Russell Brunelle (russellb) wrote,
Russell Brunelle

Something else that has been on my mind...

This has been on my mind since riding through the Apache reservation: at what point does it actually become condescending to imply that a native culture's continued preference for a new religion is not a free choice?

Here's the thing: in no part of the Apache reservation did I see anything other than Christian devotional objects, and reading the tribe's newspaper seemed to confirm that Christianity was essentially the only religion in common practice. I'm aware that generations ago, as part of an ethical lapse by a country founded for the sake of religious freedom, this choice was essentially imposed on many. But how would you feel if someone tried to tell you that you are turning your back on your heritage by no longer worshipping Odin? Or implied that you are somehow too weak to choose to convert to any religion that is not in the majority?

What strikes me as hypocritical here is the folks not of Native American descent who seem the most concerned about this usually seem to be New Age types who may change religious affiliations once a year. So, clearly, folks can change religions if they want to.

It's almost as if this isn't really about religious freedom, but rather a wish on the part of some that Native Americans would choose to live life as a reenactment of the past, like exhibits in a museum. But ya know what? It's not their responsibility to ease your guilt.

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