"What I find extraordinary is that many of the European conquests of foreign lands to spread the Gospel involved massive slaughters and destruction of civilizations. The slaughter of innocent women, children, and men out of battle just to take over land and establish authority to make these people go to school and learn the word of God seems to be a contradiction. As the first president of Kenya said, in order for the Christians to come into Kenya and spread the word, they had to break several of the Ten Commandments before they got off the ships."
Leakey signed the Council for Secular Humanism’s 2000 Humanist Manifesto. To him "it’s a recognition of people who don’t believe in a deity, but who believe we must manage our affairs based on what we are as a species and our position on this planet. "
"We don’t have to persuade anyone to be a humanist. When irrationalists, as opposed to rationalists, start suggesting that children shouldn’t be exposed to science, to biology, and the idea that life has changed, and instead promote the biblical version of how we came to exist, then I think we should speak out. You can recognize there is a difference of opinion, recognize that people don’t like the idea of evolution as a theory, but by the same token they have to accept that life has changed. Their version can’t be tested, our version can.
"Because the world has so many challenges coming up around climate change and scarcity of natural resources—challenges related to pathogens and microorganisms in terms of crop production, animal production, and human health—that a career in science is one of the best options you can go for today. We need such people who can be trained to find ways to avert what is otherwise going to be a downward spiral into a very poor lifestyle."
~ Richard Leakey
Joan, I wrote several posts about the Conquistadors, far more critical and acrimonious than the remarks of Dr. Leakey above. It would be interesting to compare the comments of a militant like myself to those of the venerable professor. I installed a link to my post on the exploitation of Haiti and its native people. Guaranteed to make you hair coil. Just outrageous what they got away with!
From “Religion Is Abomination.”
The Bible not once denounces or condemns the institution of slavery. What kind of moralist do you have to be to state that it’s wrong to force another person to serve you?
Any scriptural reference to slavery is usually as if it were a normal and acceptable condition—like having furniture or going into a restaurant and ordering the wait staff around.
I once heard a lecture by Professor Teofilo Ruiz of UCLA, an expert in medieval and early modern Spain. I have to admit I was amused at the childlike logic of the Conquistadors as they landed in the mid-1500s on the shores of West Africa and began to ravage and plunder its land and people:
1) The land belongs to God.
2) These half-naked savages are obviously children of the devil.
3) God would prefer that we own the land because we are righteous.
4) If we enslave them, these sub humans will have a chance to return to God’s grace (so we’ll be doing them a favor.)
See my essay on Haiti for the lowdown on what these invaders wrought on the New World paradise they named after the Inquisition sado/masochist, St. Dominic. To think this delusional despot has a country and several new-world cities named after him!