Believe What You Like But Know What You Must

People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "the Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but rather awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored everyday in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told, knowledge is what you experience”. I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Seneca Gathering a Success

The Seneca People want to extend a sincere thanks to all those that came out to their Gathering on Sunday and to all those that support the Native position against New York State's interference with commerce on Native land. The Gathering was a huge success with participation from many communities. The news media gave considerable coverage to the event as did the New York State Police and its Governor. About half way through the event word spread that the Governor sent a fax to Barry Snyder pledging his commitment to a "mutually productive relationship". In reality this is neither David Paterson's nor Barry Snyder's call. The People must be extra vigilant when the wheels of the deal making process starts. The Senecas, in particular, must recall the events of 1838. Our history is full of our so-called leadership, or at least those that our opponents would prop up, selling us out for what they were led to believe was the "best deal". There is no room for negotiations on our right to conduct commerce unencumbered by the State. The State is free to figure out how to squeeze every dollar out of its people on their land and it will be up to those people and their courts to decide if it is legal and appropriate. The Seneca People need to state clearly to anyone that would claim to negotiate on their behalf that not only will the People refuse to yield anymore to the State but that the "staus quo" won't do either. The People refuse to live under these threats from uninformed politicians in Albany everytime a new administration takes over. The People must not let their representatives compromise taxation for gaming or land use for some other red herring. Paterson's willingness to talk is not a concession yet Snyder has suggested he would "reconsider the initiatives instituted two weeks ago to protect the Seneca people". I would hope that this insulting lip service would not move the Seneca People even if it, for some strange reason, lulls Mr. Snyder into a false sense of security.

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