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February 8, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Is Christianity responsible for the Genocide of Native Americans?

Missing the Core Motive:
I do think this radically missed the point. The genocide of indigenous peoples in the US was about power and racism, not a true or legitimate interpretation of religion. In some respects, this is more an indict of the powers of government and a military and anything to do with Christianity. If only the true values of Christianity had been preached–the genocides might never have happened. They are the best source of justice and accountability.

[I haven’t seen any decent evidence which suggest it is–and certainly none that took the above considerations into effect. Instead, idolatry, sin, and temptation were at the core of most any evil suffered by the Native Americans]

True Values of Christianity:
The overarching theme of the Bible is one of love, of kindness to others, of love for a brother, and of compassion. The genocide was the opposite of love.

Jesus argues against the genocide. In fact, the entirety of his ministry was about this principle–from top to bottom.

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The fruits of the spirit argue against the genocide:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Beyond the above, reading Galatians 3:28 is a stand against racism and racial division:

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[e]nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Parable after parable–principle after principle. The Bible stands against what was committed against native Americans.

Even more troubling, Just war theory (ie limited to acts of self-defense primarily), which is founded on Christian principles as a way to provide accountability for acts like this. So Christianity and Christian ethical principles definitely stand against what occurred.

More Research on the Bible’s Stand Against Racism
• Racism and the Bible (Link)
• What does the Bible say about racism, prejudice, and discrimination? (link)


Leave a Comment
  1. Luis Alvarado / Feb 8 2014 5:39 pm

    This is a fabulous argument. I agree with the idea that everything happens for a reason. Albeit, Christianity has been present during some of humanity’s worst struggles, (especially the Catholic Church during Medieval Times) I think it came from the human aspect. Faith itself is built on love, it is when we treat Faith half-heartedly and not committing fully to it, we get into trouble. What do you think is the correct way to answer people who question the motives of Christianity?

  2. compassioninpolitics / Feb 9 2014 10:41 pm

    I would think the motives for most committed Christians is pretty clear.

    I don’t know why someone motivated by love and service to their fellow human beings and the Creator have reasons to worry about motives.

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