Friday, July 17, 2015
Defending Oak Flat & Deconstructing White Christian Privilege
Last week, while addressing a crowd in Bolivia, Pope Francis asked for forgiveness: "I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offenses of the church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America." With this, he adds his voice to other religious leaders and institutions in asking forgiveness for the role of the church in the genocide of native peoples and the conquest of land all in the name of God. It is a history that I think about a lot as a white pastor of a church that was founded in 1906 as a mission to the Tohono O'odham. It is a legacy that is always before me as I seek to minister to Native American members of my congregation and community. And it is a reality that we have once again been made aware of as Oak Flat, the sacred land of the Apache, has been traded off in the middle of the night to the highest bidder.