In a recent post to his blog, rezinate spoke up about a cancer killing the nations. It isn’t a cancer that can be removed through surgery, killed off through radiation, or done away with in any other way common to bodily cancers. This cancer is a cancer of thought. A way of thinking that eats away the life of whatever it touches. There aren’t words I know clear enough to express the pride I have in him for what he said, or the respect I have for him to stand strong against this ever pressing tide, but I can say I’m honored to call him brother.
I try to speak from my own experiences, and mine are much different that rezinates, but I do have experiences related to things he spoke of. I thought if I shared my stories, maybe others would see a part of it in themselves and have an easier time, or see a clearer path.
I’m going to state my views and opinions, and they will make some reading this very mad, and I welcome any to respond.
I was raised in a Christian environment, my father was a preacher. I am not now, and will never be a Christian, though i do think there are many good lessons in the bible. In learning these stories though children pick up certain ways of thinking. That a person (as small children don’t grasp the “god is man” concept) can walk on water, or is supposed to be perfect, and many other concepts that are too numerous to mention in this post. So they grow up with these ideas in the back of their mind, as that is where many things we learn as little ones are stored i.e. Walking, language. These ideas effect their decision making through their life unless they change their entire way of thinking. One of the big ones is theft of culture. Now I’m sure some of you out there are thinking I’ve lost my mind, but keep reading, and maybe you’ll see it.
In the story of jesus, the very center of CHRISTianity, you have a man that is said to be the one this group of people have been waiting for. But the keepers of knowledge for this people say he is not. In the story, they refer to these people in ways that say they are liars, or in the least ignorant of their own stories. Rezinate spoke about people twisting Mayan and Hopi stories, as well as Lakota and my people, the Cherokee. These new agers change a story to suit their purposes, whether the writers of the books that became the bible did or not I can’t say, I didnt know them, and don’t know the Hebrew stories. The hebrew do though, what do they say about jesus?
Now think about this. A group of outsiders telling this people THEIR OWN STORIES are wrong. Sounds just like these other people that are changing ours, where did they learn this behavior?
Consider the story of Elisha. Where he was passing a town and children made fun of him because he was bald. So Elisha called she bears from the woods to consume them. Ask your local preacher about this, if he went to a seminary, I’ll bet he will say “he was allowed this because he was gods representative on earth”. I’ve never heard in any story fake or otherwise where our medicine men asked bears to eat children for calling them names. Children of the enemy as a blood sacrifice I’ve heard of, but not their own people for calling them names.
Also consider the “infallible word of god”, as my father and uncle put it, contains four accountings of the story of Jesus, all four are different some very different. Now, considering that a child’s mind isn’t filtering and cataloging these stories into “a blue car, red car” scenario, it’s only hearing different things called the same thing. There sponge is absorbing that its ok to have different tellings of the same story.
Now, some of you might say we do the same thing, and you’d be right to an extent. Take the story of the first man and first woman for the Cherokee. Little things might change, but the strawberries are never raspberries. The story always states they argued and she left, and came across the berries creator put in her path, some stories have more berries than others, but the core story is exactly the same, in no accounting told by the Cherokee will you see the man finding the berries. The differences are personal variations, but the story remains the same. IF it is told by Cherokee.
Ask 10 different preachers what turn the other cheek means, and does it just mean one cheek, two cheeks, or just keep turning the cheek. Out of the ten I asked as a boy I got seven different answers. I take it to mean give someone a second chance, because we all lose our temper at times, make poor decisions, believe a lie. But many preachers have told me to keep turning the other cheek. Which sounds to me like what an abused woman does when she takes the man back time and again, and that is never a good thing.
Revelations, I’m still not sure why this is taught so much as there has never been a clear understanding of what it means. Of course none of us are Greek/Hebrew/Egyptian like Rome was at the time, so we may never know what it means. But looking at our stories being stolen and twisted and trying to understand where the enemy lies so you can fight it, this is a part of it.
I can’t possibly tell you the number of variations I heard of the book of revelations, I heard my father alone tell five, each he stated as fact, each different. That is absorbed by the little ones as well, that you can tell one story a thousand different ways and say its fact. Also, there is a self destructive element in the story of revelations, I don’t have a lot to say about that because I’m still trying to figure it out, but one thing I have noticed is the “it’s going to happen, just accept it” mentality, which is also in every end of the world new age story I have read, and I haven’t even scratched the surface.
But through faith, not by works, does a man achieve the glory of heaven, or something along those lines. The ” not by works” part I heard a lot. When pressed a preacher will say it means you cant get into heaven by working alone, you have to believe. But in our way, working for the people is seen as a good thing, working to care for the little ones, Elders, women, widows, believing in creator is just a given.
At ten years old I was given a bible. I wasn’t allowed to watch R rated movies because it had too much cursing, sex, violence, etc. in it. But in the back of the church, reading my bible, I read about children getting eaten by bears, sons getting their fathers drunk and stripping him naked, daughters getting their father drunk and having sex with him, all read from “the infallible word of god”.
But I’ll stop there as this is getting off topic, and close by saying I have known very very good people that were Christians, but they were the exception and far from the rule.
Let’s forget about the Christian aspect for a minute and go to the sometimes atheistic. Academics. Continually various sciences will claim absolutes. Medicine saw heroine cocaine morphine, and so many other drugs as perfectly safe, even for children. Science stated the world was flat and that was an absolute, now they state us coming from apes is fact, an absolute, that too will change.
So many times we see academics claiming an absolute authority to our stories. The same mindset as in the new agers. The same is in the Christians to “witness” to us, the same with the government for our land.
I find it so amazing that conspiracy theorist will rail night and day against the intrusions of the government, yet turn around and do the exact same thing to our stories. Why are their rights being trampled and we are being overly possessive?
I can’t know how it feels to carry and bring a life into this world, neither can someone not of a tribe know what that tribes stories mean.
There is an overwhelming detachment in American society. A lack of knowledge bred by laziness, apathy, impatience. These among other things lead people to look for answers, but not try to find a firm and correct resolution. Anything will do as long as it makes you feel better right now. I got caught up in this too, but I got myself out.
Little is taught on how to actually fix what troubles us, so we get used to not having answers. Nothing is firm, everything always changes. People say that change is hard, but they apparently don’t see that things change around them all the time. The change that people fight is the change that goes against their wants. It takes away a comfort they think they need, and don’t see the harm it causes.
Everything good requires work to achieve it, and everything good is worth fighting for. You don’t win a fight by sitting in front of a television or computer, you can’t eat money, a natural thing is not improved by putting an unatural thing in it, a brawl can be won by being able to take more abuse than your opponent, but a war takes strategy.
If you think a tribe or nation has a good story, go talk to them, and LISTEN. Don’t just hear the words, try your best to understand, if you don’t understand ASK QUESTIONS.
If you are reading say, a Hopi story, on the Internet, or in a book, and it introduces new ideas, how can you ever be more of an expert about those stories than the people that made them? It would be like trying to tell George Lucas about star wars. But so much more in depth than that.
Learn about the culture of your people, if it grabs your heart, let it in, make it yours. When you go looking for your origins, and find very little or nothing there, you might just gain a little understanding of why the nations here fight so hard to hold onto their ways.
Americans live in a society where the next story is right around the corner. In the next book store, online library, tv station, or theater. There’s a serious lack of understanding that comes with that. It goes beyond just tickling the fancy you have at the moment. Sitting and listening to a grandfather tell stories, and know that those stories have been around longer than people can remember, puts you in a timeless place. It connects you to what was, and what will be when you become a grandfather and pass those on. When those stories are your stories, stories of your people, you belong to something bigger, something that goes back before memory. You see you are just a link in a chain, but you are also fixed with a responsibility to make new links.