Saturday, November 26, 2016
What Do Pipelines have to do with the Doctrine of Discovery? Do Justice
In 1493, Pope Alexander VI declared that any land not inhabited by Christians was free for the new generation of European explorers to take at will. History would remember this declaration as the third of three papal bulls that make up the Doctrine of Discovery, the legal and ecclesiastical justification for centuries of European theft of Native lands and genocide of Native peoples—imperialism baptized in the language of Christian mission.
The brutality and imperialism sanctioned by the Doctrine of Discovery is papered over in U.S. textbooks, glimpsed only in short units on the Trail of Tears or the massacre at Wounded Knee.
It's not hard to see this legacy playing itself out today. The exploitation and abuse rubber-stamped by the Doctrine of Discovery and played out in the rampant imperialism of the “Age of Exploration” is alive and well in the hearts and minds of Western economic, cultural, and political institutions today.
The Western imagination has been utterly colonized by the cold calculus of Discovery, convincing us that the earth is nothing more than inert raw material meant to fire our industrial machines and that non-white lives matter only if they can be assimilated into dominant Western culture to fuel ever more exploitation; of ever more “discovery”.
We have forgotten the wisdom of the ancient Hebrews, our ancestors of the faith, who understood that the created world is inherently sacred and pulses with the divine. Dismissed is the spirituality of Indigenous communities who recognize humanity’s place inside of, and dependent upon, the great web of beings.
The full article is available here