James Giago Davies: Understanding who we are as Lakota people

James Giago Davies. Photo from Native Sun News Today

We know who the Lakota were
But do we understand who we are now?
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Today Columnist

Most Lakota believe in some aspect of what the historical Lakota held sacred, and if you attend a gathering or meeting or festivity held by Lakota, more often than not traditional ceremony opens and closes those meetings in a sacred way.

People find meaning and purpose and truth in their faith. They find identity. Few of the people practicing Christianity or Islam have the blood of the people who founded the religion in their bodies, and that is what happens when a faith is shared by billions.

For centuries the Wasicu has adjusted faith to fit within the framework of societies which have official language declaring themselves to be operationally independent of faith, like the United States Constitution. This is the source of much of the deep philosophical conflict (geopolitical/economic conflict aside) presently between Christians and Muslims.

Most Muslims do not find theocracy threatening; see no reason to separate government action from faith, because for them, faith is the chief arbiter of what is true, what is just. The idea upstanding citizens might have another faith, or no faith, can only be interpreted as a failing in such people, and government honoring the free expression of other beliefs, logically implies beliefs outside the fold are as valid and true as Islam. Not acceptable.

This was the case in Medieval Europe, and it is a predictable expression of minds mired in the concrete, where faith is a certitude expressed, not just in doctrine, but in government policy, in the rule of law.

Many modern Muslim societies, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, still attempt to govern based upon a 14th Century model of hidebound certitude, and we see in the United States fundamentalist Christian groups determined to rewrite the Constitution to officially recognize their faith as the basis for governance.

How can this be a bad thing, they reasoned in the 14th Century and reason yet today, when their faith is truth, why would any sane person compromise or eliminate it for the secular priorities of mere men?

For rigid minds mired by intractable certitude, such an act is an evil act of men against the sacred truth of God.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: We know who the Lakota were

(Contact James Giago Davies at skindiesel@msn.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News

Join the Conversation