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Walk Your Talk

August 17, 2005, 12:00 am
Practical spirituality for a complicated world.

***image1***I've received several e-mails asking me what I thought about the recent ruling of the Supreme Court in which it was decided that government could take the property of one person and give it to another, who might pay the government more in taxes. Let me repeat that: In the United States of America, in the "land of the free and home of the brave," in the "greatest country on Earth," in the "world's sole superpower" (it should be called the "world's soulless superpower"), the government has declared that it has the legal power to steal a person's property and give it to someone else from whom the government can confiscate more money (taxes). The US government, which goes across the world bombing foreigners into submission, in the messianic crusade to bring them democracy and freedom, has, here in its "Homeland" become tyrannical beyond belief. Yet, our fellow citizens seem little bothered by homegrown dictators; Americans, both Democrat and Republican, robotically wave their flags, display their yellow ribbons, and smooth the way to World War III.

I answered several of the emails before I realized that this would make a terrific column. I've already admitted that I'm unqualified to write about religion and politics, even from a spiritual standpoint. However, I'm going to do it today, anyway. So, keep in mind that my qualifications to write about the historical abuses of the US government are questionable.

I am glad to hear that a few people are upset at the in your face arrogance of the regime in Washington, DC. However, this really is not anything new. It's just that the government has been engaged in illegal, unconstitutional activity for so long, people assume it is supposed to be this way. The majority of citizens are brainwashed into thinking that because they can vote, then they are ultimately in charge of the country. They're told, "Our system may not be perfect, but it's still the best in the world." What that means is, "Shut up, be glad for what you've got, and do as you're told, or we'll make you an offer you can't refuse."

As I said, this latest federal arrogance coming out of the Supreme Court is nothing new. The federal government has been doing this for 200 years. Stealing people's land and giving it to other people is the American Way, the American Dream. What about the Native Americans? The government speaks of treaties made with different Indian Nations, treaties which the American government broke every single time. The federal government just celebrated the anniversary of the Lewis and Clark "expedition," and the Louisiana "Purchase." The federal government, led by Thomas Jefferson, "purchased" millions of square miles from France. From whom did France purchase the land? From no one! The Indian people, who occupied that land, and whose ancestors had occupied that land for thousands of years, never sold their land to France. How could France sell it to the Americans? How could the federal government justify taking the homes and ancestral lands of people who had never asked for the Americans to come into their country? The Americans could do it, quite simply, because of their superior firepower, and because the Indians weren't Christians. The Indians didn't believe in the Bible, which made them heathens in the eyes of the government. The Americans were, for the most part, religious descendants of the Puritans, who were fundamentalist Protestants. The fundamentalist Protestants of today are much the same. They were, and are, obsessed with the Old Testament and its stories of the Chosen People. They believed, as many still do, that God took land from one people and gave it to a Chosen People, a group that God favored over anyone else. The Americans saw themselves, and indeed still see themselves, as a Chosen People, as specially favored by God over every other nation on earth. They base this belief system upon the Old Testament of the Bible. Therefore, you can see how the federal government has been in the business of stealing land from the very beginning. Most Americans don't want to hear about this. They say things like, "Why bring all that up now? It's over and done with, so let bygones be bygones." They don't want to look at the past and admit that it is connected to the present. They can't, for whatever reason, admit that the injustices of the past are continuing into the present. It's still going on today!

The Apache, the Hopi, the Navajo, the Comanche, and all the other Indian people, did not willingly surrender their homelands to the Americans. They fought tooth and nail to preserve their people and lands. The Native people were overwhelmed by the superior military power and vast numbers of the Americans, not by a superior morality or spirituality. Today, anyone who opposes the American government or military is labeled a terrorist. The American government has declared that it has the right to indefinitely imprison, without any trial, and to torture anyone they label as a terrorist. Who is a terrorist? Anyone the Americans say is a terrorist is one. This comes again from their overwhelming military power, not from a moral or spiritual advantage.

Now, the Americans are not the only people who have behaved this way throughout history. It has also been done by the English, the Spanish, the French, the Portuguese, the Mexicans, the Aztecs, the Inca and many, many others. History plainly shows us this. In fact, the Americans can recognize injustice and imperialism when it is practiced by foreigners. They are simply blind to their own.

Perhaps you're reading this column in a copy of The Reporter which you picked up in Santa Fe. You may find this difficult to believe, but there are people living here who have no idea that Santa Fe used to be a Mexican town, and before that, a Spanish town. Of course, there were Indian people here before that, but I'm referring now to the community called "Santa Fe." The people here had their own traditions, their own language, and deep, deep roots in Nuevo México. The Americans coveted this land, and they came and took it. The New Mexicans were Christians, but they were Catholics (gasp!), not good Protestants like most of the Americans. The federal government in Washington D C manipulated events, and invaded Mexico. The Americans took what is today New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and California from Mexico. Originally, they claimed the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora, and Baja California, but relinquished their claim to those areas as a "concession" to Mexico during "peace negotiations" in US occupied Mexico City.

Why are people expected to forget or ignore the crimes of the American federal government? Would you have supported your troops when they invaded the Sioux, or Hopi, or Apache, or Iroquois, or Choctaw, or when they invaded Mexico? Well then, why do you support your troops in the current illegal and immoral invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan? It's true that we can't change the past. But it is equally true that we can decide not to repeat the mistakes of the past in the present. Blind, unquestioning support of the federal government is leading the US into a great disaster. I don't know if it's too late to stop the insanity before the disaster overtakes us. I do know this: If ever there were a time to examine our national conscience, and to speak our own, individual truths, that time is now. OM Shanti OM

To ask Robert a question, visit his Web site,, e-mail him at , or write him at PO Box 33, Santa Fe, NM 87504