Monday, November 9, 2020

Christianizing the Savages

Unfortunately, the practices of European settlers are too often so diametrically opposed to the precepts of Christianity, and so deficient in humanity, justice, and charity, that the poor savage must be sorely puzzled to understand why this new faith, which is to do him so much good, should have had so little effect on his teacher’s own countrymen. The white men in our Colonies are too frequently the true savages, and require to be taught and Christianized quite as much as the natives.  

–Alfred Russell Wallace, 1865

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

Sometimes I marvel at how many statements from the mid 1800s seem to be more modern and progressive than much of what is said in 2020.

Perhaps it is a sort of selection or survival bias, but I often get the sense that the 19th century was remarkably full of truly admirable figures speaking simple truths and profound wisdoms with great power, elegance, and clarity.

How I wish we had more Darwins, Huxleys, and even Wallaces (despite his odd spiritualist fixations) in the present day - or rather, how I wish the ones we do have had more sway and influence on society. There are plenty of modern figures who advocate masterfully for reason and progress, but they don't seem to enjoy anywhere near the level of importance and prominence their predecessors did.