Mr. Hines, Chet to friends, was my high school government teacher. He was a tough and threatening ogre even back then. He taught my older siblings in a course called Problems of Democracy, initialized as POD. When I took it, the name was changed, and Hines said there are no problems with democracy. Yes, indeed there are problems. Keeping it is one.
He also said that our rights ended where his nose began.
As grim and stoic as he was, there was something I liked and respected about him. He made his position clear and offered to fight any of us should we desire physical confrontation. I don’t recall anyone rejecting his ultimatum, but some idiot probably did.
I was reminded of old Chet Hines when I read this article about Christians, one in particular, pissing off some Native American Tribes, the Oglala Lakota Nation, by insulting their cultural and religious heritage. Insult people’s religion and the cheese gets binding. This Christian got his evangelical panties in a wad when the Lakota leadership said enough of his rude bullshit.
To be fair, tribal leadership set rules for all religious groups on the reservation. I am talking about freedoms of and from religion and speech. Where is the beginning of tribal, cultural, or religious rights? Where does their metaphorical nose begin? Must indigenous people tolerate slanderous insult and injury because some Christians (cult or other religion) claim it is part of their religious freedom?
What about freedom from harassment by religious people (fanatics, missionaries, JWs, Mormons, evangelical whatevers)? What about those Lakota who are Christians (some are) and want to practice that? On the reservation, all such activity must be equally vetted and approved or not.
It is one thing to run around claiming Jesus loves you. It is another to claim, your family and tribal religion is from the devil, is evil, and you all are gunna burn in hell for eternity if you don’t believe me. And your past heroes were drunks, racists, and fools.
Dear Christians, these holier than thou crackpots are yours. They are not passing out bibles and baptizing willing souls in the river. They are insulting the very core of a people and their culture in exact defiance of what any normal person might do. They also have ignored all requests to stop.
This is classic religious persecution of a religion and ancient tribal belief system by a minority of Christians. But the stated goal of Christianity is to bring everyone into the group. This is also an obvious case of the fundamentalist bad guy playing the victim. And, for the record, this same jackass said that he does not even believe that Catholics are Christians (and he’s not alone).
Do I hear any objection from the six papists on the SCOTUS? Crickets!
Governance is a difficult and unpopular job. Add some religious bullshit and buffalo chips to the fire, and it may be time for the war paint.
Religious people often ask why atheists are openly and intentionally critical of religions. For two (and more) reasons. One, because aspects of many religions deserve the negative attention. In this case, tyrannical evangelistic proselytization by insulting not only the religion, but the culture and ancestry of people (i.e., turnabout is fair play).
Secondly, because as Christopher Hitchens said, “religion poisons everything.” And I agree.
As one of the Lakota leaders reportedly said, our objective is to decolonize mind, heart, spirit, land, and return to our Lakota ways; we don’t need any more churches to assimilate us. The reporter added, “Therein lies the rub surrounding the complex relationship in Indian Country with Christianity.”
While this old song is about a different tribe, The Cherokee Nation, the long sad story remains the same. I’ve always like the tune, historically sad though it is.