I am not feeling well today, so my apologies in advance if I make less sense than normal
QueenTiye, on 03 November 2017 - 10:26 AM, said:
Anyone think that if this was a Christian sacred site that this would have happened?
I think the question is misguided.
At first I thought we were pretty far apart, and now I am not so sure.
Do you consider this either justice, or at least a fair and impartial process and therefor close enough? Or not?
Christian "sacred sites" are bound to a sense of history. This is where X happened, and this is where Y happened. And Christian belief in the Divine permits that the Divine transcends the physical. That largely means that a statue can be erected in the spot to mark the history and thereby honor the occasion. Even in Catholic systems of belief (and this I say by way of observation, having never been Catholic) - the spot will retain its spirituality regardless of what is built on the spot (and statuary built on the spot can be more sacred than the spot).
Or where they *think* or *believed* something happened in their history. The place it is believe Abraham almost scarified Isaac is considered sacred. I am sure there is a lot more history, both real and believed, tied up in the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
I think a better parallel would be imaging their sacred land as being their sacred texts. Their spirituality and religion is so tied up in being connected to the natural land, and typically not having a written language, to them their oral (and life-style) traditions are near wholly tied up in the land and vice-versa.
And when it comes to history history…. oral history is not as unreliable as the layman believes. Think of bards(?) from the middle ages having to memorize epic ballads perfectly… Native Americans/First Nations had to do the same, and treated such tasks with great respect as their identity as a people depended on it.
Conversely, Native American beliefs hold that the spirit is intrinsically linked to the natural world - it is not transcendent - OR if there is a belief in a transcendent God (Great Spirit) it does not supersede the intrinsic spiritual qualities of the natural environment. So - the value systems are different. And yes - if it were a "Christian site" I am pretty sure it would have gone the same way, because the Christian system does not contradict a fundamental outlook of American land use - namely that land needs to be used for something. Leaving the land to nature when something needs to be built would require a value system that places the spirit IN the land, as opposed to in an object which can be erected alongside a shopping mall (for instance).
I am not sure what your point is, other than trying to further point out that you think my question was misguided
Are you saying your perception of their non-Abrahamic value systems being different justifies giving it less importance or weight when discussing accommodating their beliefs?
Even when Native American/First Nation history is manifested in the environment (rock paintings/carvings, earth mounds, etc), some people will treat such things with disrespect and vandalism, and I'd imagine that the resources the government puts to protect those sites are much less than to protect other sites deemed important.
Also, I don't think Mormons would want a government filled with non-Mormon people decide what to do with their sacred places. (The only other religion I can think of that started on American soil…. Well, other than Scientology, but I respect them and their beliefs about as much as snake-oil salesmen…). And while the Mormons have had issues with the government before (polygamy), I don't think it would ever now
occur to the government to tear down or modify a Mormon sacred place. Luckily for them they are the majority in the state government of Utah at least, though I understand they have special religious sites outside of Utah also.
My own thoughts on this…. This does exactly have to do with value systems, and not just religious or spiritual ones, but cultural ones, economic ones, demographic ones. I read an interesting science-fiction book recently that had some alien aliens
in it, and one species was intelligent but due to its psychology it never developed math but great at moral/ethical quandaries. Anyways, a human and another math-inclined-species alien postulated that maybe their own species were often stymied on ethics because of their brains being more geared towards math, and that moral/ethical quandaries were through of through the prism of mathematical problems (just think of the cliche/classic "Trolley problem").
The idea that we can look at situations like this in a-historical way, using a justice system designed not only without their values or meaningful input, but designed against them? I think that is folly.
Is the Native American/First Nation religious/cultural value system incompatible with the U.S. and Canadian cultural/institutional value system? If so, what does that mean, that the Native American/First Nation have to accommodate the U.S./Canada values forever? Isn't that what they have been doing for 500 years? When does the favour get returned?
Speaking of values… The court decided it was in the public interest
to go forward.
Who defines public interest?
Does not meeting that definition mean that something, especially involving nominally public land, was a wrong decision?
What does that mean, once you analyze it?
Is it just me that hears in public interest at least some of the following:
non-Native/First Nation (including ignore the history that deprived them of this land)
economic growth &/or greed is good
development/resorts/recreation/tourism is more important than conservation and sacred places
Yes, those values are in opposition to many traditional beliefs, and not just Native Americans'/First Nations'.
Edited by sierraleone, 03 November 2017 - 03:02 PM.