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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Friday, January 28, 2005

ICT-Descending into Ignorance

The following editorial excerpt appears in today's web edition of Indian Country Today.

Once they came for us - Descending into ignorance

It is always a dangerous thing when a country's government turns increasingly fundamentalist around one particular faith, including Christianity. Whatever the attacks on the liberal philosophy, which the ''Christian'' right harshly condemns as the work of the devil on earth, the notion of a secular, tolerant, open-minded society remains the best possible way to democratic intelligence and truth in decision making.

We believe this to be a self-evident truth and one of the most genial of all the foundational elements of the American republic. Formed socially and intellectually from the social climate of the European enlightenment and influenced by American Indian social and governmental examples, the political thought of the U.S. founding fathers rode on some wonderful ''new'' notions of human intellectual, social and personal freedoms. Dominant among these was the freedom of intellectual, scientific pursuit of knowledge, free, precisely, from the dogma of the major Christian churches, given as these were to condemn all new knowledge that might contradict any of their faith-based dictums and mandates.

This was the best of the freedom that America pledged to sustain. Indian people early joined this debate over their own spiritual concepts and traditions with Christian missionaries and what comes across from those early documents is how versatile and free the Indian thinkers were relative to the ''black robes'' who came among them. Indian people died in large numbers to maintain their independence of culture and ownership of their own lands, even as many chose to embrace the narratives of Christian culture beyond or in addition to their own indigenous narratives of emergence and Creation.
Full Ecitorial

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