Notice During the Covid-19 Outbreak
In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call.You may call or email Tom at:
© Scott Griessel stock.adobe.com
May 8, 2021
A Reflection from the Christian Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
The only way our Nation can heal and move on to its glorious future of justice for all is to be honest and open about its history. A few days ago, a politician who should know better declared, “When “we” came here to this Land, there was nothing here. We built it from scratch.” He went on to say there were some “Native Americans,” but they were not significant in “our” history. The arrogance of this position is astounding and dangerous. Many of us grew up thinking of the Indigenous Peoples of this Land as savages, half-human, and the enemy.
We demanded they be converted to our faith as if they had no love for the Great Spirit, subjected to our laws as if they had no society, and become the object of our violence. They were enslaved, humiliated, robbed of their Land as if it were ours, and finally, in many cases executed as if they had no right to live. The genocide of Indigenous Peoples is not only a stain on the history of our Nation but an evil crying out for justice. reparation, land return, and formal recognition of the atrocities committed against Indigenous people must be forthcoming. Our textbooks must reflect the truth of genocide and enslavement if we would ever confront the systemic racism embedded in our culture and institutions.
The Sacred Sites must be restored and returned. The traditional Missions must become centers of apology and reconciliation. Nothing can erase or justify the past. We can humbly stand with the Indigenous Peoples of today, learning to discern the Voices of the Ancestors who can guide in the ways of repair, restoration, and reconciliation.
Religion must never be used in the cause of oppression or injustice. The time has passed for us to speculate about the future place of the Indigenous in American life. We must recognize the fact that the Iroquois Confederacy inspired our Constitution. We must realize the respectful ways the Indigenous Peoples honored the Land. We must humbly seek their wisdom before our traditional ways of living destroy life on Earth as we know it. We must learn to walk in the ways of gratitude for the fruits of the Earth being generous to those in need.
Our great Ancestor, Jesus the Nazorean, spoke words of truth we can discern in the winds of justice blowing across the Earth. According to John 15:15, we hear, “I no longer call you slave but friend.”
Francis, the Bishop of Rome, reminds us of the friendship needed to transform the World. His latest Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti (89), reminds us, “… authentic and mature love and true friendship can only take root in hearts open to growth through relationships with others. As couples or friends, we find that our hearts expand as we step out of ourselves and embrace others.”
Imagine what our World would become if we called one another “Friend”?
Blessings to you, Holy Community, for blessing the World with your caring friendship.