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  #106  
Old Jun 22, '07, 9:25 am
Br Joshua Seidl Br Joshua Seidl is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

Pardon me again please. I thought this thread was about Spider Webs (what many of you have been calling a Dream Catcher). I don't know how a new thread is started, but I think if there is a discussion about the last 514 years of American history and racial issues, land rights, and who did what to who -- perhaps that is a subject for a new thread. I'm sure those interested in such can figure out a Catholic reason for discrimination and racial arguments in a new thread.

If there is charity in the new thread about the various takes on history, let me know and I'll look forward to reading it.
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  #107  
Old Jun 22, '07, 12:15 pm
johnstown johnn johnstown johnn is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

You are right! Threads have a way of straying from main themes. It's human nature, I suppose.
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  #108  
Old Jun 22, '07, 2:22 pm
mistfall mistfall is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

Brother Seidl,

I'm curious about something. It's always been my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) that Native American cultures differed from each other as much as European cultures did, and that it would be a mistake to talk about a "Native American tradition" as if every tribe or nation were alike.

Why is it not possible for a non-Native to have learned enough about a particular Native American group to be qualified to speak about it? Is it possible that the speaker might be referring to the practice of a tribe or nation that you are not as familiar with as your own? If I had grown up immersed in, say, Swedish culture, I might be a bit hasty to conclude that I would know more about German culture than a non-European could. Or are Native American cultures really more similar to each other in their customs and traditions than European cultures are?
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  #109  
Old Jun 22, '07, 3:46 pm
Br Joshua Seidl Br Joshua Seidl is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

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Originally Posted by mistfall View Post
Brother Seidl,

I'm curious about something. It's always been my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) that Native American cultures differed from each other as much as European cultures did, and that it would be a mistake to talk about a "Native American tradition" as if every tribe or nation were alike.

Why is it not possible for a non-Native to have learned enough about a particular Native American group to be qualified to speak about it? Is it possible that the speaker might be referring to the practice of a tribe or nation that you are not as familiar with as your own? If I had grown up immersed in, say, Swedish culture, I might be a bit hasty to conclude that I would know more about German culture than a non-European could. Or are Native American cultures really more similar to each other in their customs and traditions than European cultures are?
Please accept my appologies. Of course anyone can comment. What I wanted to express was that while so many outside the First Nations were commenting -- I figured it would benefit for some folks within the First Nations to give the story from actuall living tradition, rather than primarily from outside sources.

I also offer a chi-migwetch (a great expression of thanks) to you for your first paragraph. Yes, indeed our more than 550 Indigenous Nations each have their own tarditions, ceremony, stories, languages and so on, just as there are differences in european nations and in Asia or else where. I am Anishinabe Ojibwe (generaly speaking - the Great Lakes region). There are other Anishinabe groups, such as Odawa (ottowa) and Potawatomi. The Ojibwe have also been called Chippewa.

As an American, I can certainly give some thoughts on Sweden or on the Netherlands. So, I am sorry if my responce sounded as if I felt only a Native can speak on Native concerns.

If someone thinks we are New Age, that's fine. If non-Natives tell me things about Dream Catchers that are not part of our heritage, that's fine. If I tell a Dutch person he or she wears wooden shoes all the time -- I'm sure he or she will laugh. However, I would expect that if the Dutch Person told me that wood shoes have a history in thier lands, but that I am mistaken about how I view their custom or tradition --- then I would have a tendancy to think that person from De Nederlands would have and advantage over me of what they know about themselves.

I used the Netherlands as example because I used to live there. I brought back some wood shoes. There are some interesting pagan stories associated with wood shoes that I was told over there. Imagine if I repeated those stories on this forum as if I was the main speaker as verses being just one person who heard or observed this or that about Dutch culture.

what I say here is not pointed at you. These are some generalization on my part. I liked the way you wrote.

I actually enjoy the commentaries found here. It helps me understand why some Religious superiors told me it is impossible to be Catholic and Native. That is their oppinion. they can say that. I am also a military veteran. I one of hundreds of thousands others who protected free speech. Please, you honor Veterans and me when you give your oppinion regardless of what your experiences are on any given subject. If a person has a different angle - that's how we learn things.

I knew there were but only a few folks out there who figured me to be a complete pagan as a birth rite and most unredeemable. I just didn't expect to see as much as I did in one place. It is good that I hear these different oppinons.

I have been through too much to ever want to deny you or anyone else their oppinion. Life is too short and precious for that. Just last night a Anishinabe Village center was raided. The community had just set up for a grand celebration of Canadian Aboriginal Day. Some folks came in, busted up everyhting and spayed painted swatzikas (sp?) all over the Community centre. Their big day, today, is psent in tears and cleaning up the extensive racial violence. The Elders are holding prayer ceremonies to bring peace.

That sort of expression of personal oppinon I am opposed to. What I see here in the forum is much different. But words have a life of their own. Given in blessing they come back as such. Given out of angre they go around festering as such.

Please understand that much of what I just wrote is some generalization on many of the things that have been shared. You wrote very well and very respecting. I am quite humbled by your good manners and the way you put things. Thank you again.
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  #110  
Old Jun 23, '07, 9:49 am
RobinTruett RobinTruett is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

anamchara;
Not to change the subject I love the little picture you post of Mary and Jesus do you lnow who painted it or where I could find a larger one?
Now back to the subject;
Come to think of it that would be more beautiful in my house then my dusty dream catcher( there so hard to clean)
After reading all these threads I'm triing to use the artistic abilities that God gave me Of how we could give the dream catcher a more chritian Christ centered meaning Like we did with the christmas tree, the celtic circle and all the other pagan tradition that we've made Christ centered that today most don't know the history. You see a christmes tree and one thinks Christmas, the birth of Jesus...and so on.
This could be the begining of a new project for me.
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  #111  
Old Jun 23, '07, 10:02 am
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CatholicSam CatholicSam is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

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Originally Posted by Julianna View Post
It saddens me when folks come on the boards asking if this or that is evil and the pious come streaming out of the woodwork.
Hi there! I felt that it needed to be asked because I know very little about the subject. If you read my original post, you can see that I didn't really ask the question of the title. The title of the thread was to concisely give people an idea about the topic of the thread. I've gotten some good information from my "saddening" question. If you don't like what questions I ask, I suggest you don't read my threads in the future. Or better still, go ahead and actually read the original post without assuming you know what the discussion is about simply by reading the title of the thread I just knew I'd get a response like yours when I typed that word "evil" into my title. Oh well, I wanted to keep the title as short as possible and so that's why I worded it the way I did.

As the OP, my questions have been resolved thanks to Br. Joshua and some of the other posters. Please let's keep the discussions on this thread friendly and charitable
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  #112  
Old Jun 23, '07, 11:12 am
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Julianna Julianna is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatholicSam View Post
Hi there! I felt that it needed to be asked because I know very little about the subject. If you read my original post, you can see that I didn't really ask the question of the title. The title of the thread was to concisely give people an idea about the topic of the thread. I've gotten some good information from my "saddening" question. If you don't like what questions I ask, I suggest you don't read my threads in the future. Or better still, go ahead and actually read the original post without assuming you know what the discussion is about simply by reading the title of the thread I just knew I'd get a response like yours when I typed that word "evil" into my title. Oh well, I wanted to keep the title as short as possible and so that's why I worded it the way I did.

As the OP, my questions have been resolved thanks to Br. Joshua and some of the other posters. Please let's keep the discussions on this thread friendly and charitable
Whoa there........ My intent was not at you, actually, I was trying to protect folks like you who ask an innocent question...(even though you have a sense of what the answer is)........and the sack cloth and ashes pious answers bombard you ad nauseum. I am saddening because folks like you ask a question because you are (a) - interested in becoming a Catholic, (b)- a new Catholic trying to find your way in your new faith, or a (3)- a Catholic who wants to know all the "letter of law" in the faith believing that it will make you a better, stronger, more faithful (than the rest) Catholic. Keep in mind there is no such thing, as each one us have a heart beat and a conscience and we are fallible beings no matter our status in the world. We bend, we break, we sin, we are forgiven, we look our saviour in hope that we will spend eternity with him. Confession is held every week for a reason.......not even the pious can escape it. IMHO and with common sense along with it, a dreamcatcher is not evil and if you hang one in your house as a decoration or from the mirror of your car, I can assure you no one will call for your excommunication. I apoligize if I have offended you, but my comments were not addressed to you.
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  #113  
Old Jun 23, '07, 7:41 pm
Br Joshua Seidl Br Joshua Seidl is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinTruett View Post
anamchara;
Not to change the subject I love the little picture you post of Mary and Jesus do you lnow who painted it or where I could find a larger one?
Now back to the subject;
Come to think of it that would be more beautiful in my house then my dusty dream catcher( there so hard to clean)
After reading all these threads I'm triing to use the artistic abilities that God gave me Of how we could give the dream catcher a more chritian Christ centered meaning Like we did with the christmas tree, the celtic circle and all the other pagan tradition that we've made Christ centered that today most don't know the history. You see a christmes tree and one thinks Christmas, the birth of Jesus...and so on.
This could be the begining of a new project for me.
Those of us Natives who are Christian have already done so.
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  #114  
Old Jun 23, '07, 7:55 pm
blacktiger057 blacktiger057 is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

Dreamcatchers are definately not evil. The only belief that is obviously evil is Satanism....need we say more about that? If you do not feel comfortable asking the Spirit(not the Christian one, the one that's in some Native American beliefs) to protect you from nightmares, then ask God. They are all the same in the end. I've actually set my dreamcatcher to send away all the meaningless dreams so I'll know when something important comes up. They work really well.
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  #115  
Old Jun 24, '07, 11:40 am
st lucy st lucy is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

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Originally Posted by blacktiger057 View Post
Dreamcatchers are definately not evil. The only belief that is obviously evil is Satanism....need we say more about that? If you do not feel comfortable asking the Spirit(not the Christian one, the one that's in some Native American beliefs) to protect you from nightmares, then ask God. They are all the same in the end. I've actually set my dreamcatcher to send away all the meaningless dreams so I'll know when something important comes up. They work really well.

What you stated here is not right. They are not all the same God is only one and He alone can do good. Dream catchers aren't meant to make bad dreams go away. Didn't you read what Bro Joshua wrote.
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  #116  
Old Jun 24, '07, 11:49 am
aimee aimee is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Br Joshua Seidl View Post
Reply - Native Americans and Indigenous culture or traditions are not New Age. However, many New Age movements steal our cultural trappings and misuse them. They do not know what these are about. I repeat - the term "Dream Catcher" is a Non-Native term. These are not dreamland charms. There is a story most of you have never heard. It is about how the People turned from God's ways, and how God took mercy on mankind and again taught us how to live in peace and for one another. I do not advocate non-Native use of these Spider Webs (what you call a Dream Catcher). I don't mind if you want one or recieve one, but it is not your culture and you don't know anything about them.
The real history of these webs is a reminder to live by God's ways. It would take to long in this forum to explain that. By the way, I live in a monastery and you can bet I have a Crusifix over my bed. I also make dream catchers, but I don't use them for fund raising, nor for sweet dreams, nor do I give them to people who don't know what they are.
I find your interesting..
Would you suggest the same for say...a buddha? in the home...?
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  #117  
Old Jun 24, '07, 2:11 pm
MariaG MariaG is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Br Joshua Seidl View Post
The original name and purpose of what non-Natives call Dream Catchers is actually a story about the spider. Web imitates a spider web. The story reminds people that they have gone bad and have forgotten the way to live in peace. The lessons of the story about the Spider Web, in this case, can easily be translated as a Christian story -- just as we have Christmas trees in Churches and many other former non-Christian symbols and practices that have, over centuries, been brought into local or universal Catholic practice.

In reading most of the posts on dream catchers, I advise the Non-Natives not to usurp Indigenous Cultural things and ways if they do not know what they are doing or if they have no authority from proper Tribal Elders to these things. Few know the real story of the Anishinabe Ojibwe Spider Web. Dream Catcher is an OK name, but it is not the origins of the story.
Hi Br Joshua

I was interested in more and realize this forum is not the best place for more. Is there an online source or a book that you could recommend for more about the Anishinabe Ojibwe Spider Web?

God Bless,
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  #118  
Old Jun 24, '07, 10:04 pm
anamchara anamchara is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julianna View Post
If I were her, I'd laugh hysterically at the ignorance and believe that some people are just more comfortable in their own box.
My daughters have them up in their rooms still, so what

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinTruett View Post
anamchara;
Not to change the subject I love the little picture you post of Mary and Jesus do you lnow who painted it or where I could find a larger one?
Now back to the subject;
Come to think of it that would be more beautiful in my house then my dusty dream catcher( there so hard to clean)
After reading all these threads I'm triing to use the artistic abilities that God gave me Of how we could give the dream catcher a more chritian Christ centered meaning Like we did with the christmas tree, the celtic circle and all the other pagan tradition that we've made Christ centered that today most don't know the history. You see a christmes tree and one thinks Christmas, the birth of Jesus...and so on.
This could be the begining of a new project for me.
Thanks Robin, I have forgotten where I copied the picture and I have no idea who painted it. Sorry my daughters dream catchers are pretty dusty as well. I went to go look at them after coming across this thread. I agree much of our faith comes from Pagan sources but this really upsets some
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  #119  
Old Jun 27, '07, 5:21 am
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Ani Ibi Ani Ibi is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

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Originally Posted by Br Joshua Seidl View Post
The original name and purpose of what non-Natives call Dream Catchers is actually a story about the spider. Web imitates a spider web. The story reminds people that they have gone bad and have forgotten the way to live in peace. The lessons of the story about the Spider Web, in this case, can easily be translated as a Christian story...
I agree. Moreover, I have a few questions for those of you who have so far posted strong opinions about dream catchers in the absence of any specific reference to their characteristics.

1) Do any of you think about finding out what dream catchers actually mean before lashing out at them?

2) How New Age can a 10 000 year-old tradition be exactly?

3) Before the advent of the Jesuits, First Nations had many notions of God and even of Jesus. Did you think God would abandon the First Nations until the time of the European 'visitors'? Why should old ways of worshipping the Creator not be re-devoted to Christianity?

4) Just because New Age has co-opted dream catchers does it follow logically that all dream catchers are evil?
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  #120  
Old Jun 27, '07, 5:26 am
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Ani Ibi Ani Ibi is offline
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Default Re: Are Native American "Dreamcatchers" Evil?

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Originally Posted by anamchara View Post
My daughters have them up in their rooms still, so what



Thanks Robin, I have forgotten where I copied the picture and I have no idea who painted it. Sorry my daughters dream catchers are pretty dusty as well. I went to go look at them after coming across this thread. I agree much of our faith comes from Pagan sources but this really upsets some
None of our Faith comes from Pagan sources.

There may be similar themes in Paganism, but that does not mean that Christianity developed from them. This line of thinking you will find in books written by folks who have never bothered to source what the Church actually teaches -- especially concerning Her Oral Traditions.

Moreover, some Pagan traditions were re-devoted to Christianity when Pagans converted -- as a form of thanksgiving.
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