Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sins of Our Fathers Part II

Judging from the reaction to table talk last week in Community, and from responses to last week's blog post, I think that I worded my last post poorly. We have spent a lot of time in the past dealing with the Revolution, and pondering Jesus' response. Last week's question however, was intended to draw more upon the westward expansion, than the founding of the original 13 colonies.
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)
  • ???

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sins of our Fathers

Are we guilty for the sins of our fathers?

How many sins can you think of that were committed against God in the founding of America? What evils took place so that we could live in our homes with our white picket fences with two and half kids? What crimes occurred against men and women created in God’s image so that we could sing songs like “God bless America,” and “My Country Tis of Thee”?

Are we guilty of any of those sins today?

A couple of years ago at a conference, I met UK author Kester Brewin, who recently blogged about the movie, There Was No Blood. He wrote:
As an outsider it seems the US is, more than elsewhere, a country in search of blood. Family blood - desperately trying to cling on to Scottish, Irish, African, Spanish heritage - and God's blood - desperately trying to divine Christ's blood to purify all the soiled ground beneath everyone's feet. And, in the final instance, as in the film, there is blood. There always will be. In the madness of the consuming search for God's blood and our family's blood, we strike out and wound the other. If we get blood-fever, like Gold or Oil Fever, then blood we will find. Violent, painful and destructive. The same blood lust that wounded Christ.

As an insider, what are your thoughts?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"So Ryan, you've decided to grow some of your hair back?" -Billy Frisk

If you want to keep up with the my personal chia experiment, here it is at three weeks.

At least I don't look like this guy: