Why should you care that the US government just sold out Apache holy land (to foreigners, nonetheless!)? Because it could happen to you too. Regardless of your religious or spiritual persuasion. If you have a belief system, you could be next. From the New York Times:
“Why is this place sacred?” said Wendsler Nosie Sr., a former chairman of the San Carlos Apache, in a recent interview with Cronkite News. “No difference to Mount Sinai. How the holy spirit came to be.” If you don’t want to take his word for it, the archaeological record at Oak Flat contains abundant evidence that the Apache have been here “since well before recorded history,” according to congressional testimony by the Society for American Archaeology.
If Oak Flat were a Christian holy site, or for that matter Jewish or Muslim, no senator who wished to remain in office would dare to sneak a backdoor deal for its destruction into a spending bill — no matter what mining-company profits or jobs might result. But this is Indian religion. Clearly the Arizona congressional delegation isn’t afraid of a couple of million conquered natives.
The truth is that for Mr. McCain, Mr. Flake and others who would allow this precious public land to be destroyed, it’s not only the Indians who are invisible. The rest of us are also ghosts, remnants of a quaint idea of democracy.
We used to live in a nation where the religious rights of individuals were respected… respected enough not to desecrate a holy place. I guess that rule no longer applies.
It’s time we stand up for each other’s religious rights. Please take a minute and sign the petition to repeal or amend the bill has trounced on Apache holy land.
Photo credit NYTimes/Standing Fox