Thursday, July 28, 2011

Strong religeous convictions

Found on:
"those who had the courage to travel to new lands,mostly didso on the back of strong religeous convictions"

Let's not forget that "strong religious convictions" includes Columbus, Ponce de Leon, Panfilo de Narvaez, Hernan Cortés, Francisco Pizarro... all Christians, all well-known murders and enslavers of uncountable numbers of indigenous people.

Dr. Michael McDonnel wrote in The 'Conquest' of the Americas:
conquistadors regarded plunder, slaves, and tribute as the just desserts for their efforts in forcing pagans to accept Christianity and Spanish rule. After all, the conquistadors did scrupulously adhere to the Spanish law of conquest by reading the requerimiento, which ordered defiant Indians to immediately accept Spanish rule and Christian conversion, or face punishment in a “just war”. The requerimiento announced that “The resultant deaths and damages shall be your fault, and not the monarch’s or mine or the soldiers”. Attending witnesses and a notary usually certified in writing that the requerimiento had been read and ignored by the usually uncomprehending Indians, thus justifying the death and destruction that so often followed.

And if you aren't familiar with the requerimiento:
It was "used to justify the assertion that God, through historical Saint Peter and appointed Papal successors, held authority as ruler over the entire Earth; and that the Inter Caetera Papal Bull, of 4 May 1493 by Pope Alexander VI, conferred title over all the Americas to the Spanish monarchs"

And Manifest Destiny was the 19th century American belief that the United States was destined to expand across the North American continent - a divine sanction for the near genocide of an entire continent of people.

And looking to the south, Bernal Diaz wrote of the sack of the Aztecs, that “When the Christians were exhausted from war, God saw fit to send the Indians smallpox, and there was great pestilence in the city.”

I wonder, if Jesus had known just how "strong" those Christian religious convictions would become, would he have bothered to try to tell people to be good to one another?

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