Black Spirituality Religion : Chief Seattle: "Your God is not our God!"

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by RAPTOR, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    An excerpt from Chief Seattle's, "TREATY ORATION 1854":

    “Our good father at Washington - for I presume he is now our father as well as yours, since King George has moved his boundaries further north our great and good father, I say, sends us word that if we do as he desires he will protect us. His brave warriors will be to us a bristling wall of strength, and his wonderful ships of war will fill our harbours so that our ancient enemies far to the northward, the Haidas and Tsimpsians - will cease to frighten our women, children and old men. Then in reality will he be our father and we his children, but can that ever be? Your God is not our God! Your God loves your people and hates mine. He folds his strong protecting arms lovingly about the pale face and leads him by the hand as a father leads his infant son-but He has forsaken His red children-if they really are His. Our God, the Great Spirit, seems also to have forsaken us. Your God makes your people wax strong every day. Soon they will fill all the land. Our people are ebbing away like a rapidly receding tide that will never return. The white man's God cannot love our people or He would protect them. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help.

    How then can we be brothers? How can your God become our God and renew our prosperity and awaken in us dreams of returning greatness. If we have a common heavenly father He must be partial - for He came to His paleface children. We never saw Him. He gave you laws but had no word for his red children whose teeming multitudes once filled this vast continent as stars fill the firmament. No; we are two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies. There is little in common between us.

    ..Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander way beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return. Our dead never forget the beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its verdant valleys, its murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, sequestered vales and verdant lined lakes and bays, and ever yearn in tender, fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the Happy Hunting Ground to visit, guide, console and comfort them.

    ..It matters little where we pass the remnant of our days. They will not be many. The Indians' night promises to be dark. Not a single star of hope hovers above his horizon. Sad-voiced winds moan in the distance. Grim fate seems to be on the Red Man's trail, and wherever he goes he will hear the approaching footsteps of his fell destroyer and prepare stolidly to meet his doom, as does the wounded doe that hears the approaching footsteps of the hunter.

    A few more moons. A few more winters-and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain to mourn over the graves of a people-once more powerful and hopeful than yours. But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend with friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We will see.”


    [​IMG]

    Chief Seattle (c. 1780 - June 7, 1866)
    Suquamish and Duwamish Native American leader

    http://www.halcyon.com/arborhts/chiefsea.html
     
  2. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Maruawe!!!

    He was a very wise and perceptive person. May his soul known rest.....

    This reminds me of the Onöndowága' (Seneca) leader Sagoyewatha (Red Jacket) and his words.

    "Brothers, our seats were once large, and yours were small. You have now become a great people, and we have scarcely a place left to spread our blankets. You have got our country, but are not satisfied; you want to force your religion upon us.

    Brother, continue to listen. You say that you are sent to instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeable to his mind; and if we do not take hold of the religion which you white people teach, we shall be unhappy hereafter. You say that you are right, and we are lost. How do we know this to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a book. If it was intended for us as well as you, why has not the Great Spirit given to us — and not only to us, but to our forefathers — the knowledge of that book, with the means of understanding it rightly? We only know what you tell us about it. How shall we know when to believe, being so often deceived by the white people?

    Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the book?

    Brother, we do not understand these things. We are told that your religion was given to your forefathers, and has been handed down from father to son. We also, have a religion which was given to our forefathers, and has been handed down to us, their children. We worship in that way. It teaches us to be thankful for all favors we receive; to love each other, and be united. We never quarrel about religion, because it is a matter which concerns each man and the Great Spirit.

    Brother, we do not wish to destroy your religion or take it from you; we only want to enjoy our own.

    Brother, we have been told that you have been preaching to the white people in this place. These people are our neighbors: We are acquainted with them. We will wait a little while and see what effect your preaching has upon them. If we find it does them good, makes them honest and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will consider again of what you have said."

    Tuhwi (Blackbird) African-Numunu-Skarure Haudenosaunee
     
  4. Onyemobi

    Onyemobi Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Incredible speeches. Could be said of any indigenous traditions.
     
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