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Switch to Forum Live View Was America Always a Christian Nation?
2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 9:01AM #41
TPaine
Posts: 9,304

Jun 15, 2012 -- 9:24PM, solfeggio wrote:


(Are they referred to as Native Americans these days, or American Indians?  I've never been sure.  From what I've read, there is nothing wrong with calling an ethnic group Indians.)



solf,


I always refer to them as American Indians because Russell Means, who I had the pleasure of meeting and having lunch with in 1987, dislikes the term Native American. However, I think wohali is the person who should answer this question.

"It is always to be taken for granted, that those who oppose an equality of rights never mean the exclusion should take place on themselves." -- Thomas Paine: Dissertations on First Principles of Government (July 7, 1795)
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 11:53AM #42
MysticWanderer
Posts: 1,328

It is unrealistic to speak of Native Americans as if they were one culture.  There were 500 independent nations on the North American continent prior to the European invasion.  All had their own history and own culture.  Some were actually quite bloodthirsty and others were almost nonviolent, some were still hunter-gatherers and others were farmers.  To lump them all in together or attribute any one custom to all is way too generalized, just as lumping all inhabitants of the Eurasian continent would be.

"Not all who wander are lost" J.R.R.Tolkein
You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. ~Anne Lamott
"Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain."
Friedrich von Schiller
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 4:56PM #43
Marcion
Posts: 2,883

America was never a Christian nation, nor any other denomination; the founding fathers saw to that in the constitution. The founding fathers had enough evidence of what happens when you have a corrupt, self serving state religion like the RCC. They were not going to let that happen here.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 5:04PM #44
Roodog
Posts: 10,168

Jun 15, 2012 -- 3:34PM, wohali wrote:


Mytmouse, you are correct, the Plains People definitely gave a good accounting of themselves.


I believe Red Cloud was the first to actually defeat the United States Army, but I could be wrong on that.


Oceola and his Seminoles routinely whupped the US Army decades before the Civil War.


Indians have participated in every conflict the United States has engaged in. Sometimes on both sides: the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Red Stick War, the Civil War, the Plains Wars, the Apache Wars. General Grant's adujant who wrote the first surrender terms was a Seneca indian named Ely Parker, while the last Confederate gengeral to lay down arms was Stand Watie, the leader of the First Cherokee Mounted Rifles.


Indeed, history isn't simple or clean. 


P.S., did you know that the original Code Talkers served in World War 1? They were Choctaw.





For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 10:21PM #45
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Jun 15, 2012 -- 9:59PM, mountain_man wrote:


Jun 15, 2012 -- 12:09PM, mytmouse57 wrote:

No need to get defensive. I was just pointing out, there's a somewhat popular, simplified narrative that likes to act as if it was all sunshine and flowers here until the bad people -- Euro-Christians -- showed up and ruined everything....


The problem is that you got it wrong. You're reading the history as written by the victor. That is always slanted in a way to make them look better. The native cultures were no more violent than any other White culture, and in many cases more peaceful.


An example would be that scalping bit. It was taught to some of the East Coast societies by the French. They'd pay money - or guns - for scalps from nations not in line with the French.


Sure, they had wars, fights, over hunting grounds and such, but they "counted coup" by TOUCHING the opposing warrior. They didn't want to kill them because they knew that that guy had a wife and kids depending on him at home. It wasn't until the aggressive, violent, White invaders came and upset their cultures did the natives become violent.





Sounds like you need to get out more. And perhaps visit with some Native Americans.


Read Mystic Wanderer's post. Native Americans had a huge varieties of cultures. Some were as you've depicted, more or less pacifist. Others were very, very brutal to their enemies, long before Whites ever showed up.


The tradition of the warrior runs very deep in many Native cultures. During World War One, there's a story of German troops refusing to go forward, when they learned the enemy positions before them were held by Natives serving in the U.S. Army.


It was not for nothing that they were scared sh*tless.


As I mentioned before, to my knowledge, Natives are, per capita, the most highly decorated ethnic group in the U.S. military. I find it rather patronizing of you to assume they only became full-tilt ass-kickers because of what Whites taught them.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 10:25PM #46
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Jun 16, 2012 -- 1:34PM, mainecaptain wrote:


Jun 15, 2012 -- 9:59PM, mountain_man wrote:


Jun 15, 2012 -- 12:09PM, mytmouse57 wrote:

No need to get defensive. I was just pointing out, there's a somewhat popular, simplified narrative that likes to act as if it was all sunshine and flowers here until the bad people -- Euro-Christians -- showed up and ruined everything....


The problem is that you got it wrong. You're reading the history as written by the victor. That is always slanted in a way to make them look better. The native cultures were no more violent than any other White culture, and in many cases more peaceful.


An example would be that scalping bit. It was taught to some of the East Coast societies by the French. They'd pay money - or guns - for scalps from nations not in line with the French.


Sure, they had wars, fights, over hunting grounds and such, but they "counted coup" by TOUCHING the opposing warrior. They didn't want to kill them because they knew that that guy had a wife and kids depending on him at home. It wasn't until the aggressive, violent, White invaders came and upset their cultures did the natives become violent.




Too many have fallen for the Movie version of Native Americans, The savages that had to be killed, except it was nothing like the movies.





Which "movie version" are you talking about?


Sounds as if you're hung up only on the extremely negative, sterotypical films from the 40s and 50s. But even then, some films at least had moments of casting Natives in a positive light.


Later, films became far more sympathetic to Natives. One of the biggest films of all time, in case you've never heard of it, "Dances with Wolves" gave a very postive, and accurate portrayal of Plains Indians.


"The Black Robe" also gave a mostly postive view -- although it was also unblinking in its portrayal of Natives being brutal toward one another.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 10:43PM #47
mountain_man
Posts: 39,136

Jun 17, 2012 -- 10:21PM, mytmouse57 wrote:

Sounds like you need to get out more. And perhaps visit with some Native Americans.....


It sounds like you need to get your education from somewhere other than Hollywood and revisionist nonsense.


I lived on a reservation in North Dakota for 6 months. I know a few Indians.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 10:52PM #48
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,783

Jun 17, 2012 -- 10:43PM, mountain_man wrote:


Jun 17, 2012 -- 10:21PM, mytmouse57 wrote:

Sounds like you need to get out more. And perhaps visit with some Native Americans.....


It sounds like you need to get your education from somewhere other than Hollywood and revisionist nonsense.


I lived on a reservation in North Dakota for 6 months. I know a few Indians.




It never occurs to those who want you to be wrong, that you may actually have experience in the area you are speaking.


Good post Dave :)


A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 10:53PM #49
MysticWanderer
Posts: 1,328

Jun 15, 2012 -- 9:59PM, mountain_man wrote:


Sure, they had wars, fights, over hunting grounds and such, but they "counted coup" by TOUCHING the opposing warrior. They didn't want to kill them because they knew that that guy had a wife and kids depending on him at home. It wasn't until the aggressive, violent, White invaders came and upset their cultures did the natives become violent.




Counting coup was a practice limited to the Plains Indians, unknown among the East Coast and Southwestern tribes.  As well your explanation is a trifle romantic; true they liked to count coup because it was considered braver than simply killing the other warrior but they easily killed one another in battle with no concern for widows and orphans,  The surviving dependents  were the other tribe's responsibility.  The wars between the Creek and Cherokee nations long predated Europeans and were limited in bloodshed only by the smaller size and lower technology of the societies.  While the Europeans paid for scalps, there is archeological evidence of scalping from as early as 1325 CE in central South Dakota.  The Native Americans pre-European Invasion were no better and no worse than the Europeans themselves.

"Not all who wander are lost" J.R.R.Tolkein
You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. ~Anne Lamott
"Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain."
Friedrich von Schiller
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 11:21PM #50
wohali
Posts: 10,227

Tom Paine, to my way of thinking, a "native American" is anyone born in the Americas.


I've always been, and the Indians I know, are American Indians.

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