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Would you understand
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April 30, 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted:     Post subject: Would you understand
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First, this is not a topic for debate of "religion". There is another forum for that. It is simply to discover and think about whether you would be able to understand, in a relationship, and openly accept the ways of another, when you make the first step towards a relationship and one or the other is of Indian blood who follows the "Old Ways" (as sometimes termed). It is an aspect that must be considered and deeply thought on because it would be an integral part of that One's life.....being a "way of life" and would be something you possibly would never be able to share.

I experienced this "difference" and found that, in my particular personal experience, the differences were too great to overcome. He said he understood and respected my ways and that each person should be allowed the freedom to be who they were. I don't think he was expecting what he came to know about that difference. He was not any particular "religion", as in Baptist, Methodist, etc. But, he was a "christian" and had his own beliefs/teachings. I, having been raised in the same environment, understood his 'beliefs' and respected his choices in it....I just do not 'believe' as he did.

When I would offer my humble words of thanks and prayers to the four directions.....with smoke...and song.....He would ask what my "spirits" said to me. If I told him what my heart heard, he would roll his eyes....and laugh and say "how do you understand them if they are animals, or ghosts?" When I would stop to say prayers with tobacco over an animal hit by a car....and ask for it's crossing to be good....he would be embarrassed and then tell his friends what I had done and say "she's just a little strange". He asked to go with me into the woods when I gathered my Cedar. He did like the outdoors and many other things I like to do. I would walk around the sacred Cedar, offer my prayers and thanks and tobacco...then ask if I may have a few of it's branches for my prayers... He would say..."just cut it.....trees don't talk or hear. I'm sure it won't mind. It will grow back". When I picked up a rock to listen to it's song....he again rolled his eyes.....He never did understand the concept of a "medicine bag".....

We were compatible and happy in many things, but, I was never able to share the deepest part of me with him. Even though he kept telling me it was "ok" that he would try to do just was not complete. In the last days of our relationship we sat down together and talked about this one difference between us. He did not go to church or "practice" his religion.....mine is a way of life.....That concept is something he could not understand and wasn't interested in trying to...."it's just a little too far off in left field" he said. I needed that sharing of things....the walking together. We are still friends.....and he still asks me what I hear....I ask him when he will start listening.....

Perhaps you have experienced similar differences in a relationship where one is "a christian" (or other "faith") and the other follows the "Old Ways" of the Indian people...the ways before the christians came to tell us we were wrong. Do, or did, or would you understand? Does he/she understand your Indian ways and accept them as part of you? How did (or does) it affect the relationship?

To me, having experienced a negative, it is a very important consideration ....One that tends to make me just "skip over" profiles saying they are christian.....even though the man may be a good man and be much of what I search for, I pass over him because.......I want to share my life, all of it, not just part of it. I, personally, need one that walks as I do.....What about you?

What are your thoughts?
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Posted:     Post subject:

I've been there...
I was to marry a very thin blooded woman from Virginia,
she held X-tian beliefs and I walk the Traditional path.
Needless to say, we didn't marry.
Yes it was mostly the clash of our belief systems.
She went to church on Sundays and practiced her faith,
I awoke each morning and lived mine.

I too usually pass on those who only classify themselves as X-tian
in their profiles. I will give those a chance who say the respect traditional
ways, atleast until they let me know that my life would be better if I would only accept Jeezuz.

I find it difficult to relate to those who have only embraced the X-tian faith,
they are usually closed minded, and do not respect others.

Now I'm not saying that I would turn down a night of pleasure
with a beautiful woman of X-tian ways, but I certainly wouldn't bring her home to the rez.
I'm pretty certain that my women cousins would put the run on her!.
They're not so tolerant as me! Twisted Evil
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Posted:     Post subject: Hmmm...

I certainly don't want to be the first to turn this into a religious discussion, what with being "the new girl" and not having an ounce of N.A. blood in me(so far as I know). Embarrassed
I do however have N.A. children (blackfoot) and have a passion for all things having to do with the Native American culture.
Back to my point...I am Pagan and I find that being a TRUE Pagan is much like having N.A. spiritual beliefs. We believe in reincarnation, holding nature close to our hearts and we believe in a spiritual plain. We just do not believe in God...but rather a God and a Goddess. Perhaps a relationship with a Native American man could work if the girl were Pagan. I do have an aching weakness for N.A. men...anyone know where I can find a gorgeous Michael Greyeyes look-a-like?!? Wink
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Posted:     Post subject:

Thanks everybody for sharing and for your candor. Good points have been made.

I think more important than being of the same belief system, or a similar belief system, or even a totally different one, it all boils down to respecting differences as well as embracing similarities. This only works when it's done MUTUALLY in my humble opinion.

It takes more than sharing a belief system to make it work. Even when a couple is on the same page with that sort of thing, they may still not be compatible. Plain and simple. Although I will confess that I think it does help when the couple is of the same background. Of course, that just makes for one less thing to deal with.

I've seen couples from totally different backgrounds adopt aspects of their spouses beliefs, while still hanging on to their own that they hold dear. Of course, this takes remarkable open-mindedness and is often found in more enlightened types who are educated on other belief systems. Or, at least WILLING to learn.

I can relate to the wise woman above and I too have found some types roll their eyes at me and my ways. I say, "screw 'em". Of course, I fire 'em and that is that because the eye roll is nothing but a polite slap in the face. Usually, you may even find this attitude spills over into OTHER areas totally unrelated to religion. Unacceptable.

Some people have it bad for Indians because they like our look. Some are attracted to us because they like our ways... and maybe the look too Smile Some whites I think are even attracted to N.A. to feel more connected somehow to our countries past, to us. They genuinely want to be apart of a beautiful culture that perhaps their own may be lacking.

However, I have found most white men are more attracted to my look than my interests, beliefs or my peoples history. Those dead set on dating a Native are what I call "groupies", not much different than the types who throw their wet panties on stage yearning and burning for the long hair rock star. On one hand... yes it's flattering to a degree, but on the other, it is what I call "light and fluffy". i.e. shallow reasons that don't run too deep. These are the types who really don't care what you believe, so long as the "look" is in check.

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Posted:     Post subject: look before you leap

Religion and politics can be the downfall of a relationship .It is best to actually know who you are dealing with before establishing a committed relationship.Words that I realized too late, but anyway if you are secure in your own belief system and can find someone likewise there is a chance to make that relationship work . The red road is always a difficult one to stay on ,there's distractions and hardships. There isn't a book to use as a guideline and there are different teachings to learn from. I have had friends from different religions ,some actual ministers . With that they are still good people ,I think if a person is so closed-minded to disregard what you believe it is better to move on and learn from that experience. We are like little cogs sometimes you will mesh well with others and sometimes you just clash.
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Posted:     Post subject:

In my opinion, skins should not be discussin particulars about "their ways" in any forum. If creator wanted non skins to know, he would have taught them...and it allows people to make up their own ways, and makes them feel like they are "ndn at heart"...

horses and deer are both 4 legged...yet they don't mix..getting along is fine, but...

my 2 cents...
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Posted:     Post subject:

Life is learning. And i love it. I was raised in a x-tian society, and as all kids we went to church every sunday, cause it was the custom in our village. There was a special service for children and i liked to listen to the stories, which have been told. But i never really saw, what that stories really have to do with me. And it did not really "reach" me.
Well, i am raised x-tian, but i am not.
Always felt i was a free spirit and life was a wonderful great mistery to me.
When i start reading about native culture and spirituality, i was fascinated. I loved it. And native people never told anybody, what or how to believe - or even worse - forced somebody to to so.
The times in europe, when people used to live in tribes, like celtic, germans and much more are long long ago. 2000 years of christianity over here, made disappear the "old ways" of those ancestors here. It is hard to find something out about it. You people are still very close to that.
And i think, that maybe that could be a reason, why so many people are interested in your culture.
On one side i understand, that alot natives dont want to share their ways, as they should not put it on "sale" for everybody. Self protection. Too often they have been betrayed..
But i am also very grateful, for the things my native friends are sharing with me. I learned a lot and i will always be open to learn more.
Life is a miracle, all kind of relationships can work, if there is love, respect and the will of growing together and learning from each other.
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Posted:     Post subject:

True, life is learning. It is through learning that we come to understand not only our surroundings/ world but also some of the 6+ billion people that are in the world. Likewise to also have a happy loving and understanding relationship of one type or another with anyone who would offer these same basic things. Like most non-Natives on this site, I was raised in a christian tradition, but at a young age found it to be distant, judgemental, and just lacking in some way. Like (Wings), I felt the stories were just as distant, and did not pertain to me. Sure the fundamentals like doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, and being a good person I understood, but the rest just didn't fit where it needed to fit most, that being the heart and spirit. This of course sparked in me a religious quest to find what christian traditions promised but never seemed to deliver. I found that this way worked for me. No I don't beleive I'm a Native at heart, but I do feel those ways fit where I felt a tradition should fit the most, in my heart and spirit. White black red yellow orange or green it doesn't matter what you believe. What matters is that you feel a connection, and are not ashamed no matter your backround or race to persue it. Just as (Wings) said we of Eurpean descent a very long time age lived much like the Native Americans continue to do, but then the christians came and told those who worshiped as they did, looking to nature, cycles of nature and the spirits therein that they were evil, that living as they did was wrong and that they were barbarians/savages. Does that sound farmiliar? However unlike the Native Americans, who came away from it all with their heritage, and a better part of their belief systems intact, those of the old world lost almost everything regarding that. It was a tragic loss at that. Unlike the christian traditions, the Native Americans never judge a person for what they believe, nor do they force any sort of teaching on anyone that isn't intereseted. Most other traditions with the exception of the eastern traditions seem to. Again as (Wings) says, perhaps thats why some are starting to turn to this way. I can understand that being treated, and betrayed as The Natives were and in some ways still are, that some would be at the very least hesitant to share anything of their culture, or faith to someone not Native or of Native descent, but it is through sharing that we understand each other. True there are things in every path that are private, and only to be seen by certain people. I think most people understand and respect that. No one as far as I've seen is asking learn all there is, just to learn something so they can grow and ultimatly understand. Some simply to know more of Native ancestry they may know little if anything about. Others who have an honest and deep respect for the Native people that simply want to learn more from a very rich and diverse culture. Be happy if someone wants to see through the veils of ignorance, stereotypes, and romanticised images/myths. Sure keep your gaurd up against those who would take advantage and seek to twist this way for their own gain, or push their way as the better one, as the world does have some less than honorable people out there. However, help those who are sincere to pull that veil aside so they might learn, grow and ultimatly understand due to that learing and growing.(Wings) is right, It is possible to be of different backrounds i.e. races, and traditions and still be able have a relationship of any kind as long as there is respect, love, and a willingness to learn/understand something of the person/people. I am very greatful like her for what my Native friends have shown me, and am eager and willing to learn whatever they decide to share/teach.
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Posted:     Post subject: I understand

I was born a mix of German and British. I was raised in a christian home. None of it fit. I never knew i was walking the Red Road until years later. It was just natural for me.

All of my friends are or were Native American. I have always been accepted among them without any hesitation. I have an adopted Cherokee sister whom I adore. I have learned a lot from all of them.

I gave up on having any type of relationship with a christian or other religion. My heart and soul are traditional. I can not help it. It is just the way I was made. I do not assume to be Native American.

Unless it is one of my friends I dont even talk Native American subjects with anyone.

I have turned into a loner. I dont fit in the christian culture and I am not Native American so I really dont fit there either. My sister says I do fit.

I have gone through all that you said about gathering the correct way. If a person is christian they dont even want to have a clue. they are incredibly closed minded. At all of the ones I have met are.

When I go through the personal ads I leap over anyone who calls themselves a christian. It is just too hard to deal with.

That is why I am trying this Native American personal site. Maybe there might be someone who thinks like me out there.

It would be nice to gather with someone instead of the remarks.

They sell buffalo at the grocery store but I refuse to eat any of it. It was not killed with the proper ceremony. There is a ranch near here that does raise and kill with ceremony that I will buy buffalo from.

It is simple things like this most people can not understand and think I am nuts. My way is the old way.

I used to live on the Mesa outside of Taos NM. My home looked like a rez home. Not intentionally. When I went for a visit to the rez I saw the same way of doing things.

I can not stand being on the energy grid. How many christians will give up their tv? I hauled my water and never gave it a second thought. Did not even have indoor plumbing.

Have you ever stood stark naked at dawn and pee on a bush outdoors? It is not an accepted norm. To us it was invigorating.

Every morning we walked the medicine wheel and said our prayers to the directions, Mother Earth and Father Sky.

My house is smudged regularly. I have good feathers!

Ever since I remember I have lived traditionally,not even knowing it. I was not understood by the family I was born into.

I was always in trouble at sunday school. I kept asking questions that no one would answer.

Traditional and christian just do not mix. I have tried with the same results as you.

If I can not find a Native American mate I would rather be alone than put up with a christian. It is just not worth the heartache.

It is nice to have this place to talk about it and not worry about offending anyone.

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Posted:     Post subject:

We are what we are. But knowing you don't belong in one world and not being sure if you belong in the other can be hard, if not a little lonely. It sounds like you in a way do belong based on everything you've said. Though you may not be Native American, something inside clicks and ticks the same way. This I understand. Though I am just starting out on this path so I know very little. I just know that something inside clicks and ticks the same way as well. I too skip over the Christian ads as I just don't know if I can trust them to understand or at least make the attempt without judging or condemming. That's not to say all Christians are like that, I'm sure there are some that would take the time to understand and not judge. Still in looking for a man, I skip over those who are because of the nasty experience I had. I would rather have a pure traditional Native man who sees my heart and spirit and does not judge me for who or what I am. When I say pure I mean someone who does not put foregin substances in their bodies, someone who tries to take care of themselves/the earth, and who is true in heart and spirit. You are not "Nuts" or crazy for walking softly upon the Earth, or for living in a way that honors, and thanks her for all she provides. You are not "Nuts" at all. Yes it is good to be able to have place to talk of these things without anyone becomming offended. There are too many things in this world that have the potential to be offensive, but why waste time and energy looking for those things, and always being offended by something said or done.
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Posted:     Post subject:

I was once in a relationship w/ a man not too long ago that, agonizingly said that when he first got together w/ me, he wasn't sure if he could handle all this native american stuff in my house! Shocked The relationship didn't last long after that. I haven't been emersed in my native american culture but long to be. I was adopted out as a baby and grew up in non native culture so some things I see are strange to me. I don't understand how someone can say something like that to a person, 'I wasn't sure if I could handle all this native american stuff', if they know it's their entire being.

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Posted:     Post subject:

I can see why that particular realtionship would not have lasted very long. The last true relationship I had was not so great in that respect either, though at the time I had not looked to the Native American traditions and ways, I was however inclined to be Earth based in my beliefes. He knew going in my ways were such, yet it wasn't very long before he was digging at me and trying to make me convert Confused The sad thing was that he had no real beliefes of his own, as from one week to the next, they would change, and yet he kept dragging my ways through the gutter. As things went on he got nastier and more biteing because I would not abandon my ways. That's not to say I didn't think about it, sadly I did very breifly, but I realized even if I did, it would only be a surface conversion, and not be who I really was inside, that I would be living a lie, I just couldn't nor wouldn't want to live. When I told him that, he finally came out and said that he couldn't be with someone who wasn't Christian. This of course was after he'd gone back to his Catholic roots. I finally told him that enough was enough, and we were done. In that respect I understand how you feel as all these men that have been mentioned in this forum seemed to be so closed minded, and not willing to at least understand and acknowledge the traditions of the other in a positive way. Instead we were crazy, bad, wrong or in some way deficient for looking to and respecting the Earth instead of violating, and taking more than is needed from her like most everyone else does. I figure it may be that in looking at and having some understanding of these ways they would have to come to terms with this, and they are just unable to grasp everything. Still we are all better off without those who would try to cast a shadow on our hearts, and who would seek to render our beliefes invalid, or lesser than their own. Anyway, I hope you are able to find what you are looking for here, and that you find those who you came from. Good luck :)

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Posted:     Post subject:

I have read all the posts and I see all the viewpoints. I have a firends who's grandfather was Chief Ted Thin Elk. I was talking o my friend one day about this very issue and he said his grandfather taught him that "we are all of the same tribe, human beings". I think that is important to remember since we all have the same Creator whom I believe to be a just deity. In my humble opinion.

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March 26, 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted:     Post subject:
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I think it's quite pathetic to pass on a person's profile for being Christian. I find it pretty contradictory that if someone was to say they passed on a profile because of a person's race there would be quite a few people feeling insulted and, pretty much, apalled by a person's closemindedness.

And it IS closeminded to snub someone because of their religion- and how ironic Blackbird that you say 'those who have only embraced the X-tian faith are usually closed minded, and do not respect others'!!!!!! Isn't it very closeminded to generalise like that on millions of people!?!? Isn't it disrespectful to tar each member of the Christian faith with the same brush?!

And then you call yourself tolerant!!!!

All faiths hold the core moral message of 'love your brother as you love yourself'- we're all praying for a more peaceful, loving world in the end, whatever way we wish to express it.

And btw, a true Christian woman would not have just one 'night of pleasure' with someone who didn't respect her enough to not condemn her beliefs, so I really wouldn't wait up for that

I'm Catholic (as is pretty much everyone else in Ireland) but I do respect other people's beliefs but that doesn't mean compromising my own or treating others differently just because they don't have the same beliefs as me.

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Posted:     Post subject:

This is not an uncommon feeling Cli, sadly. I grew up around Natives, have relatives that are Native, twenty years ago I was engaged to a Native who was traditional - I was Christian. We never had any problems. I respected what he believed, he respected what I believed. Sadly, he died and we never got to share our life together as planned but it taught me a valuable lesson - it's about respect, not the ultimate belief system. If one doesn't respect the person they're with enough to respect what they believe then it's probably not going to work out.

I agree that it's a form of reverse prejudice to skip over Christian profiles...but you have to understand that the Christians were not always good to the Natives of this country, they caused more damage than they did good. At the same time, it's a gross generalization to just write them all off because of bad experiences. Your analogy is correct, if somebody stated that they skipped over a profile because of culture or ethnicity there'd be all out war on these boards. I think a person has to truly be familiar with the root of the problem to understand why there IS such a strong aversion to the Christian faith within native communities. To understand that, one has to research, look at history and understand exactly what Christians did to the Natives over the years - forcing them to cut their hair, ripping their children from their homes to go to boarding schools, forcing them to speak English, not allowing them to practice what they believed.

What it comes down to is personal late fiance's mother was Cheyenne, a very knowledgable and cool lady, she used to say that this was a very big world and it's too late to ship all the white people back to where they came from. We're all on the same continent and we're free to believe what we want to believe. She taught her children that they could believe as they wanted but they should respect what others wanted to believe because diversity is what makes a well rounded culture.

Personally? I'm a Christian. I was married to a wife beating minister for close to twenty years, it was not pleasant and I learned the hard way that just because somebody slaps that moniker on themselves, it doesn't mean they truly are or its what they actually believe. I have an Apache buddy who likes to say that it's not the ritual that counts, it's the relationship with the Creator. I agree with that. My experiences didn't affect my relationship with my Creator, I believe what I believe and I'm not going to force it down somebody's throat just because they don't believe the same way. At the same time, I know quite a few natives who claim to follow the Red Road and they DON'T live the way they're supposed to every day. People from every culture can be 'backsliders'.

Yes, I know this is long, but I'd like to make one last point...basically because this annoys the hell out of me - not all white women with native men are there because they want to bag a buck. Personally, I find that more offensive than the Christian bashing. There are a lot of very nice white women who ended up with a native man because they fell in love, not because they went looking. I met my late fiance because I accidentally backed into his car. I have a good friend who has been married to a native for more than thirty years. She's whiter than snow and he's 100% Dakota - it was love at first sight and they've been together ever since. She taught school on the reservation for years, they only left and moved to the city because HE wanted to go. People are people - you cannot compare them to cats dating dogs or whatever. People crave intimacy with people who interest them. Who are we to judge a relationship because she's white and he's native? I always find this argument interesting because NOBODY ever seems to comment if HE'S white and SHE'S native. I wonder why that is?

Yes, there are a lot of new age weenies out there who want to latch onto the whole 'spirituality angle' and women who get caught up on the whole romance cover model image of the native (sorry, but Fabio with a bad hair job does NOT make a very convincing native...), heck, I've seen a couple of those in profiles on this site...I cannot judge whether their intent is good or bad, but what I CAN do as a HUMAN BEING is give people a chance. True, there are a lot who are up to no good but for every one problem person there are two or three that ARE nice people who could be good friends or contacts or whatever...let's not judge everybody immediately on the basis of a profile, in doing so, that makes us just as prejudicial as those we complain about.

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