Tom Pittman's WebLog

2019 March 4 -- Racial Oppression

The movie came up in my weekend short stack. Its focus on the racial massacres at Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee were credible and disturbing, but not so much as their (contrary to fact) insistence on Christianity as "white man's religion." It's not, atheism is white man's religion. If anything, Christianity is a Jewish religion, but it's not even that. It's God's religion. It's the religion, which if your whole culture accepts it wholesale as the Pilgrims who came to this country did, your great-grandchildren will live in the richest and most powerful country in the world, and if -- or rather, when -- they fail to continue in its teachings, they will be in a position to oppress weaker people (contrary to the teachings of Jesus). It happened in Israel more than 3000 years ago, it happened in France some 1700 years after that, then 800 years later in Germany, then in England, and it happened again at the beginning of American history.

Strong people oppressing weaker people is the human condition since the Fall of Adam. The Bad Guys in this flick pointed out (probably correctly) that the Sioux also oppressed the other Indian tribes they encountered. I personally experience it by reason of distance (rather than race or religion). The Chinese oppress the Christians (and other religions) in China. The Hindus oppress the Christians in India. The Muslims oppress the Christians in almost every country where they have control. The worst -- see World Watch List (no link, it's encrypted) -- is Pakistan and North Korea, where it is not racial at all, they do it to their own people. It's not a racial thing, but race is easier to identify than religion or national origin, so it gets most of the action in countries where it is visible.

The human brain has pretty much the same number of brain cells, regardless of gender or race, but what you use them for strongly affects what you can use them for. You can use them to invent things that make the world a better place (in keeping with Jesus' teaching) and then everybody benefits from the wealth. If instead you focus on selfish ambition, or think in categories like race or gender, or even if you are in an oppressed condition and all you can do is try to find your next meal, then you don't have enough brain cells left over for invention. All you can do is look at and lust after the other people, the ones whose great-grandparents did The Right Thing. There is not a lot of personal benefit to Doing The Right Thing, but like the rising tide that lifts all boats, other people (some of them your own descendants) benefit.

What the American Government did to the Indians was Wrong, and there is enough of the Christian value system left in this country so that people noticed and said so. But it's the Christian value system that made that possible.

At the beginning of the flick, the lead character was told to "take a Christian name," but he did not: Charles is a Germanic name, not found in the Bible. It is common today among people of European descent because a certain popular medieval king was given the name at birth. Observant Christians often give Biblical names to their children, but his parents instead preserved a family name that predated their becoming Christians. The movie is probably historically accurate, as that is no doubt what the abusive teacher in that schoolroom said, but abusive people have never felt constrained by the facts.


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