a day to remember the european destruction of native americans

I keep telling my kids that today is not a holiday but an Italian pride day. Italians are proud of their brave sailor, Columbus, who found the new world. But I can't join in the celebration of the destruction of entire nations. I came across this article today about the process of reconciliation between white Christians and tribal nations in British Columbia and was moved deeply by this pastor's confession. "It must be hard for you," I said to the First Nations people, "to believe that salvation has come to my house when I refuse to repent of behavior that's harmed you deeply. It must be hard to believe the Bible and its Good News when white people have had it for so long but don't seem any better for it." If your self-righteous patriotism gets in the way of this confession please read up on information from my book reports on the book Mayflower (Indian enslavement and casualties) or on The last days of the Incas (uprising), or this report on 1491, or this post on Spanish missionary priests in the New World. Kiernan's book on genocide, Blood and Soil, has several examples of European genocide against several tribes, Pequot 1 and Pequot 2, Cherokee, and Cheyenne. Other tribe specific examples can be found at this post on the book In the hands of the Great Spirit.

It's wrong that church goers who are patriots first and christians second ignore these stories and convince themselves that God would want his people to represent him this way. "This is what the Lord Almighty says: … These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,' declares the Lord" (Zech. 8:14-17). As the original article notes, God is pretty clear how he wants his people to represent him,
"God hates injustice. He hates deceit. Unless we deal fairly and honestly with one another, unless we have a bone-deep commitment to justice and truth, all the good God intends to do for us and through us gets undone by us."

So what will you do on this civic day of remembrance?


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