January 17, 2011

Weasel Zippers:  "Shaman" was sham?

A website called Weasel Zippers posted the following article from CNSNews.com. This article addressed the Native prayer discussed in Apology for "Ugly" Prayer Remarks and Conservatives Attack "Ugly" Native Prayer. Weasel Zippers added the headline to show what it thought of the prayer.

The Shaman Was a Sham?  Native American Prayer at AZ Memorial Delivered by Roman Catholic Physician

“In reality, I’m Catholic.”It would be a mistake, however, to call the Native American beliefs he was expressing a religion, Gonzales said.

“It’s not truly a religion, it’s more of a way of appreciating spirituality,” Gonzales told CNSNews.com. “I’m Yaqui and Yaquis have been Roman Catholics since 1650. We were one of the first tribes in Mexico to actually peacefully absorb Catholicism; however we have always practiced Catholicism in our own unique manner, incorporating traditional beliefs, and so I grew up as a Roman Catholic with a Yaqui variation.”

“In reality, I’m Catholic, but the spirituality I’ve come across with traditional healers is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen, and it’s a way of approaching people and it’s an additional way of healing that has actually helped me to be a better family doc.”

None of the victims of the Tucson massacre were known to be Yaqui. Moreover, no rabbi, Catholic priest or Protestant minister, the known religions of the victims, was included in the memorial program.
Comment:  Gonzales never called himself a shaman. The only one who did that was the ignorant Weasel Zippers headline writer.

The only "sham" is the ignorant assumption that Native Americans can't be Catholics. Again, blame the Weasel Zippers headline writer for that.

As for whether Roman Catholics can say Native blessings, the answer is yes. It's done throughout the Southwest, where many Indian pueblos combine Native and Catholic traditions.

Weasels show their hate

Given the range of victims, how would Weasel Zippers have chosen between a rabbi, a priest, and a minister? Or would it have had one of each?

I think the First Amendment explains why the memorial service had a Native blessing rather than a religious prayer. I'd say whoever planned the service was smart.

This is yet another example of the conservative hate speech liberals have denounced so often. Did these weasels discuss the choice of Gonzales intelligently or offer thoughtful alternatives? Did they research him or his Native background before commenting on him? No.

Rather, they called him a shaman" and a "sham" to demonize him. They deemed him a brown-skinned threat to their white privilege, so they sought to take him out. They engaged in character assassination rather than actual assassination, but their objective was the same. Get rid of the strange, unpalatable, un-American one, even if he is a Catholic. Smear and discredit so he can't hurt conservatives in the future.

For more on the subject, see What "I Want My Country Back" Means and Obama Smeared as Luo Tribesman.

1 comment:

Apuleius Platonicus said...

It is true that Gonzales' prayer was an authentic example of the religious practices of the Yaqui people, and many other indigenous Americans. One the other hand, his characterization of the way in which the Yaqui converted as "peaceful absorption" of Christianity was extremely inaccurate. The Yaquis repelled repeated attacks by Conquistadors, but in doing so they took heavy losses. The Spanish were in the process of subjugating all of the Indios in that region and only choice that the Yaquis had was between (1) fighting to the death, or (2) negotiating the best deal they could get. In the end they had little choice but to accept being ruled over by the Jesuits, who reorganized the Yaquis into "mission villages". In return, the Jesuits promised to protect the Yaquis, but subsequent history demonstrated that this promise was a sham.

No one should ever use the word "peaceful" when describing the process by which Native peoples were conquered and forcibly converted.