The influence of Christianity on Native Americans
Given the lack of written history for hundreds of years by Native Americans, it leads to wonder how much of the current information and how many of the current religious practice have been given a different spin by Christian missionaries and those reporting about Native Americans.
Many Native Americans have converted to Christianity historically through missionaries and more currently by blending with the mainstream. It appears those practicing time honored traditions struggle to do so. I find it nothing short of miraculous that so many of the traditions remain intact.
Since the religious practices and histories of these tribes have been passed on orally and by demonstration, the invasion of Christians into Native American lands or at least the interpretation of these practices seem to align. “For instance, Iroquois longhouse elders speak frequently about the Creator’s “Original Instructions” to human beings, using male gender references and attributing to this divinity not only the planning and organizing of creation but qualities of goodness, wisdom, and perfection that are reminiscent of the Christian deity. “ - Encyclopedia Britannica. This rings of God the Father and Jesus Christ. In an effort to promote Christianity the Peyote Religion incorporated in 1918 to form the Native American Church. This is the church that uses a psychedelic as a sacrament, an alignment with bread and wine.
In the articles and text I’ve read, the one-sidedness of Christian dominance, instruction and conversion is very clear. One article written by a Catholic priest, A Cross-Cultural Approach to Catechesis Among Native Americans, depicts the steps necessary to blend the hold out traditional Native Americans with Christianity to a new breed of Christians.
“Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.”- Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Nation. I believe despite efforts...