Memorial Service’s Native American Prayer Confuses Some
By Jonathon M. Seidl
Last night’s Tucson memorial service opening blessing from Native American Carlos Gonzalez had some raising their eyebrows and many scratching their heads. What exactly was it? A prayer, a blessing, a personal information session on Carlos Gonzalez? All of the above?
Why a Native blessing?
More sensible people offered a rationale for Gonzales's blessing:
Dr. Gonzales will aid in the healing of this community, this state and indeed this nation in the wake of such violence.
1) Should there be any kind of religious ceremony at a government function? As an agnostic, I'd say no, in general.
2) Eight minutes of any prayer or blessing is about 7.5 minutes too long, as far as I'm concerned.
But these conservatives really weren't concerned with those points. They were offended because someone invoked the Native Creator rather than the Christian God--as if they're different entities.
Note the snide attacks on Native religion: putting "prayer" and "creator" in quotes, calling Gonzales a pseudo-Native, etc. What did they expect: Chief Sitting Bull in full regalia? Thanks for demonstrating your ignorance about Natives, conservatives.
Clearly these people wouldn't have been happy with anything except a Christian priest invoking the Great White Father in the Sky. And don't bother taking their talk about the First Amendment seriously. I'm confident the hypocrites have never denounced Christianity in government: prayers in Congress, "In God We Trust" on currency, "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, etc.
What it means
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Denigrating Native prayers = denouncing immigrants and Muslims for taking over America = massacring "savage" Indians. It's a historical continuum of thought and action.
Two hundred years ago it was "Kill the savages." One hundred years ago it was "Kill the Indian and save the man." Now it's attack and insult the Indians while encouraging people to bring guns.
Pity the poor, put-upon "real Americans." Won't the brown-skins ever stop picking on them and their god? It sure is getting hard to stay on top if you're a white male Christian. Boo-hoo!
Confirming the notion that white Christian conservatives can't stand the thought of being merely equal to others, these people also protested the "Together We Thrive" t-shirts handed out at the event:
Conservatives Criticize Free T-Shirts At Tucson Memorial Service
Thus justifying my mockery:
Conservatives protest liberal message of unity. "How dare you talk about togetherness when we're trying to take down this Nazi-style dictatorship?" said one madman brandishing a gun.
Conservatives denounce togetherness as a liberal political message. "We're trying to overthrow the Constitution," said one rabid rightist. "We're not interested in togetherness with the blacks, the Jews, and the liberals."
For more on the Giffords shooting, see Conservative Hatemongers Deny Responsibility and Political Vitriol in the Giffords Shooting.