Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Scandal, Derision, and Hell

Great and Injurious was the blindness of those who presided over the Indians as to the Conversion and Salvation of this People: for they denied in Effect what they in their flourishing Discourse pretended to, and declar'd with their Tongue what they contradicted in their Heart; for it came to this pass, that the Indians should be commanded on the penalty of a bloody War, Death, and perpetual Bondage, to embrace the Christian Faith, and submit to the Obedience of the Spanish King; as if the Son of God, who suffered Death for the Redemption of all Mankind, had enacted a Law, when he pronounced these words, Go and teach all Nations, that Infidels, living peaceably and quietly in their Hereditary Native Country, should be impos'd upon pain of Confiscation of all their Chattels, Lands, Liberty, Wives, Children, and Death itself, without any precedent instruction to Confess and Acknowledge the true God, and subject themselves to a King, whom they never saw, or heard mention'd before; and whose Messengers behav'd themselves toward them with such Inhumanity and Cruelty as they had done hitherto. Which is certainly a most foppish and absurd way of Proceeding, and merits nothing but Scandal, Derision, nay Hell itself.


Bartolomé de las Casas, Brevisima relacion de la destruccíon de las Indias (as found translated here).

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