November 15, 2005
Manifest Destiny

From the book, Lies My Teacher Told Me:

The American Way describes describes native Americans in these words:
These Native Americans [in the Southeast] believed that nature was filled with spirits. Each form of life, such as plants and animals, had a spirit. Earth and air held spirits too. People were never alone. The shared their lives with the spririts of nature.

Way is trying to show respect for Native American religion, but it doesn’t work. Stated flatly like this, the beliefs seem make-believe, not the sophisticated theology of a higher civilization. Let us try a similarly succinct summary of the beliefs of many Christians today.

These Americans believed that one great male god ruled the world. Sometimes they divided him into three parts, which they called father, son and holy ghost. They ate crackers and wine or grape juice, believing that they were eating the son’s body and drinking his blood. If they believed strongly enough, they would live forever after they died.



Posted by Buck Batard at November 15, 2005 11:12 AM
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One might add: ... With the effigy of a man tortured to death as their Holy Symbol.

Posted by: Peter on November 16, 2005 11:15 AM

Looks like American Gothic: The Next Generation on the textbook cover.

(PS: Us iconoclasts use a plain, unadorned cross.)

Posted by: Joyful on November 16, 2005 12:06 PM

"Lies My Teacher Told Me", while a grossly incorrect title (it's really about lies the history-book publishers propagate and the teachers are stuck with), is a great book. Worthy of the decade of work the writer put into it.

I highly recommend it.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree (Belisarius) on November 18, 2005 12:39 AM
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