The history of Indigenous contact should be taught differently in light of the absence of written documentation. It should be done with logic, reasoning, and science of course. The way American society has been taught the history of the world has been intentionally fractured since the start of the 1900’s. Creation is what America was originally taught of human beginnings prior to this. Here, I still highlight the "pagan" acts and traditions of cannibalism as something that needs to be brought to light--given the lack of awareness to the very real cultural divide.
“It begins when the Flood subsides. Noah plants a vineyard, makes wine, and falls into a stupor in his tent. Ham . . . sees his father's nakedness and tells his two brothers what has happened.... When Noah wakes up and learns what has happened, he lays a curse not upon Ham but upon Ham's son: 'Accursed be Canaan. He shall be his brothers' meanest slave.' . . . Whizzing forward to the medieval versions we learn more about the nature of Ham's misdeeds. He mocked Noah's nakedness, and invited his brothers to do the same (which they refused). What is more, this is not the first of Ham's transgressions. When they had all been on the Ark together, Noah had insisted that everyone be sexually continent, but Ham, by the aid of a magic demon, slept with his wife…” And the Curse of Ham was in effect.
The Tower of Babel in Mesopotamia was the next “Fall of Man.” I wrote an article awhile back where I clarify the results of Babel and its destruction on humanity. The world was a wicked place in the days of Noah. Compared to most European lifestyles they were observed as disgraceful, disgusting, violent, immoral, and unethical societies and in those days, it was something horrific. Dr. David Leston wrote that “archaeologists have unearthed bodies of people who lived in Mesopotamia, they have found evidence that cannibalism was practiced. In short, this was a very brutal era, in which humanity showed little to no regard for one another.”
He goes on to mention that in “January 1996 National Geographic did a comparison between rodeo riders and their injuries, and skeletons uncovered from the time of Noah. They found striking similarities between the injuries of the two groups, suggesting that this was a very violent society. When people reject God and the boundaries and purposes that He has created for them, they become a law unto themselves, and society becomes weaker and more dangerous.” The net results are the same as always--extreme anarchy and a violent world. So, God flooded the world and spared the only honest and Godly man alive at the time. It was Noah who God gave the task of rebuilding civilization.
It was right after the Flood that people would repopulate the Fertile Crescent (the middle east). This was a very fertile and agriculturally productive area which was quick to develop and fought over heavily. One of humankind’s early technological developments was the ability to design, manipulate materials and make structures such as buildings. It was mankind’s obligation from God to subdue the earth. He ultimately gave mankind all the faculties necessary to create great constructions. However, in man’s rebellion against God, this gift was used in ways to honor men and not Him—such as The Tower of Babel. This attempt at building a ziggurat mega-structure was humankind's next attempt at playing God. Just a note here—it will blow your mind to look at the similarities in the Mesopotamian ziggurat of biblical days and a typical ziggurat from South America.
In Genesis 11, the tower planners said “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” The planners of course were referring to making a name for mankind above God’s name. God saw this ability of men to centralize power effectively for the purposes of glorifying themselves. He then—in an instant—created world languages to confuse the masses and dispersed them globally. This is where Dispersion across the globe took effect. This effectively explains human migration in the ice age, world language and similarities in technology worldwide.
The evidence offered by National Geographic parallels ancient cannibalism to what we see in Native North America (and globally). It makes sense that at dispersion why humankind had kept their basic tribal customs alive--without the cultural sustainability nor political liberty to sustain themselves after European contact. Cannibalism was a custom and ritual that was carried on and practiced by indigenous peoples since the beginnings… hence, the “Curse of Ham.” Marshall Sahlins, an Anthropologist, viewed cannibalism as a variety of symbolism, cosmology, rituals, and traditions. Sigmund Freud looked at cannibalism within the indigenous cultures as an underlying mental issue—psychoses. Even serial killers have been known all throughout time have committed acts of cannibalism. I'm not saying this was the case, but it certainly represents something to take into consideration as a cultural practice.
The idea of the Portuguese in North Africa in the early 15th century having cannibalistic tendencies makes sense. Consider the technological example of human civilization and human capital, in whole, there was no advancement of “civilization” until after the printing press was invented by Gutenberg. Europe was still shut into Medieval living. It was still the Dark Ages, with pagan tendencies. I use the word “pagan” to describe non-Christian ritualistic practices.
It was mentioned that the “remnants of cannibalistic rituals could also be said to be found in explicit references, such as the [Catholic] Eucharist (in which worshipers consume ritual substitutes of the body and blood of Christ). Ironically, the early [Catholics] were called cannibals by the Romans because of the Eucharist.”
This explains the blending of Roman Catholic customs and traditions (which do not traditionally exist within Protestant Christian sects), as well as the mixing of tribal spirituality and customs in the Dark Ages. Thus, the Old-World Portuguese carried their blended Catholic and old ritualistic tribal customs into North Africa—engaging in their old pagan practices of feasting on human beings.
So, it happened also that the Taino conquest of the Siboney tribe (just before Columbus first landed) was executed in utter completion. Columbus wrote that he had met one Siboney survivor who communicated that the Taino were relentless, violent, taboo, and cannibalistic. An invasion by the Taino, statistically, would have been the complete genocide of one culture. This annihilation of a people group matches or even exceeds the largest estimates of destruction by European diseases and exposure.
It’s a fair say that in the pre-Columbian world, wars, slavery, and complete annihilation may not have been uncommon after all. I mean, “one could legitimately argue that for many Amerindian people the expansion of the Huari, Aztec, and Inka empires was equally cataclysmic.” Especially in comparison to what followed after European contact. In this, the idea that Christopher and his European counterparts brought the idea of war and violence to a civilization (or world) that was previously untouched and unblemished is historically bankrupt.
There has been scientific evidence, as suggested earlier, that makes cannibalism very widespread and indeed an ancient tribal global human practice. This would make sense considering the religious and sociopolitical foundations at that time. It was part of the animistic tribal lifestyle that was inherited by the first generation of those original peoples dispersed at the Tower of Babel.
Daniel L. Smith
1. Braude, Benjamin. "The Sons of Noah and the Construction of Ethnic and Geographical Identities in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods." The William and Mary Quarterly 54, no. 1 (1997), 103. doi:10.2307/2953314.
2. Dr. Leston, Stephen, and Christopher D. Hudson. "From Creation to the Tower of Babel | The Age of Noah." In The Bible in World History: How History and Scripture Intersect, 31. Uhrichsville: Barbour Pub, 2011.
3. Ibid. p. 32.
4. "DNA and Native Americans." Book of Mormon Evidence. Last modified October 16, 2019. https://bookofmormonevidence.org/dna-and-native-americans/.
5. Harris, Marvin. "‘Cannibals and Kings’: An Exchange." The New York Review of Books. Last modified November 21, 2015. https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1979/06/28/cannibals-and-kings-an-exchange/.
6. Freud, Sigmund. "Totem and Taboo; Resemblances Between the Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics." Internet Archive. Accessed December 14, 2020. https://archive.org/stream/totemtabooresemb00freu.
7. Allina, Eric. "The Zimba, the Portuguese, and Other Cannibals in Late Sixteenth-century Southeast Africa." Journal of Southern African Studies 37, no. 2 (2011), 211-227. doi:10.1080/03057070.2011.579433.
8. Morison, Samuel E. Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus, 464. Morison Press, 2008.
9. Taylor, Alan. American Colonies, 38. London: Penguin, 2002. (Statistical Breakdown)
10. Santos-Granero, Fernando. Vital Enemies: Slavery, Predation, and the Amerindian Political Economy of Life, 6-7. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010.
11. Helmenstine, Ph.D, Anne M. "What You Need to Know About Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy." ThoughtCo. Accessed December 14, 2020. https://www.thoughtco.com/mad-cow-disease-overview-602185.
12. Genesis 6:5 & 6:6, The Holy Bible.
In present day America the day after Thanksgiving is traditionally spent hanging Christmas decorations and various lighting across the house and yard. These fun displays usually fit in the category of snowman, reindeer, or a big jolly old man with a white beard in a bright red suit with white fuzzy trim. We usually see images of this same person in stories or on the television magically hopping down chimneys and delivering gifts to sleeping families worldwide. This image has become something we’ve all been generationally born into, but where did this myth originate from? What is the truth behind this entire story?
“The real St. Nicholas lived from 270 to 342 and was known in his lifetime for fighting evil and promoting justice. He was credited with performing many miracles. His body was buried in the church in Myra, but in the 11th century pirates stole the bones and took them to Bari, Italy, where they supposedly are preserved in a Catholic church. About that time Nicholas also became a popular saint in Northern Europe. He was sometimes depicted with a staff, looking more like a Greek bishop.
The legend that has become the basis of the Santa Claus story is this:
A poor man had three daughters. Unable to give them dowries, he thought he would have to sell them into prostitution [something the extremely poor were sometimes forced into at that time]. Nicholas wanted to help but also keep his charity work secret. He went to their home one night but climbed on the roof when he found all the doors and windows locked. He dropped three bags of gold down the chimney, and the three young women had hung their stockings by the fire to dry. The gifts fell into the socks, and the tradition was off and running.
St. Nicholas Day, Dec. 6, still is celebrated in many countries, and often includes gifts for children and gift exchanges among adults. So, the real person who fought for social justice, elimination of poverty and protection of children has had his image corrupted by a friendly guy in a red suit who brings you generally more than you would ever want.”
Robert Jewett, a Pauline scholar who teaches at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago mentions that ‘Early Christians opted out of conspicuous consumption. They saw it as an evil form of competition, similar to the notion of keeping up with the Jones's.’
A Material Cause
During the days of Paul the Apostle, greed was an easy reality to observe. The rich get rich and the poor get poorer. Arguably materialism in our times today is the only way to prove any kind of “flaunting success.” Continuing to buy and accumulate “things” has become the way Americans prove our worth to others.
Historian Adam English writes that, “Nearly everyone knows that Santa Claus -- the obese, old gent who squeezes himself down the chimney every Christmas Eve -- is the American alter ego of St. Nicholas. Slimmer and less overtly jolly, St. Nicholas roams about Western Europe showering children with presents on his traditional feast day of Dec. 6. In the Netherlands and parts of Germany, children expect a visit from a white-bearded, ecclesiastically garbed "Sinterklaas" (his Dutch name), who decides whether they have been naughty or nice before handing out treats from his sack.
Dutch and German immigrants brought St. Nicholas to America in the early 19th century, and he began a process of assimilation, trading in his bishop's miter and crosier for a fur-trimmed red suit and cap. The Santa we now know was the creation of poet Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863), the author of "The Night Before Christmas"; cartoonist Thomas Nast; illustrators like N.C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell; and the magazine ads for Coca-Cola painted by Haddon Simmons starting in 1931, in which Santa took a break from the arduousness of setting up junior's electric train by pausing to have a coke.”
So, here we are in 2020 and most of American society relishes in the contemporary version of St. Nick. One has got to wonder how Christians should feel about the secularized and materialistic view on Christmas Santa Claus?
Ken Ham, Director of the Creation Museum and bearer of 6 honorary university graduate degrees mentions, “The mythical Santa is clearly founded in a man who honored Jesus Christ with his life and his possessions. Nicholas gave freely of his riches to benefit those who were less fortunate than himself. This is clearly a fundamental Christian principle, as we see care for the poor proclaimed throughout Scripture (e.g., James 2:1–17).
Is that the same idea we see in the Santa Claus celebrated today? The popular song extols children to stop shouting, pouting, and crying in order to earn Santa’s favor and his gifts. This is clearly not the attitude that we see in the biblically motivated actions of the original St. Nick—and a far cry from a biblical attitude of raising children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.”
Hope, Joy, Blessings
Of course discernment is the key here when it comes to a good old fashioned secularized Christmas. Because even though Christ’s day has been cut down to a materialistic game of possessions, there are still hints scattered throughout the collage of the holidays. Bright stars, Gifts, Blessings of Joy and Hope. These are all principles of the day we know as Christmas. It is a day of blessing others. It is a day of healing and redemption. It is a day to reconnect and start fresh, knowing that there is divine light at the end of a dark road. Christmas is the day that mankind was gifted with the ultimate redemption on life by God Himself.
Other than the divinity of Jesus Christ, humanity has been blessed with the likes of the Apostles, the Christian Church, ministries of giving and selfless service, and much, much, more. Santa Claus, or St. Nick, was a man of Christ. He was known for much more than working with elves, magically transporting down chimneys, and riding a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer across the skyline. He was a man who knew how to live a life for Christ and serve the needs of humankind who ultimately needed it the most.
Daniel L. Smith
 Allen, Martha Sawyer. "What would St. Nick do? : St. Nicholas - the real guy - was known for his battles against evil and for justice and the downtrodden. Somehow over the centuries his image has been corrupted into that of Santa Claus, who has been called the patron saint of greed." Star Tribune [Minneapolis, MN] 4 Dec. 1999: 05B. Business Insights: Global. Web. 7 Dec. 2020.
 Allen, Charlotte. "The Real Father Christmas." Wall Street Journal, Dec 06, 2012, Eastern edition.
 Ham, Ken. "Christians and Santa Claus: A Biblical View." Answers in Genesis. Last modified December 15, 2009. https://answersingenesis.org/jesus/birth/wintertime-worship-santa-claus-or-jesus-christ/.
True American culture started where it was founded. It began in the heart of the North American colonist at the run-up to the American Revolution. Of course, over time, that changed. And as with any cultural change comes a stark political and religious divide. Historian Peter S. Field mentions:
“The advent of a democratic political culture in the early American republic entailed the occasion of the first debates on the relationship between intellectuals and democracy in the United States. Such was particularly the case in the 1830s in Brahmin Boston where, as Perry Miller once observed, "there could hardly be found a group of young Americans more numb to the notion that there were any stirring implications in the word ‘democracy.’”
Miller was right. American’s in the 1830’s was, for the most part, were generally neutral in the way that American culture was beginning to shape out. There were ups and downs. With a new nation typically comes unlimited options on which direction to face the country regarding politics and culture.
There was a hairline fracture that split the thinking of American traditionalists and progressive intellectuals. The Unitarian Church was the catalyst, following transcendentalism in close second. Traditionalists (such as the clergy and church) began to slowly halt providing leadership in our public schools and university’s (prior to this was a purely homeschooling education). Harvard was taken over by the Unitarian church, and as the quality of public education began to decline, Horace Mann (the "father of progressive education") would convince the state of Massachusetts that the best way for education to grow would be to have the government take control, instead of the private sector (like families and churches).
What followed was indoctrination into “self-culture,” a human thought process of “me, myself, and I” which closely follows materialism. To break open a political divide for control and power, there must be a catalyst to enable this cultural shift. Thus, secular humanism was born.
As traditional American doctrine was neglected, the competing ideology of socialism has taken off. Karl Marx’s book, which was written in 1844, never had much influence in American society. That was until we had backslid from Christian principles of economics and dabbled in greed. Thus, monopolies would form and grow. Wealth was accumulated, instead of employing the extra wealth to meet the needs of the poor and society itself. Self-culture (or individual interest), as Field would put it, began to replace the common good of the community.
Marshall Foster writes that “in the loft restaurant above Peck’s restaurant at 140 Fulton Street in lower Manhattan, a group of young men met to plan the overthrow of the predominately Christian world-view that still pervaded America. At this first meeting five men were present: Upton Sinclair, 27, a writer and a socialist; Jack London, writer; Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a Unitarian minister; J.G. Phelps Stokes, husband of a socialist leader; and Clarence Darrow, a lawyer.
Their organization was called the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. Their purpose was to ‘promote an intelligent interest in socialism among college men and women.’ These men were ready to become the exponents of an idea passed on to them by an obscure writer named Karl Marx—a man who never tried to be self-supporting but was supported by a wealthy industrialist who, inexplicably, believed in his theory of ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat.’ Although a small group in the beginning, these adherents of socialism more than succeeded in their task.”
“By using the proven method of gradualism, taken from the Roman general, Quintus Fabius Maximus, these men and others who joined with them slowly infiltrated” the public schools of our nation. By 1912 there were chapters in 44 colleges. By 1917 there were 61 chapters of student study groups of the League of Industrial Democracy. “At that time John Dewey, the godfather of progressive education, was the vice-president of the league. By 1941 Dewey had become president and Reinhold Niebuhr, the liberal socialist theologian, was the treasurer.”
The beginning of the end of traditional America had become entrenched. Dr. Stephen K. McDowell mentions that “the loss Christian tradition, character, and responsibility led to the failure of many banks in the early 1900’s. To remedy this situation, power was granted to a centralized Federal Reserve Board in 1913. But this unbiblical economic structure and lack of character produced many more problems. Within 20 years, the Stock Market had crashed, and America was in the midst of the Great Depression.” With the propagation of socialism, people were ready for Roosevelt's “New Deal,” such as Social Security and other welfare agencies, which ultimately set up the State as provider rather than God.
Daniel L. Smith
 Dr. Beliles, Mark A., and Stephen K. Dr. McDowell. America's Providential History: Including Biblical Principles of Education, Government, Politics, Economics, and Family Life, 253. 1989.
 Field, Peter S. 2001. ""the Transformation of Genius into Practical Power": Relph Waldo Emerson and the Public Lecture." Journal of the Early Republic 21 (3) (Fall): 467-493.
 Foster, Marshall, and Mary-Elaine Swanson. The American Covenant: The Untold Story, xvii. Mayflower Inst, 1983.
 Ibid., Dr. Beliles, Mark A., and Stephen K. Dr. McDowell, 250-251.
Congress in 1787 and 1789 would pass the Northwest Ordinance, which outlawed slavery in any newly created state of the Union. The federal government would also ban the exportation of slaves from any state within the Union in 1794. All intentions show of that generation that the eventual abolishment of slavery was their main intention.
God wanted to show the world how a Christian nation would attempt to deal with such a heavy-laden social problem. England outlawed slavery in 1834, and this was primarily due to the efforts of evangelical Christians. But the United States failed to address the issue of slavery just as God had intended. Slavery is a national sin, and one reason for this enabled failure is greed.
The famous inventor of the cotton gin Mr. Eli Whitney made his contraption well-renowned in 1783. This machine would end up making slavery much, much, much more profitable. The resulting effects of this new profit would rise a new generation of Americans with much less conviction on the matters of slavery than their fathers.
The rest of the nation, instead of dealing with the issue head-on, attempted to compromise. The trend of abolition came to a screeching halt in the South. And even churches began to (for the first-time ever) justify slavery by 1810. By then however, all slave trading had been banned, yet slave owning, became much more ingrained.
The church body fractured over the idea of slavery, as when “in April 1808 when John Murphy, clerk of the church, rose from his seat and ‘declared non-fellowship with the church on account of slavery.’ Following Murphy's lead, Elijah Davidson then rose and withdrew from the church because it tolerated slave-holding among its members. In the following five months, two men and four women left the church for the same reasons.
Far from a singular event, this rupture was repeated in churches across the state and was the culmination to a decades-long debate within Baptist churches in the Upper South over the issue of slave-holding. Before the crisis was settled, Baptists would be forced to rethink their doctrines, worldview, and relationship to the new republic."
"As Baptists began to evangelize the Upper South, they addressed the complicated issue of slaves and slavery. Slaves were part of the early audiences for Baptist itinerants in the 176Os and 177Os, and, after the War for Independence, slaves began to join churches in increasing numbers. This phenomenon forced Baptists into the quagmire of slavery as they constructed a coherent theology and a network of churches in a revolutionary age.
The churches they built were biracial with white and black members. White and black evangelicals together faced the contradictions between their theology, which emphasized the equality of souls, and the institution of slavery, which reified inequality. Churches became the arenas in which southerners debated what slavery meant in an evangelical society and what religion meant in a slave society.”
It was the national sin of slavery that would cause the evangelical movement to seek to reform American society in the Civil War era and well into today. A combination of dumbed-down education, misinformation, and poor leadership has sunk our nation. Today's slave owners are not "the master," however, they surely have a say on "how, when, and why," and not until all of your debts are paid off. Today? Modern slavery is just a refined version of indentured servitude, that's coated with sugar.
Daniel L. Smith,
 Dr. Beliles, Mark A., and Stephen K. Dr. McDowell. America's Providential History, 227. Charlottesville: Providence Foundation, 1989.
 Najar, Monica. 2005. ""Meddling with Emancipation": Baptists, Authority, and the Rift Over Slavery in the Upper South." Journal of the Early Republic 25 (2) (Summer): 157-186.