Deloria on the historical validity of a religion

“The test of the extent to which a religion has a claim to historical validity, therefore, should at least partially involve its identification of the specific location and lands where the religious event that created the community took place. And that religion should stand by the historical nature of the event; it should never back off and disclaim everything while becoming furious with other peoples for not believing its claim. If the present interpretation of religious history that is accepted by many Christian theologians is maintained, we are left with a religion devoid of any significance in either time or space. History becomes a series of glorified legends that teach ethical lessons and it becomes a demoniac thing to believe that the world operates one way for religious purposes and an entirely different way for secular purposes.”

–Vine Deloria, Jr., God is Red: A Native View of Religion, 122.

A ringing indictment of mainline Protestants and others who would discount the historicity of, among other things, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.


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