Welcome to the Tuesday Coffee Hour here on Street Prophets. This is an open thread where we can hang out and talk about what’s going on in our worlds. I thought it might be interesting to talk about Freedom of Religion today.
While the conservatives talk a lot about freedom of religion and bemoan the persecution of Christians, I thought it might be interesting to look at this from a Native American viewpoint. It is often said by Indian people that the Europeans invaded this continent looking for religious freedom and that in finding this freedom we lost ours. From an Indian viewpoint, freedom of religion has meant that Christians have been free to impose their religion upon us, but we are not allowed to practice ours.
In 1805, Seneca chief Red Jacket responded to a Christian missionary’s proposal to convert his people:
“You have got our country, but are not satisfied; you want to force your religion upon us.”He went on to say:
“We are told your religion was given to your forefathers and has been handed down from father to son. We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers and has been handed down to us, their children. We worship in that way. It teaches us to be thankful for all the favors we receive, to love each other, and to be united. We never quarrel about religion.”He told the missionary:
“Brother, we do not wish to destroy your religion or take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own.”How do you feel about Freedom of Religion in the United States today?
This is an open thread: feel free to change the subject and talk about the things which are really important to you, such as: What’s for dinner?