February 08, 2011

Fischer:  Natives had no morals

It's still early in 2011, but I think we've found the most stupid, bigoted, and racist screed of the year. It comes from the same Christian cretin who told us Obama intends to give the US to the Indians.

You can read the whole thing at the link below. I've included the key paragraph so casual visitors will know what we're talking about.

Native Americans morally disqualified themselves from the land

By Bryan FischerThe native American tribes at the time of the European settlement and founding of the United States were, virtually without exception, steeped in the basest forms of superstition, had been guilty of savagery in warfare for hundreds of years, and practiced the most debased forms of sexuality.Comment:  Fischer predicts his column will "generate a firestorm of nuclear proportions." Yes, because it's possibly the most racist screed of the year. Is that what you meant, bright boy?

Wow. Could this piece of crap be any more bigoted? Let's rip this conservative liar, hypocrite, and asshole a new orifice by disassembling his column:In all the discussions about the European settlement of the New World, one feature has been conspicuously absent: the role that the superstition, savagery and sexual immorality of native Americans played in making them morally disqualified from sovereign control of American soil.Wrong. This has been a near-constant claim by Euro-Americans against Indians for 500-plus years. "We defeated and destroyed the uncivilized savages, so they don't deserve America. Genocide is its own justification. If you can kill people, they deserve to die. To the victor goes the spoils. Might makes right. Etc."

I probably could find a million examples of this kind of thinking, literally, if I had enough time. It's the default position in standard US history. God took America from the savage Indians and gave it to the civilized white men.

In case you missed it, note how Fischer doesn't capitalize the "native" in "Native American." Like other white racists, he's trying to delegitimize Indians by delegitimizing their name.International legal scholars have always recognized that sovereign control of land is legitimately transferred in at least three ways: settlement, purchase, and conquest. Europeans have to this day a legitimate claim on American soil for all three of those reasons."International legal scholars" from the conquering countries in the previous century, perhaps. I don't think any legal scholars from conquered countries have said that. And I don't think any legal scholars have said that recently. Ever since the 1960s, we've routinely denounced the conquest of foreign territory.

Scholars okay with invasions?

Also, this after-the-fact rationalization obscures the whole morality problem. A century after the onslaught, legal scholars and historians may downplay the moral crimes. But while the Europeans were invading, conquering, subjugating, enslaving, and murdering the Indians, they were violating most of Jesus's commandments. Their actions were pure evil by any religious standard in existence.They established permanent settlements on the land, moving gradually from east to west, while Indian tribes remained relentlessly nomadic.Wrong. Many Indian tribes had permanent settlements. That's why the country is full of Indian mounds and ruins--all examples of fixed settlements. Do you think they built huge monuments and then wandered away, or took them with them?

And how are the foreigners who crossed an ocean to invade an occupied land not nomadic? If they believed in permanent settlements, they should've stayed in their home cities and villages.Much of the early territory in North American that came into possession of the Europeans came into their possession when the land was purchased from local tribes, Peter Minuit’s purchase of Manhattan being merely the first.Partly true but misleading. Many of these sales were committed under duress. When the Europeans used up an area's resources, the tribes had to sell and move or go hungry. Others were crooked deals. The white man violated some 400 treaties--many of which involved land sales.

Conquerors get to keep conquests?And the Europeans proved superior in battle, taking possession of contested lands through right of conquest. So in all respects, Europeans gained rightful and legal sovereign control of American soil.The right of conquest...that's hysterical. If Japan had successfully conquered Hawaii, would we have recognized that as a legal annexation? The way we recognized Nazi Germany's conquest of central Europe? Or Iraq's conquest of Kuwait during the first Gulf War? How freakin' stupid can you get?!

So "all men are created equal," with "certain unalienable rights," including "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." But some people have the right to conquer others and eliminate their lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness? Does Fischer really think the Founding Fathers would've agreed to Great Britain's "right to conquer" them?

Does Fischer's "right of conquest" permit conquerors to enslave and kill people, or just to subjugate them? I guess he thinks the Holocaust was okay, since the Nazis had the right to conquer the Jews. And anyone else they were "superior in battle" to.

But I must've missed the part where "international legal scholars" recognized the conquests of the Axis powers, the Communist powers, et al. I look forward to Fischer's documentation on this point.The native American tribes at the time of the European settlement and founding of the United States were, virtually without exception, steeped in the basest forms of superstition, had been guilty of savagery in warfare for hundreds of years, and practiced the most debased forms of sexuality."Basest forms of superstition" = any superstitions other than Christian superstitions, obviously. "Savagery in warfare"? Hmm. Which continent was it that launched two world wars with poison-gas attacks, genocidal death camps, and nuclear mass murder? Oh, yeah...the same continent that engaged in hundreds of bloody wars, crusades, and inquisitions throughout its history:

List of conflicts in Europe

"Debased forms of sexuality" = sex outside a Christian marriage between man and woman, presumably. In addition, Fischer's claim that his claims are "virtually without exception" is a flat-out lie. There were countless exceptions.

Jefferson's "merciless savages"One of the complaints listed by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence was that King George “has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”I think that line was more of a political statement than a personal belief. But suppose Jefferson meant it. I conclude the man who owned human chattel was almost as bigoted as Fischer. As I discussed in Jefferson's Indian Removal Policy. So what?The Lewis and Clark journals record the constant warfare between the nomadic Indian tribes on the frontier, and the implacable hostility of the Sioux Indians in particular.Lewis and Clark were preoccupied military men, not expert anthropologists. I'm pretty sure they didn't sit around watching tribes war with each other. I suspect a lot of what they recorded was what tribes told them about their enemies--an obvious source of distortion.

Moreover, Lewis and Clark visited only a fraction of the American West for two years. This was after Americans began pressing westward, which forced tribes into unwanted proximity and conflict. Anything that happened centuries after European contact is arguably not a fair measure of tribal cultures.

What Lewis and Clark didn't visit was the rest of the Western Hemisphere over its ten- or twenty-thousand-year history. From the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, they didn't have a clue what was going on. Generalizing from one small expedition to the entire history of two continents is incredibly asinine.

Where's the warfare?

Here's the only mention of warfare in the Wikipedia entry for Lewis and Clark:The Lewis and Clark Expedition established relations with two dozen indigenous nations. Without their help, the expedition would have starved to death or become hopelessly lost in the Rocky Mountains. The Americans and the Lakota nation (whom the Americans called Sioux or "Teton-wan Sioux") had problems when they met. The fear of attack by hostile Lakota was a constant source of apprehension. During the recent raid the Sioux had killed 75 Omaha Indians. One of their horses disappeared, and they believed the Sioux were responsible. Afterward, the two sides met and there was a disagreement, and the Sioux asked the men the stay or to give more gifts instead before being allowed to pass through their territory. They came close to fighting several times, and both sides finally backed down and the expedition continued on to Arikara territory. Clark wrote they were "warlike" and were the "vilest miscreants of the savage race."Summing it up, the Sioux didn't like white men passing through their territory. They probably realized Lewis and Clark were the forerunners of an onslaught of disease-carrying, treaty-breaking miscreants. They were smart to oppose the white man's passage.The journals record the morally abhorrent practice of many native American chiefs, who offered their own wives to the Corps of Discovery for their twisted sexual pleasure. (Regrettably, many members of the Corps, Lewis and Clark excepted, took advantage of these offers and contracted numerous and debilitating sexually transmitted diseases as a result.)There's no mention of this in Wikipedia. If Fischer isn't lying outright, it was probably a minor issue.

Meanwhile, Fischer's holier-than-thou Christians had about 1,800 years of prostitution, adultery, pedophilia, orgies, rape, etc. under their belts at this point. Jesus probably was the first and last Christian to obey God's commandments.

Washington the "town destroyer"They rejected Washington’s direct counsel to the Delaware chiefs in 1779, “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.”I can't imagine why Indians wouldn't trust and obey Washington. Oh, yeah, maybe this:After the Americans invaded Iroquois towns in the Susquehanna Valley in 1778, George Washington, determined to exterminate the Indian threat once and for all, ordered a massive sweep of Iroquois country, specifying that it should "not merely be overrun, but destroyed." Following orders by Washington to "lay waste all the settlements," Gen. John Sullivan's men ravaged 40 villages, burned 500 houses, and destroyed 100,000 bushels of corn. Some units stopped to plunder graves for burial goods; others skinned the bodies of dead Iroquois to make leggings.

Through Indian Eyes
Thomas Jefferson three times signed legislation appropriating federal tax dollars for the evangelizing of the Native American tribes. It all came to nought, as one tribe after another rejected the offer of spiritual light and advanced civilization.So Jefferson wanted to eradicate Indian cultures and religions so he could steal their land to enrich his fellow slaveowners. Again, so what? Presumably he had to keep busy between bouts of impregnating his female slaves. Since they couldn't opt out of sex with him, he was arguably a rapist.

So much for America's "spiritual light and advanced civilization."

Missionaries reaped what they sowedMissionaries were murdered in cold blood, including Marcus Whitman, who was tomahawked to death in his own house in 1848 by the Cayuse and Umatilla Indians in what became the Oregon Territory.Indians were murdered in cold blood too. After they were cheated out of their land by broken treaties, that is. That's the nature of war, unfortunately. But unlike the trespassing missionaries, the Indians were defending their homeland.

As for Whitman, he was murdered in "his own house" in Indian territory, presumably. I wonder if he got a deed from or signed a rental agreement with his Indian landlords. Or was a he just a common trespasser who suffered the fate of other trespassers?Many of the tribal reservations today remain mired in poverty and alcoholism because many native Americans continue to cling to the darkness of indigenous superstition instead of coming into the light of Christianity and assimilating into Christian culture.Many of those reservations already have converted to Christianity. It hasn't made much difference in improving the tribes' lives. But Fischer is too bigoted to understand that. He thinks all Indians are savage beasts by definition. Incredibly, he can't conceive of a Christian Indian, a common occurrence.The continued presence of native American superstition was on full display at the memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shooter, when the “invocation” (such as it was) was offered by a native American who sought inspiration from the “Seven Directions,” including “Father Sky” and “Mother Earth,” rather than the God of the Bible.The continued display of conservative Christian hatemongering and vitriol was the main outcome of the memorial. It couldn't be plainer that conservative Christians like Fischer are stupid, ugly racists. You gotta love someone who defends Nazi-style genocide...not.


Let's sum it up. Fischer repeats the white supremacy claims uttered by five centuries of his ancestors. He depicts Indians as sick, depraved animals, not human beings.

Gee, I can't imagine the connection between that and broken treaties, underfunded programs, violent crime, low-self esteem, depression and suicide, etc. Indians are subhuman beasts...but they have the same rights and privileges as everyone else. It's a level playing with no barriers to Indian advancement.

If Indians aren't as successful as non-Indians, they must be lazy, good-for-nothing bums. It's not because of racism like Fischer's, because that's impossible in utopian America. We judge people on their merits, not on their race or religion.

What a goddamned crock.

For another deconstruction of this racist screed, see:

AFA’s Bryan Fischer:  Native Americans Have Never Had Morals

For more on the subject, see:

Bachmann fibs about America's founding
Obama's UN "coup" is "chilling"
Racist rhetoric fuels hate crime
Conservative website calls Indians "Beringians"
Palin:  Racism is a ploy

And about a thousand other postings in this blog.

Below:  Fischer's ideological bedfellow: "I agree with Herr Fischer! The Aryan race is the pinnacle of civilization! The mud people and homosexuals are nothing but stains on the earth! We rule the lesser races by the right of conquest! Ja wohl!"


Anonymous said...

"Steeped in the basest form of superstition"? I can't find one indigenous belief system that requires you believe in it or you're in for an eternity of suffering.

"The most debased forms of sexuality"? I would like to introduce this guy to the Internet. It's called Rule 34, and despite the stereotypes, the absolute worst of it comes from America. Not Germany. Not Japan. America.

Jaine said...

OMG that is the most appallingly racist spiel I have read in a long time. The one point you didn't deconstruct was the "superior in battle" - what codswallop, correct me if I'm wrong(I'm not American so don't know the finer details of American history) but wasn't it more a case of winning lots of battles but losing the war (that's what happened in NZ) through the sheer numbers of the settlers (not too mention decline due to introduced diseases).

Also in NZ those sexually transmitted diseases (Lewis and Clarke speak of) were introduced to Indigenous settlements by American and British whalers and sealers and by colonial army rapists. How does Fischer know it wasn't Lewis and Clark's men who spread those diseases?

The whole article is revolting.

John Lees said...

Wow, that's utterly appalling. Bigots spouting racist rhetoric like this give Christians a bad name. It saddens me that it's people like this who are more and more becoming the public face of my faith, expressing hateful views that go totally against what they're supposed to be preaching about.

Burt said...

I'd like to know how harboring and festering disease and filth aboard a ship full of Puritans coming to North America infecting native populations makes for the Anglo-Christian saying, "cleanliness is next to Godliness?"

And as for superstition, how is biblical mythology more legitimate than other cultures religious beliefs? Europe already had witchcraft before Columbus and brought it to the Americas.

Sexuality was obviously not an issue for Thomas Jefferson since he mated with a black female slave and had offspring. Not to mention the many interracial marriages and breeding between the races that was consensual and an accepted form of making allies in both white and native peoples.

Mr Fischer should try to explain why many white captives never returned to white settlements and preferred life with natives over white "civilization" and religion? This is a well documented phenomenon that has been achieved well into the 19th century with many tribes taking in and adopting whites.

Fischer is just another racist spewing stupidity with a shallow and politically driven grasp for history no different than Limbaugh and Beck.

Mr Fischer sounds like he is still promoting Eugenics.

Rob said...

You're right, Jaine. I didn't deconstruct the "superior in battle" argument. My response was already long enough. ;-)

The Americans proved themselves "superior" over the course of the Indian Wars, since they eventually won. But this obscures several important facts: The Indians were weakened by disease and hunger. They were unprepared for the white man's treachery. The Americans used a divide-and-conquer policy to turn Indian against Indian. And yes, they had greater numbers.

When the two sides battled with relatively equal numbers, the Indians held their own. Like the Union in the Civil War, the Americans won because they had superior resources. No one ever claimed Confederate soldiers were inferior fighters, and the same should apply to Indians.

Rob said...

P.S. For more on the subject, see Critics Slam Fischer's Racism.

Anonymous said...

An enraged Native friend shared the video of Fischer reading and expounding on this article. He claimed that European Americans/Founding fathers had a moral way of waging war--taking prisoners, etc., and that Indians were savages who were only interested in killing everyone. I then noticed another article of his--the "feminization" of the Medal of Honor. He's upset because we only award it to soldiers who heroically save lives. He believes the medal should be awarded to those who bravely go forth and kill the enemy.

His words: "So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?"

Sorry... That sound you hear is my hypocrisy alarm going off.