February 23, 2011

Fischer:  Indians were thieves

Bryan Fischer, the conservative Christian who favors genocide for people who don't convert to his religion, is back. You can read his latest screed here:

Byran Fischer:  Pocahontas shows what could have been

Since he proved himself woefully ignorant of Indians, Fischer didn't try to assay their history again. This time he uses the story of Pocahontas to make his anti-Indian case.

At least he seems to have read a book on Native history. And cribbed from it. Before he made up his conclusion, that is. That's better than his previous essays, which were fact-free.

This column is mostly a straight narrative of Pocahontas's life. Only a couple sections are really objectionable. After supposedly saving John Smith, Fischer writes:She subsequently was captured by English settlers, who intended to exchange her for English prisoners who had been taken into captivity by the Algonquins, or Powhatans, who also helped themselves to various weapons and tools. The Powhatans, along with many of the indigenous peoples, seemed to have little respect for private property, including boundaries, and little regard for obedience to the eighth commandment and its prohibition against stealing. (On the Oregon Trail, the primary problems travelers suffered from the indigenous peoples were not massacres but thievery.)Why would Indians obey God's eighth commandment when they never heard of or read the Bible and didn't recognize its authority? The very idea is ridiculous. It's comments like this that make you wonder just how stupid Fischer really is.

Indians were mostly known for their honesty--at least among observers who weren't stereotyping them as savages. I don't know if we could make any generalizations about thievery. Tribes may have stolen things (women, children, horses, etc.) from enemy tribes. Or from strangers like white men who had no business trespassing on their land. But I doubt there was much stealing within tribes. I suspect most tribes punished anyone who violated the community's unwritten rules.

Critics slam Fischer again

The commenters on this column offered some obvious rebuttals:What happened to "love thy neighbor?" Does that include kidnapping? Does it include invading and stealing from those who feed you and teach you how to survive? How are those behaviors in line with the teachings of Christ? Christ gave and gave and gave and early European immigrants took, took, took. Please do read your Bible again and ask yourself if what happened in America is really what Jesus would have done?

So let's get this correct--8th commandment--do not steal--people come onto your land tell you it is now theirs and kill you if you resist or don't adopt their culture. How does that not violate number 8? So if a nation invades us and we don't assimilate into their culture we are wrong. What a twisted world the blog writer lives in--We took everything from a people who lived here. It happens all the time worldwide but to whitewash it as the Indians' fault is egregious in its arrogance.

I think you are getting a lot of your American nationalism from extrabiblical sources. I also think that you are not presenting the full picture of history in this blog. You neglect to mention anti-Christian behavior that the colonists displayed toward each other and the Indians. Part of the missionary's responsibility is to present the gospel without imposing his own culture on his target population. By not taking the effort to do this, you marry extrabiblical principles into the Gospel.

All the Europeans who came here stole the land from the many people who lived here. These were sovereign nations that were overthrown in the name of your make-believe god. I see you are unwilling to separate yourself from this sordid history.

Umm, excuse me? Who had little respect for boundaries and personal property?

Was this from the Onion, really? This satire is along the thinking of "If only the Jews would just leave or commit suicide, the holocaust wouldn't have been necessary." This article is absurd. The British were of course invaders and killers.

So, Rebecca's tribe didn't follow the 8th commandment. Since the English took their traditional lands, I guess they overlooked it too. And your jump forward in time to the Oregon trail--pretty much the same deal. We came and took their land. Why the hatred of Native Americans? Did you always have to play the "Indian" and never got to be the "cowboy"?
Some have argued that Christians have killed more people than anyone else in history. One also could argue that they've stolen more than anyone else in history. For 1,800 years or so, the leaders of Christianity--popes, cardinals, bishops, kings, lords, dukes, et al.--systematically usurped the land and wealth of their fellow Christians.

Christians are about the last people who should be lecturing others on the Ten Commandments. Their history is one long litany of murder, warfare, conquest, subjugation, oppression, and enslavement. I wouldn't put that on my résumé if I were you, Fischer.

For more on Fischer's hateful hypocrisy, see Fischer Worships "God" of Racism and Hatewatch Criticizes Fischer's Column.

Below:  The first and last Christian who didn't lie, cheat, or steal.


Burt said...

Someone from the academia in history needs to explain to Fischer that after deciding which spot to land the Mayflower full of the sick and dying chosen of Gods people, the first thing the starving pilgrims did was loot graves, taking wampum belts and stored corn harvest.

So much for Thou shalt not steal, unless its from Indians, whom eventually chased Gods chosen "thieves" back to their ship where they went further north and allied themselves with other Indians for protection.

It was Indians that saved Christianity from being erased in the New World, not God.

Anonymous said...

The really funny thing is, when you consider the 600-odd OTHER commandments in the Bible. These include not eating pork, not eating shrimp, retiring to a secluded area during menses, circumcising your son on the eighth day, and many more. Biblical commandments range from "common sense" (Murder is wrong.) to "what the hell?"

Burt said...

There are laws that pre-date the bible also, so I do not see where anything from the bible stands the test of time. I value its historical content and mythological stories about a talking snake, but if ancient Greek mythology or Native stories are not considered viable, why the bible?

The bible itself states there is an 11th commandment.

If Indians were such great thieves, how did the whiteman end it with all the land and wealth?