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  • Mixing religion with native traditional values

    I feel like I'm stuck in the middle. This really concerns my children.

    I want to give them a life of knowing who they are and the history and traditions of our people. What I am going against is their father(my ex) and his family's religion. They denounce native traditional values being the devil's work and they totally freak when they thought that I was going have one of the kids be a taditional dancer. But, it's Ok to do fancy, grass or jingle. My kids are going to dance reguardless of what they say and do what their spirit wants them to do.

    My question: Is there a way I could express to the kids that it's ok to believe in god and believe our ways? Hey, aren't we worshipping the same person anyway, no matter how we do it?


  • #2
    Majii, I have been thru basically the same situation with my children. I gave them what my parents gave me in addition to teaching them the Native way. My parents were not allowed by society to be proud of their heritage, so it was taught to me in little snippets here & there. Not much. They did send me to a proper Sothern Baptist church tho! Then, they let me make my own decision. I have done the same with my children. As they grow older & see what suits them, they go. So far, they all love the Native way. I pray everyday that it continues. Regardless, I will love them. Just love them, Creator will do the rest if you trust in him! Walk in peace, Sister.

    P.S.
    I was 30 years old before I found my "way"! I am honored that I can show my children at a much earlier age! They need to learn now, while there is still time.
    Si' yo!

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    • #3
      I am so glad you posted about this!
      I am so very sorry for your difficulty in this matter. I deeply appreciate the complexity of your question.
      I hope that you might embrace this wonderful opportunity to teach the matter of diversity to your children.
      Families are an example for children. You are so very fortunate to have an experience happen for your children about what may happen in their everyday and future lives: the difference in belief systems!
      how wonderful! how difficult! how frustrating! how sticky this is happening within the family.
      that is just the point. it is sooo uncomfortable, not to mention undeserved and unfair. but so is life. family situations teach a child how to deal with reality.
      this is where you are doing a wonderful job as a parent. you truly care about your children's spiritual place.
      don't argue, don't worry, just be an example. don't defend your beliefs! go to pow wows and dance--let the kids decide if they like it. if they want to dance with you, ok! let them enjoy it.
      if they want to go to church with the ex or grandma, ok!
      Above all, don't worry! God will speak to your children in a place that they will understand. He knows them well. Trust Creator.
      My daughter is a wonderful girl, she has a 20 month old and a new born baby that is 3 weeks old. She has been raised in the Native Way, but she is also jewish by her father. She has decided that this is her heart. I could not be more proud of my little girl. Both of my grandsons will be brought in to the Circle. One already has been with the promise of the People to support him in his own Creation. Yet, my grandsons are of hebrew spiritualty, by blood and by their mother's heart.
      It is my hope, that I may one day stand beside my two boys at the Wailing wall in Isreal, and pray with them. We shall pray together, for all, the yellow, red, black and white. No matter where we are or who we are praying to, just as you have said, there is only one God.


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      • #4
        Lakotantn stated, "No matter where we are or who we are praying to, just as you have said, there is only one God." I would have to agree.

        A long, long time ago, all the people of the world were separated from each other (geographically, linguistically, etc). Because of this, different people had to explain Creation and the Creator in their own way based on their own experiences. Who is to say that the Creator that sent Jesus to the Middle East didn't send the White Buffalo woman to the Lakota? Seems to me that both were sent to teach decency to the people. I don't claim to know a whole lot, but the more I learn about people, the more I realize that people are more alike than different.

        The problem with religion is that some folks think that their chosen way is the only way. Too many people have suffered and died because of "religious bigotry."

        I try my best to keep an open mind when it comes to religion/spirituality. I am Christian, but I know that it is not the only way.

        Something I find interesting is that some Indian people attend Christian services AND their traditional ceremonies. I think this is outstanding. If we can find a gem of truth somewhere, who cares if it started here, there, or elsewhere?
        Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Majii:


          My question: Is there a way I could express to the kids that it's ok to believe in god and believe our ways? Hey, aren't we worshipping the same person anyway, no matter how we do it?
          As far as I know there is not a native nation that does not believe in god...are we talking christianity here? I personally am not achristian and try to follow the original tribals ways the best i can..i see alot of people having problems trying to be traditional and and a christian...in my personal oppinion it is one or the other

          ------------------
          Robert Laughing Owl
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          Robert Laughing Owl
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          • #6
            Robert laughing owl;

            I have my own beliefs
            The thing is the the kids go to there dads and get all this christian stuff telling them that trying to be indian is the devils work. And practically pray for everything that goes wrong. They even boycott powwows. The kids come home with all this stuff.
            It difficult enough for me teaching them about our people and our ways when I'm going against people/family telling them it's bad to be indian.
            Does that help clarify on what I'm going through?

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            • #7
              Majii,

              I feel for you but you do what's right. Show em the way and let them decide. That's what my parent's did.

              As for me? I have a quick story that I'd like to tell. I was at my sister's house a few days ago (passing time by playing with my neice and nephew ) when this lady showed up (the neighbor's friend). She had crossed a four laned highway to get to our house (lucky us). I told my sister and somehow we ended up in the living room and the kids-outside. This lady (of whom I did not know) proceeded to talk endlessly. Patiently I listened... until she looked at me and said,"Are you saved?". I thought"No I'm still HERE" but after my initial sarcastic thought, I told her yes and no. She retorted that I was or I wasn't. Did I believe in God? I told her yes, as I do believe in The Almighty. She then said,"Then you are saved." Then she went into a spill on Christianity and how wonderful it was. Talk about "Ye Ole Christianity pitch"... I asked her if it was so great why did she have to push it off on other people? She didn't have too much to say after that.

              Am I going to hell now?
              Treena
              SHAKE IT!!!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Singing Otter:
                Majii,

                I asked her if it was so great why did she have to push it off on other people? She didn't have too much to say after that.

                Am I going to hell now?
                Treena

                As a Christian, I just wanted to say that everyone who claims to be a Christian is not one. IMO- people who try to shove Christ down people's throat are doing more work for Satan than for Christ. That tactic usually always succeeds in turning people away.
                Please don't judge us all bad because of the bigotry of some.
                Sheila
                Sheila

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                • #9
                  Singing Otter, if you are going to hell for that, save me a room, k?!? My children have been exposed to all different types of religions in their short little lives! I know in my heart that, when the time comes, Creator will lead them to what is best for them. It is this belief that keeps me from sheltering them from people with beliefs different from my own. I admire lakotantn for the words she spoke regarding her daughter's decision to go with her heart, to adhere to Jewish beliefs. She is truly a Mother that only has her daughter's best interests at heart. It is the ability to trust Creator to lead them on the right Path, be it Red or otherwise, that will see you thru your situation. Keep the Faith, Sister! All will be as it should!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Majii:
                    Robert laughing owl;

                    I have my own beliefs
                    The thing is the the kids go to there dads and get all this christian stuff telling them that trying to be indian is the devils work. And practically pray for everything that goes wrong. They even boycott powwows. The kids come home with all this stuff.
                    It difficult enough for me teaching them about our people and our ways when I'm going against people/family telling them it's bad to be indian.
                    Does that help clarify on what I'm going through?
                    sounds more like he is just doing it out of meaness and you need to be honest with your kids and tell them this...they can make their own decisions...all you can do is give them the truth....im truly sorry for your situation...

                    ------------------
                    Robert Laughing Owl
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                    http://community.wolfstar.com/sc-aim
                    Robert Laughing Owl
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sheila:

                      As a Christian, I just wanted to say that everyone who claims to be a Christian is not one. IMO- people who try to shove Christ down people's throat are doing more work for Satan than for Christ. That tactic usually always succeeds in turning people away.
                      Please don't judge us all bad because of the bigotry of some.
                      Sheila
                      i dont judge....that would make me just as bad...but you have to expect friction from traditional people that have had christianity pushed down there throats for so long...i mean hell look at what the original reservation agents did...day schools ect ect ect

                      ------------------
                      Robert Laughing Owl
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                      http://community.wolfstar.com/sc-aim
                      Robert Laughing Owl
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                      • #12
                        I'eeeeee,
                        So much pain and anger I see toward "Christians", Yes, I am one and this makes me sad. Although I am only a very white clown I also dance and sing and I have been greatly influenced by what I have learned of traditional beliefs, especially the strong emphasis on maintaining a proper relationship with "all my relations". I know too that many professing Christians would not understand this even within my own church family.

                        On another page I saw discussion which attached Black Elk and others for"conversion" to Christianity/Catholicism. On these pages and elsewhere I see some suggest that one cannot walk a road which includes both Christian and traditional ways. Yet I would suggest that perhaps it is the critic rather than the convert, who lacks understanding and who has not made the effort to learn.

                        Please, friends open your hearts to see
                        what is at the core of the Christian faith. If you understood their messege you would know why they are compelled to tell the world what they believe. This is not an optional thing for them.
                        No this does not excuse the terrible things done by some who claim to be Christian. Those people will be called accountable before Creator. I paraphrase the bible verse which teaches that "many will call out Lord, Lord, I have done these things in your name and I (Lord) will say to them, truly I do not know you". The God who loves is also a just God who judges the unrighteous.

                        Just as some traditional people carry out their ceremony to save this world and to keep this world intact so Christians carry out their missions to save men's spirits for what comes after this world.

                        Before you condemn those who profess belief remember that many things have been done and still are done in the name of "Christianity" which have nothing to do with the messege of Christ. Many terrible things have been done by people claiming to be "Christian" etc., when in fact the things they have done, prove that they are/were not Christian nor even ones who truly love God/Creator. Even reasonable decent people to stupid things sometimes because of their lack of understanding. Obviously this friction continues on the front line where traditional ways meet Christian ways; and yet I know that it is not so everywhere.

                        Many people continue to think and teach that Christianity means becoming like them in their "religious" and "secular" practices when these "practices" truly have nothing to do with Christ' messege or mission, which was to help restore man into a proper relationship with God the Creator. The things of men's ways are to often confused with the ways of God.

                        Remember too that Christ was a tribal man. That he was fulfilling the prophecies which his own people had carried for centuries. Consider as some have said that perhaps there are things to be learned from both Traditional and Christian teachings. Forgive those who can not see the difference between the messeges of God and the traditions of men. It is an easy thing to judge the actions of the believer; It is a much harder to look past their actions to see what is at the core of their beliefs.

                        It is an unfortunate struggle within your family but by all means teach your children to love who they are and the culture which is theirs. Help them to see past the prejudices which their relatives may have toward what they do not understand.

                        Respectfully
                        Benther_Dunthat

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                        • #13
                          I teach my children to make their own decisions about religion, just as my parents did with me. It is a personal choice for everyone as to what belief system they choose to follow. I have found that most religions that I have knowledge of all have the same "basics". The most important thing to remember when you are "walking your walk" is not to judge or denigrate someone else for "walking" their own way. We all have a path to follow and we won't all follow it the same way!

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                          • #14
                            I was raised with the belief that "God" and the cretaor are indeed two very seperate entities. The latter being the true power and the former being the evil of this world.

                            In our old beliefs, the Creator or Kechi mantoh created four spirits in similar likeness but with very different gifts.

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                            • #15
                              Maji:

                              I have been having problems posting lately, so excuse my interrupted previous posting...

                              I will only say a little more regarding our belief as it is very different. E-mail me at [email protected] as I cannot get into my private mesages.

                              Basically, our belief says as prophecized that the spirit of the mainly the white society felland the other societies other than our, turned itself to the evil or Machi mantoh, this happened long ago and this one White spirit is known as God. We do not talk of God or Lord or Jesus Christ as being the same power or supreme being as the Creator. We speak of this god as a spirit of the creator.

                              I will explain the reasons and ways to heal and help an indian who suffers from spiritual interference of an evil nature. It will also show you a guideline on how to raise children with a belief in the Creator and not in false or evil spirits or evil and pretentious ways of life such as non-native invovlement in our ceremonial and spiritual lifestlye and religion.

                              This is the way many of my people believe. Many believe that god is the creator and this is part of the problem. I look forward to hearing from you if you are interested.


                              Kahkakew

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