Jan 13, 2015 - Crow Nation Accused of Stockholm Syndrome for Proclaiming “Jesus is Lord”
I was truly embarrassed for myself, my kids, and my forefathers when I read that the Crow Nation Tribal Government had paid for and erected a 33ft billboard near their nation which proclaimed “Jesus is Lord on the Crow Nation.” I admire their strength in faith and expressing the fact that Native people are not limited by the United States in that Native Nations are nominally free from colonial dominance because they can proclaim or establish any religion as their official or favored religion, unlike the U.S. I expressed this online capriciously stating that these leaders must have “lost they damn minds” for such action including passing a resolution that proclaims Jesus is Lord.
I caught a lot of criticism, valid criticism, stating that for me to judge another for their choice of faith was idiotic and hypocritical since Natives seek not to be judged; I was told that this action is solely the business and prerogative of the sovereign and distinct Crow Nation and not the concern of anyone else. Those are awesome arguments but the way I see it for the Crow government to declare Jesus is Lord for the world to see, to the exclusion of Original world views that derive from this continent, is a direct shot at all those peoples who have sacrificed everything to be able to practice their traditional world-views in spite of European, Christian-based attempted conquering.
At first glance Natives dismiss such actions as consistent with a successfully colonized people, a people who would turn their backs on their traditionally gifted ways, as many Native Nations have done, to exalt a foreign and forcefully imposed religion by power of the Tribal Government establishing this foreign worldview as an “official” religion of the Crow Nation. Crow ancestors must be rolling in their graves, could this really be the vision Plenty Coups foresaw for the Great Crow Nation? Sure it is their sovereign prerogative to proclaim whatever they will but when that proclamation disrespects everything we as Original peoples of this hemisphere have ever defended with our lives and blood then we have a duty to draw the line; if we don’t draw the line we end up with people openly selling ceremony, charging to Sundance, filming Sundance and on and on. We must always defend the sacred. It is because we are still here that we are able to condemn these acts, proclaiming Jesus as Lord, as harmful to the true sense and source of dignity that springs from the ceremonies and lifeway practices gained through sacrifice over millennia. What of our children’s natural inclination to learning the truth; the truth is the only way to a proper esteem for our people.
Plenty Coup was the Sitting Bull of the Crow; he allied Crow with the whites when the war for the West was being fought, because the Sioux and Cheyenne (who were opposing white settlement of the area) were the traditional enemies of the Crow back then. Plenty Coups had also experienced a vision when he was very young that non-Native people would ultimately take control of his homeland (Montana), so he always felt that cooperation would benefit his people much more than opposition.
One of his famous quotes is: “Education is your greatest weapon. With education you are the white man’s equal, without education you are his victim and so shall remain all of your lives. Study, learn, help one another always. Remember there is only poverty and misery in idleness and dreams – but in work there is self respect and independence.”
He very much wanted the Crow to continue as a people and their customs and spiritual beliefs to carry on. His efforts on their behalf ensured that this happened and he led his people peacefully into the 20th century. [taken from Wikipedia]
Sitting Bull also said that you should pick up what’s good in the road of the White man and leave what is bad. In this day of reclaiming what is left and growing our spirituality after surviving a genocide, maybe Tribal nations should establish their traditional ceremonies as their official religions instead of exalting the religion and worldview of the colonizer, to the detriment of developing senses of identity and esteem. Cooperating or reconciling with another does not mean bending to the will of the other to your detriment. Respect All World-views; We respect Christianity while trying to decolonize it, we don’t have to bow to it. -Chase Iron Eyes
Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness. The FBI‘s Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly 8% of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.
Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual’s response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat. [Wikipedia]