WOMAN BEAST and the AMERICAS #2


CONTINUING  WITH  PROFESSOR  MARSHALL  EAKIN'S  LECTURE  FROM  HIS  24  LECTURES  CALLED  "THE  CONQUEST  OF  THE  AMERICAS"  FROM  THE  TEACHING COMPANY - THE  GREAT  COURSES.


THE  CREATION  OF  THE  INQUISITION  IN  THE  LATE  15TH  CENTURY;  THE  EXPULSION  OF  MUSLIMS  AND  JEWS ,  ESPECIALLY  IN  THE  1490s  FROM  SPAIN  AND  PORTUGAL,  IS  A  VIVID  EXAMPLE  TO  ACHIEVE  A  RELIGIOUS  UNITY  IN  IBERIA,  THE  PURSUIT  OF  RELIGIOUS  ORTHODOXY.


THESE  WERE  EARLY  EUROPEAN  FORMS  OF  WHAT  TODAY  WE  WOULD  CALL  ETHNIC  CLEANSING.


WITH  THE  DISCOVERY  OF  THE  AMERICAS,  THE  CATHOLIC  CHURCH  FACED  THEOLOGICAL  AND  PRACTICAL  QUESTIONS  -  WHAT  TO  DO  ABOUT  THE  INDIANS.  THE  NATIVE  AMERICANS,  AND  THE  AMERICAN  CONTINENT  AS  I'VE  POINTED  OUT  BEFORE,  DO  NOT  APPEAR  IN  EITHER  OF  THE  TWO  SOURCES  OF  KNOWLEDGE  IN  THE  OLD  WORLD - THEY  ARE  NOT  IN  THE  BIBLE  AND  THEY  ARE  NOT  IN  THE  ANCIENT  GREET  OR  ROMAN  WRITERS.  AND  AS  THE  IMMINENT  BRITISH  HISTORIAN  J. H. ELLIOT  BRILLIANTLY  AND  SUCCINCTLY  SHOWS  IN  A  SERIES  OF  ESSAYS  CALLED  THE  OLD  WORLD  AND  THE  NEW (1970) IT  TAKES  THE  EUROPEANS  AT  LEAST  150  YEARS  TO  WRESTLE  WITH  THIS  THEOLOGICAL  AND  INTELLECTUAL  PROBLEM  TO  SOMEHOW  ASSIMILATE  THEM  INTO  THE  WORLD  VIEW.


IT  WAS  A  WORLD  VIEW  BUILT  ON  AUTHORITY,  AND  WHAT  WAS  ONE  TO  MAKE  OF  THE  LANDS  AND  PEOPLE  THAT  DID  NOT  APPEAR  IN  THE  TWO  MOST  IMPORTANT  SOURCES  OF  AUTHORITY.


NOW,  AS  STRANGE  AS  IT  MAY  SOUND  TO  US  TODAY,  THE  SPANISH  ENGAGED IN  A  DEBATE  ON  THE  HUMANITY  OF  THE  INDIANS.  THEY  HAVE  A  DEBATE  IN  THE  MIDDLE  16TH  CENTURY  TO  DETERMINE  IF  THE  INDIANS  ARE  HUMAN.  AND  WHAT  MUST  ONE  HAVE  TO  BE  HUMAN?  THE  FACULTY  OF  REASON  TO  DECIDE  BETWEEN  GOOD  AND  EVIL,  AND  A  SOUL.  FOR  WITHOUT  A  SOUL  THERE  IS  NO  SALVATION,  AND  WITHOUT  A  FACULTY  OF  REASON,  THERE  IS  NO  ABILITY  TO  CHOOSE  BETWEEN  SALVATION  AND  DAMNATION.


THIS  DEBATE  IS  NO  SMALL  MATTER.  EVENTUALLY;  THE  THE  SPANISH  MONARCHY  WILL  DECIDE,  YES,  THE  INDIANS  ARE  HUMAN,  THEY  ARE  RATIONAL  BEINGS,  WITH  SOULS,  BUT  THEY'RE  LIKE  CHILDREN.  AND  SO  THE  INDIANS  ARE  RECOGNIZED  FOR  THEIR  HUMANITY,  FOR  THE  FACULTY  OF  REASON,  AND  FOR  THEIR  SOUL.  BUT  THEY  ARE  TREATED  AS  "WARDS"  OF  THE  KING.  SO  IN  THIS  SENSE  THE  INDIANS  ARE  NEVER   SEEN  AS  EQUIVALENT  TO  THE  SPANISH  AND  PORTUGUESE.  THE  POPE,  PAUL  THE  3RD,  ISSUES  A  PAPAL  BULL  "SUBLIMIS  DEUS" (1537),  DECLARING  THE  INDIANS  AS  RATIONAL  BEINGS  WITH  SOULS.


ONE  OF  THE  GREATEST  FIGURES  IN  COLONIAL  AMERICAN  HISTORY,  SOMEONE  I'VE  MENTIONED  BEFORE,  BARTOLOME  de  LAS  CALAS (1474-1566)  EMERGES  AS  THE  GREAT  DEFENDER  OF  THE  INDIAN  PEOPLES  OF  THE  AMERICAS.  HE  BECOMES  THEIR  DEFENDER  IN  THIS  DEBATE.


BORN  IN  1474,  HE  GROWS  UP  IN  A  MERCHANT  FAMILY  IN  SEVILLE.  LAS  CASAS  PERSONALLY  WITNESSES  THE  RETURN  OF  COLUMBUS  TO  SPAIN;  THE  TREASURES  HE  BRINGS  BACK,  AND  THE  INDIANS  WHO  ARE  WITH  HIM. 


IN  1502  HE  SAILS  TO  THE  CARIBBEAN  AND  WORKS  WITH  HIS  FATHER  SUPPLYING  GOODS  TO  THE  CONQUISTADORS.  AND  THEN  HE  JOINS  THESE  EXPEDITIONS  AND  BECOMES  A  CONQUISTADOR  HIMSELF.  HE  WITNESSES  FIRST-HAND  THE  CONQUEST  OF  THE  CARIBBEAN  AND  THE  ANNIHILATION  OF  THE  NATIVE  PEOPLES.


WHILE  IN  HIS  30s  HE  EXPERIENCES  A  RELIGIOUS  AWAKENING,  AND  AS  A  MATURE  ADULT  HE  IS  ORDAINED,  EVENTUALLY  ORDAINED  AS  A  DOMINICAN PRIEST;  HE  TAKES  UP  THE  CAUSE  OF  THE  INDIAN  PEOPLES.


AFTER  HAVING  PARTICIPATED  WITH  NORVIUS  AND  BOLASCUS  IN  THE  CONQUEST  OF  CUBA  HE  REALIZES  THE  IN-HUMANITY  OF  WHAT  IS  BEING  DONE.  THE  DECIMATION  OF  THE  INDIAN  PEOPLES  OF  THE  CARIBBEAN,  MOVES  LAS  CALAS  TO  SPEND  THE  REST  OF  HIS  VERY  LONG  LIFE,  SPEAKING  OUT  AGAINST  THE  INJUSTICES,  CONDEMNING  SPANISH  TREATMENT  OF  THE  AMERICAS.


HIS  BOOK  THE  DEVASTATION  OF  THE  INDIES:  A  BRIEF  ACCOUNT (1542)  WAS  WIDELY  TRANSLATED,  ESPECIALLY  IN  PROTESTANT  TERRITORIES,  AND  USED  TO  CONDEMN  SPANISH  AUTHORITY  IN  THE  AMERICAS,  AND  TO  CONDEMN  CATHOLIC  MONARCHIES.  THIS  BOOK  IS  STILL  IN  PRINT  TODAY  AND  WIDELY  READ.  AND  IT  IS  ONE  OF  THE  MOST  IMPORTANT  STATEMENTS  EVER  WRITTEN  ABOUT  HUMAN  RIGHT.


LAS  CALAS  WRITES  ABOUT  INDIANS  IN  A  WAY  NO  OTHER  SPANIARD  DOES.  IN  ONE  OF  HIS  MOST  FAMOUS  STATEMENTS  HE  SAYS: 


INDIANS  ARE  OUR  BROTHERS;  CHRIST  HAS  GIVEN  HIS  LIFE  FOR  THEM.  WHY  THEN,  DO  WE  PERSECUTE  THEM  WITH  SUCH  HUMAN  SAVAGERY,  WHEN  THEY  DO NOT  DESERVE  SUCH  TREATMENT.  THE  PAST,  BECAUSE  IT  CANNOT  BE  UNDONE,  MUST  BE  ATTRIBUTED  TO  OUR  WEAKNESS,  PROVES  THAT  WHAT  HAS  BEEN   TAKEN  UNJUSTLY,  IS  RESTORED.


LAS  CALAS  WRITES  FERVENTLY  DEFENDING  THE  RIGHTS  OF  THE  INDIANS.


LAS  CALAS  CROSSES  THE  ATLANTIC  MANY  TIMES  IN  HIS  LIFE.  AND  HE  DIES  IN  MADRID  AGED  90.

..........


TO  BE  CONTINUED


WE  NOTE  HERE  THE  GOOD  AND  RIGHT  THINGS  SOME  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  PRIESTS  LIKE  LAS  CALAS  HAD.  THE  GREAT  BABYLON  WHORE  CHURCH  OF  THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION,  IS  MIXED  WITH  TRUTH  AND  EVEN  SOME  RIGHTEOUSNESS....SO  MAKING  IT  THAT  MUCH  MORE  DECEPTIVE.  IT  IS  HUMAN NATURE  TO  FLOCK  TOWARDS  HUMAN  RIGHTEOUSNESS  THAT  PURSUES   GOODNESS  TOWARDS  OTHERS,  AND  SO  PUTTING  ASIDE  ALL  THEOLOGICAL  ERROR,  FALSE  CUSTOMS,  FALSE  PRACTICES,  THAT  MAKE  UP  THE  WHOLE  NATURE  OF  A  "CHRISTIAN  CHURCH."  THIS  IS  WHY  TODAY  THE  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  CHURCH  HAS  OVER  ONE  BILLION [WITH  A  "B"]   MEMBERS  AROUND  THE  EARTH,  THAT  IS  ONE  IN  SEVEN  PEOPLE  OF  THE  EARTH  ARE  ROMAN  CATHOLIC.  CENTRAL  AND  SOUTH  AMERICA  BECAME  HUGELY  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  THROUGH  THE  WORK  OF  PEOPLE  LIKE  LAS  CALAS,  AND  THEIR  HUMANITY  TOWARDS  THE  NATIVE  PEOPLE  AND  TOWARDS  THE  BLACKS.


Keith Hunt