Native American Religious Beliefs

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The Puritans were a strong unified religious community that centered their lives and their community on a specific set of beliefs. They believed that life was a test and those who passed this test would not only be successful, but also be delivered to holy blessedness all their lives and in the next. On the other hand, those who failed this test would face the consequences of a life damned by the devil. Notably in addition to that belief, they were God’s advocates and God’s law were their political laws. One specific facet of the Puritan belief system discussed in this paper is religious exclusiveness. This belief is evident through their literature and has carried an impact through time into the lives of Americans to this day. The American…show more content…
Puritan leaders, felt it was their job to convince the world that there was a God, and one of the ways in which they did this was showing how the Natives revealed the presence of the devil, in hopes that others will join their pure community out of fear. Throughout The Narrative Of The Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, her prejudice terms describing the Natives clearly reflects how powerful and strong of an impact the Puritan exclusiveness of other belief systems has on a person. Prejudice terms as well as other terms were used such as, “savages”, “bloody heathens”, “merciless”, “infidels”, “ravenous beasts”, “black creatures”, “wolves”, etc. . For example, after Rowlandson was taken from her home in Lancaster, she mentions, “I had often before this said that if the Indians should come, I should choose rather to be killed by them than taken alive, but when it came to the trial my mind changed; their glittering weapons so daunted my spirit, that I chose rather to go along with those (as I may say) ravenous beasts,”.(par 6, lines 1,2,3,4) Rowlandson first stereotypically declares the Native Americans as Indians, then states how she once thought she’d have rather died than to be held captive by them and then refers to them as “ravenous beasts”. That being said, it is clear how the negative views of the Native Americans by the Puritan belief system that she was apart of, has influenced her opinion and experience with them. Similarly, in the Ann Bleecker’s Captivity Narrative: The History of Maria Kittle, the religious exclusion and prejudice attitudes towards the Native Americans is
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