Religious Left Laments America’s Discovery

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Officers of left-leaning, declining churches that no longer evangelize or believe in their own doctrines often have plenty of time to attend tedious secular meetings, such as the 11th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).

In early May, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori was there at the UN in New York to join in the mournful gabfest over the ostensibly lamentable “Doctrine of Discovery.”  The international bureaucrats were focused on “Discovery’s” enduring “impact on indigenous peoples and the right to redress for past conquests.”  The main sin for which redress is apparently needed is Western Civilization’s global reach.

Evidently Bishop Schori could not deliver all her thoughts at the UN session, so she later issued her own “Pastoral Letter on the Doctrine of Discovery and Indigenous Peoples.”  Perhaps small numbers of elderly Episcopalians, if still awake in their pews, will listen to at least part of it.

Schori gloomily recalled centuries of brutal global conquest by Europeans professing to be Christian.  Armed with “religious warrants, papal bulls which permitted and even encouraged the subjugation and permanent enslavement of any non-Christian peoples they encountered,” these savage conquerors achieved “wholesale slaughter, rape, and enslavement of indigenous peoples in the Americas, as well as in Africa, Asia, and the islands of the Pacific, and the African slave trade was based on these same principles.”  In their wake followed “death, dispossession, and enslavement,” then “rapid depopulation [from]…epidemic disease.”

Of course, neither Bishop Schori nor the United Nations bureaucrats are interested in merely a history lesson.  They want justice and redress. After all, the “ongoing dispossession of indigenous peoples” results from oppressive “legal systems” in the “’developed world,’” as Bishop Schori carefully put in quotations, that base land ownership on “religious warrants for colonial occupation from half a millennium ago.”

So essentially, Bishop Schori would like to undo the last 500 years of land ownership and wealth accumulation in the Western Hemisphere and elsewhere tainted by Western imperialism. After all, the “dispossession of First Peoples continues to wreak havoc on basic human dignity.” These mystical First Peoples are still “grieving their loss of identity, lifeways, and territory.”  And “all humanity should be grieving” with them. Without irony, Schori cited Old Testament prophetic justice, which came from the ancient Hebrew conquerors of the Canaanites and other “First Peoples.”

Of course, Schori focused on grievous sins against the First Peoples of the United States, emphasizing the Episcopal Church’s long solidarity with them, while briefly citing her predecessor’s apology in 1997 for the “enormities that began with the colony in Jamestown.”  She emphasized:  “Today our understanding of mission has changed.”  Indeed. Unlike the old missionaries, today’s Episcopal elites stress “healing” among people, and with the earth, while “reversing structural and systemic injustice,” of which there is so much.  She even cited Episcopal Church support for the “Violence Against Women Act” currently before Congress.

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  • H&R_ Barack

    The Apostle Paul makes a prophetic exhortation, and speaks of a time when those who profess to be Christians will not "endure sound doctrine."

    Consider 2 Timothy:4:3-5 [3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    Ecumenism, which originally meant a process of unifying Christian denominations, aberrant groups, and "Christian" cults, has been expanded today to include "people of faith" (i.e., any and all faiths).

    Churches with female bishops are Biblically selective, at best.

    • PhillipGaley

      1) Anyone can use the: "men will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers . . . ."—in a basic way, it's not argument, . . .

      2) In decades past, in the "conservancy" magazines, there used to be more of the maudlin lament to "preserve the native cultures", and to extrapolate, as though the gangs in South LA, prefer living as they do, and that, that new indigenous culture should be preserved.

      One such article photographed this guy, caring for his family, and cooking in a hubcap over an open fire. If in the very least, to me, it was immediately apparent that, that guy wished to have a better life. Another one showed a family walking out of the Peruvian Highland, headed for the city, where they hoped to make a better future for their children—painting pottery which was to be sent to the USA.

      3) Not that long ago, in the question period after his speech to the Maryland City Club, to someone's query asking after the purpose of all this money spent abroad, Alan Greenspan said: "Well, we've brought 100s of millions of people out of poverty. Alan Greenspan understands. I really think, he's not such a bad guy—"the minister of Satan", and so forth. And did they know, I feel pretty sure that, that family would agree. I've lived "out", . . . with my family, . . . in circumstances—if the news reports are valid—as tens of thousands of families are now doing, . . . it ain't fun. In one situation, a state worker took a picture of our bus, as a laugh for his department associates who had budgeted for a class-A motor-home for use in agency activity.

      And, "massive wealth redistribution" absolutely is in occurrence, . . . among other avenues, through the bank of internat'l settlement. As has been for a long time now, the GDP of the peoples of those nations who are coming out of the hustings is reckoned into the equation so that, while we get ours, they also, are able to keep eating, and to continue in pursuance of their ideas of a better future for their children—better than herding goats, spinning wool between their palms, cooking in a hubcap, . . . the kinds of things which the struggling poor would have a forever buried, but which—from my reading of much of their literary output—the good bishop and her associates in an unwitting cruelty like to take pictures of, . . .

      And yes, female preachers have their own tack: Not that long ago, in our Episcopal Church, I heard a woman in predication upon a puppy in the rain in her neighbors yard, as a substantial part of her theme. I just a, . . . I just can't bring myself to walk across the street to listen to that kind of thing, . . . I just can't, . . .

      Also, some decades back, in one of the "conservancy" magazines, a dear "conservancy" author lamented the fact and wondered why that, it was not the Aztecs and the Mayans who developed gunpowder and subdued Europe, but it was the other way around, . . . part of the simple answer being that, those who would have been the Aztec and Mayan leaders, spent a lot of time recovering from wine enemas, thus increasing blood alcohol level until the leader howled like a wild dog. And, they spent quite a bit of time in celebrations during which they cut the hearts out of living persons, so fast that, they were able to drink the blood while the heart was still pumping the body dry—I mean, taking the Scripture: "With me, wisdom, is knowledge of witty inventions.", as to why indigenous people categorically, were never becoming of inventors, there were reasons, . . .

      This to say, penultimate goodness has so arranged things that—whether they know it, or not—the peoples of the earth are in competition for ever higher standards in decency. Quite simply, the people who are not often drunk and killing each other, are going to have more time to sort out the elements of a good life.

      And in this way, Archbishop Trench taught that, the backward tribes had gone so far as they might, in getting away from the Word of G0D, and it thus fell to the more advance peoples, to reach their brothers forward, . . . yes, the bishop might do well with some book-larnin', . . .

      • PhillipGaley

        Also, after some span of time in dealing with "the White man", in at least some pre-cognitive recognition of their plight, often, native Americans left their babies at the stoop of the settlers' houses; and so much so that, this nation's legislature in congress, set up the so-called "Indian schools". Whether or not there was some abuse in the use of them, I have no opinion. But however those things might have been, here in Oklahoma, the effort by themselves, to rise above the First Peoples plight, continues, . . . our dear Bishop's weak and wrong approach, notwithstanding, . . .

      • Axe

        "1) Anyone can use the: "men will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers . . . ."—in a basic way, it's not argument, . . . "

        I'm not sure what you are arguing with here. It looks like H&R was trying to post a statement of fact, not found an argument. I'm confused because you otherwise seem to be in vague agreement.

    • Ricky Michael

      Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.
      1 Corinthians 14:33-35

  • H&R_ Barack

    Members of the WCC (World Council of Churches) and the NCC (National Council of Churches) are Leftist leaning. The farther the Leftist churches deviate from solid Biblical teaching; the more aberrant are they. Frequently they espouse Liberation Theology, which is Marxism in clerical garb. Rev. Wright is a Black Liberation Theologist.

    For a political contrast, the more Liberal politicians deconstruct the U.S. Constitution to be in their own image, the more aberrant, and Left leaning they become.

    Essentially Liberation-style Theology and Karl Marx/Hegel/Alinsky are cozy bed-fellows with the same goals. –

    What ever it takes.

  • RonaldCarnine

    She must be referring to the Catholic Church and her own guilty conscience. When the Puritans and Pilgrims first came to this country they paid for everything they took. They carried on trade with the indigenous peoples. They didn't try to conquer the Native American's but did share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. All the bull about our nation's founding "sins" is not historical and it isn't the truth. Sure there were individual acts of violence just as the Native American's were guilty of the violence that was part of their culture. There was more than enough land for all and the Native's didn't claim it all. As far as spreading disease, the early settlers suffered from these diseases as well and didn't have the knowledge of how disease was spread that we have now. The Anglican church is a liberal church that spreads historical and theological heresy. I wouldn't be too concerned about what they say. The Native American's were a proud war like people who respected courage and little else. The whiners you see today would have shamed these tribes.

    • tagalog

      When the Pilgrims came to New England, they were called "Separatists" because they thought that the Anglican (Episcopalian) Church was illegitimate and insisted on getting along separate from its ways. They dealt in a nuanced way with the indigenous people, fighting their enemies and allying with those whose interests they shared. That lasted for several generations. My point(s)? 1. We would do well to accept their evaluation of the Anglican Church; it IS illegitimate, and (2) our forefathers the Pilgrims and the Puritans, were smarter than Episcopalian Church leaders are today when it comes to stereotyping so-called "indigenous" peoples.

  • John H.

    Just a liberal, biblically ignorant woman in a funny hat. Did Jesus wear funny hats? I don't think so.

  • Ezra

    All I can say is when Bishop Schori and Episcopal Church give everything they have back to the American Indian, then and only then can they ask anything of me!!!

  • oldtimer

    If she hates it here so much, why doesn't she leave.

  • Axe

    "Of course, this history of natives and colonizers together creating new societies that surpass the old disrupts the preferred narrative of chronic victimization whose only solution is political atonement through massive wealth redistribution."

    In much the same way the sea is wet. :)

    I used to think it was odd for progressives to waste so much time writing little university imprinted books (to each other?) and attending strange conferences almost no human being knows exist. But I'm starting to think it might be useful. If you are the only one talking, you can frame up the issue as you'd like. Before she's finished, the question "Wait — what was wrong with colonialism?" is met by nothing but stark horror — but the people with the horrified faces are people that have never actually thought about any of it. They know what opinion they are supposed to have (she's told them), and they know what kind of monstrous people have another opinion, and they even sometimes know the cliche they are supposed to use as a response to said monstrous people. They just don't know anything about the actual subject.

    So, she's teaching. And if she's the only one teaching, everyone will start with what they told her. Everyone.

  • jackzeller

    The present day Episcopal Church is a drunken staggering indian itself. So many of us have left for the AAC…

  • Chezwick

    The history of the human race is the history of the movement of peoples. Just replay the construction of the Great Wall of China and the migratory patterns it engendered…as the Huns, Avars, Bulgars, Magyars and others were – each in their turn – compelled to migrate westward instead of southward, forever altering Europe's (and thus, the world's) future. And how about the Arab, who emerged from the desert in the 7th century with his new-found religious fervor…and who brutally subjugated a quarter of the known world, extirpating uncounted local cultures in the process.

    But these conquests are not on the table for the political left. No, they somehow fall under a more distant, primordial, and therefore, acceptable ethos. It's only the Christo-European conquest of the world that must be reversed, you see. And why? The unspoken truth is because it's part and parcel of the war of barbarism waged upon free enterprise, empirical science, and our culture of liberty.

    • Alejo

      Precisely! The history of humanity is full of conquests and injustices. The Romans invaded Gaul, Iberia, Britain, Northern Africa, etc. We all descend from both the conquerors and the conquered. The injustices done by Europeans in the Americas and elsewhere were denounced by Popes and other leaders since they first started happening. People ignorant of history seem to think that the Papacy was so powerful that all its declarations were heeded. Well, truth is the Pope was not as powerful as some people think. He had, and has, a strong moral voice but the conquerors thousands of miles away paid little attention. The Spanish clergy, and the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, defended the rights of the indigenous but enforcing law was a little tough from thousands of miles away in a time before airplanes and telephones. In any case today you can still see traces of the indigenous in Latin America and a new culture was formed. Many bad things were done, but we came out of it, and I would say that the Discovery was among the most amazing happenings in human history. Innovation and culture expanded like never before.

  • xios

    There isn't a square foot on this planet in the possession of its original "owners". Are the people encountered in this hemisphere 500 years ago really the "First People"? I'm sure there were waves of conflict and conquest for millennia prior to our showing up. So it all boils down in the end to a victim moan by back beaters…

  • StephenD

    “It’s almost a cliché that declining leftist-led denominations that want to avoid repenting their own sins prefer to spotlight the sins, real and imagined, of their purportedly corrupt ancestors. It’s smugness packaged as humility.”

    I’d like to ask the “Bishop” what then? What do you do when the “First Peoples” are…not? When you learn that for instance, the Iroquois Tribe warred with the Cherokee Tribe and forced the Cherokee peoples from their original lands of Indiana and Ohio to the Southeastern United States? Do you then take back from the Iroquois?

    The woman is a fool. I’m surprised she hasn’t invoked tree hugging as a way to make amends for the imperialist use of paper!

  • tagalog

    The Episcopal Church objects to the "Doctrine of Discovery?" I guess if they had their way we'd still be living all in the Olduvai Gorge and the rest of the earth would be unoccupied.

    This kind of thing is what you get when men abdicate their leadership responsibilities and leave it to women to take the helm. Welcome to Girly World. Well, at least we guys will get laid a lot and won't have to get married to get some.

  • crypticguise

    The Episcopalian Church ceased being a Christian Church some time ago. The Socialist-LeftWing Whackoes now in charge in the USA are decimating the membership. My nephew is a ranking member in the EC and he has absolutely no clue how normal people react to his "beliefs".

  • Tom Sullivan

    Liberalism has degenerated into Marxism. Very "liberal" people must distract from the hideous, murderous history of Marxism. They do so by full spectrum attacks on their competitor, republics with free enterprise. They are preposterous.

  • sedoanman

    If the good bishop were honest, she will deed over all church property to the indigenous peoples and move to England.

    • tagalog

      Then she could join with the Angles, Saxons, and Celts, whose lands of origin are unknown, and just leave England for somewhere over the rainbow. Or go to Denmark, France, or Norway.

  • Ghostwriter

    Probably the good bishop doesn't like the idea that America exists at all or in this case,exist as it currently is.

  • Flowerknife_us

    That Squaw looks awful funny in that getup. Shilling in Buckskin and beads would carry much more weight.

    Are we to believe that the Episcopalian Church never tried to Christinize the Natives?

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Haven't we heard enough lies, idiotic history and foolishness by clowns playing dress up? It is a
    play to gain something from us for no good reason but it is something the left will play, reparations
    for a past no one lived and a present that exists only in the minds of the looney left looking
    to scam as is their usual modus……………………………………..William

  • Liberty-Clinger

    Let's take this to it's logical conclusion. The Normans should all move back from England to Normandy. But wait, they've already intermarried with the Anglo-Saxons, and besides they would then have to move back to Norway because that was their springboard in the conquest of Normandy. While we're at it, the Angles and Saxons will have to move back to Continental Europe as well. But wait, they've already inter-married with the Britons and Celts; no bother, social justice demands they must all get out. After all the fourth, third and second peoples are removed from the British Isles there will be no people left, so in the end we'll have to genetically engineer some Neanderthals, who were the real first people, and give the land back to them. In fact the whole human race is composed of non-first people, so we'll all be required to commit suicide and give the entire planet back to the Neanderthals.

    • Lillith

      Good one!

  • Lillith

    So wouldn't we all end up back in Africa then!

  • marios

    Episcopal Church is Christians church in name only. It is typical leftists organization under musk of religion.
    They served to Democraps/socialists goal.

  • No longer a Priest.

    The Doctrine of Discovery that PB Jefferts-Schori argues against is like the Dennis Canon. Think about this. The Dennis canon is a recent Episcopal Church law that declares that all church property belongs to the national organization. In this way, they can sue departing congregations for their buildings, endowments, fixtures and memorial gifts.

    Doctrine of Discovery = Dennis Canon

    She says that the issue is about who owns the land, and the "disposition of first peoples. . . ."

    Doesn't she see that this also applies to an invading TEC taking a church building away from the people who built it, maintained it, used it and occupy it.

    PB Schori, regarding the Doctrine of Discovery, rails against "repeated disposession. . . ." Yes, TEC legal teams are practicing repeated disposession of congregations that are faithful. One legal appeal after another. One building after another. One charge of abandonment of communion after another.

    She notes that there are "signs of hope in returning cultural treasures to their communities of origin." Many Anglican congregations would like to get their buildings back. Or maybe even a chalice or candlestick.

    Even beyond the matter of possessions is "the generational consequences of cultural destruction." She probably was not thinking about the cultural destruction of TEC by reversing practices and beliefs that have been held for 2000 years, but are now being thrown away by the conquerors.

    Nearly everything she opposes about how the strong unfairly treat the conquered, can be directly compared to the way the national Episcopal Church organization overpowers congregations that are faithful to the Scriptures. TEC takes away their freedom to continue age old customs and beliefs. TEC takes away their buildings.

    In her paper against the Doctrine of Discovery, PB Schori makes a fairly compelling argument that can be used against the main activities of TEC under her leadership.

  • tagalog

    The so-called Native Americans would, of course, have to return to Asia, eh?