After his pseudo-history of colonial Massachusetts and Virginia, Tinker skipped over 2 centuries to condemn the U.S. occupation of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War. Ominously, President William McKinley, as Tinker recalled accurately, was a Methodist who prayed on his knees for divine guidance before deciding how to handle the territory after the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay surrendered to Admiral Dewey. Tinker claimed America then “slaughtered” 1 million Filipinos, which he called “hard stuff” for modern Methodists to hear. How many died during the Philippines insurrection against U.S. rule is debated, but an estimated 30-40,000 rebel combatants died across several years. Several hundred thousand civilians are estimated to have possibly died during the period, mostly from cholera.
Tinker then shifted to the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre, when Colonel John Chivington, a failed Methodist minister and abolitionist, led Colorado Territory militia in an attack on peaceable Indians, perhaps killing 150. Facing court martial, Chivington resigned, and he later was condemned by a congressional committee. He lived largely afterwards in disgrace. The United Methodist Church has been repenting for the Sand Creek Massacre since 1996. Tinker also complained about Tennessee Methodists who “put their political marbles in the hat” of President Andrew Jackson during his removal of the Cherokees, even as some Methodist missionaries supported the tribesmen.
What’s the answer to all this American/European/Methodist sin against tribal peoples across the centuries? “Way too early to be thinking about reconciliation,” Tinker warned. Native peoples are “not reconciled to conquest.” It would be “like asking abused spouse to live with abuser without change.” And “apologies don’t do anything.” But Tinker vaguely suggested a good start would be to guarantee “equal access” to the riches of the world. Perhaps reparations? He didn’t explain. Naturally Tinker denounced the “political system that continues to find new excuses to invade other people’s lands.” He urged a return to “harmony and balance,” citing tribal reconciliation rites after killing an elk or even eating corn, which is seen as like a mother. “There has to be a ceremony to create relationship between you and the elk,” he helpfully explained.
Prior to Tinker, another tribesman speaking for the original native peoples of Florida told delegates they were welcome to what is now known as the “colonial state of Florida.” Explaining that his people had first emerged from the “birthing canal from the female earth,” he warned the Methodist visitors, “We have rules.” Those rules include not taking 30 minute showers, he shared, since even the water is sacred.
Some international Methodist delegates thought the “repentance” service, organized by U.S. church elites less concerned about orthodox Christian doctrine than they, espoused pagan themes. They also didn’t feel complicit in the cited misdeeds of Europeans and Americans of 2 and 3 centuries ago.
Pagan or not, the United Methodist “repentance” was based more on leftist ideology than the Christian understanding of a fallen world needing redemption from God. European colonists and early Americans were sinners, as were the native peoples they encountered. Actual history should be acknowledged. And this question should be posed. Is humanity better or worse off with the “colonies” of the United States, a multicultural republic that espouses human equality and has created unprecedented freedoms and riches for countless millions? Most Americans, including most Native Americans and most Methodists, unlike their purported spokespersons, almost certainly are more thankful for than repentant over America.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
Pages: 1 2