47 churches burned or vandalized – and leaders are complicit
The headlines are horrific, and the pictures that go with them are even more devastating. Color pictures of churches in flames as their bell towers crash to the ground. The issue is the deliberate vandalism and burning of Christian churches – mostly Roman Catholic – in Canada, but also in random cities in the United States.
Reading the news coverage of the fires leads one to conclude that they are retaliation for the treatment and deaths of First Nation native children in government- and church-run schools across the six Canadian provinces and the Northwest Territory. Estimates are that there were some 150,000 children in the Canadian system that began in 1831; it’s estimated 3,200 died – that’s about 2%.
It should be noted that in the United States, there were some 357 schools for Native American children in 30 states dealing with some 60,000 children. The Catholic Church administered 84 of those schools.
The issue that is getting the headlines is the “discovery” of graveyards on the grounds of some of those now-closed Canadian schools and the so far unproven accusation that they are the burial grounds of hundreds of Native children.
The implication is that the children were mistreated and that any deaths were the result of that and perhaps even intentional killings.
The reaction to the news of the burial areas has elicited accusations ranging from deliberate killings to outright genocide. Comparisons to Hitler are rampant.
That there is no proof of those accusations at this point seems to make no difference to most of the news coverage, both in Canada and the Unites States as well as internationally. The gauntlet has been thrown at the doorstep of the Catholic Church, and no one, least of all leaders in Canada, have sought to make any corrections.
The original purpose of the schools was to teach the children the ways of the outside world to help them assimilate as well as to teach them the language. The children were taken from their families and housed in these often-overcrowded schools. It’s clear from records that it was often a difficult life for them. Money was scarce, and they had no family to console them.
Health was an issue for the children as well, as it was for everyone in those days.
Tuberculosis was rampant and deadly, as were influenza, Yellow Fever and Typhoid Fever – to name just a few of the common killers. There were no effective medicines nor were there any immunizations. Everyone was a likely target – adults and children – and death was common.
It should be noted that despite the deaths from illness, the Department of Indian Affairs refused to pay for the shipment of bodies back to the home villages of the deceased. As a result, the schools had no choice other than to bury the dead nearby. The burial was no proof of how or why the person died.
What has caused the recent headlines and fire horrors was the revelation that “graveyards” have been discovered on the grounds of a number of those schools. There are reports that ground radar was used to learn of the burial grounds, but left out of any of those news reports is actual proof about who is buried there and how they died.
There are also reports that many of those graveyards are actually community graveyards and that originally there were wooden crosses on the graves, but they have since deteriorated.
Adults in the area support these allegations, but since no one has taken the time or effort to look further into who is buried there, the rumors and hate continue to fester – the result being more than 47 churches destroyed and or vandalized.
What is the reaction of some of the top Canadian politicians? Many Canadian leaders have neither condemned nor condoned the destruction – their silence, unfortunately, gives tacit approval of these crimes.
Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau, in fact, waited weeks after the burnings began, then said it was “understandable,” but then added it is “unacceptable and wrong.”
The leader of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, Harsha Walia, said “Burn it all down.”
Indigenous attorney Naomi Sayes, said she would help the burning and would defend anyone accused of the arson.
Statements like these do nothing to help anyone learn the truth. Demands that the pope go to Canada to “apologize” are rampant; in fact, Trudeau has made that request.
Whether or not Pope Francis does that certainly makes no difference to those who have bought into the idea that the Church – read that “the Catholic Church” – is guilty of heinous crimes against the children. In the minds of those people, the only response is violence and destruction – thus the fires.
Even the pleas of Canadian Indigenous People that there is no real proof the church “murdered children” falls too often on deaf ears. The evil accusations are out there, are supported by media, and the value of truth is elusive.
All the while, the history and beauty of churches are destroyed, as the lies of the past become the “truth” of today – and no one seems to care.
Heaven help us.
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.