( – promoted by navajo)
Columbus’s first voyage in 1492 combined with his religious motivations for making it led Pope Alexander VI to issue a Papal Bull in 1493.
Pope Alexander VI ordered Ferdinand and Isabella to observe and to do the following: that the primary purpose of all future voyages and ensuing discoveries of land and people was to Christianize and “overthrow” any Nations who resisted; that Columbus himself be used for the next voyage, since there was consensus among Columbus, Ferdinand, Isabella, and the Papacy with regards to spreading Christianity to the entire world; that the Indians might have been good converts; that all this was to be carried out “By the Authority of Almighty God;” that it applied to the entire world; that any possible Christian rulers were to not be overthrown; that Ferdinand and Isabella had power over such possible Christian rulers, while the Papacy had power over them and any possible Christian rulers; that overthrown Nations would have a Christian ruler put in place; that anyone who traded with anyone who overthrew a Christian ruler would be excommunicated; and that anyone who went against the Papal Bull would “Incur the wrath of Almighty God.”
Perhaps because in part because he didn’t want to” Incur the wrath of Almighty God,” and in addition to Columbus’s crimes against humanity, “he performed a ceremony to “take possession” of the land for the king and queen of Spain, acting under the international laws of Western Christendom.”
When Christopher Columbus first set foot on the white sands of Guanahani island, he performed a ceremony to “take possession” of the land for the king and queen of Spain, acting under the international laws of Western Christendom. Although the story of Columbus’ “discovery” has taken on mythological proprtions in most of the Western world, few people are aware that his act of “possession” was based on a religious doctrine now known as the Doctrine of Discovery. Even fewer people realize that today –five centuries later– the United States government stil uses this archaic Judeo-Christian doctrine to deny the rights of Native American Indians.
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In 1823, the Christian Doctrine of Discovery was quietly adopted into U.S. law by the Supreme Court in the celebrated case, JOHNSON v. McINTOSH (8 Wheat., 543). Writing for the unanimous court, Chief Justice John Marshall observed that Christian European nations had assumed “ultimate dominion” over the lands of America during the Age of Discovery, and that–upon “discovery”–the Indians had lost “their rights to complete sovereignty, as independent nations,” and only retained a right of “occupancy” in their lands. In other words, Indian nations were subject to the ultimate authority of the first nation of Christendom to claim possession of a given region of Indian lands. [Johnson: 574; Wheaton: 270-1]
What did Chief Justice MARSHALL say again?
While the different nations of Europe respected the right of the natives, as occupants, they asserted the ultimate dominion to be in themselves; and claimed and exercised, as a consequence of this ultimate dominion, a power to grant the soil, while yet in possession of the natives. These grants have been understood by all, to convey a title to the grantees, subject only to the Indian right of occupancy.
The history of America, from its discovery to the present day, proves, we think, the universal recognition of these principles.
Spain did not rest her title solely on the grant of the Pope. Her discussions respecting boundary, with France, with Great Britain, and with the United States, all show that she placed in on the rights given by discovery. Portugal sustained her claim to the Brazils by the same title.
No one of the powers of Europe gave its full assent to this principle, more unequivocally than England. The documents upon this subject are ample and complete. So early as the year 1496, her monarch granted a commission to the Cabots, to discover countries then unknown to Christian people, and to take possession of them in the name of the king of England. Two years afterwards, Cabot proceeded on this voyage, and discovered the continent of North America, along which he sailed as far south as Virginia. To this discovery the English trace their title.
Christopher Columbus was discovered by Indians, and since all it takes is “planting a cross and taking on the conquest and/or conversion of indigenous people” to steal a “New World” by genocide and then making that ideology Supreme Court law, then perhaps John Cotton’s words from 1630 reflect the ignorance and sentiment of many fundamentalists today.
The placing of a people in this or that country is from the appointment of the Lord.
Well, that can work both ways.
“The situation, however, was remedied at 11:00 in the morning when the chief of the Indian Chippewa tribe, Adam Nordwall, stepped off an Alitalia jumbo jet and claimed it for the Indian people. The intrepid explorer, in full Indian dress, stood on the tarmac of Fiumicino Airport and took possession of Italy ‘by right of discovery.’”
Blithely ignoring the fact that Italy is and has been inhabited by highly cultured and accomplished people who rightly consider themselves the legitimate rulers of the glorious land they have lived in for millennia, Mr. Nordwall then asked: “What right had Columbus to ‘discover’ America when it was already inhabited for thousands of years? The same right that I have to come to Italy and claim to have discovered your country.”