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Christianity As A Tool Of Conquest.

2100 words - 8 pages

Christianity as a Tool of Conquest is a term paper written in response to the book The Destruction of the Indies written by Bartolome de las Casas. Throughout the paper, the contrast between what the original cause and purpose of the Europeans was in their attempt to colonize the new Americas versus what really happened. It accentuates the violence that they commited against the indigenous, being this a contrary atribute to what they preached. This concept is presented in contrast to the humility and kindness that the indigenous people possessed naturally.Christianity as a Tool of ConquestWhat did it mean to be a Christian to Bartolomé de las Casas, and who should be eligible to be called this? These are two questions that arose while reading "A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies", by Bartolomé de las Casas. From cover to cover he establishes a marked difference in the behavior portrayed by the natives that were being conquered and the one seen on the European conquerors. The natives being portrayed as "naturally so gentle, so peace-loving, so humble, and so docile" (de las Casas, 6) attributed to a great contrast when compared to "the people who has become so anaesthetized to human suffering by their own greed and ambition that they ceased to be men in any meaningful sense of the term and had become, by dint of their own wicked deeds so totally degenerate..." (de las Casas, 3) who were supposed to be Christians.When these conquerors were sent to Spain, one of their primary functions was that of saving the souls of the natives by converting them to Christianity. With this in mind, another question comes to mind: How did they go from trying to save their souls into murdering and slaughtering the natives like Bartolomé de las Casas says? It becomes a bit difficult to swallow the fact that these Europeans, so- called Christians, would commit such atrocities described as "despotic and diabolic" (de las Casas, 12).Today Christianity has various denominations and ramifications, yet we are all called to act the way Jesus acted while He spent time on earth. If this is the model that these Europeans were trying to follow, the basis of their behavior should have been love. When a person is led by love, it is almost impossible for that person to harm their surroundings, never the less to harm anyone around them. Ironically, this way of acting was better portrayed by the natives that did not even know Christ as their Savior. De las Casas describes them as follows: "revenge, rancor, and hatred are quite foreign to them... have no urge to acquire material possessions..., receptive to learning and understanding the truths of our Catholic faith and to being instructed in virtue..." (de las Casas, 10). All these descriptions have to do with the fruit of the Spirit that inhabits in a Christian; the Spirit that was not yet in the natives, yet supposedly abided in the Europeans. It is evident that the Europeans were being led by...

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