Mary Lou Taylor Reflects on Cherokee Removal for Love Prevails Native American Study

In the epilogue to The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears, the authors conclude: “The Trail of Tears is their (the Cherokee) story, but it is also an American story. And if it is a story we are not proud of, we should make sure that its lesson is well learned: Racism, greed, and political partisanship can subvert even the noblest American ideals.”

While reading the book, I could not help but make parallels, not just to what is happening in the United States today (where racism, greed and political partisanship seem even worse than ever), but to what has been happening over and over around the world. The American government’s treatment of Native Americans in the United States, especially its policy of removal, was our Holocaust. White Christian Europeans assumed that the native tribes were lesser than fully human, that because their civilization was different, it was uncivilized, and because they worshipped in a different way, they were heathen. While there were no gas chambers and no grand design of extermination, the United States government forced thousands of men, women and children to march over 1,000 miles barefoot, with little clothing, almost no tents, inadequate food and literally none of their belongings. Everything they owned had been taken from them. Many died.

In the last paragraph, I have written “the government,” but in truth I should say “we.” Though we were not alive at the time of the past atrocities against Native Americans, we currently sit in our living rooms and watch as people around the world are suffering a similar fate. Trails of Tears continue.

I pray that understanding what the Cherokee Nation suffered, and what all of the First Nations peoples suffered, will help me get out of my living room and really commit to working for safety and dignity of all people. I look forward to the next six weeks of study, and to going to participating in continuing Acts of Repentance and Healing towards Indigenous People through the United Methodist Church.

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Open Invitation to Study

Join the Love Prevails 2014 Native American Study as we engage in larger resistance to oppression within the United Methodist Church. For more information check out the tab above and please read the letter sent to the Council of Bishops and Members of the Connectional Table below for more information.

Open Invitation to Native American Study with Love Prevails-page-0

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Help Love Prevails!

In honor of our one year anniversary on Facebook, Love Prevails is running a campaign to try to reach 2016 likes in anticipation of General Conference 2016. Check out our Facebook page for more details on how to win a Love Prevails t-shirt and watch Will Green explain why he likes Love Prevails below:

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A Letter to the Council of Bishops and Connectional Table

DO NOT BE LULLED BY INSTITUTION-SPEAK. After last Friday’s meeting (see our previous video comments on the meeting), two bishops sent out this letter. They wrote, “It was a time of deep listening, engaging the question of how our denomination could live together in less harmful ways.  Times of prayer and reflection shaped the conversation, as participants attempted to engage one another with a spirit of openness, learning, and relationship building.” LESS harmful ways? The discrepancy between the painful baring of souls and suffering of LGBTQ folks that was expressed at the meeting and the meaningless propaganda that is this letter is an insult, and simply continues the harm. Stay tuned for further communications about the substance of these meetings. The next meeting has already been scheduled for early September.7-18 CT_COB Response Letter-page-001

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Reflections on July 18th Meeting

NOT. ONE. Not one person representing moderate or conservative perspectives on the inclusion and exclusion of LGBTQ persons in the UMC chose to attend the meeting in Chicago to which we were all invited today. Here are our reflections after the meeting.

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July 18th Conversation

This coming Friday, July 18th, there will be a meeting in Chicago called by the Connectional Table and the Council of Bishops Executive Meeting. See our letter about it below.July 18 Letter Final-page-001

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An Open Letter: Non-Support of “Local Option”

Please read our most recent Open Letter that was sent to the Council of Bishops as well as the Connectional Table today.

Local Option Response-page-001

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