When I spoke of sins of our fathers, I had more in mind, the extermination of the natives, as was explained during our gathering last week. I may be wrong, but the picture I painted was that of a neighbor who begins to desire his neighbors land to the extent that he kills him in order to take it. And then the murderer procreates, has children, and eventually dies. The question that I have, is what is the responsibility of his children to those whom their father wronged?
Consider the following story told in a PBS show about the gold rush:
In the early days of the Gold Rush, from the very beginning, frustrated Anglo American miners banded together to form groups of essentially vigilante or volunteer militia groups. They were ad hoc organizations, and their stated objective was to exterminate the "red devils," to eliminate the obstacles that the native Californians had become in their minds. And their modus operandi was to attack native villages wherever they might find them in the vicinity of their mining activities, to eliminate their presence utterly, killing the men, the women, and the children. And this was considered to be a necessity.
The only way we will be able to mine in security, if all of these people are exterminated." And the language that they used at the time, "extermination," was precisely describing what they were attempting to do.So, what is our response to such stories that are central to our great state of California? I shared on Sunday about our local Chumash history, and how the ranchers and Missionaries misrepresented themselves and ultimately dismantled an entire culture. What is our response to that?
My guess is that we have several options:
- Claim "Manifest Destiny" (God wanted me to kill them). BTW, if this term is new to you, follow the link.
- Claim "Survival of the Fittest".
- Hope that I'm not culpable for the sins of my predecessors.
- Close my eyes and plug my ears.
- Strive to glorify God with what may have been attained sinfully (Gen 50:20)