Another church repudiates the Doctrine of Discovery

Indian Country Today reports on one more christian church that has repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tarpon Springs congregation in Florida issued a Statement of Conscience repudiating the Christian Doctrine of Discovery and urging the United States government to adopt the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Statement of Conscience is the first it has issued in its 125 years of existence.

The Tarpon congregation is the third religious group in the U.S. in less than a year to disavow the Christian Doctrine of Discovery and support the adoption of the Declaration.

The Episcopal Church passed a resolution called “Repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery” during its national meeting last July. Two months later, the Indian Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends issued a Minute – analogous to a resolution – disavowing the Doctrine and urging adoption of the Declaration.

The Doctrine of Discovery was a principle of international law developed in a series of 15th century papal bulls and 16th century charters by European monarchs. A racist philosophy, the Doctrine gave white Christian Europeans the right to claim the lands and resources of non-Christian peoples and kill or enslave them – if other Christian Europeans had not already done so.

If you want to read about and understand the Doctrine and how it has affected American Indian communities and governments, read my book Native America, Discovered and Conquered.

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