Saturday, November 29, 2008
This was started by watching the history channel about the origins of Thanksgiving and then we had a family discussion about the Indians and I was saying that the only thing that bothers me is the Pilgrims were supposed to be Christians and the white settlers were supposed to be Christians and the founders of America were supposed to be Christians and in Europe and england before America, the quest was to spread the gospel to pagans and savages like the Native Americas, but in North America, there was slaughter in order to make room for us. it has taken me all this time to find out this is not true!
My nephew, God bless his young heart, is a history buff. He began by studying at William and Mary college on the East Coast, until he had some problems and came home. Anyway, he studies history extensively on his own, and knows it quite well. He has a grasp of early American history and of the Native Americans. Now my memory of what he said will be scant.
He was talking about the Aztecs, who were like the ruling tribe of Indians in pre-colonial days (they ruled the Indians north of them), and had a culture that he says no one should want to imitate. He says all they did was enslave and kill each other. They had this vision given to them by their gods that warring gods would go away to the sea and would return in a certain year and it was exactly the year that Cortez came over from Spain, a soldier who was just exploring and looking for wealth. He and his 50 men were able to conquer the Aztecs, who killed each other because they believed they were being killed as they had been promised they would be.
Also, the Indians north of the Aztecs mostly disappeared before the time the Pilgrims landed in North America. There were very few Indians living in North America. There was a lot of death brought about by diseases from the Europeans who came over earlier, before the pilgrims, to South America, and it spread.
There were some Indians killed, and certainly there was killing done for mercenary purposes by those who had wrong motives, but it wasn't mass slaughter, certainly not genocide in the true sense of the word, and there were many peaceful white people living peacefully with Indians at the beginning, just as been told in the Thanksgiving story. Those are our beginnings. WE can be proud of that! Man, Lewis and Clark went all the way across North America with their group and none were killed. They were even helped by the Indians!
I was just so shocked. It's as I had hoped it was. Our beginnings are so much more peaceful than what I always thought they were. Knowledge isn't always sorrowful, as Ecclesiastes says it is. Sometimes knowledge brings the missing piece.
Important literature: Michael Medved's "The 10 Big Lies About America." There's a chapter on this very thing.