Religion is a topic that I have personally struggled with for some time now. Being a philosophy major, I am learning about multiple religions, moral values, and differing ways of life. One of the first religions we discussed in my philosophy 101 class was the most widespread and common in the United States- Christianity.
My mom attempted to raise us in a Christian house; we did the whole Sunday school deal and prayed every night before we went to sleep. With Christianity being my family’s religion, I played along for the simple reason that I didn’t know any different. However, after some high school maturing, and college philosophy classes, I have the biggest pocket full of wonder.
In my last post, I read about some religious/spiritual rituals that many Indigenous people participate in and I subconsciously started comparing the general principles of the two religions.
The most obvious discrepancy that I found was the differing centralities. In Christianity, humans are the center of everything; God made the earth for us, God does things for us, and even though there are billions of other galaxies that we’ve never seen nor can comprehend, we are at the top of God’s priority. In the Christianity, heaven is for humans because we’re His best and most loved creature. Everything is for our taking, because God made it all for US.
Then, we take a step back and look at the general ways of life and spirituality of Indigenous people. Indigenous people view themselves as no superior than that of anyone or anything else. With that being said, humans are not the centrality of their religion; everything is central. The sky, the earth, the sun, the planets, and the entire cosmos are all noticed and equally respected. By having a common belief in “not taking anymore than one needs” the Indigenous people respect animals, plants, the land, and are known for their fairness. Sharing with others, giving to others, respecting others, finding peace with others- those are just a few characteristics of their overall belief system. And they have proven themselves by providing housing, food, and clothing to white settlers when they first arrived in the new world. And what did those Christian white settlers do? Well, in a word: massacre…but don’t worry it’s cool because the settlers were Christian.
Now even though what I’m saying has been practiced and proven, I am not writing this post to offend anyone, however I am writing this post to get people thinking a bit. Taking your personal religion aside for the moment, which belief system makes the most sense? Are humans the center of everything? As obvious as it may be to me, you’re free to your own opinion on that one.