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Lesson Plans

Re: Today in Art Class....religion

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
dj (djash)
Sat, 16 Oct 1999 13:46:44 -0400

I'm as disturbed as you are about the response you received from your class.
They are so young but so full of fear, and so prejudice. The NA belief is
that since God ( and "he" goes by many different names in many different
faiths, including The Great Spirit, The Great Mystery, Wakan Takan, Jehovah,
etc. ) has created ALL things, ALL things are apart of him and his breathe
of life is in them. Native American spirituality believes that we all learn
from each other and if people could respect others beliefs and realize that
everyone is very special, there would be much less hatred in the world.
Native American Spirituality embodies the concept that we are all indeed
connected to everyone and everything around us. God made us all, thus we are
all connected to each other and to HIM. Peace and harmony of the mind, body
and spirit is the real meaning of this ideal.

Native Americans believe that the understanding of the connection to the
Great Mystery ( we are all connected, we are all one) lies at the heart of
saving the world as we know it. One person on this Earth can make a
significant difference for the better. One person changing a thought, an
idea. The illumination of that inner peace and love stems from the knowing
God, The Great Mystery. We all must bring truth through the understanding
of knowledge, to create harmony by healing ourselves and others, and by
unconditionally sending a message of peace, love, and acceptance to the
Earth and all her inhabitants. We must have respect are all that God has
created for we are all related to each other through Our Creator. Isn't this
what Christ taught? To love, respect and appreciate all that God created.
We are all part of the great circle of life, God being the center. If the
circle is broken by the destruction of one part by another, the entire
circle is effected and destruction of the whole circle is not far off. As
far as Kachinas, they are representations of the goodness that God has made,
a part that carries his breath too. They are religious objects that aid in
the sending of prayers. Christians, Jews, Buddhists and others all have
symbols that remind them of God's greatness. I may wear a cross or a star,
but I don't worship it. I may have a crucifix or a cross or a star or a
Buddha in my house or a statue of Mary or of a saint, but I do not worship
that piece. Some people have religious pictures in their churches and their
homes. Some religions have rosaries they use when praying, others worry
beads, some light candles or burn incense and so on. Some religious symbols
in our on faiths are much more important to us then others. Just a some are
more significant in the NA culture. We need to open our minds and our hearts
to see the whole and not be so quick to judge what we do not fully
understand. It always amazes me how "Christians" sit in judgment so much
when Christ himself was so tolerate, patient and open to those around him.
Have we forgotten the words - Judge not, least ye be judged. We don't have
to believe the way someone else does. We do need to remember that they to
are a creation of God so they must be beautiful. After all, God doesn't make
junk.... right? The misunderstanding and the pre-judgements of other
peoples really saddens me. In short: I once had a kid ask me how someone
could be soooooo stupid to believe such nonsense. I asked him to explain a
virgin birth, or how putting mud in someone's eyes can make them see, or how
a man dies, then in 3 days rises from the dead and walks the earth again,
etc. They call it faith.
Good Luck!

L.P. Skeen wrote:

> Well, today was a real winner. 3rd grade class is starting a unit on
> American art, including Native American. Plan is to make Kachina dolls
> and totem poles from toilet paper rolls, right? So I've got my slide
> projecter going and am ATTEMPTING to explain how Native American
> religion holds that living things have spirits, and the use of Kachina
> dolls in praying for rain, crops, etc. when the little squirts start
> evangelizing on me about how "they", meaning the Native Americans are
> WRONG!!!!!!!! and they're "going downstairs where the dryer is and never
> coming back" (the words of one of them - they're afraid to say the word
> 'hell'.). One of 'em even got up and jumped around, yelling about how
> JEEEEEZUS had reached WAY down to pick him UP! and save his soul, etc.
> etc. You would have thought you were listening to Jesse Jackson (with a
> rat-tail), and I'm not kidding.
> Whaddya DO with this kind of thing? Can't just say, "Native Americans
> make these dolls 'cuz they're purty...."
> --
> Lisa Skeen ICQ#15554910
> Living Tree Pottery & Soaps, Summerfield, NC
> ~*~* A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.*~*~
> @}~~~ Religions should get out of politics or be taxed.~~~{@