Saturday, February 03, 2007

Conversion by Spanish cannon

“When Cortes and his small but valiant band of iron men conquered the teeming empire of the Aztecs, he was immediately followed by a train of earnest missionaries, chiefly Franciscans, who began to preach the Gospel to the natives and soon sent home, with naïve enthusiasm, glowing accounts of the conversions they had effected. Their pious sincerity and innocent joy still lives in the pages of Father Shagun, Father Torquemada, and many others. For their sake I am glad that the poor Franciscans never suspected how small a part they played in the religious conversions that gave them such happiness. Far, far more persuasive than their sermons and their book had been the Spanish cannon that breached and shattered the Aztec defenses, and the ruthless Spanish soldiers who slew the Aztec priests at their own altars and toppled the Aztec idols from the sacrificial pyramids.

“The Aztecs, Tepanecs, and other natives accepted Christianity, not because their hearts were touched by alien and incomprehensible doctrines of love and mercy, but because it was the religion of the white men whose bronze cannon and mailclad warriors were invincible.”

-Revilo P. Oliver in Christianity – Religion of the West

Mr. Oliver goes on to make the same point in his essay about the other non-European peoples. They nominally accepted Christianity when the Europeans were powerful and went back to their heathen gods when the Europeans were weak.

I have spent the last thirty years of my life dwelling on that fact. The Europeans are the only race of people who accepted Christ when they were powerful. They truly had a personal relationship with Him. He was the Savior, true God and true Man, the fulfillment of their dream of a Hero-God who was good as well as powerful. All other races saw only Christ’s power, not his goodness. And yet every major academic institution and media center throughout Europe and America bid us look at life as the non-white nations do. Why should we look at life through their eyes? God is not there, at least not the God of love and mercy that Europeans have bent their knees to for almost the last two thousand years.

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