Power To The [Indigenous] People: A Follow Up

On a final note, how seriously do you expect your comments to be taken? Basically what you are advocating is that indigenous people make these claims out of revenge? Do some research before you start commenting on subjects you know very little about.

That is the last paragraph of a comment taking me to task for my post Power to the [Indigenous] People, written by the author of a post referenced in my post. I had originally written what follows below as a reply comment to their comment, but decided that my remarks would better serve their purpose as a new post.

I sometimes resort to hyperbole to rattle people”s cages a bit, to get them to stop and think. I agree that the whites and the Maori need to come to some mutually agreeable compromise, but the onus of that compromising needs to come from the white colonials.

You say you are not responsible for the actions of your ancestors. Well, to a point, I believe you are. I believe that we who are the heirs of the oppressors have a responsibility to redress the wrongs imposed on the oppressed. In my own country, it would go a long way to redressing the wrongs imposed on Native Americans, if the tribes were given the same sovereignity over their land as the Seminoles of Florida have. Unfortunately, that is probably no longer in the realm of possibility. thanks to the results of the various Unidan reorganization legislation ober the last hundred years.

I am not as familiar with the history of the Maori as I am with the history of the American Indians, but I see a lot of smiliarities. Both peoples were treated as inferior peoples in their own countries and their ulture, including their religion, were treated with contempt. Much of the oppression of these native peoples was done in the name of civilizing them, and what is most inportant to me, is they were subjected to an onlsaught of Christian missionaries hell-bent on converting these poor ignorant savages to the blessings of Christianity to save their souls from the ignorance of salvation in Jesus Christ, while we took their country, their self-respect, and their future from them.

The Maori have fared much better than the American Indians or the Australian aborigines. They have gained a measure of political power and economic clout within the political system established by their colonial masters. But, in the final analysis, it is still the guests who now own the house and the former owners who live at the by-your-leave of their former guests. How would YOU feel if someone came into your house and took it away from you and then made you pay rent or even made you live in the pig sty? Even if that situation went on for generations, do you not think that your grandchildren might want some measure of redress? It is not revenge to ask for something back that was once yours, something that was taken away by force and/or deception. It is, in my opinion, justice.

The main point I am trying to make in this post is to show up the extreme hypocrisy of institutionalized Christianity as it is practiced by the believers in orthodox Christianity. These good Christians have committed some of the most heinous social and political crimes in human history, using their religious beliefs as their justification. Add they continue to so, even to this day. All of this hypocrisy, IMHO, comes out of Christianity”s claims of exclusivity and its intolerance of other belief systems. When the average Christian learns to accept the fact that their finite system of coctrines does not even begin to encompass the Infinitude of God, that other religions may know as much about God as Christianity does, then perhpas we might see the Kingdome of Heaven.

A final note: Yes, I am well aware that there has been political and economic oppression committed in the name of other religions. The followers of those religions are free to make the appropriate substitution for Christian, Christianity or Jesus in the post above. My indictments are not restricted to one religion but to all religions who make the same claims to exclusivity that orthodcx Christianity does. My indictmemt extends to fundamentalists of any ilk.

Recommend links about the Maori:

The New Zealand Wars

Wikipedia article on The Maori

The Maori Party – The home page explains the Maori position on the water issue.

Maori.org

The Whanganui River Report 1999

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