They are in there, though. G-d Is Red has a pretty uniformly negative view of Christianity. Deloria heavily criticizes this temporal focus, both for its supposed tendency to make Christians focus on the concerns of the next world at the expense of this one, and for its lack of any tie to the land along with the focus on stewardship or subduing the earth, leading to a lack of ecological awareness and directly contributing to the upcoming ecological catastrophe. If Christianity is universal and is the true and correct religion, then how come its history is so filled with horrors? In his words, Christianity can describe ideal behavior but cannot produce it.

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While we may want our loved ones to all believe what we believe about the Supreme Being — who we may refer to as God, Jesus or the Creator — they ultimately still have to make their own choice about what to believe. Back then American Indians were not free to practice their traditional teachings. Today, American Indians are protected by federal law to practice their traditional teachings without fear of reprisal.

They no longer have to fear being arrested to practice the sun dance — though it is important to note, not all American Indian tribes practice the sun dance, but maintain other forms of worship to the Creator.

His grandfather, the Reverend Philip Deloria, was an Episcopal priest. His father, Vine Deloris, Sr. Deloria passed away in I found it challenging then; it still challenges now. Reading the updated edition of the book was well worth the re-read, because in addition to the new forewords by Leslie Marmon Silko and George E. Tinker, Deloria updates the previous edition to make it more relevant to contemporary years. They have been educated, as the old-timers would say to think with their heads instead of their hearts.

The book should be read by non-Indians who want a better understanding about the conflicts American Indians have with Christianity. It challenges American Indians to reconcile how they can be Christians when we know what was done to our ancestors in the name of Christianity. Ultimately, what we believe about religion is indeed a personal matter. Purchasing this book here helps to support the Native News Online, an American Indian — owned business.


Vine Deloria’s “God is Red” Still Challenges


DS 25749 PDF

God Is Red: A Native View of Religion


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