By Randy Woodley, re-posted with permission from the Ethnic Space and Faith blog
There are stark differences between the worldviews of Indigenous peoples and those whose worldviews developed with the influence of Western Europe. The “age of discovery” brought the Europeans to our Indigenous shores. Many of those theologians and discoverers attributed their discoveries to God and then immediately acted in the most ungodly manner. I am willing to concede that the Creator had a hand in the meeting of the two worlds but I think it has been largely misinterpreted by the Western nations and Western religious bodies. These so called “discoveries” created not only wealth by extraction in previously co-sustained Indigenous lands, labor and resources, but they also created perverted national myths and twisted theological accounts of conquest. These myths have continued to be told time and time again, and with each generation they are reified, built upon and codified into our society’s collective mythologies and memories. Continue reading
From Randy Woodley in Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision (2012):
Humans have moved recently from tertiary consumers to becoming primary consumers. Such change is beyond the earth’s natural cycles and recharge rates, creating imbalance and disharmony on the whole planet. In order to restore balance, the earth is being forced to “consume” the primary consumer, moving her temporarily to confront humanity with the only defense she has, namely, natural disasters. In a very real sense, the top of the food chain is now the earth herself.
By Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley (photo right),a Keetoowah Cherokee teacher, poet, activist, former pastor, missiologist and historian
*This piece was originally posted at HuffPost.
Full disclosure: I am a committed peace activist who often hunts for his food and has valid concealed carry permits recognized in 36 states. I have never been a member of the NRA.
I won’t take the time here to explain the details above except to say they are deeply held, carefully thought through convictions. Hopefully, my disclosure causes some cognitive dissonance. Because I do not believe the issue of violence in our country is going to be resolved by advocating the talking points of either extreme, it may be helpful to create a sense of disequilibrium. I believe the problem of gun violence in America can be effectively addressed by looking deeply at all perspectives and by finding meaningful and practical compromise through a renewed sense of spirituality.
Randy and students at Eloheh Farm. Credit: Patricia McSherry
By Randy Woodley
As a follower of Jesus from a Keetoowah Indian heritage, my “canon” consists of Scripture, creation, and the “Native American Old Testament” (God’s revelation to Native People through generations of culture and tradition.) Continue reading