Obviously, because of the United States’ history of using religion to exact their will on Native population, many of our people today have a problem with Christianity. That’s what happens when people take spirituality and make it a religion and furthermore abuse it. Humans are imperfect and when we take something pure, the moment we touch it, we have the potential to infect it, even when we don’t intend to.
We have to be incredibly delicate in how we handle the spirit. I believe there are many good spiritual teachings, delivered in many different forms the Creator put here for us on Earth to learn from and to use in our lives. We should open our minds to them and the good all people have to offer. We shouldn’t let the misuse of religion against Native people cause us to turn against good things that may help us. It’s not that the essence of religion is wrong, but rather those who used that purity in the wrong way. When we remain open in our heart to see things not as the world views them, but as the Creator intended them to be, we literally open up a whole new world from which we can learn and grow. – The Medicine of Prayer by Litefoot
This is a quote from Litefoot’s biography that I finished near the end of May. What he said resonated with me. Although I don’t go to church, nor do I consider myself to be part of any religion, I have nothing against religion itself.
Religion itself is not bad. And I do not believe that The Great Spirit would appreciate the terrible things done in her/his name. It’s not religion, or the Great Spirit causing these things. But, it is people. As Litefoot said, humans aren’t perfect. There are good people and there are bad people who want to have control over others. These people who want control and power will use whatever they have to so they can get what they want. And often, there will be people who use religion to gain control, to gain power, or even to justify something terrible that they did.
It’s not right. It will never be right, but I know it is some people who cause harm, who take good teachings to twist them to control and brainwash people.
I just think it is a great quote from Litefoot’s book and I didn’t expect his view to so much like my own.