Jesus Radicals Blog 2005-2017
A Blog Commentary on Luke's Gospel, Written for Settlers in the Occupied Territories Called Canada (Part, 1)
By: Dan Oudshoorn
Note: Originally published on Dan's blog, On Journeying with Those in Exile
Jesus was an Indian. If you don’t understand that, you won’t understand any of the rest of it, so you’ve got to get this first. Let me try to be clear about this.
By saying that “Jesus was an Indian,” I don’t mean that Jesus was from India. India didn’t even exist back in his day, given that what we call India was actually a number of different kingdoms or empires rooted in people like the Satavahanas, or the Indo-Scythian Sakas, or the Mahameghavahanas, to name just three of about a dozen different options. So I’m not saying Jesus was a proto-Indian, as though he came from that region. Furthermore, although a fringe group of people like to say Jesus went to India to study and learn in the years we hear nothing about in the canonical Gospels (for example, in an universally discredited book claiming to offer “irrefutable evidence” and entitled Jesus Lived in India, Holger Kersten argues Jesus lived in India when he was young, where he became a spiritual master in Buddhism, and then returned there to grow old and die after he rose from the dead), that’s not what I’m saying. No, Jesus was an Indian in the same sense that the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabeg, the ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ, the Wet’suwet’en, the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, the Tlicho, and the more than 630 First Nations in Canada are Indians. And Jesus is an Indian in exactly the same way that members of all of these nations are Indians.
Because what does it mean to say that the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island are “Indians”? Well, to begin with, it means that they are a people who have been colonized by a foreign power who gives them names not of their choosing. This applies as much to people as it does to the land. Hence, Turtle Island is no longer known as Turtle Island. It is called North America, and Canada, and the United States of America are the nations that are said to be present there (I’ll stick to Canada in what follows, as that is the land my people have colonized). And in Canada, for most of its history, the original peoples – the Onkwehonwe to use the Kanien’kehá:ka word – were not known by the names they had received from the land but by the names given by those who colonized both them and the land (although it is wrong to imply that the people and land can be separated and thought of as two distinct entities). They became Indians because that was the name given to them by the settlers who wielded power over Life and Death and who gave out the latter far more than the former.
By: Jesus Radicals
The organizers of Jesus Radicals support the Stone Camp resistance movement in its struggle to defend the waters of Standing Rock, to protect their tribal land, and to ensure the health of their communities and millions of others.
This weekend the residents at Sacred Stone Camp in Cannonball, ND are coordinating a water resistance effort. "Resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline is blossoming and hundreds are coming from all 4 directions to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to defend the land and water. Please stand with us on the front lines! This pipeline threatens the longest river on Turtle Island and the drinking water of many millions of people."
The resistance will continue until there is victory. The Spirit Camp community formed on April 1, 2016 along the pathway for the proposed pipeline. According to their website:
"This Spirit Camp is called Iŋyaŋ Wakháŋagapi Othí, translated as Sacred Rock, the original name of the Cannonball area. The Spirit Camp is dedicated to stopping and raising awareness the Dakota Access pipeline, the dangers associated with pipeline spills and the necessity to protect the water resources of the Missouri river. We reject the appropriation of the name “Dakota” in a project that is in violation of aboriginal and treaty lands. The word Dakota means “the People” in the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota language and was never intended to be used in a project which violates traditional ceremonial areas."
Learn more and get involved by visiting their website. We encourage you to share their story widely.
By: Fr. Paul Dordal
The Sky Pilot
I am convicted. I have been a poser. I am repenting. I am a pacifist.
As I was struggling with a moral injury suffered, in large part, because of my service in Iraq as an Army Chaplain, a friend suggested in early 2015 that I read Leo Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God is Within You. The first few pages affected me deeply. Tolstoy said, “Among the many points in which [the Institutional Church’s] doctrine falls short of the doctrine of Christ I pointed out as the principal one the absence of any commandment of non-resistance to evil by force. The perversion of Christ’s teaching by the teaching of the Church is more clearly apparent in this than in any other point of difference.” 1
As I read Tolstoy I could hear again the words of Eric Burdon song’s Sky Pilot. I realized then that in order for me to live more authentically as a Syro-Chaldean Catholic priest, a Veterans Affairs Hospital Chaplain, but more poignantly as a former US Army Chaplain and veteran of the war in Iraq, I was going to have to change:
He blesses the boys as they stand in line/
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