Friday, January 20, 2012

Murderers for Jesus

On a blog dedicated to the eradication of the same.  I like Mark Shea's blog.  I enjoy his writing style.  I appreciate that he has a keen grasp of theology, though he has no formal training.  He's fun.  There are times I disagree with him, or wouldn't say things the way he would, but that's part of being human.

Still, there have been some cards pass through that blog over the years.  One I remember went a long way toward living up to the stereotype that Catholic salvation is all about logical adherence to philosophical algorithms.  Yet another was someone involved in military intelligence, who believed that never once did a person who failed to live up to Church teaching accomplish anything good or even effective.  Eh.  Blogs, what are you going to do!

But this one took me by surprise.  It shouldn't be shocking to know that many who follow Ron Paul tend to take a dim view of America.  Paul himself sees the problems of the world firmly planted at America's feet.  OK, I disagree.  But I've noticed that blogs that support Paul, as Mark Shea's clearly does, tend to draw out some of the more radical elements, those who are seriously into hating on America, Protestants, anything traditional and not Catholic. 

So one fellow, apparently with racial sympathies toward the plight of the American Indian, and known for his contempt and loathing of everything that America has done in who knows how long, and who I believe is proud to say he moved away from the US to live (I think) in Australia, was commenting on a thread to do with America's treatment of American Indians.  Of course, he gave great praise to the Catholics who never, ever did bad things like that.  It was all those rascally Protestant English settlers who were the mischief. 

Well, being a descendant of Cherokee Indians myself, and being married to a woman who is not only descended from Native Americans, but also from the famous Jenny Wiley, I tend to take a balanced approach.  I don't buy into the old time cowboy and Indian stereotypes, but I don't subscribe to the Dances With Wolves narrative either.  So I merely mention that the clash of cultures that occurred between the two people was a tragedy, a shame, and sadly what results when complex issues occur.  I tried to tie it into the problems we are having today. 

And then lo and behold, our good friend swoops in, throws a jab at me, then trashes my notion that the European (English Protestants) were anything short of genocidal murderers.  I retaliate explaining that on the ground level, where the settlers were, they were just folks trying to eke out a living.  They were immigrants plain and simple, trying to find a way to live, and many were slaughtered by the American Indians for their trouble. 

I was then reminded it was in self defense, besides it was their land.  So I merely asked if the Church suggests indigenous people can slaughter immigrants?  We finally spun off into a discussion about Jenny Wiley.  She was a frontier woman who saw first hand the dark and ugly side of Indian culture and behavior.  She saw why tens of thousands of European settlers would die at the hands of Native Americans.  She watched in horror as the children of her family, including her own newborn, were butchered by the Indians who took her captive before trading her like a slave before she finally escaped.  Pretty dark stuff.  Pretty horrifying.  Especially on a blog all about life, precious life.

And yet here is the response:

The Bench, or maybe Glass, I’ve heard both, spared her life, as she was a Cherokee woman by birth.
If she hadn’t been part of an invading army, she’d have had a larger family.
I’m done here. I lack the stomach to read more moral equivalence of Neolithic pagans and modern Christians whose technology was orders of magnitude greater.

First of all, she wasn't spared, she escaped.  If she was spared, it was to be part of the tribe who captured her.  But notice the next line: "If she hadn't been part of an invading army, she'd have had a larger family."   Invading army?  He means, a white settler.  In other words, she was because of who and what she was, simply part of the overall enemy.  And she got what she had coming to her.  More than that, the children got what they had coming to them.  Yeah, I know.  Pretty blood chilling.  Especially on a blog where this kind poster, along with many others, spew unending streams of contempt and loathing on the modern GOP and its followers for such things as cheering about the death penalty in Texas, or consequentialism, or unjust wars, or bombing civilian targets, or any one of a thousand things America has done in its history.

Fair enough.  Many of those things bother me as well.  But notice this.  Is this any better?  I know from other posts that this individual would come down like a ton of bricks on someone who said children in Afghanistan had it coming, or Japanese children in WWII, or any such thing.  Again, he hates with the white hot fury of a thousands suns the US and everything about our country, and tends to feel comfortable that his Catholic faith validates this.  But still, it's chilling.  Chilling to see just how easily we can notice the sins of others and yet miss them in ourselves.  Or as Jesus would say, how easily we notice the splinter in America's eye, or the eyes of the GOP, or anyone else's eye, and yet miss the murder excusing log that's in our own. 

A little lesson on a late night of insomnia.

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