranteed attention by their teachers and a thorough education.

When it came time for registration, Maria did not receive any notification from the school. It finally notified her two weeks before the school year started that her children would not be invited back. She had to move them to the public school. "Now that they're in a public school, and they've adjusted to it, they are more proud of their traditions or culture, they're more proud of who they are," she said.

A Wels spokesperson responded to requests for comment by saying, "Wels churches serve people by proclaiming the entirety of God's message to us as presented in the Bible. Apache members, teachers and pastors have been faithful leaders as our Wels churches strive to present God's truth among communities with their own valued religious practices. Wels has had a trusted partnership with members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe in sharing the message of the Bible dating back to 1893."

Maria and her family no longer attend church. Though they are still devoted Christians, they're not comfortable in that space. "Rather than giving a lecture about the Bible, the preachers bring it back to culture - 'You're not supposed to be doing this. You're not supposed to be doing that,'" she explained.

Even the programs handed out at the beginning of the service have an unwelcome message written on the front: it states that if you have participated in a Sunrise Dance, you cannot take communion.

'Kill the Indian in him, and save the man'


In August 2022, the Oglala Lakota Nation in South Dakota voted to kick out a missionary from the Pine Ridge Reservation who was distributing anti-traditional proselytizing materials. The nation now requires all missionaries and religious groups to register and go through a background investigation before entering the reservation and working.

No Indigenous nations in Arizona have publicly enacted these same regulations for a myriad of reasons - one being the short-term welfare perks of having religious groups freely operating on the reservation. Religious groups bring in donations, food and clothes to a population impoverished by crippling racist policies and the psychological legacy of genocide and spiritual abuse. The price for these benefits can include being forced to let go of tradition and Indigenity.

Tenijieth, the councilmember, explained that the White Mountain Apache Tribe is caught in a difficult position when it comes to expelling Wels from East Fork. "We can take that land back if we want to, but nobody has brought it up because there is a school there," she explained. "Even though they are twisting the children's minds, it is still a better school than others. We need to stand strong. Keep your language strong. Teach your children how to speak Apache … that's the reason why we're a sovereign nation."

4285.jpg?width=445&dpr=1&s=none View image in fullscreenChristopher Columbus frightens the Carib people into assisting him by predicting an eclipse of the moon in Jamaica in 1504.

There is a straight line between the beliefs that underwrote Christopher Columbus's claims to the Americas and the current attitudes of religious leaders on the reservation.

Columbus modeled the essence of the 1493 papal decree the doctrine of discovery, which consecrated any "new" territory not yet inhabited by Christians for the Christian world. When Columbus landed in the Americas, he claimed it for both Catholicism and Spain, officially intertwining religion with real estate.

In 1845, the doctrine of discovery was reminted for the country's largely Protestant population as the doctrine of manifest destiny - the spiritual right for new Americans to expand westward and claim all territory in the name of "progress".

Year after year, new policies were drafted to ensure that the Indigenous nations already living westward would help keep pioneers who chose to cross the Mississippi River safe. Treaties were signed under the illusion that the US government would honor land rights and cultural identity.

But in 1883, the Office of Indian Affairs, within the Department of Interior, established the Code of Indian Offenses, making it illegal to participate in traditional ceremonies. It wasn't until 1978, with the passing of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, that participating in the Sunrise Dance was decriminalized.

The establishment of the Office of Indian Affairs paved the way for the 1887 Dawes Act, which divided tribal lands into allotments and included a provision that entitled religious organizations that worked with Indigenous people to keep up to 160 acres of federal land to support their missions.

To this day, these churches still draw from the spiritual legacies of Christian missions and receive funding from off-reservation congregations under that definition. Global Ministries of the United Methodist church spent over $11m in 2022 for missionary services. Wels spent $661,018 just for the Apache missions and over $23.5m for all missions, as laid out in its most recent report, from 2023.

Wels first came to Arizona in 1892, five years after the Dawes Act. When it was clear that exterminating the Apache people would not be possible, the federal government engaged Christian denominations working with the military to force the assimilation of the Indigenous people. RH Pratt, the superintendent of the first "industrial" boarding school under this policy, coined the term that embodied the philosophy behind these institutions: "Kill the Indian in him, and save the man."

5379.jpg?width=445&dpr=1&s=none View image in fullscreenThe St Francis of Assisi church.

Federal boarding school policy allowed the military to forcibly remove Apache children from their families and send them to industrial schools in an attempt to militarize and alter their identities. They were forbidden to practice their religion or speak their language, and reports of physical and sexual abuse were common. Many children never returned home.

If an Indigenous child was found outside during school hours, Indigenous police were appointed to snatch the child and deliver them to a school under the US military's jurisdiction. If a parent sought to hide their child, they could be imprisoned or cut off from food and other necessary daily supplies.

Apache children were kidnapped and taken as far as Pennsylvania, where they were forced to fully assimilate into Anglo-Christian society. Their clothes were burned, their language forgotten. Many children died of disease, neglect or abuse. And while the number of deaths is not yet known, it is believed that Apache children comprise a quarter of the graves at Carlisle Indian Industrial school.

To think that 1800s attitudes towards Apache children have changed would be a mistake.

Outside of the Wels mission, volunteers of other denominations drive around in colorful buses and still pick children up throughout the reservation, whether on the side of the road or other public areas. They take them to play games and learn about their version of Jesus and then drop the kids off again where they found them hours before. Parents are not always told or asked permission.

Ministry members post on social media about the good they are doing by "be[ing] the hands and feet of Jesus to some of the most vulnerable kids in our nation". They then post pictures of themselves surrounded by garbage, validating their projection of vulnerability on these families.

Referring to how white missionaries target communities of color and paint their converts as impoverished victims in need of Christianity, Jones, the Public Religion Research Institute founder, said: "I'll put it as bluntly as I can. I think it's because most white Christian denominations in this country have hardly begun to reckon with how white supremacy has become deeply embedded in our faith. So we perpetuate it, sometimes consciously but often unconsciously."

He continued: "If you happen to be a Christian and of European extraction in some way, it's a pretty powerful drug to think that your race and your religion were chosen by God and represent the pinnacle of human achievement. There's power in asserting that vision. And at the end of the day, it's about power. While we are beginning to see serious efforts to try to disentangle white supremacy from Christianity, that legacy still haunts us."

As recently as 2022, the Wels leadership published an article directly translating the words of an early pastor from German to English detailing how Hitler's regime united Lutheranism in Germany, although it does describe misgivings about how Hitler handled the rest of the country.

This article was featured in the quarterly magazine sent to all of their congregation members throughout the country.

'That's a stupid question. That is a white-person question'


Millie's husband, Ramon Riley, the Apache cultural resource director at the White Mountain Apache Culture Center and Museum, attends the Catholic church and remains devoted to the traditions and rituals of his Apache identity.

I asked him how he reconciles his Christian faith with the history of violence upon the Apache people in the name of Jesus Christ.

He took a beat. "That's a stupid question. That is a white-person question."

5135.jpg?width=445&dpr=1&s=none View image in fullscreenRamon Riley in his office at the White Mountain Apache Cultural Center and Museum.

His response, when pressed, encapsulates the huge gap in understanding about the religious binary white people operate in and the spiritual life Riley identifies with.

He added: "Our elders went through historical trauma the way they were treated by the Spanish soldiers, Mexican soldiers, and white people and all of their churches and military. This trauma still affects us to this day."

Riley is also baptized Catholic and attends mass every now and then, but regularly participates in ceremonial activities like the sweat, where he ultimately finds peace from the trauma. He said: "I don't mind practicing both because the Catholic and the Apache god are identical in a way."

In fact, the Catholic Church has repeatedly apologized for their past wrongdoing.

In 1987, Pope John Paul II came to Arizona and made it clear that ceremony and tradition were not a threat to Catholicism. And in March 2023, Pope Francis repudiated the doctrine of discovery. On a 2022 tour of atonement in Canada, he said: "Never again can the Christian community allow itself to be infected by the idea that one culture is superior to others, or that it is legitimate to employ ways of coercing others."

When asked the same question about the relationship between Native traditional religion and Christianity, Tenijieth's answer is similar: "God hears our prayers. Who are we praying to? We are praying to the same God as they're praying to. White people cannot judge us, you know? Only God can judge us."

She explained that Christianity and traditional religion are the same: both worship the same God. She will defend her Christian beliefs as hard as she will defend her right to the protection of the Sunrise Dance.

Dr Greg Johnson, professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, notes that many Christian traditions tout an all-or-nothing viewpoint. "Time and again, Native peoples have said, 'You know what, we will re-engineer your Christianity to better suit our purposes. So even if you tell us it's exclusive, even if you discipline us in a way, cut our hair, dress us, make us feel a certain way, we're not done being Apache and we will make your Christianity do things you didn't expect.'"

5166.jpg?width=445&dpr=1&s=none View image in fullscreenFather John Cormack: 'We encounter God in many, many ways.'

The morning of Good Friday, Father John Cormack, presiding priest of St Francis of Assisi Catholic church in Fort Apache, agreed to an interview in his office. His ministry - a rarity on the reservation - is an example of the weaving of Apache tradition into Christianity. The chapel is decorated in Apache symbols and sacred tools. When he collects written prayers, Father John uses Apache traditional burden baskets, canes and other ceremonial objects. Above the door are Eagle feathers, a sacred symbol of strength.

He's known to attend Sunrise Dances and offer a prayer at the ceremony when invited to do so. "We encounter God in many, many ways. And each other in all these beautiful traditions," he said.

Father John, who came from Castlebar, in Ireland, took on this role right before the pandemic hit. He grew emotional as we spoke, pausing throughout the conversation to consider the parallel of the British empire's impact on Ireland and the US occupying the land of the Indigenous nations.

He cried over the shared injustice of his people and also the people he was serving. He cried over the sins of the past and present committed in the name of Christ.

"We have to always look for justice. Gandhi, in another country under British rule, said, 'If it weren't for Christians, I'd be a Christian.' It's difficult to talk about but no matter what, you should always seek justice for all of us. That is what Christ did." (Gandhi was quoted as saying: "I like your Christ, but not your Christianity.")

Wels went as far as banning Millie from participating in communion because she sponsored a Sunrise Dance.

The Guardian reached out to each of the six Wels pastors preaching in the White Mountain Apache and San Carlos Apache Reservations separately to discuss their beliefs surrounding the Sunrise Dance and received no response.

Millie, Althea and Abby have spoken to their Wels pastor to ask why the church is becoming more determined in its anti-Indigenous ideology. In the past, the preachers did not actively scout out those who participated in Apache traditions and then cut them off from church services. They have received no substantial response.

Private schools operate as they choose, and there are no legal precedents, nor federal laws or policies, which could be used to protect Indigenous beliefs in this context. Even in public schools, Indigenous students and communities are still fighting in court to be allowed to wear traditional tribal regalia, traditional hairstyles, or tribal clothing, especially during high school graduation ceremonies.

'We still have to use the white man's weapon to keep what is rightfully ours'


4759.jpg?width=445&dpr=1&s=none View image in fullscreenNaelyn Pike at Oak Flat in Arizona.

When Naelyn Pike, of the Chiricahua Apache Nation, was just 14 years old, she moved from Mesa, Arizona, back to the San Carlos Apache Reservation. A few weeks in, a school friend pressured her to convert to Lutheranism, making her question whether she would go to hell if she did not convert and give up her traditional ways.

Pike, now 24, was shocked. As a young woman with an ancestry of activists and community leaders, Naelyn knew that to better serve her people, she needed to understand what these missions were teaching them.

Once she started college, she decided to take catechism lessons to better understand what her community was taught. She went to college in Mesa - three hours from the reservation - and drove back to the reservation on weekends to attend classes.

"I would go to church sometimes to see what it was like. The one thing I remember is one of the pastors had told the congregation, 'It's OK if you wear your camp dress, but it's when you believe in it [as a spiritual or cultural act], you shouldn't wear it. It's OK to eat your fry bread, but it's when you believe in eating the frybread that you shouldn't eat it," she said.

Naelyn was devastated. Following a visit to the church, she got in her car to make her way back to Mesa Community College, but made one sacred stop at Oak Flat, a swath of land in the Tonto national forest of utmost sanctity. It is believed to be the largest copper deposit in North America, and the federal government wants to transfer it to Resolution Copper, a mining project owned by the mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP.

That day, Naelyn walked towards the mesa and, through her sadness and heartbreak, she prayed for her people.

"There's so many missionaries or organizations that come in thinking that they can [teach the Apache people that living in their culture is wrong] because now we're the shadow in this country. We're the dust underneath the carpet. We're the people that are never seen, even though we're the First People. There's this whole idea that we're people of the past, we're not people of the present or the future."

On 1 March 2024, the ninth circuit court of appeals ruled 6-5 in favor of Resolution Copper. The decision is expected to be appealed to the US supreme court in the upcoming months.

The court's decision will be largely dependent on the interpretation of the 1852 treaty of Santa Fe, and was signed by representatives of the US government and various Apache leaders, including Chief Mangas Coloradas.

5177.jpg?width=445&dpr=1&s=none View image in fullscreenMichelle and Chester Colelay with their family. Michelle is descended from Chief Mangas Coloradas, while Chester is descended from Chief Alchesay.

More than 170 years later, Mangas Coloradas's direct descendant Michelle Colelay sits at a table with three of her four daughters and her husband, Chester, a descendant of another great chief, Chief Alchesay.

"We're still fighting," she said. "We still have to use the white man's weapon to keep what is rightfully ours, so we are fighting in court. What are they going to do with it? It doesn't have any meaning to them, except monetary. They wouldn't allow us to go into their homes and take whatever we wanted. So why would they do the same to us? In many different ways. It is hurtful. It is frustrating."

When the Colelays' first daughter was six or seven years old, she asked her parents if it was true what she was learning at the Wels church, that participating in traditional ceremonies was tied to the devil.

After that Sunday, they never went back to the Wels church.

"We tell our stories to our kids. We want them to feel it, see it, live it, and be part of it," Chester said. "When the Spirit gets to you, you can either be at the river, on top of the mountain, praying in front of your house, inside a church, it could be at a Sunrise ceremony. Wherever the spirit catches you is where you belong. That's where God is at. God is not just in church. God is everywhere."

Through it all, the Colelay family said, "we're still here.

"We're still surviving. And we are always Apache first."


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Kavika
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Kavika     3 weeks ago

Sadly, little has changed since Indian religions were outlawed by the US government. In 1978 the American Indian Religious Freedom Act was signed by President Carter. 

As you can see the Christian missionaries are still doing their best to convert native people to a religion that they do not want. Shades of 1750.

The irony of the missionaries calling us devil worshipers etc is all the more comic when they pray to statues, follow a book written hundreds of years after the so called Christ died. Virgin births and all the nonsensical trapping of today's Christian religion and we are the savages when none of them know anything about our believe system.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @1    3 weeks ago
many Christian traditions tout an all-or-nothing viewpoint

freedom of religion apparently means only one religion to some. thumpers that end up in hell are contributing to global warming...

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.1.1  Krishna  replied to  devangelical @1.1    2 weeks ago
many Christian traditions tout an all-or-nothing viewpoint
freedom of religion apparently means only one religion to some. thumpers that end up in hell are contributing to global warming..

I've always thought that there are two types of religions-- those that are totally intolerant of any other religion (and think its important to convert everyone to their belief system)-- and strange as it may seem there are a few religions that are tolerant of people with different belief systems.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.1.2  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @1.1.1    2 weeks ago
and strange as it may seem there are a few religions that are tolerant of people with different belief systems.

Of course if someone were to spend much of their waking hours on social media sites arguing that their views are the only  "right (correct) ones" ....well, the odds are that they would not be aware of that.

jrSmiley_88_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
1.2  Gsquared  replied to  Kavika @1    2 weeks ago

Stupid haoles.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Gsquared @1.2    2 weeks ago
Stupid haoles.

Agreed, what we find especially ignorant is that they know what Christ looks like his skin color, white and he is a male.

In our belief system our language is interpreted as ''The Great Spirt'' and actually it means ''The Great Mystery'', we see it as a mystery and we are not arrogant enough to think we know its color and gender and its life. To us it is simply a mystery, that has no color or gender. We do not build churches, to honor this entity or statues of him and the various minor ''gods''...We are not instructed how to honor it or on what day or time, that is felt entirely to us as individuals. Unlike most religions we do not run around with all the worldly trappings to show our importance to the followers. Because we were considered savages and or devil worshipers our religions were outlawed by those that pray to statues until 1978 and  AIRFA. 

Also, the Christian world cannot accept the fact that Indians do not have absolutes about religion, if an Indian accepts part of a Christian religion they are not accepting it as the only religion unlike the Christian world we will always hold on to our belief system some that seems to be well beyond the comprehension of the Christian world. 

For 500 years the Christian (white) world has done everything to destroy our religion/culture/language and us as a people. They have failed, we are still here.

 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
1.2.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Kavika @1.2.1    2 weeks ago

It is especially amusing to see various religious practices debated by non-believers and even among believers.  What criteria is used and where did it come from?  What is one set of criteria better than another?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2.3  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.2.2    2 weeks ago
What criteria is used and where did it come from?  What is one set of criteria better than another?

The criteria used is that the person speaking is his/her belief nothing more or less.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
1.2.4  Gsquared  replied to  Kavika @1.2.1    2 weeks ago

We need to remember that a, if not the, primary purpose of many religions is to organize society for the benefit of the power structure of the elites.

For 500 years the Christian (white) world has done everything do destroy our religion/culture/language and us as a people.  They have failed, we are still here.

And thank goodness for that.

The historic parallel between Native Americans and the Jewish people is remarkable.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.2.5  TᵢG  replied to  Kavika @1.2.1    2 weeks ago
''The Great Mystery'',

Which is both scientifically accurate (based on all we know) and rational.   It seems like a mild agnostic theism;  mild in that there are no assumptions made about the Great Spirit only that it is a mystery but theism because there is an identified divinity (at least in the abstract).

I have long thought NA religions were a form of pantheism.   But not exactly because pantheism effectively views nature as God (oversimplifying).   There is no distinct entity.   Possibly closer is panentheism wherein the God entity is distinguished but intertwined with nature (oversimplifying).  

In either case, I think ('religious') beliefs in something greater than ourselves is rational and when those beliefs stop short of inventing characteristics of something we cannot possibly know, those beliefs then qualify (in my mind) as sound (well-reasoned).

Finally, I cannot help but muse about the similarity of NA religions and Buddhism juxtaposed with the most likely origin of NAs being Asia less than 30,000 years ago (Asia-Alaska land bridge).

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2.6  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Gsquared @1.2.4    2 weeks ago
The historic parallel between Native Americans and the Jewish people is remarkable.

It is indeed, in fact the Mormons call NAs the Lamanites, and do to this day.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2.7  seeder  Kavika   replied to  TᵢG @1.2.5    2 weeks ago

Our concept of religion and a supreme being is quite different than the one commonly held by Christian religions, the sad fact is that even today, the Christian religions on the White Mountain Apache rez ignore them or worse chastize the practitioners of our ancient religion.

Vine DeLoria Jr.'s book, ''God is Red'' is the seminal book on NA religious beliefs. Deloria one of the great thinkers of modern times is a lawyer, theologian, and philosopher and has written many books of great importance. The underlying theme of NA religion is that we are part of nature and revere the interconnectedness of all living things.

In our belief system (Ojibwe) is that all things have a soul and that humans have two souls. A bit complex but if one understands the interconnectedness of all things it becomes quite clear.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.2.8  Trout Giggles  replied to  Kavika @1.2.1    2 weeks ago

And I am glad you are

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.2.9  Krishna  replied to  Gsquared @1.2    2 weeks ago
Stupid haoles.

A quote from a somewhat well-known guy named "Albert":

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

--Albert E.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.2.10  Krishna  replied to  Gsquared @1.2    2 weeks ago
Stupid haoles.

There an olde sayin':

There's no cure for "stuck on stupid"!

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.2.11  Krishna  replied to  Kavika @1.2.7    2 weeks ago

In our belief system (Ojibwe) is that all things have a soul and that humans have two souls. 

Well if that be the case-- my suggestion would be to intervene on the side of the one that someone wants to win!

jrSmiley_24_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.2.12  devangelical  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.4    2 weeks ago

freedom of 1 religion and 1 culture seems to be the current trend among a specific demographic...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2.13  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Krishna @1.2.11    2 weeks ago
my suggestion would be to intervene on the side of the one that someone wants to win!

This isn't the story of the two wolves, but of a thrist for knowledge.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.2.14  Krishna  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.2.2    2 weeks ago
 What is one set of criteria better than another?

Sometimes its difficult to determine which religion is the right one. Which one is right-- and which one is wrong?

Of course this is not a problem for many people, as they know that the 'right" religion is the one they follow. (Usually that of their parents).

And therefore its simple--- everyone who practices a different religion is wrong!

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @1    2 weeks ago

Are there no legal remedies abouit freedom of religion, or is the problem that the education at the Indian schools is not good enough to compete with the missionary ones giving Indians a bad choice for the education of their children?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.3.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.3    2 weeks ago

Most BIA schools are inferior to the religious ones, thus some parents as in this article will send their children to religious schools hoping to get an education that will prepare them for college, 

In the last decade there has been a major change in that some tribes have taken over the education of our children. Our band has a few state-certified schools where to graduate the student has to be fluent in our language and culture and also in English and one other language and meet all the requirements of any PS as to the course study. 

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.3.2  Krishna  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.3    2 weeks ago
Are there no legal remedies abouit freedom of religion,

Ultimately, that is mostly determined by the composition of the current Supreme Court.

(But as mentioned previously: "There's no cure for 'Stuck On Stupid'")

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.4  Ozzwald  replied to  Kavika @1    2 weeks ago
As you can see the Christian missionaries are still doing their best to convert native people to a religion that they do not want.

Unfortunately, with the exception of Buddhism, all the major religions feature books (bible, qur'an, the vedas) that tell them that people that follow other religions are evil and should be put to death. 

These missionaries think they are doing them a favor since only if they are converted will they be saved from a righteous death and being sent to hell, naraka, or jahannam.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
1.4.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Ozzwald @1.4    2 weeks ago
Unfortunately, with the exception of Buddhism, all the major religions feature books (bible, qur'an, the vedas) that tell them that people that follow other religions are evil and should be put to death. 

An exception?  Historically and today, Buddhists have been involved in violent conflicts, sometimes based on defending the Dharma.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.4.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.4.1    2 weeks ago
An exception?  Historically and today, Buddhists have been involved in violent conflicts, sometimes based on defending the Dharma.

Did you read my comment?  Do Buddhists have a book telling them to kill people of other religions?  The answer is no.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
1.4.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Ozzwald @1.4.2    2 weeks ago
Did you read my comment? 

Yes. 

Do Buddhists have a book telling them to kill people of other religions?  The answer is no.

Take solace that they kill without a book.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.4.4  Ozzwald  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.4.3    2 weeks ago

Take solace that they kill without a book.

The point, which you refuse to look at, is that other religions are told to kill the non-believers, so in their minds they are doing good.  This is why people feel it necessary to push their religion down everyone's throats.  In their minds, it is for their own good.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
1.4.5  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Ozzwald @1.4.4    2 weeks ago

Then why do Buddhists kill non-Buddhists? 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.4.6  Ozzwald  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.4.5    2 weeks ago
Then why do Buddhists kill non-Buddhists?

Are you disputing that there actually is a Buddhist holy book telling them to kill non-believers?  If so name it and post a link to it.  Otherwise I assume you are just arguing for the sake of arguing.

Buddhists kill non-Buddhists (and other Buddhists) for the same reason people kill other people.  Personal choice.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
1.4.7  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Ozzwald @1.4.6    2 weeks ago
Are you disputing that there actually is a Buddhist holy book telling them to kill non-believers? 

Are you disputing that there are actual Buddhists that kill non-believers because they are nonbelievers?

In Sri Lanka the civil war between the mostly Buddhist Sinhalese majority and the Hindu Tamil minority has cost over 60, 000 lives.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.4.8  Krishna  replied to  Ozzwald @1.4    2 weeks ago
Unfortunately, with the exception of Buddhism, all the major religions feature books (bible, qur'an, the vedas) that tell them that people that follow other religions are evil and should be put to death.

With the exception of Buddhism?

And as I sure you are aware, that is not true of the Quakers.

Nor is it true of the Unitarians. 

Nor the Jains.

Nor many branches of Hinduism. 

Nor  The Bahai.

Nor Taoism.

And a few others I forget...

(But then I'm sure you already knew that)

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.4.9  Ozzwald  replied to  Krishna @1.4.8    2 weeks ago
And as I sure you are aware

I believe quakers follow the bible, as do unitarians, and the bible does advocate the killing of non-believers.

Hindus follow the Vedas which advocates killing non-believers or infidels.

Taoism is a little different but this may interest you.

I had not heard of Bahai before.  It sounds very interesting.  However Bahai doesn't have a type of god to give such orders, they seem closer to deism.  A god or divine power that does not intervene in mortal issues.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.4.10  Ozzwald  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.4.7    2 weeks ago
Are you disputing that there are actual Buddhists that kill non-believers because they are nonbelievers?

Off topic again, so I am done with you.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
1.4.11  Gsquared  replied to  Ozzwald @1.4.9    2 weeks ago

Baha'is are persecuted and severely repressed by the current regime in Iran.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.4.12  devangelical  replied to  Gsquared @1.4.11    2 weeks ago

the sooner religious extremists achieve their heavenly reward, the better off the world will be...

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2  evilone    3 weeks ago
Dr Greg Johnson, professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, notes that many Christian traditions tout an all-or-nothing viewpoint. 

Nothing says conform like the Abrahamic religions. I keep wondering why there are still Christian churches & schools on tribal lands...

"Now that they're in a public school, and they've adjusted to it, they are more proud of their traditions or culture, they're more proud of who they are," she said.

...but then I read that they have indoctrinated so many already.

The influence of this religious teaching throughout the community affects the tribal government as well. Less than half of the 11-person White Mountain Apache tribal council participates in Apache ceremonies...
 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  evilone @2    3 weeks ago
Nothing says conform like the Abrahamic religions. I keep wondering why there are still Christian churches & schools on tribal lands...

One of the main reasons is the schools that the BIA/US government are suppose to provide simply aren't there and lack of teachers and building and a constant lack of funds leaves the Indians on the rez in a situation of either a religious school or a very inadequate BIA school. The last few years the tribes themselves are building schools and staffing them. Time to break the the path that has been followed for decades.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1.1  evilone  replied to  Kavika @2.1    2 weeks ago
One of the main reasons is the schools that the BIA/US government are suppose to provide simply aren't there and lack of teachers and building and a constant lack of funds

Yes that's a problem. Adding other problems on top of that doesn't seem like a solution though. 

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
2.2  Krishna  replied to  evilone @2    2 weeks ago
Nothing says conform like the Abrahamic religions

I think part of the problem is that some religions have, as part of their teachings, that followers should try and convert others to their religion. 

(And of course some don't-- in fact that are religions where the followers are not supposed to-- in fact some religions' teach are that anyone wanting to convert to them is to be discourage-- or even forbidden).

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Krishna @2.2    2 weeks ago
I think part of the problem is that some religions have, as part of their teachings, that followers should try and convert others to their religion. 

I believe all Abrahamic religions try to convert people to their religion. They are known as missionary based against few non missionary based religions, as your aware Judism is non missionary bases although they do allow converts. Midewiwin are not missionary based and we do not allow converts at all.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
2.2.2  Gsquared  replied to  Kavika @2.2.1    2 weeks ago

Jews do allow for conversion, but it is not easy.  There are no Jewish missionaries and Jews definitely do not proselytize.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.3  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Gsquared @2.2.2    2 weeks ago

As I pointed out G, Jewish are Arabmatic religion but do not have missionaries. Sorry if I wasn't more clear as they do not proselytize and are the only Arabmatic religion that did not operate a ''Indian Boarding School''.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
2.2.4  Gsquared  replied to  Kavika @2.2.3    2 weeks ago

Nothing for you to apologize about.  I never thought about it before, but I'm glad to know there were no Jewish Indian Boarding Schools given the sordid history of those horrific institutions.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.5  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Gsquared @2.2.4    2 weeks ago

There are many relations between Jews and NA's. Solomon Bibo a Jewish Trader in New Mexico Territory became governor (Chief) of the Acoma Pueblo. Acoma Pueblo is considered the oldest town/village in the US that has been continued inhabited for 1,000 years far longer than St Augustine, FL...

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.2.6  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @2.2.1    2 weeks ago
"I believe all Abrahamic religions try to convert people to their religion."

The words "try to" in that statement are misleading when it comes to Judaism, Kavika, because I know that you know that Jews do NOT try to convert people to their religion, and as Gsquared pointed out, although Judaism ALLOWS conversion, it is PURPOSELY not made an easy thing to do. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.7  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.6    2 weeks ago

As I stated above I wasn't very clear on that comment but did state the Jews do not use missionaries nor proselytize. 

I also need to clean up my comment re ''Indian Boarding Schools'' The Muslim religion did not engage in the boarding school era either.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.2.8  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @2.2.7    2 weeks ago

"I pardon you." (Amon Goeth, played by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List)

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Professor Guide
2.2.9  Drakkonis  replied to  Kavika @2.2.1    2 weeks ago
I believe all Abrahamic religions try to convert people to their religion.

Probably none more so than Christianity. Given that Christ told us to make disciples, it's pretty much a part of our faith. Even so, I do not agree with what the school in the article did to these students. Christianity can't be forced; only accepted. I don't see them having any theological justification for their actions. I think they've made a serious mistake and caused unnecessary harm. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.10  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Drakkonis @2.2.9    2 weeks ago
I think they've made a serious mistake and caused unnecessary harm. 

The lack of ability for the churches to see us as humans is stunning but this is nothing new within the various denominations this and worse has been going on for decades with the blessing of the US government.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
2.2.11  Gsquared  replied to  Kavika @2.2.7    2 weeks ago
The Muslim religion did not engage in the boarding school era either.

I assumed that was probably the case.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
2.2.12  Ozzwald  replied to  Krishna @2.2    2 weeks ago
I think part of the problem is that some religions have, as part of their teachings, that followers should try and convert others to their religion.

Or just kill them outright.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.2.13  CB  replied to  Gsquared @2.2.2    2 weeks ago

There is a somewhat. . .ready-made question that springs up about something (if considered; respected; true) that I have wondered about when I read that Jews do not proselytize. . . that said, please do not take this as a dare or confrontation. . . it's a real question (here goes): 

The Church Persecuted and Scattered
Acts 8:1 - 3

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

Acts 9: 1 - 2

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

First, it may be that Jews do not recognize the activities in the Book of Acts. But, it is clear that the first 'people of the way' came out of Judaism. Second, there was persecutions given out under the authority of the Chief Priest of the Sanhedrin. 

Question: Since Jews do not proselytize, why would it matter to them that Jews were leaving Judaism (the reverse of proselytization)?

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
2.2.14  Krishna  replied to  CB @2.2.13    2 weeks ago
Question: Since Jews do not proselytize, why would it matter to them that Jews were leaving Judaism (the reverse of proselytization)?

Generalize much CB?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.15  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Krishna @2.2    2 weeks ago

My cousin is half Jewish and half Ojibwe and a professor of linguistics, noted author, speaker, one of the foremost experts in the Ojibwe language in the world, and when we meet we have some ''interesting'' discussions. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.2.16  CB  replied to  Krishna @2.2.14    2 weeks ago

I took the time to setup as to why I asked that question. . . sometimes we need to understand where others are coming from. I am not seeking to be 'testy.'

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
2.2.17  Krishna  replied to  Kavika @2.2.1    2 weeks ago
Judism is non missionary bases although they do allow converts.

I was surprised to learn that if a person comes to a rabbi wanting to convert to Judaism, the rabbi is supposed to discourage them. 

And the Yazidis-- if I'm not mistaken the don't allow it at all.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
2.2.18  Gsquared  replied to  CB @2.2.13    2 weeks ago

Sorry, CB.  I just saw your question.

You are correct that the Book of Acts is not part of nor recognized by Judaism.  

Saul, referred to in your quotations, is, I believe, St. Paul.  Isn't the story you are quoting a metaphor for the redemption of St. Paul, which can also be seen as an allegory for the soul reuniting with God, as per Christian theology?

From what I understand, according to Christian theology the chief priests of the Sanhedrin persecuted Jesus for blasphemy.

If apostate Jews were persecuted I imagine it was a matter of religious dominionism and the priestly caste jealously guarding the religion.

The fact of a certain level of exclusivity in Judaism does not necessarily ĺogically translate into a willingness to accept apostasy or conversion away from the religion.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.2.19  CB  replied to  Gsquared @2.2.18    2 weeks ago
Saul, referred to in your quotations, is, I believe, St. Paul.  Isn't the story you are quoting a metaphor for the redemption of St. Paul, which can also be seen as an allegory for the soul reuniting with God, as per Christian theology?

Acts is a book about actual events related to first century inception of Christianity:

Acts 1 In my former book , Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach   until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions  through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.   After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.   On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.   For John baptized with [ a ]  water, but in a few days you will be baptized with [ b ]  the Holy Spirit .”

Friend Gsquared. (Saint) Paul is known to us (Christians today) because he lived , planted , instructed , the first Churches and was martyred in Rome .

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem , and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

The red highlights above :

1. The first version of the Church was 'founded' in Jerusalem.

2. A "great persecution" occurred against that church-group.

3. The church Apostles stayed at Jerusalem in-spite of the scattering of their disciples/first congregants being scattered. 

These are to be perceived as real events. Paul came to out attention out of these activities.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
2.2.20  Gsquared  replied to  CB @2.2.19    2 weeks ago
Acts is a book about actual events

There are some who believe it is historically accurate, and there are some who believe it is not.  There are also some who believe it is historically reliable in parts, but not in other parts.  See for example the following article:  

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.2.21  CB  replied to  Gsquared @2.2.20    2 weeks ago

Thanks for the link. During our discussions on NewsVine and 'beyond' a member here and I engaged with Dr. Ehrman. However, in context of the Bible being its own 'authority' - internally it is the thinking of the writer of Acts that he is delivering "what was shared with him about actual people and events." That is my only point about the book. For people of the 'book' (Christians) it is a book about living participants (mostly).

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.2.22  devangelical  replied to  Gsquared @2.2.4    2 weeks ago

I can't stand door to door thumpers...

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
2.3  Krishna  replied to  evilone @2    2 weeks ago
Nothing says conform like the Abrahamic religions.

Well, at east one of the three are much more tolerant of other beliefs systems (I am, of course, referring to the views of many denominations of Islam)

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
2.3.1  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @2.3    2 weeks ago
Nothing says conform like the Abrahamic religions.
Well, at east one of the three are much more tolerant of other beliefs systems (I am, of course, referring to the views of many denominations of Islam)

Whoops-- my apologies! (The S key on my keyboard is a bit stuck today jrSmiley_5_smiley_image.png )

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Participates
3  1stwarrior    3 weeks ago

When you're white, you're right - futch the laws.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
3.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  1stwarrior @3    2 weeks ago

Something I am especially ashamed of about my home state of Arizona. 

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
3.1.1  Krishna  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @3.1    2 weeks ago
Something I am especially ashamed of about my home state of Arizona.

I'm a bit of a non-conformist I suppose-- but if my state does something nasty, I do not feel it reflects on me personally-- and similarly if my state does something wonderful I don't feel proud. 

I also think its strange that some people feel "proud" to be an American. It seems to me that a person could feel proud of something they accomplished-- but if someone is proud to be an American-- what did they do to accomplish that?

(Likewise-- if someone was born in, say, Nazi Germany-- or Stalinist USSR-- should they feel ashamed of that?)

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3.1.2  devangelical  replied to  Krishna @3.1.1    2 weeks ago

I wonder how some people can face themselves in a mirror after voting for those that don't consider them equals.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
3.2  Krishna  replied to  1stwarrior @3    2 weeks ago
When you're white, you're right

Generalize much !stwarrior?

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
4  Mark in Wyoming     3 weeks ago

This is a pretty timely reminder to me individually, it's pow wow week here.

A neighbor lady is cooking outside, offered me a batch of fry bread, she complained she couldn't get anyone to mow down the yard for her gathering, so I took the lawn tractor over and knocked it down for her, that's how I got the fry bread hehe, even took her over a haunch of antelope for the pot. Have to admit , things are smelling pretty good about now.

Local black powder club is also holding a shoot and a rendezvous, might be busy this week.

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Junior Quiet
4.1  afrayedknot  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @4    2 weeks ago

Good karma, Mark. Enjoy!

 
 
 
shona1
Professor Quiet
5  shona1    2 weeks ago

Evening..

And traditional religions wonder why they are a dieing breed..

You would hope in the 21st century they would learn from their past massive mistakes in history..but apparently not..

Bigoted, arrogant and ignorant...what more can you say... Catholic Anglican Lutheran etc all tarred with the same brush...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @5    2 weeks ago
Bigoted, arrogant and ignorant...what more can you say... Catholic Anglican Lutheran etc all tarred with the same brush..

Sadly, that is true, shona.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
5.2  Krishna  replied to  shona1 @5    2 weeks ago
And traditional religions wonder why they are a dieing breed.

How can you tell the difference between "traditional religions"-- and others?

 
 
 
shona1
Professor Quiet
5.2.1  shona1  replied to  Krishna @5.2    2 weeks ago

Morning...I am referring to European religions Catholic and Protestant that have been around for centuries and have done the most damage..

The one's we have been dragged into by our parents and their parents and so on..

And to this day many of their so called readings and ideals have not changed...to their own detriment..

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
5.2.2  devangelical  replied to  shona1 @5.2.1    2 weeks ago

I threatened the last mackerel snapper wearing a collar I was ever face to face with...

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
5.3  Krishna  replied to  shona1 @5    2 weeks ago
You would hope in the 21st century they would learn from their past massive mistakes in history..but apparently not..

It may vary.

The Inquisition was really nasty. But if someone, in 2024, is Catholic-- should they feel guilty about the Inquisition?

 
 
 
shona1
Professor Quiet
5.3.1  shona1  replied to  Krishna @5.3    2 weeks ago

It's history and you can't change the injustice now as much as you may wish too...

But you would hope that people now, have enough brains, thinking capacity and self respect history would not be repeated...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
5.4  devangelical  replied to  shona1 @5    2 weeks ago
And traditional religions wonder why they are a dieing breed..

the sooner, the better...

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Guide
6  Split Personality    2 weeks ago

I saw a great cartoon the other day...a shame I cannot find it now.

An accident takes the lives of a priest, a rabbi and a Taoist

As they approach the pearly gates they are betting which one will be correct and rewarded.

Behind the pearly gates sits Ra, flanked by Isis and Horus.

jrSmiley_91_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
6.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Split Personality @6    2 weeks ago

all you all are screwed

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1.1  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1    2 weeks ago

thumper heaven would sure seem like hell to me ...

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
6.1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  devangelical @6.1.1    2 weeks ago
thumper heaven would sure seem like hell to me ...

Even regular heaven would seem like hell to me.  Spending forever doing nothing but singing the praises of a narcissistic sky fairy?

Psalm 145:1
"I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom"

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
6.1.3  Gsquared  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.2    2 weeks ago

You could at least break the monotony by taking harp lessons.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
6.1.4  Krishna  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1    2 weeks ago
all you all are screwed

Just curious-- what, if anything, do you know about Taoism?

(Asking for a friend)

jrSmiley_7_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
6.1.5  Krishna  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1    2 weeks ago
all you all are screwed

Do you know anything about Taoist teachings?

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
6.1.6  Gsquared  replied to  Krishna @6.1.4    2 weeks ago

I have friend who is a practicing Buddhist and a Taoist.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
6.1.7  Ozzwald  replied to  Gsquared @6.1.3    2 weeks ago

You could at least break the monotony by taking harp lessons.

Only angels get harps.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1.8  devangelical  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.7    2 weeks ago

steal one. once you're in, what can they do?

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
6.1.9  Ozzwald  replied to  devangelical @6.1.8    2 weeks ago

steal one. once you're in, what can they do?

I don't know, some of those angels are pretty badass.

Biblically accurate angels:

32042-seraphim_source_file.jpg biblically-accurate-angels-according-to-ai-v0-s7c2ciu9yv8c1.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=0ff26491dd172bd9804fa6997285549b98551fa9

9b1e7f11-d79f-4fe5-9b64-8c104b005786.jpeg 09fe4f152115365.Y3JvcCwxNjE2LDEyNjQsMCww.png

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
6.1.10  CB  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.9    2 weeks ago

Interesting. The Bible does describe angels in ways that can cause a person to faint straight away. It can be comical at times to watch 'Hollywood' depict such beings of supposed majesty and supreme majesty.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
6.1.11  Ozzwald  replied to  CB @6.1.10    2 weeks ago
The Bible does describe angels in ways that can cause a person to faint straight away. It can be comical at times to watch 'Hollywood' depict such beings of supposed majesty and supreme majesty.

Kidding?  This is the country that worships "surfer dude" Jesus.

Real vs American Jesus

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ3Ax3YHr2mj00H0Aqlex9C7keyT_EclD-DMA&s

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
6.1.12  CB  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.11    2 weeks ago

LOL! I get the gist of your point. I made my comment (about angels) after getting up from restless sleep over in the night. In the light of day it's does not full convey what I wished to share. Hollywood movies try to depict angels as beings of personality and amicable appearance. The Bible depicts angels as spiritual beings of power, service, and purpose. Their appearance, as befits a spirit, can be whatever design they find fitting to accomplished that purpose. :)

Yes, Jesus is spoken of in the Old Testament as 'comely' in appearance and not ''regal' or kingly (for kings would be found in fine robes of purple and in high places). People can suck so much with their 'designs' that ignore facts of the matter.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
6.1.13  Ozzwald  replied to  CB @6.1.12    2 weeks ago
Their appearance, as befits a spirit, can be whatever design they find fitting to accomplished that purpose.

Or whatever people pretend they look like, or imagine.

Yes, Jesus is spoken of in the Old Testament as 'comely' in appearance and not ''regal' or kingly (for kings would be found in fine robes of purple and in high places).

If he existed, it's been said that he would look like a dark skinned Mel Brooks.  Short, dark skinned, with short curly hair.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
6.1.14  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.13    2 weeks ago
If he existed, it's been said that he would look like a dark skinned Mel Brooks.  Short, dark skinned, with short curly hair.

Samaritans are the closest modern population to the ancient Israelites and they look no different than your average Ashkenazi or Sephardic Jew.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
6.1.15  Krishna  replied to  Gsquared @6.1.6    2 weeks ago
I have friend who is a practicing Buddhist and a Taoist.

OK then-- you know things about those religions than many other people don't.

Now, assuming there was a Heaven, and assuming entry is only given to those who have been "good people" in their life-- would your friend be allowed entry-- or not?

(Obviously there is highly speculative ... jrSmiley_4_smiley_image.png )

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
6.1.16  Krishna  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.13    2 weeks ago
If he existed, it's been said that he would look like a dark skinned Mel Brooks.  Short, dark skinned, with short curly hair.

So-- the crucial question-- was he "White"?

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
6.1.17  Ozzwald  replied to  Krishna @6.1.16    2 weeks ago
So-- the crucial question-- was he "White"?

Worse.  He was a dark skinned liberal.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1.18  devangelical  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.17    2 weeks ago

no wonder his dad had him nailed to a cross... he was a goddamned socialist!

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1.19  devangelical  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.11    2 weeks ago

the picture on the right was obviously prior to mary magdalene's conversion therapy started...

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
6.1.20  Trout Giggles  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.9    2 weeks ago

Great Googly Moogly! I would have a heart attack seeing something like these!

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1.21  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1.20    one week ago

a guaranteed radical difference in the collection plate take between real geezus and wasp geezus...

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
6.2  Krishna  replied to  Split Personality @6    2 weeks ago
An accident takes the lives of a priest, a rabbi and a Taoist

For the priest and the rabbi-- there are differences in an indivduals interpretation of the religion--- over-generalizing is inaccurate.(I have known some truly wonderful priests as well as rabbis_-- and well as the opposite of course!)

But for the most part Taoists are much less judgemental than most others...

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
6.3  Gsquared  replied to  Split Personality @6    2 weeks ago

Haha

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
6.4  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Split Personality @6    2 weeks ago

Good one!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
7  CB    2 weeks ago
Based on our reporting and speaking with members of the tribe, there are over 80 churches on the reservation, representing 27 different Christian denominations. The tribe indicated that there was an official list the churches operating on the reservation but no list has been delivered.

27 denominations?! One would think that a meeting of the minds would take place to UNIFY the message of these "denominations" such that they come to believe as One; and, would be on the same page in uniformity of purpose and practices. As it is, being 'many,' forms of worship. . . why would Native Americans want to change their practices and put people of another religion above their own?

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
7.1  evilone  replied to  CB @7    2 weeks ago
27 denominations?!

There are only 27 denomination on US native reservations, but there are over 45,000 different denominations of Christianity across the world. Seems as if everyone knows what God wants but they can't agree on what that is.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
7.1.1  CB  replied to  evilone @7.1    2 weeks ago

My religious point of view deserves that 'hit' against it. Yet, they 'globe-trot' demanding respect for each division that becomes part of the larger concern.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.1.2  devangelical  replied to  evilone @7.1    6 days ago
there are over 45,000 different denominations of Christianity across the world

can you imagine the internecine carnage if left alone to decide the dominant version amongst themselves?

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
7.2  Krishna  replied to  CB @7    2 weeks ago
One would think that a meeting of the minds would take place to UNIFY the message of these "denominations" such that they come to believe as One; and, would be on the same page in uniformity of purpose and practices

What makes you think that one would think that?

What are you basing that assumption on?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
7.2.1  CB  replied to  Krishna @7.2    2 weeks ago
17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

18  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

19  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word ;

21  That they all may be one ; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one , even as we are one :

23  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one ; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

17&version=KJV

Krishna, we have Christianity dividing (Catholicism vs. Protestantism) and sub-dividing (denominations and non-denominations) and even some churches that go far as to cast themselves as conservative versus liberal churches-where several branches of these self-styled churches of believers won't even consider the other as Christians. All of this is in violation  of the high-priestly prayer Jesus is said to have asked to see (ONENESS) in his followers as a witness to the Oneness of God.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8  CB    2 weeks ago

Interestingly, I am currently listening via audiobook to, 'White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity" by Robert P. Jones. And, the audiobook has introduced me to his website PRRI. :)

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
8.1  Krishna  replied to  CB @8    2 weeks ago
Interestingly, I am currently listening via audiobook to, 'White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity" by Robert P. Jones. And, the audiobook has introduced me to his website PRRI

So,,, what race was Jesus? Was he White? Black? Other?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.1  CB  replied to  Krishna @8.1    2 weeks ago

Human. And since he supposedly still abides in Heaven: Spirit.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
8.1.2  Krishna  replied to  CB @8.1.1    2 weeks ago
Human. And since he supposedly still abides in Heaven: Spirit.

Correct.

To the best of my knowledge, when a person dies-- their spirit leaves the body,. Their body "dies"-- but the person's spirit is eternal. 

Another question: what color was Jesus when he was on earth in "human form"? White? Black?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.3  CB  replied to  Krishna @8.1.2    2 weeks ago

The hue of his mother Mary , a descendant of the tribe of Judah, David-King of Israel, Solomon,-King of Israel, and the Spirit-Father of the nation (spirits don't possess color as we understand it) so hue was highly probably that of the mother. As for what Jesus would appear to be like in the 'heavenlies' see:

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool : his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
—  Daniel  7:9

13  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  14  His head and his hairs were white like wool , as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

— Revelations 1: 13 -14

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
8.1.4  Krishna  replied to  CB @8.1.3    2 weeks ago
His head and his hairs were white like wool , as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

So are you saying that when he still lived on Earth, in "human form"-- Jesus was an Albino?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.5  CB  replied to  Krishna @8.1.4    2 weeks ago

No. I am saying the Bible says that Jesus appearing in the Heavenlies is casted this way:

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure  wool  : his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
—   Daniel   7:9
13   And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.   14   His head and his hairs were white like  wool  , as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; — Revelations 1: 13 -14

The above signifies a spiritual (glorified) body . Biblically, his humanity and ethnicity on Earth would have been given him through/by his mother, Mary, a descendant of the lineage of David and Solomon. He would 'hue' toward the aforementioned lineage and not like his alleged Father (Spirit). As a spirt does not possess a flesh and blood body.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
8.1.6  Krishna  replied to  CB @8.1.5    2 weeks ago
As a spirt does not possess a flesh and blood body.

Yes.

I have always been interested in mysticism---and the possible existence of "other dimensions of reality". I have taken courses about how to get in touch with some "alternative realities" (Most other people think that's weird...but that's OK with me!)>

I have learned to do some "mediumship" (its what you Muggles refer to as a seance-- except  its done by myself--- I've com municated with spirits of people in the classes I've taken on the subject..

Much to my surprise I was able to attract and speak to a spirit-- on several occasions. (Not any god or angles-- just the spirits that had left the bodies of people when their physical body died). I am not yet any sort of "expert" on this-- but I do have some practice communicating with spirits so I am somewhat familiar with the spirit world/

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.7  CB  replied to  Krishna @8.1.6    2 weeks ago

Krishna, may I suggest that you do an article on the type of occult/mysticism you are addressing? I will visit it and share my views on the subject. Grant it, those thoughts are not many, but it would be a more suitable environment. :)

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
8.1.8  Krishna  replied to  CB @8.1.7    6 days ago
Krishna, may I suggest that you do an article on the type of occult/mysticism you are addressing?

Thanks for the suggestion. jrSmiley_2_smiley_image.png

I had been thinking about it for some time but had decided against it. Why?

Because most people have no idea what I was talking about and it would take too much time and effort to explain it.

In addition, its difficult to generate intertest in almost any topic if the article is not about bashing a political party or any politician.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
9  Krishna    2 weeks ago

Another "Heaven" joke:

AN ENGINEER DIES AND GOES TO HEAVEN

St. Peter looks at the book and scratches his head. He says 'You were involved in some great civil engineering projects so I ought to let you into heaven but you were also involved in weapons programs that resulted in great loss of life' 'I am sorry but you will have to go to hell'.

Well, the engineer arrived in hell and found it very hot - so he installed air conditioning. He also found it dry - so he installed clean running water. He then thought it was a bit dark so he installed decent lighting.

The devil was very pleased and rang St. Peter to gloat 'thanks for sending me that engineer, he has made hell a really nice place'.

Oh dear' said St. Peter, that was the nearest he got to swearing, 'if he can tame hell I must have made a mistake. Send him back up here.' Naturally, the devil refused so St. Peter said 'if you don't I will sue you'.

The devil just laughed and said 'Where are you going to find a lawyer?'

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
9.1  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @9    2 weeks ago
Another "Heaven" joke:

I though Buzz might enjoy that one. jrSmiley_4_smiley_image.png

 
 

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