Our Protestant fore fathers and Manifest Destiny


#1

In a US history class I took a college last semester my instructor touched somewhat on the protestant principle of Manifest Destiny this country was founded on. Manifest Destiny was a belief that they anglo-saxon (english speaking Protestants) were empowered by God to take all North America and spread Protestant Christianity. In this process they started wars as they attemted to colonize Cuba, take land from Mexico, Hawaii, and even as they tried to colonize the Philipines. Wars were fought and many people were killed due to Imperialism and this principle. As the States grew west, thousands of Native Indians were killed for not taking up the religion and even less for not giving up their land. Slaves were kept as slaves becuase they were taught that people of color had no souls. People were accused (sometimes falsely of being witches) and were hung in public places. People that were not anglo-saxon and didn’t own property could not vote or run for office. In other words catholics, slaves, and immigrants were supressed from taken up public offices. If this is true, why isn’t this spoken about more often, not to bash our Protestant brethren but to realize that throughout history man has comitted crime against humanity in the name of Christianity, Catholic or Non-Catholic.

Thoughts?


#2

As someone who loves history, there is some truth to what you say, but not all of it. The teaching that people other than anglo-saxons didn’t have souls was NOT in any mainstream churches set of beliefs. In fact, if you look at the schism of the Baptists in the US, the pro slavery side said that it was their duty to have slaves so that the slaves may find Jesus. The anti slavery side obviously took a very different view.

Can you find a historical person that held beliefs similar to what you said, probably. You can also find documented cases of Spanish conquistadors giving an American Indian baptism and then killing, so they wouldn’t feel guilty about sending someone to hell. Does this mean it was condoned, or main stream, no. The conquistadors were famous at the time for being scoundrels, and the local priests really didn’t like them that much. At the same time, many Protestant churches thought that Manifest Destiny was totally wrong, spoke out against wars for conquest.

My point is when a people gets a covetous desire, they will often try to justify it through God. This has happened to often in the history of Christianity.


#3

This attitude toward America has been examined in a piercing way by an article in Frontpage magazine, edited by David Horowitz, a former Marxist revolutionary. One interesting line reads,

The verbal terrorist, by smearing everything great and ordinary about a people and their institutions, makes them feel that nothing about themselves is legitimate. Once demoralized in this manner, they are ready (much like Louis XVI of France, who was subjected to a similar propaganda barrage) to yield to the Revolution.


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