This campaign goes well beyond simple proselytizing. It is blatant attack on spiritual freedom. It is the use of spirituality as a weapon. I read a story today in the news about Air Force Cadets who feel so pressured by fundamentalist Christians that they are forced to hide their faith and pretend to be Christian. You can read that story here: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/10/13/111125/16.
Reading this made me sick to my stomach. This, dear Readers, is terrorism pure and simple. It is spiritual terrorism. This is the type of thing that we are committed to fighting and this is precisely the type of thing that you would never find within an indigenous world-view.
We are charged, each and every one of us, with reclaiming the filter of our indigeny. What does that mean exactly? Well, for starters, American "secularism" isn't. It's a very Protestant Christian Weltanschauung and over the past decade has grown more and more reactionary and fundamentalist. The filter of monotheism, rooted as it is in that reality, is far older. The filter of monotheism has its roots in colonialism and conquest. it is a lens through which our every interaction in the world is filtered. It colors everything. It breeds intolerance, fear, hatred, and poverty--physical and spiritual (the first corporation, as I was recently reminded by one of my students, was, after all, the Church).
The filter of indigeny is different. It is rooted in a glorious multiplicity of ancestors and Holy Powers, of an awareness of the sacredness of the land and our interconnected relationship with all life. It is rooted in responsibility and respect. You may see conquest within indigenous cultures, but you'll not see the type of religious totalitarianism that you find with the history of monotheism; and everyone has indigenous roots. Every single person born on this earth, if they go back far enough comes from an indigenous culture. He or she has a tribe. Those of us coming from European descent have just forgotten that.
I maintain that the genocide and conquest of the Americas could never, ever have happened if Europe hadn't first been overrun by monotheism. The spread of monotheism across Europe brought with it a cultural and religious destruction. It destroyed our native traditions and then, in some sort of cultural Stockholm Syndrome, we fell into line and came across the ocean and did the same thing to others. It's time to wake up and realize what we lost the moment we laid down the threads of responsibility, obligation and connection to the ways of our ancestors. It's time to reclaim our traditions.
This is a frightening thing. It means first becoming aware of the filter so many of us wear. It means confronting privilege (white, Christian privilege), it means being willing to tear that filter off and step away from that and look at the world in a whole new way. It means questioning everything. But you know what? It needs to be done. Our ancestors are crying out. our world is suffering. The alternative is the poison of spirit, heart, and mind proferred by the DC40 and folks like them.
Our ancestors did not suffer, they did not fight and die, and sacrifice and hope and dream and work hard to see us walk willingly into spiritual slavery. THAT is not the legacy they left for us. Fight that filter, even when it's difficult--most especially when it's difficult. In this we must all be warriors.