After reading Julian Ross Hudson’s letter to the editor in the paper last week, I felt compelled to write a letter of my own.
In Evone Monteith’s original letter to editor two weeks ago, she called for “Christians to admit that theirs is not the only way to connect with the higher powers of the universe…” Hudson attempts to restate this quote in his own letter, writing “Christianity should toss in the towel on its own claims of exclusivity with respect to being the only valid way of approaching God.” I hope the reader has noticed a great assumption in Hudson’s approach. He has defined “higher powers of the universe” as “God.”
Hudson then continues to state polytheistic gods are not true gods as they do not have ultimate dominion over each other. A quick check of the dictionary reveals four definitions of the word “God,” one of which is the position supported by Hudson, and three are definitions that highlight traits all but possessed by gods in polytheistic belief structures.
I do not point out these statements as being “right” or “wrong” but what I do find disturbing is they imply a “correct” way of living and believing. One of my high school religion teachers would always say, “Religion is like a mountain, we may see different paths but they all lead to the same peak.”
While I do believe there is some truth in the inevitable rise and fall of civilizations, I think Hudson’s position on this subject highly reflects he is not a part of the disappearing civilization. The language in his letter seems to suggest, and I could be wrong, that preservation of the aboriginal community in its traditional form, using taxpayers’ money, is a folly because the culture should adapt or fade away. To my knowledge, our federal government does not have a mandate to preserve “native religion,” rather aboriginal cultures and rights.
Secondly, these structures are a direct result of agreements and treaties made in the past and present. I think many would agree the current structures in place are not ideal but who can fault either side for fighting for what they believe in? I hate to use theoretical situations but imagine if another nation swooped into Canada, obtained power and forced you to change to their norms? I doubt most readers would shrug their shoulders and say “survival or bust.”
I think this is especially potent when you consider the loss of spirituality and meaning, as both are, in my opinion, core concepts and structures for human survival. The history of all major world religions are dotted with battles and conflicts over this very idea!
I have to say I have nothing against Christianity and find my Christian friends are some of the most supportive and wonderful people I know. However, I do take issue when someone wields their belief structure as the only correct method of thinking. I feel it is completely unfair for Hudson to judge the aboriginal community as being “incapable of adopting socially progressive teachings” and “imprisoning the minds of its members” when his own belief structure is highly regimented and deeply rooted in the same beliefs that have existed for thousands of years.
Next time you attend a mass or service, I ask you to take a poll of how many of your members are: 1) homosexual; 2) living together without being married; 3) recently received an abortion, or 4) believe in euthanasia. If you are part of a highly progressive denomination, then I have committed the same folly I accuse you of. If not, then you might want to adopt some socially progressive teachings, or let another culture come along and do it for you.