The following letter was published in Indian Country Today Media Network, the world's largest Indian news source.
A new paradigm?
by Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer
The national Episcopal Church recently repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery. A series of
15th century papal bulls which were the basis for the formulation of an international
legal construct (the Doctrine) gave Christian monarchs who "discovered" non-Christian
lands and territories the "right" to claim a superior and paramount title to those
lands and territories.
The Episcopal Church's resolution renounces the doctrine "as fundamentally
opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and our understanding of the inherent
rights that individuals and peoples have received from God."
The inherent rights that peoples have received from God were not based on race,
creed, color, nor civilized or un-civilized status, but by reason of their humanity.
Therefore, indigenous peoples' homelands fully belonged to them when Europeans
"discovered" them and the European colonists and later European Americans had no
right to claim them and subjugate their indigenous habitants. Therefore, the
indigenous peoples' homelands in the New World belonged, and still fully belong
to them. A new paradigm is beginning to be established, in part, on this
reasoning and conclusion.
Appropriate respect for indigenous people would open up the process
for bringing radical transformation to this nation's dominant culture,
a transformation that would cause the people of the dominant culture to
become tribal people who would be dominated (ruled over) by this land's
indigenous peoples. However, this will not occur until after the
extreme arrogance of the people of the dominant culture has been
eliminated. It's a type of arrogance that has kept them from seeing
the truth about themselves, their history, culture and religion.
It will be newly revealed evidence of the radical abuse of this land's
indigenous peoples that will cause cultural mainstream Americans to
recognize their extreme arrogance and repent.
This process of becoming aware of their arrogance associated with
the abuse of indigenous peoples will subsequently influence them to
want to give appropriate respect for other peoples' cultures and religions
which they have not done because of their deluded self-righteous arrogance.
Giving all peoples appropriate respect will consequently create a new
paradigm that will inspire the creation and establishment of a new
universal religion that will serve as the basis and principle of
unity for a single united global culture wherein humanity will
become united and liberated.