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Old 09-18-2013, 07:09 AM   #1
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One question about religion.

Before I post my question, I need to give some background information about myself:

I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to immigrants parents of the Uyghur minority who live primarily in PRC-occupied Doğu Türkestan, or as it is known officially, "Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang". Which is fancy way of saying my parents immigrated from Xinjiang province, People's Republic of China. If you're not familiar with Uyghurs, we are a Turkic people who originate in the Altay Mountains that are now located in Mongolia. We are linguistically and ethnically related to the Turkish people (people from Turkey), Uzbeks, Azeris, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Sakha, Yakut, Chuvash, Tatars and dozen or so smaller Turkic people's. We are also distantly related to Koreans and Manchus as well as the various indigenous people's of the far North like Aleuts, Inuk and Inuit. Uyghurs are also overwhelmingly Muslim, like most Turkic people's, and as Uyghurs, my family and I are also Muslim.

Six years ago I met my wife at work. She is Chinese, but her mother and father divorced when she was quite small and her father remarried a Soto-Cree woman who became my wife's step-mother. Although my wife's father had passed away a number of years before I met her, my wife remained close with her step-family, including her step-grandmother.

After being introduced to her step-family, they all took a liking to me, including her step-grandmother. Her SG, however, is a fundamentalist Christian who, upon learning that I was Muslim, tried everything she could to get my wife to break up with me. She told my wife that I would beat her and lock her in the house all day and force her to wear a burka if we were to get married. Essentially, without knowing anything about my level of religiosity, her SG tried to make me out of be Mullha Omar of the Taliban.

Here's the thing, though: her SG was, as a child, sexually an physically abused by clergy in a Residential School. She even testified at the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission on Residential Schools set up by the Canadian government a few years ago.

So here's my question: while my wife's step-grandmother is obviously an extreme example, why is it so common to find aboriginals in North America, especially Canada, self-describe as "Christians", sport crosses, even go to church? Christianity is literally the White-Man's religion and the primary reason for the physical and cultural genocides perpetrated against North American native people's by white colonists. Christianity is the reason for all the lies, broken treaties, thefts, rapes, murders, cultural degradation, sexual abuse, families torn apart. It is singularly the origin of every injustice done to natives in the "New World".

So, why so many native Christians?
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:20 PM   #2
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Christianity was forced upon people the world over, sometimes in a violent manner. Therefore anyone who wanted to survive became a Christian and over time Christianity was passed down from generation to generation until it became "normal".

So why do so many "follow" it? Well simply - that is how they were raised. A point that needs to be noted here is that so many people, of all races, claim to be "Christian" but in reality they don't practice it, they don't pray in a Christian manner and many don't go to Church except for weddings and funerals.

Quote:
Christianity is the reason for all the lies, broken treaties, thefts, rapes, murders, cultural degradation, sexual abuse, families torn apart. It is singularly the origin of every injustice done to natives in the "New World".
Not as much as you would think. Most of that was just greed and horny pioneers.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxxsym View Post
Before I post my question, I need to give some background information about myself:

I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to immigrants parents of the Uyghur minority who live primarily in PRC-occupied Doğu Türkestan, or as it is known officially, "Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang". Which is fancy way of saying my parents immigrated from Xinjiang province, People's Republic of China. If you're not familiar with Uyghurs, we are a Turkic people who originate in the Altay Mountains that are now located in Mongolia. We are linguistically and ethnically related to the Turkish people (people from Turkey), Uzbeks, Azeris, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Sakha, Yakut, Chuvash, Tatars and dozen or so smaller Turkic people's. We are also distantly related to Koreans and Manchus as well as the various indigenous people's of the far North like Aleuts, Inuk and Inuit. Uyghurs are also overwhelmingly Muslim, like most Turkic people's, and as Uyghurs, my family and I are also Muslim.

Six years ago I met my wife at work. She is Chinese, but her mother and father divorced when she was quite small and her father remarried a Soto-Cree woman who became my wife's step-mother. Although my wife's father had passed away a number of years before I met her, my wife remained close with her step-family, including her step-grandmother.

After being introduced to her step-family, they all took a liking to me, including her step-grandmother. Her SG, however, is a fundamentalist Christian who, upon learning that I was Muslim, tried everything she could to get my wife to break up with me. She told my wife that I would beat her and lock her in the house all day and force her to wear a burka if we were to get married. Essentially, without knowing anything about my level of religiosity, her SG tried to make me out of be Mullha Omar of the Taliban.

Here's the thing, though: her SG was, as a child, sexually an physically abused by clergy in a Residential School. She even testified at the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission on Residential Schools set up by the Canadian government a few years ago.

So here's my question: while my wife's step-grandmother is obviously an extreme example, why is it so common to find aboriginals in North America, especially Canada, self-describe as "Christians", sport crosses, even go to church? Christianity is literally the White-Man's religion and the primary reason for the physical and cultural genocides perpetrated against North American native people's by white colonists. Christianity is the reason for all the lies, broken treaties, thefts, rapes, murders, cultural degradation, sexual abuse, families torn apart. It is singularly the origin of every injustice done to natives in the "New World".

So, why so many native Christians?
Another point to add to this is, Many Natives here in the US "adopted" some aspects of Christianity and other parts are ignored.
Although a lot of Native church's are sanctioned for instance here in Oklahoma by the Baptist church. If the Baptists actually visited these churches and understood what was going on They would be surprised how far away from mainstream Religion it has moved.
In my own tribe those churches are in our native language the baptisms are an important in the fact that they remind us of old Traditional ways of going to "Water"...

The Native American Church is a prime example of Adopting Some aspects of Christianity and mixing it with Native Ways, it has grown and flourished throughout the Midwest and Southwest. I could find a "meeting" somewhere in Oklahoma on a Friday and Saturday night without much effort.

Just a few examples and I am sure others can chime in with there own experiences...
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:27 AM   #4
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Another point to add to this is, Many Natives here in the US "adopted" some aspects of Christianity and other parts are ignored.
In Christianity God leaves people the choice which way they want to follow. To do right or wrong - all the bad things are done by those who abused the christian teachings to do bad. They chose to do it.

Nobody ever said, there has to be just good things to be written in the Bible. The Bible is just an old religious book in which good aspects and bad things are written.

To my point of view is, the top option is to maintain freedom which way one would want to go, either good or bad and if one chooses bad ways, he'd have to face the consequences life itself would teach him.

So some choose to abuse that freedom for their own advantage and the disadvantage for others and to my understanding Jesus Christ just pointed out to be kind and loving to each other as it's for the best for all people.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:31 PM   #5
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the same reason blacks whites asians And everyone else is christian i guess....they dont know any better or different and their parents and thier grand parents and their great grandparents and so on were christian........

i personally think no indians have any business being christian but whatever...

where my people come from catholicism is not only a religion but a regional custom......i will give concessions for that but i dont endorse it

and christianity is not the religion of the white man but the religion of the hebrew as is judaism and islam, as you know the first christians were hebrews

i personally think that maybe the white man would have been much kinder if he gave the jews back their god.........but what the hell do i know?
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:28 PM   #6
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:02 PM   #7
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Christianity is not "the white man's religion" Its origins actually had very little to do with whites (save the Romans who crucified Jesus, so yeah, originally they weren't fans). It was adopted by, and in many ways I believe perverted by whites(as well as others). What was it Gandhi s aid "Your Christians are so unlike your Christ,"?
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:36 AM   #8
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To further expand on the topic. I'm of the opinion that religion, beliefs, and spirituality are very personal. I do identify as Christian, but it's been a long road up to this point. It was never a spur the moment decision, nor was it ever as simple as "oh everyone else is, so I will too".

It took a lot of soul searching, and personal struggle, strife, (checks dictionary) turmoil, I learned a lot about myself, and I learned that Christianity speaks to me on a personal level. I think that's the key, finding something which speaks to you on a personal level.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:06 AM   #9
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Christianity swept to Europe long time ago through missionars. So people of Europe got forced into that kind of religion just as NDN's. And it's not the white men who did all the damage to folks, it's the Religion abused by those who were educated first centuries back in the past. There were heavy religious wars going on in Europe long time ago. So, it just happened by accident? that it was the white men who had all those technology to travel far and to bring that religion forward most often in an abusive manner. And centuries ago poor people european people were enslaved by the dominant aristocracy. But then, not all of them were bad or else nothing ever would have changed. Well it didn't really, today this christian named party rules the country and to my view they are practizing a modern kind of slavery to the poor people again. There is nothing fair about the way those so called christians treat people. Greed is what they support. So, being born as a Christian, I am not a follower of any of those churches. And I would not call myself a christian either. I think the Bible was the first book of laws for the Europeans to give them some orientation and get them out of some kind of confusion about spiritual life, but then, before that people did have their believes. And the creator of all stands above everything anyway.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:10 PM   #10
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:49 AM   #11
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So here's my question: while my wife's step-grandmother is obviously an extreme example, why is it so common to find aboriginals in North America, especially Canada, self-describe as "Christians", sport crosses, even go to church? Christianity is literally the White-Man's religion and the primary reason for the physical and cultural genocides perpetrated against North American native people's by white colonists. Christianity is the reason for all the lies, broken treaties, thefts, rapes, murders, cultural degradation, sexual abuse, families torn apart. It is singularly the origin of every injustice done to natives in the "New World".

So, why so many native Christians?[/QUOTE]

Take a look at a twenty dollar bill, you see Andrew Jacksons face. He went to church, called himself a Christian, but he wasn't. Christianity is not singularly the origin of every injustice. Racism, land-lust, greed are just a few things to start with. I'm a christian Indian. My forefathers worshiped the same God of the bible before the bible even came to this continent. The translation for Gods name when She spoke to Abraham means Great Mother (El Shaddai) or breasted God if you want to get literal. What kind of rhetorical question is that anyhow, and what does it have to do with your grandmother? Tell you what. Go to a rez-church. learn the language. See what goes on. Maybe that will help answer your question, if in fact you really wanted to know.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:16 AM   #12
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The translation for Gods name when She spoke to Abraham means Great Mother (El Shaddai) or breasted God if you want to get literal. [/QUOTE]


Hmmm.Just not sure where you get that El Shaddai means "mother" or "breasted God". sure wish you would have listed your sources.

The truth is that Theologians can not identify the exact meaning of El Shaddai in and of itself as a single Hebrew word.Why? Context. Proper exegesis requires a great deal of context which changes per scripture. Therefore there are many meanings of the "term" El Shaddai.

Perhaps you found something that suggests breasts and indeed the Hebrew ROOT for this word can be breast, however if you understand the language you'd know that the term breast signifies fertility as the Creator's gift to us and or abundance and nothing meant to be female.In fact the Hebrew language has no gender unlike the English language.

I listed some websites that are easy enough for a lay reader to understand.Enjoy.

The Names & Attributes of God>: El Shaddai El Shaddai | Names of God | articles | Learn Biblical Hebrew & Greek with eTeacher
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
Another point to add to this is, Many Natives here in the US "adopted" some aspects of Christianity and other parts are ignored.
Although a lot of Native church's are sanctioned for instance here in Oklahoma by the Baptist church. If the Baptists actually visited these churches and understood what was going on They would be surprised how far away from mainstream Religion it has moved.
In my own tribe those churches are in our native language the baptisms are an important in the fact that they remind us of old Traditional ways of going to "Water"...

The Native American Church is a prime example of Adopting Some aspects of Christianity and mixing it with Native Ways, it has grown and flourished throughout the Midwest and Southwest. I could find a "meeting" somewhere in Oklahoma on a Friday and Saturday night without much effort.

Just a few examples and I am sure others can chime in with there own experiences...
A perfect example of contextualized Faith. Christianity practiced and experienced within the cultural reality.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:46 AM   #14
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It's not the religion's fault when bad things happen it's people abusing religion taking personal advantages of it - wanting power over other people by forcing religion upon them.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:35 AM   #15
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Hmmm.Just not sure where you get that El Shaddai means "mother" or "breasted God". sure wish you would have listed your sources.(Quote)

Thanks for the Lay reading reference. I have yet to see any argument by any sensible linguist that would suggest a different ROOT for the word. Granted,you made a great point in that I didn't do proper justice to the meaning of the name. This doesn't imply that I have never read the information that you presented. References? Really? I guess that's fair enough. I have one question for you. Is my likening of El Shaddai to having the attributes of a 'Great Mother' a less than "perfect example of contextualized faith", or of "Christianity practiced and experienced within the cultural reality"?

I would also add, in my defense, that the original post I responded to suggested blind religiosity is a common practice among us. So I chose to display a potential for feminine quality and strength in God in order to show my own disregard for blind patriarchal religions.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilisi View Post
Hmmm.Just not sure where you get that El Shaddai means "mother" or "breasted God". sure wish you would have listed your sources.

This doesn't imply that I have never read the information that you presented. References? Really? I guess that's fair enough. I have one question for you. Is my likening of El Shaddai to having the attributes of a 'Great Mother' a less than "perfect example of contextualized faith", or of "Christianity practiced and experienced within the cultural reality"?

I would also add, in my defense, that the original post I responded to suggested blind religiosity is a common practice among us. So I chose to display a potential for feminine quality and strength in God in order to show my own disregard for blind patriarchal religions.

Granted,you made a great point in that I didn't do proper justice to the meaning of the name.

that was not my intention.I just enjoy a good theological conversation. And was responding to the use and definition of the name of El Shaddai.

This doesn't imply that I have never read the information that you presented.

no it sure doesn't.

Is my likening of El Shaddai to having the attributes of a 'Great Mother' a less than "perfect example of contextualized faith", or of "Christianity practiced and experienced within the cultural reality"?

nope.

So I chose to display a potential for feminine quality and strength in God in order to show my own disregard for blind patriarchal religions.

I like that you see the potential for feminine quality and strength in God. I agree that there are both those qualities to be found in the Creator.
I'm not sure what you mean by "disregard for patriarchal religions". I'd love to have you unpack that so I can gain an understanding.
have you had the chance to check out feminist theological thought? I think I detect some leaning in that direction? interesting stuff that is contextualized to soften the patriarchal bend.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:43 PM   #17
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This is refreshing. I am so accustomed to churchy people trying to tell me it's evil to dance like an Indian, or that the bible says I have to cut my hair. Your response was a pleasant surprise.

I'm not sure what you mean by "disregard for patriarchal religions". I'd love to have you unpack that so I can gain an understanding.

I should have said religion, instead of religions. I will never forget the moment I first learned the possible implications of the name Shaddai.
The following should help me unpack that statement.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Gen. 1:26,27

This in and of itself suggests matriarchal quality of the creator; yet so many people in my own religion don't understand, or worse, don't care about these implications (El Shaddai, Genesis 1:27)

This was the impetus behind the statement.

have you had the chance to check out feminist theological thought? I think I detect some leaning in that direction? interesting stuff that is contextualized to soften the patriarchal bend.

No, i haven't. I am definitely going to. =)
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:01 PM   #18
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I am so accustomed to churchy people trying to tell me it's evil to dance like an Indian, or that the bible says I have to cut my hair.
How very sad indeed. My own boyfriend has told me some stories about unhealthy churches on his reservation as well. They are everywhere I suppose. One just has to find the healthy places of worship and stick with those folks.


I should have said religion, instead of religions. I will never forget the moment I first learned the possible implications of the name Shaddai.
The following should help me unpack that statement.


26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. Gen. 1:26,27

This in and of itself suggests matriarchal quality of the creator; yet so many people in my own religion don't understand, or worse, don't care about these implications (El Shaddai, Genesis 1:27)

Interesting point and I have heard it translated this way before. I'll have to go dig a little deeper on that text again as you have me reflecting in this text.


, As for the patriarchal system and the atrocities I hear people talk about concerning the precious faith of Christianity,I think many Christians are better versed in what they have heard someone say about the religion than they are about the actual scriptures themselves. It is obvious you read them and more importantly dig deep to question them. That I believe is the only way to answer for yourself what one truly believes. Lack of understanding their own faith walk is what I believe drives some folks to misbehave in God's name as with all religions. In the case of North America we have a Christianity that has been (here we go again with this word) CONTEXTUALIZED to the mainstream culture. Perhaps that's where it became so patriarchal.When one finds a Christian or any other follower of their faith who understands how to walk in beauty, truth and love then well- atrocities just won't happen there. Peace be yours.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:56 PM   #19
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i feel sad for christian indians....its the ultimate form of stockholm syndrome
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:29 PM   #20
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i feel sad for christian indians....its the ultimate form of stockholm syndrome

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