Recently there was an excellent column on The Wild Hunt by Luke Babb, Reckoning with Racism through a Pagan Lens. It was a good analysis of the relationship of Protestant Christianity with racism, and of attempts to use that tradition to justify racism.
In the column’s comments section, some readers said they felt that the evidence offered for the intimate connection of racism and Christianity was insufficient. The disconnect seemed to stem from a conception of racism as only being its more extreme manifestations – that is, as actual expressions of violence toward Black, Indigenous, and other people of color – rather than the everyday reinforcement of white supremacy and privilege by those who choose to ignore the fact that they are living in a colonial state that grew rich from the exploitation, dispossession, and destruction of Black and Indigenous communities.
Three major pieces of evidence – the concept of terra nullius, the activities of Christian missionaries, and Indian residential schools – reinforce the relationship between Christianity, colonialism, and racism, and reaffirm the points Babb made in their original article.
Featured image: native-land.ca
There have now been hundreds of Black people killed by police in the USA. The militarization of the police has continued and expanded since the Ferguson protests over the killing of Michael Brown.
I have mainly been posting about the protests on my Instagram and Twitter accounts.
We the undersigned believe that the colonial occupation and exploitation of Wet’suwet’en lands, and all other unceded lands, is illegal.
I am currently sitting beside Lake Erie (Erielhonan), or in Ojibwe, Waabishkiigoo-gichigami (Neutrals’ Sea), or Aanikegamaa-gichigami (Chain of Lakes Sea).
Lake Erie is one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. The surface area of the Great Lakes is about the same as the surface area of the British Isles (a statistic I’ve often quoted to impress the sheer size of Canada upon my fellow English people).
Despite Canada (1) possessing the largest body of fresh water in the world, a significant percentage of the original inhabitants of this northern area of Turtle Island (2) do not have running water in their homes.
I have just moved from Oxford, England, to Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. As you can imagine, this will cause some emotional upheaval. I feel very rooted in England, and am concerned about the issue of land stolen from Indigenous people in Canada, and the effects of colonialism on their wellbeing and way of life.
One of the key elements of Pagan thought is connecting with the Earth, Nature, and/or the land. As a general thing, Wiccans seem to focus more on Nature, Druids seem to focus more on the Earth, and Heathens seem to focus more on the land. however, there are always individual exceptions to these generalities. I have always felt very attached to the land around me, especially hills and ranges of hills.
The Pagan revival began, in part, because people felt alienated from Nature by the Industrial Revolution and living in cities.
Looking at other indigenous spiritualities and religions around the world, we can see that connection to the land and Nature is extremely important to them. This connection includes awareness of ecosystems, bio-regions, animals, plants, seasonal changes, rivers, rocks, and trees.