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-   -   Mixing religion with native traditional values (http://forums.powwows.com/f37/mixing-religion-native-traditional-values-545/)

terence, AISC Director 07-01-2000 06:21 PM

I agree re: "tolerance".
I have seen the bumper stickers which state "teach tolerance!". I understand and appreciate the this, however, I don't want to give in to just tolerating someone's beliefs or personal way of being. I seek to respect, honor, admire and love. I know it is only a matter of words, but words come from thoughts and and thought makes ideas and so on!
Kind of like mascotts!

Beth 07-02-2000 09:58 AM

I know an Indian Methodist minister that thinks nothing of going from a religious gathering in the traditional way or NAC meeting to his church to minister to his Indian parishoners. Half of which were probably at the previous gathering also.
This is an uncommon accurance.

Lee Winterhunter 07-02-2000 10:36 AM

Aay, Beth, maybe more common than you think:

I know a prison chaplain, ordained in a Christian denomination, who advocates for the religious rights of all prisoners and has been invited to participate in the sweats there.

Like the minister you mention, he participates in both, no problem!

That might be good news, hey? http://www.powwows.com/ubb/wink.gif

With respect,

People keep telling me to act my age. How old am I, again?

DCP 07-02-2000 01:56 PM

This may be incorrect, but didn't the Catholic Church invite the pipe into masses out in SD a few years back? I have also heard of priests taking part in Inipi.

Don't know if this is "religious syncretism," or if it is just promoting religious tolerance/respect.

Majii 07-02-2000 02:58 PM

Benther-dunthat, to answer your question, I've been wondering that myself.
I know that this family goes agianst anything that is "traditional" but in the other turn the ex talks of people that do bad medicine and the superstitions. There was a time where the boys group was teaching the medicine wheel and the mother in law took my son out because of it and was not allowed back.
I think it may all be is what the spiritual significance of the different dance styles are. I know that when they figure out the spiritual ties for jingle and grass, the kids will not be allowed to dance in those outfits either. I know that they do use this for control. That their way is the only way.
They are the kind of people who hold a camp meeting the same weekend as the powwow so their people don't go to the powwow.
so, I could say that they use their religion to control people. I don't like it when it comes into my family and they are telling me what to do.
I know that my children will have the freedom of chioce with me, but, they feel that they have too keep the other family happy too. Such a heavy responsibility for young children.
All I know is that they want to dance and they are going to dance and learn who they are and not deny the people they are.

feathr3166 07-08-2000 10:26 AM

ahhh.. something I can relate to! I too, am in the same shoes. I obtained custody of my daughter at age 3 and she has been taught native ways since then. Her father, non-indian, has fought me for 10 years over her religion. He has hauled me to court, trying to get a judge to tell me I can't teach her these things, he has called Child Services on me more times then I can count and each time they show up, it always ends up being someone who has native blood and lives it as well. 10 years of this!!! My daughter is now 13 and one of the most lovable people there are. She's a shawl dancer, loves it with a passion, designs her own outfits, knows the ways, knows the rules but when it comes to her father.. it's Star Wars for real!! Luke Skywalker against Darth Vadar in live action!! Luke won in the movie and Snowfox won in real life!!! he seldom comes to pick her up, he seldom calls her anymore cause he made that fatal mistake of trying to force her to his faith. Don't ask me cause he never says where he attends church. I'm not against church by no means. Raised in it myself but also taught to respect other people and what they believed. I have passed this on to my own. Raise your children in the ways. At the right time, they will decide which is best for them. My sister and I took the native way.. I also have a brother and sister who did not. Creator knows you're childrens hearts and if they follow "Him" then He will lead them the right way.. it doesn't have to be one way or the other...teach them respect of others but not to let others trample them with their ideas. I have watched over 10 years of pushing on my ex's part and all it did was push Fox to the native way... don't be the pusher here... be the one they are pushed to.

rabbitbelly 07-08-2000 09:05 PM

Wakan Tanka was introduced relative recently (around the late 1800's I believe), but is used by many non christian, traditionals. Thier use of it, as I understand, still refers to the prechristian concept of the creator. many times you will hear both terms being used interchangeably. A Jehovah's Witness, who recently knocked on my door told me something very interesting. She said that the direct translation of the greek(hebrew?) term for god is 'that which causes motion'. Funny that that is the exact translation of the pre-christian Lakota term as well. I've read some ancient scrolls that were written by some of the apostles and other followers of christ that aren't included in the bible and after reading them, the differences in christian and 'pagan' philosophies became much smaller. These writings have been kept out of the bible for whatever reasons and I believe that if they were included, there would be much less conflict among native traditionals and christians. For instance, in the book of Thomas, christ says, 'look under a rock and you will find me, split the wood and I am there'. His main message was that, the spirit of god is within you and you can reach a communion with god by yourself, without the church or a priest to intervene for you. I'm sure the church didn't and doesn't want too many people believing that now! The bible was 'created' by men and compiled by one man. A power hungry, dominering, bishop back in the first century a.d. and all the different interpretations, versions, and new translations, still come from his exclusive and biased compilation. In these other scrolls i mentioned, the apostle John has a complete book of genesis that describes the creation of other godlike beings from the 'creator'. One of which was created without the 'light' of knowledge and it is this being who the old testement is refering to when it speaks of god. There is a constant struggle between the true god and this false one to enlighten the people or keep them in forgetfulness(darkness). Yes, as kakakew said, this christian god is evil and corrupt and that is the cause for all the sorrow caused in his name. Christ, however, is the 'light' and was sent to those who followed the false god to bring them back into a proper relationship with the true God. Unfortunately, christians, still follow this adulterated interpretation of his message called the Bible and so most of them are still in the darkness. I believe the similarities are great among most religions and the differences come from cultural influences. Afterall, most,if not all,of these ancient religions do speak of one original creator. Is that a coincidence or a common truth?

terence, AISC Director 07-09-2000 11:12 AM

I marvel at these intelligent and heartfelt responses and have "filed" each and everyone of them in my heart for future contemplation!
Rabbitbelly, I very much enjoyed your commentary. Excellent food for thought!
I thank you for your covering the topic of Wakan Tanka, as speaking of my beliefs seems beyond anything I seem to be able to explain i.e. usage of and the differences about the terms/ names: "Creator", "Great Mystery", "God", "Tunkashila", etc. I know what I mean when I think it--but I am as of yet incapable of saying how I think it. There are "language" /perceptions differences that just defy explanation and do not cross the boundaries of communication well. I hope you are following me here?
Thus, I choose to address the commonalities using philosophies or statements such as, "There is only one God", etc. rather than pick at what may be confusing or ill explained by me.
Perhaps this is my challenge, to learn to successfully address this.
Any suggesstions?!!! I could use them!

[This message has been edited by terence, AISC Director (edited July 09, 2000).]

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