Monday, December 9, 2013
Born Again... A good thing
Born Again the Wikipedia definition says this: "In Christianity, to be born again is to undergo a "spiritual rebirth" (regeneration) of the human soul or spirit from the Holy Spirit, contrasted with the physical birth everyone experiences. The origin of the term "born again" is the New Testament: "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.'"[Jn 3:3 NIV] It is a term associated with salvation in Christianity. Individuals who profess to be born again often state that they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."
Okay then, so basically people get a "do-over". That is great news. As I messed up first time around. Could have been a better Dad and a better son. But what can you do, eh? Although I can truly say that the Creator is giving me a second chance with my kids and of course the Grandkids. Love those little demons.
I know people usually associate 'born again' with the christian population. Me, I am thinking more of the Indian crowd. The born again Indian in this case.
I was just thinking about this Elder that I heard speak a few times. She is a very knowledge person and sure knows her Traditions. Like most people she likes to put a little "dig" here and there. That's how we are as people, Indian people. We love our people but we also like to give the kick once in a while. You know how it is. Anyways, her dig is about how she grew up Traditional and never had to be a born again Indian. She is right, but still... I think she could give some slack to those that have not had the opportunity to live with parents or grandparents that did not suffer from the dominance of Christianity and the "get rid of the Indian" attack by government forces. I mean really? Is it their fault as to the circumstances of how and where they were raised? Lot of our people have been on the end of the big stick that is called assimilation; aka the residential school experiment. The polices go back, way back and were honed by the master poet himself, Duncan Campbell Scott. You know this guy? The guy who coined the phrase, "kill the Indian in the child". Well lots of our people, most I would bet, have suffered from his long shadow of blunt force trauma. You like that? Kind of poetic? No? Oh well, you get the picture, he was a bad guy for Indians and his actions were long in practice. So I don't agree with the giving digs to some (not all mind you) of our born again Indians. After all I am one for sure. Born again in the sense that I didn't practice Indian Spirituality or Teachings until I was introduced to them in 1980. Before that I was just a regular Indian guy that learned Christianity at the Boarding school in Fort Alexander.
Like I was saying, the born again Indian is a good Indian. Although we know of some that are crazy. You know the type. The ones that know everything and must follow everything. Kind of like the crazy born again Christian. I like the Urban Dictionary definition of a born again: born again christians are the sect of christianty for people who fucked it up the first time around. They believe that redemption will come from following the bible more literally than god would ever wish, to the point which their ideology becomes culty and near immoral. born-agains are extremely hypocritical and their misuse of god's texts and discriminitory views give Christianity a bad name. Ironically, it is these people who preach their superiority that are the biggest jack-asses. And then they have the nerve to look you in the face, after they have just finished bad mouthing gays and other religions, and preach the superiority of their ideology. Similar situation with the born again Indian. Some of those guys and gals just go way over the edge wacko. You know those type, smelling of smudge all the time, whether its sage or bear-root. They tell you that you have to go Sweat. They will give you instructions on how to pray; how to behave; how to respect others and then call down some other Traditional Elders. That's okay though, they just prayed.
But really the born again is a good thing for Indian country. They are the ones that have traveled down that colonial road and decided "no more jello pudding for me, ma". Oops wrong reference. They are eager to learn, work hard at becoming a good Indian and even more, a good person. That is what it is really about. The roads we choose are full of obstacles. The tools we use to overcome those obstacles are things like belief. Belief is fundamental to any good Indian, whether they are Born free Traditionalist or the Born Again Indian. You believe that Indians had a very good path prior to contact. They believe in the pride of their heritage, their relatives (family or otherwise) and their ancestry. Born Agains are going to make new free born Traditionalists. That is a good thing.
So next time someone calls you a born again, say Miigwich, I appreciate that.