Pagans in the Promise Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery


Manage episode 292478559 series 2865072
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Pagans in the Promised Land provides a startling challenge to U.S. federal Indian law and policy. Using history and cognitive theory, Steven Newcomb demonstrates how U.S. government officials have used religious concepts of Christendom, often unconsciously, to justify the taking of Native American lands and to deny the original independence of Indian nations. He demonstrates that the landmark case Johnson v. M'Intosh is premised in part on the Old Testament narrative of the "chosen people" having a divine right to the 'promised land,' and how continued U.S. reliance on ancient religious distinctions between "Christians" and "heathens" violates the bedrock doctrine of separation of church and state.

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