Laboring under the misapprehension that political bodies listen to the opinions of mainline Protestant denominations (we didn't even have a label for mainline Protestantism on this blog), the Episocopal Church recently repudiated the centuries-old belief that God gave Christian Europeans the right to wrest land away from benighted natives.
A friend forwarded me an article from Indian Country Today celebrating the resolution, which calls for the overturning of an 1823 Supreme Court decision (Johnson v. M’Intosh). That SCOTUS decision held that Indians do not possess sovereignty over their land because of the established precedent of European colonization.
This is far beyond my field of alleged expertise, but I presume that the Episcopal action is very much in accord with mainline resolutions on similar issues relating to native peoples over the past several decades. Can anyone shed any light on churches and this vaguely described “Doctrine of Discovery,” this Manifest Destiny for all of Christian Europe?
I’m also always struck by the dogged custodialism of mainline Protestantism. I once attended a PCUSA General Assembly at which the delegates passed resolutions on everything from oil drilling in Alaska to U.S. policy toward Columbia, which struck me as highly unlikely to attract attention beyond the conference center hosting the gathering and a few denominational publications. But even with their dwindling numbers and political influence, mainline Protestants take their mission of justice seriously, doggedly passing resolutions and calling on politicians and communities to take seriously their understanding of the Gospel.