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The boys of Covington Catholic High School stole the show at this weekend’s March for Life in Washington, DC when they surrounded and mocked Vietnam Veteran and indigenous elder Nathan Phillips while he was in the midst of a sacred ceremony. What stuck out in my mind was the response from the Cincinnati Diocese, who called the incident “unfortunate and regrettable.”
That’s the kind of language that public relations officials use when they don’t want to concede fault but they don’t want to be accused of condoning something that is getting a lot of negative media. Roman Catholic public relations officials have had a lot of practice with this kind of wordsmithing because of their rapist priests. But the language is fitting. Because what the boys did was entirely in keeping with the theology they have been taught. It was simply a socially unpalatable way of expressing it.
Claim - Christianity - Catholic - Protestant - Exclusivity
The most fundamental theological claim of right-wing Christianity whether Catholic or Protestant evangelical is the exclusivity of Christian truth. That’s why it was considered appropriate a century ago to take native children away from their families and put them in Christian boarding schools where they were beaten for speaking in their native languages. That’s why Catholic theologian Juan Gines De Sepulveda told the Spanish court in the early 16th century that enslaving natives in the lands discovered by Christopher Columbus was entirely in keeping with Jesus’ declaration that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
If Jesus is the only truth and indigenous spiritualities are perversions of truth that keep their practitioners from submitting to Christ as Lord so...
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