God Is Great, Grief Is Good, And Injuns Are Crazy

Originally published December 17th, 2012

mindofbirdman

I’ve had a lot of things on my mind since last week. Newtown was one of them.

Yep, I’m taking the cheap post. I told myself that I wasn’t going to glorify it by even mentioning the occurrence, but it won’t leave me alone, so here we are.

The day after the killing, a friend of mine put this photo up on Facebook with the note: “Well said.”

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This was all it took. Hey, I’m not saying I don’t have issues.

Yep, that was all it was. I really like the guy, too, but at that moment I was just sickened by this shitty message. I didn’t even think about it. I copied it, then pasted it into the blog’s page with a caption about how disgusted I was with it. I then went and deleted him as a friend, because I couldn’t believe he would be so callous as to put this up after such a horrible tragedy. I’m a huge advocate of “If you don’t like me, delete me”, as opposed to I’m going to tell you how wrong you are, because you don’t share my views.

My problem with this, is that somebody is using a catastrophe like a mass killing of children to further their own agenda, which is getting religion back in the school system.

Have you ever heard of the Indian Residential Schools?

I had heard little bits of the story over the years, but was mostly in the dark about it, until a reader that I’ve met in my travels filled me in on some of the details. That’s what’s been troubling my mind lately, and it’s caused a lot of introspection and anger management. Here’s some of what it said.

 

…So, I’m sure you know (but soooooo many “proud Canadians” know fuck all about it) that for generations in this country the government and churches snatched all the little Indians from the comfort of their parents, families, and communities and put them into cold, damp, prison-like institutions where they were fed watery porridge and other slop, where they were stripped, scrubbed, shaved, and covered with chemicals; where they were beaten for every utterance of a word in the only language they knew, where they were forced to attend church every single day, forced to worship the father the son and the holy ghost, where they were forced to be Christians and beaten for any resistance to it, where literally thousands of them were sexually abused by men/women of God – told they would go to hell if they ever told anyone, told that they needed to obey, told that they were dirty sinners, told that what was happening was ok because God would forgive them – little boys and girls being raped in confessionals! These children were taken, usually around age 5-7 and returned home between age 12-16 – some of them had not been home one single day in all those years. That alone makes me fucking sick. Add the physical abuse, the emotional and spiritual abuse, the sexual abuse and it’s unbearable to think about. And why was it done? How did a whole society, a democratic government, and DOZENS of religious, god-loving, god-fearing church organizations come to the conclusion that THIS was not only acceptable but the right thing to do?

 

Where the fuck was God in this situation? Maybe he’s a racist towards the savages? Maybe Jesus doesn’t really love the little children, like the song says. Do you suppose that him and his dad might have thought that their servants would do the right thing, so they got drunk and headed out to see the strippers?

Naw, he’s everywhere, isn’t he? He surely watched this go on, and thought, “This will teach those dirty little injuns to worship false spirits. Nokomis can go fuck herself. The earth is mine.”

Don’t leave yet. There was more in the message. This part describes what God’s people did to the little red devils, and you might find it disturbing, but read it anyway. They had to live and relive it, the least you can do is read it once before you choose not to believe it or ignore it.

There is a settlement process that is supposed to reconcile and make amends for residential schools. The victims have to sit in a room with strangers and answer questions about the gory details of their abuse. [ for example: did his penis penetrate your anus? How much blood was there? How far were his fingers inside your vagina? How hard was his grip on your neck? Where did he ejaculate? Did he say anything to you while his penis was in your mouth? Did he leave his robe on?] Anyway, I think you get the point – in fact I think you got the point a very long time ago – that forcing your beliefs on others is unacceptable. And I don’t mean to equate the religion-pushing with the sexual abuse – I know they are not the same thing, but after attending some of these hearings, I cannot leave the abuse out of any discussion of this sort.

No doubt. This wasn’t just a couple of instances of a Catholic priest diddling a young boy. This was four different churches and I don’t know how many thousand of the at least 100000 native children were abused. Yep, four churches. Catholic, United, Anglican, and Presbyterian. You can read more about it at the AANDC site that deals directly with this.

So what’s your take on it? Did they deserve this as heathen savages? Maybe God was intent on taking over the world, but couldn’t get a foothold on North America, so he spent centuries teaching people to navigate the globe, in hopes that he could put them ashore on our continent, and almost wipe out an entire race of people.

Not quite though. No, he wanted to keep a few alive to torture for a few centuries, because they mentioned him, The Great Spirit, but didn’t mention his son, or his virgin baby mama in any of their stories. They also believed in all of these crazy spirits, like the Windigo, and the Thunderbird, when everyone knows that there’s just God and the Devil. Oh, and there are some angels, but none of that crazy stuff the Indians are talking about. That’s just insane.

Anyhow, here are some links to some apologies, and some not quite apologizing statements. You should read them and read some of the reactions of the natives. They were very gracious. I would have demanded at least one scalp.

The fact that in their apologies they were asking for “God’s forgiveness” and asking that God show them the way, made me feel like no one will ever learn anything. Who was showing them the way when they raped, molested, and beat those children? Was it not God? Did God just turn his back on all of those clergy for those many years? Why would he do that, and why should anyone ever trust another member of any church? I know I don’t. They are quite easily corruptible, as is proven here, and if God can’t control his own servants, why should we trust him to look after us?

I suspect that if there is a god out there, he can control whatever he wants to, but he either likes to see children suffer, or he doesn’t give a shit about anything. So I ask you. Is this the same God that you want brought back into your child’s classroom? Is this even someone that should be allowed near a child at all? I’m not denying that God exists, but I doubt it. At least I hope he doesn’t. The thought that there is a supreme being that finds fun in torturing and punishing children scares the everloving shit out of me.

Deep in prayer my cross to wear, I kneel upon the floor,

Birdman

P.S. I guess I have to write in here that I don’t believe in God, therefore cannot blame God for anything. I was using it as a catalyst to drive my point home. This post was me saying that we can’t trust churches, and that God does not belong in public schools, because everyone doesn’t believe in God. We can’t force our beliefs on anyone. Not ethically, anyway.

Linking up with the fine folks at Yeah Write this week.

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57 thoughts on “God Is Great, Grief Is Good, And Injuns Are Crazy

  1. So I am going to step where some are probably afraid to. Was God in those places. Yep. Did He stop it? Therein is where the issue lies. God does not force us into anything, that is religion and when religion uses God to pervert ‘man’s’ ideals there is where the issue begins. Hearing what God wants us to do over our own ‘beliefs’ is difficult and sometimes we just outright ignore. God did not want mind washed minions. What happened there is horrific and has nothing to do with God or any of his nature. That is fully the evil of man, something we allow in our lives with the free will we were born with. But as a race we are always looking to point the finger of OUR personal choices onto someone else. Most often ‘God’s Will’. One need only look in the New Testament to see God’s will has nothing to do with any of what happened there. Matter of fact they sealed their own fates according to the Bible they claimed to be operating off of. God says that ANYONE who abuses a child is destined to the pits of hell. Period. No excuses.

    • I think you are bypassing the Old Testament here, Angel, and while I agree with you that it was the “evil of man”, I want to add that it was the evil of men/women of God.

      So who do you think should bring the word of God back into the schools? Humans? We can’t be trusted. We twist his words to suit ourselves, just as you are doing to try and find the good in God. If you look at the Old Testament, you will see that God would have ordered the Israelites to lay waste to the natives for their ungodly ways.

      The point of this post was to say that we should not trust the churches, and that God does not belong in our public schools. I guess I’ll put that in a P.S., but I thought I was being obvious in in telling you that I don’t believe in God, therefore I can’t really blame him for anything.

  2. It is human nature to seek to destroy evil, but truly, if we as a people were able to self-regulate in any divine fashion, it would likely eliminate all ‘evil’ in the world. Perhaps evil such as this is a reminder of our darkness, and a constant series of checks and balances is necessary to ensure that our moral compass remains in place. It is from understanding and experiencing joy and love that we are able to appreciate the depth and breadth of this kind of unimaginable pain. No one will ever be able to adequately make sense of the mass destruction of beautiful human beings in the name of GOD. It is not something we can understand, because there is no reason to be found.

    Our history shows numerous examples of organized religion at the heart of discrimination and persecution IN GODS NAME. We have been shown over lifetimes that religion itself cannot be counted upon to moderate our behavior in any real way. It is fear, or the fear of ‘Gods wrath’ that is meant to keep everyone in place with the promise of eternal damnation for breaking Gods laws, and salvation for the ones who are ‘good’. Therefore, the motivation to be ‘good’, is not born from an intrinsic sense of what is right, but rather, a fear of persecution, and the adoption of the ideologies of those who are considered religious leaders.

    Organized religion, JUST LIKE THE PEOPLE IT WAS CREATED FOR, is flawed. Anyone who believes themselves to be an instrument of ‘God’ will only need a flock of dedicated followers to promote the most evil, hateful agenda imaginable. It is not the belief in God that makes them evil, but the twisted ideologies he or she has adopted. As history has shown repeatedly, religion can be used for good and evil purposes. In that sense, it is not religion that is evil, but the ideologies of the flock. It is fair to say that RELIGION has no place in schools, but love, as the ultimate gift of ‘God’ is welcome always. It is sad that we have to wrap the philosophies of peace, love, kindness, and care of our fellow human beings under the cloak of ‘religion’ to make it palatable for the masses. In reality, if you live in a constant state of grace, you are displaying the ideal of ‘God’ without having to be ‘claimed’ by any particular religion.

  3. I hear ya. It’s a fact that Spirit is Energy. Energy is everything. To harness this energy, call it God’s will, and be an atrocity on another human being is sickening and repulsive.

    A father of 2, I have a separation that requires very delicate handling. Disaster and choas happen & my sons get hurt just with “WORDS”. I mean, to have to live through ALL of this, of Newton, native cleansing, et all. It is NOT something that ANYONE should have to live through.

    I think that people need to educate, and not regurgitate. But the information super highway is full of puke. Well said Birdman. More information that educates may evoke strong feelings, but as a good friend of a native studies educator and artist, I get F’in angry. Being raised christian and taking my kids to a catholic school…more angry. But, the time will come (as it did for me) that they lean to their own soul and energy, and find their path.

    We as individuals must treat people with respect. with that, we gotta be good to all.

    Continue to Rock and Roll onward.

    CL

  4. I believe in a higher power, but I don’t think it’s so much that he’s sitting back, sipping a beer, and getting his jollies watching people torture each other. I think it’s more that people were given free will. And with that free will, someone decided to kill a bunch of kids. You can’t blame the man upstairs for that when he gave people free will. Blame the fucked up guy who thought that shooting up kids was a brilliant idea. And on that same token, teaching that fucked up kid about God and forcing him to pray every day probably wouldn’t have made him any less likely to kill people.

    • 10-4 on that, Rubber Duck. These are all human beings telling you what to do to be a “good Christian”. The Bible was written by men, thousands of years ago. Shoving it down a crazy person’s throat, isn’t going to make him less crazy.

  5. Religion does not make people NOT be assholes, so right on this. So much evil has been committed in the name of religion, but I guess these people have a short term memory

  6. Today Birdman. Today you earned my respect all over again. I agree with every point you made. People have to stop using “God” as a reason or excuse to do what they want to do. Take reponisbility for yourself and your actions. Don’t blame someone or something else.

    God does not belong in schools. Religion does not belong in schools. We are a diverese society with many different beliefs. And they should not be forced on any others. God and religion belongs in your home and heart.

    I beleive in monkey love. Melvin is all about the love. Shouldn’t everyone beleive in love?

  7. religion and its followers (minus the buddhists – they’re smart. they know buddha was just a cool dude who died and doesn’t watch over them but left them with sweet principles to live by) make me want to bang my head against a wall til it splits. IT’S 2012. HOW ARE YOU PEOPLE STILL BELIEVING ALL THIS CRAP??! it’s a waste of time that causes conflict and allows people to excuse themselves for shitty behavior and even going as far as committing outright atrocities.

    just felt like spouting off. i love you, dr and mrs birdman.

  8. I became a non-believer at the age of seven. Yep, seven. All on my own.

    That being said, I sort of feel that if students are being taught about Greek, Roman, Native American and Norse mythology in the context that it is mythology and just stories to explaint he unexplainable, they should be taught about Christian mythology the same way.

    • You are totally correct, and when I was in school, it was different. We learned briefly about Greek and Roman mythology, and a tiny bit about native culture, but God was there in small parts all year. It’s fine to teach about other beliefs, otherwise children will not know what they want to believe in. I was like you. We went to Sunday school for a few years, then my mom asked if we wanted to go to church. She didn’t go, but would take me if I wanted to go. I said no, because I didn’t really believe in it. She just said that that was fine, and I could believe what I want. End of discussion.

  9. The picture caught my eye before I read your post, and I got a little sick. A sick and twisted guy decided to strap on a weapon and kill a bunch of kids. Period. Sitting him down and teaching him about God and religion probably wouldn’t have made him less inclined to do what he did.

  10. I have been trying to stay off Facebook as much as possible since Friday. Every time I go on it, some asinine post either makes me want to cry or punch someone in the face.

  11. This makes me even madder than those people saying that teachers should have semi-automatic weapons in the schools to take out shooters. If there’s a God, which I doubt, I don’t think he’s a micromanager. He’s big picture. There is no other way to explain all of the shit that goes on, especially with kids.

  12. I’ve tried to just skip over the Facebook posts. Same as I do for any that perpetuate intolerance.

    I like how you moved on though and brought up something that I am sure many people are completely unaware of. And they should be aware of it, not as a strike against faith should you have it, but as a reminder that not one of us is entitled to force our beliefs on another.

  13. Yikes. This is the first time I’ve seen that photo, and I definitely don’t like the message. I also don’t like that it’s using a tragedy to push a different agenda, as you mentioned.

  14. That shirt was all over FB feed too. It made my blood boil. I get that some people feel our society has lost its moral compass and there’s way too much emphasis on instant gratification, greed, sex, and violence. I even see where they’re coming from. But that shirt? Really? Not only did you co-opt the issue to make your pet point but you got the T-shirt. Way to not further any kind of meaningful discussion or policy at all.

  15. I read an article that said something like: with all the carnage going on inside Sandy Hook, what kind of god waits outside politely for an invitation—good thing the first responders so rudely barged in.

  16. I am a devout Christian, but that photo sucks. Thank you for pointing that out. Religion, in general, sucks. All human institutions are flawed. I believe God is not and so I’ll stick with Him. Facebook sucks, too.

    • Right on. 🙂 I think that if you find comfort in something, it can’t be all bad, right? It’s just when you try to force it onto others that don’t share your zeal, that I have a problem with. Live and let live is a motto that I try to live by.

  17. I wasn’t going to write about it either but damn this tragedy is hard to shake as a parent and facebook has been pissing me off too. I hate this image which I have seen about 20 times the past two days. Now I do believe in God, but I do not believe he allowed this tragic event to happen because he was pissed off about separation of church and state. Furthermore, most schools still say the pledge of allegiance, which States “one nation under GOD.” So, not only is that image asinine and insensitive, it’s false. I had to make my own and put it on my blog page. It reads: “Dear facebook users, Please get your facts straight and stop posting on my behalf. Love, God.” So I hear you even though I am a proud Christian. Excuse spelling errors because I have fat fingers and am using a tablet.

    • I have fat everything, except for my ass, so I know what you’re saying. My wife believes in her version of God, and it has nothing to do with the bible or church. It’s just a feeling that she has that someone is out there. I don’t know what they are doing, but if it makes her feel better, then it doesn’t hurt anyone and I’m totally behind that. It’s when God is used as a weapon that I have a problem with, and everything about religion uses it as a weapon. If you have to pick through your god’s words to find what you want in it and ignore the rest, then I personally think that it’s not a good thing at all.

      Luckily not all people are like the Westboro Baptist Church, so it’s not all of the hateful parts of the bible, but there sure is a lot of it in there, and a lot of hateful people using those parts as law. This scares me. I’ve never been religious, per se, but I mostly believe in the ten commandments, and of course all the peace and love. Just because I don’t believe in God, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, or that I’m against everything in the bible. I’m not at all, I just believe that men wrote that stuff in a primitive time to keep people in check, and it’s outdated and should be re-written.

      • Hey, I’m being nosy here, and posting a reply to a comment that was intended for someone else. I apologize for that in advance. But I had to say that I feel strongly that you are right that it was written “in a primitive time to keep people in check” and while I don’t think it needs to be re-written, I do think it needs to be reapplied. There are some good messages in there that are still relevant today. We just need to read it for the ‘big picture’ that it gives, and not twist it to support our own agenda. The big picture is LOVE. Good thoughts, Birdman, coming from a non-believer. 😉

    • I didn’t even think you had. 🙂 I do think that we are quite alike though, in that regard. From everything I’ve read of yours, you have figured things out, and did it the hard way. I was not raised with religion, but it was made available to us if we wanted it. Much easier to figure things out, when something isn’t put in your head every day.

  18. God did not cause what happened. Satan did. He is just as real today as he was when he took away all Job had. Satan is always working against God’s plan and he can because God gave us free will. Bad things happen in this world, but don’t blame God or lose faith. Just remember that God can take every evil thing Satan dies and turn it around for His good. It may take a long long time. Israel was in captivity in Egypt for 400 years. God is still bigger than this tragedy. God is still all powerful. God still loves each one of us. Remain in Him and you won’t have need to fear.

    • Listen, Lindsey. You cannot say that there is a god, or a devil. You just can’t, because you have no proof. What you have is faith. Faith is good. It can get you through the tough times, but you can’t push your faith on others, because that’s not right. You don’t like it when others try and force you to adopt something that they believe in, do you? Over-zealous people are the reason that these people have had to endure so much horrific torture already. Do you want to add to it? You can believe whatever you want, and you can voice your beliefs in a way that is not using aggressive tactics to try and make others bend to your will. That’s doing the exact same thing as the clergy did to these poor native people.
      Peace

  19. I’m going to be honest, I only skimmed the horrific stories that you posted here, just as I skim the news about the CT shootings… As a mom of two little ones, and a preschool teacher for nine years, and a babysitter for twenty, I just can’t read things like that about precious, innocent children.
    I’m a Christian, and yet I don’t think God wants any part of the school system, nor does he want any part of this world. According to the Bible, it is Satan in charge of the world, not God. It’s a common misconception of Christians to think that God is in control. He’s not. It does make me ask God when I hear about horrifying stories like these though, on why He doesn’t send his Son come back to Earth to end this NOW. He has promised that he will, and I believe him. But I feel that the day can’t come soon enough.
    One thing I want to add, with ALL due respect to you, because I really enjoy your posts and humor and perspective (you’ve raised a lot of good questions here), even when I don’t agree 100%: We need more tolerance of others. People unfriending people on FB over posting their beliefs or opinion is happening a lot right now, and it is not that big of a deal. But there were a couple of idiots in a nearby town that got into an argument over the CT shooting yesterday… at a barber shop… that ended with guns being fired. Even when we don’t agree with someone’s point of view, I feel that we need to tread carefully. Not everything has to be “P.C.” (it would be pretty boring if we all wrote that way, constantly stepping on eggshells). But we do need more patience with each other. More respect. More kindness. And to love each other. That’s what the world needs right now more than anything.

    • For the first part, I hope you are right, and even though I have my doubts, it would be nice for someone to magically fix all of the wrong here. Why hasn’t there been another 40 day flood? It can’t have been worse than this when Noah took to building the ark. Could it? No matter who’s right or wrong, we need to fix this mess on our own, as a group, or we ruin the only habitable planet we know of.

      This brings me to the last part of your comment. I think you are completely right. The way to fix all of this is with love, kindness, peace, and understanding. Don’t force your beliefs on your fellow man/woman. Help them to see that we need to work together to attain the harmony that is not possible with hate and deceit.

      As for the middle part. Thank you. I have only started reading your blog as of recently, but I do like your writing as well. I wish we had time to read everything, and still do our daily things, but I try when I can.

      • Thank you very much. There’s just not enough time in the day. My husband just has to understand that clothes don’t get cleaned on Open Vote Thursdays… too much to read!! 😉
        I may have some “hippy” qualities in me, but I feel that all we need is love. For every person and every thing. It’s humanly impossible to achieve, but the more we try, the better off we are. I’m glad you agree, so I don’t have to patronize you or force it down your throat. Ha! Too far? 🙂

  20. That “I’m not allowed in school” thing pissed me off when I saw it before last week. When I saw it in relation to the shooting I shut my computer and walked away Facebook and Twitter for the weekend because I was so furious.

    As for the rest of your post, wow. Just… wow. I didn’t know about that. So very upsetting.

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  22. God doesn’t belong in schools. School is for facts, not opinions. I don’t believe in god, or Christianity. An hour spent on the subject is an hour wasted that could have been spent helping children to enrich their lives with art, drama or music. Does anyone even care to discuss the crazy political bullshit that the Vatican is involved with? Blasphemy. Where was God for any of that?

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