I have studied, seen and been told how Africans used "the church" and the church buildings for radical and important actions of political movement and strategic planning. I have seen how the broken-hearted souls of disembodied indigeny have gained some semblance of energetic rejuvenation in the face of seemingly insurmountable imperialistic odds (have you seen a 70 year old woman get "sanctified", get the "holy ghost" in a baptist church in the African community here on Turtle Island?!). I have seen scores of suited, tied, fancy-dressed indigenous peoples from North and South America, from Asia and India, from Africa show up in nice, big cars and european hair cuts, "good english" drizzling off their tongues, sure to go to nice "jobs" on monday folk flooding in and out of churches, rosaries dripping off their fingers, bibles clutched to their sides as if their lives depended on them for air. I've felt the economic weight of the millions upon millions of hard-earned dollars pouring - no - raining tempestuously into church coffers feeding the predatory impulse of the cultural debacle of "mission". I have heard the anguish in the voices of the "saved" as they declare their allegiance to a Jesus who doesn't look like them, clamouring for some semblance of self in a world that continually seeks to wipe their Ancestral memory from the face of the earth.
I have not seen any of these people speak to the nature of redemption of the most heinous crimes of genocide, colonialism, settler-colonialism, neo-colonialism, neo-liberalism and fascism. I have not seen their book nor their god smite any of the colonizers down in their tracks. I have not seen the fiery uprising continued unabated in those church buildings nor in the fetid catacombs that we can now call "the church". I have not seen these people, so somehow empowered by their new colonial god-man, speak or act in accordance with the needs of people on earth in such a way that suggests that they are anything but insane, at the very least insane enough to think that a tool that was brought by their historical conqueror is anything but a tool of continued conquest and cultural genocide.
I have seen them pimp starving, dying children in African villages to raise money for "mission" work (see the 'work' of Jim Robison et al). I have heard them unapologetically refer to indigenous missionary targets as "savages" (see EWTN's "Life On The Rock" live world broadcast during World Youth Day - 47:31 in on the DVD). I have seen THEM refer to the process of proselytization and mission work as "imperialistic", while their white privilege declared that they "respect" other (non-european) cultures (see Pathways International blog post on "cultural contamination"). I have seen them disrespect African and indigenous culture on their young adult tv programming (see "Knights of St. Michael" on EWTN, the roamin catholic cable channel). I have seen them BE the "1%". I have seen them claim in word and deed that north and south America should be a "christian continent" (see papal statements on the Knights of Columbus website). I have seen them aggrandize and deify the name and legacy of one of the world's worst, most beloved (by them) and most correctly maligned international criminals, Criminal Columbus.
"Yea, that we must look up to the lord(s). Turn ye heads away from that demon earth that pulls ye from a lord on high. She is a barren harlot. Raise your voices to him that loveth you best. Turn your heads from the demon Ancestor that your heathen ways claim as your false creators. Yea, shall you bask in the warmth of G-O-D that runneth down your sinful body, ignore that that warmth be your very own blood as the cross of your redeemer has been thrust into the flesh of your sinful back, now bowed and weary in righteous supplication to the lord(s). When your blood of original sin is finally drained from your vessel, it is then that ye shall be saved, for thou needest saving. Forget ye your demonic past. Your truth is in the Book, the Word spaketh by the lord(s) himself. It is so, because.....that book says it is so." Coyote 3:14-21
" In 1863, a Catholic priest named Jean de Smet, after sojourning illegally in the Black Hills, reported the presence of gold there. In short order, this incentive proved sufficient to cause Washington to violate the new treaty, sending Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his elite 7th Cavalry Regiment (heavily reinforced) to explore the Hills. [emphasis mine]" - Ward Churchill, pg. 70, "The Earth Is Our Mother", as in "From A Native Son: Selected Essays on Indigenism, 1985-1995", South End Press, Boston, MA, 1996