Protect Oak Flat Post-Hearing Press Conference: Watch on Facebook

Who sinned? This was our seeking question this past Sunday. It is an important question in our world but not for the reason the disciples in the scripture thought. I kept thinking about this passage and its accusation of blindness against those unwilling to see the truths of God’s way of healing and justice as I watched the livestream of the first half of the oral arguments for the Apache Stronghold’s Religious Freedom case on Tuesday (John 9:1-41). It was disheartening. The U.S. government was clear. It believes it has blanket authority to do as it wishes with land stolen from indigenous people. It is determined to uphold its record of violating treaties and promises made to indigenous people.

The U.S. government displays a blindness of convenience. A blindness that discriminates. A blindness that ignores what is good for the whole.  A blindness that is not blind at all, for it is a blindness with purpose. As one of the lawyers stated in the post-hearing press conference, the test placed upon the Apache to prove the sacredness of their site is a gerrymandered test. No one else is put to this test. No church, mosque, or synagogue would be threatened with destruction unless the faith community could prove the sacredness of their place of worship. Yet this is the position of the Apache at Oak Flat and other indigenous people in other sites.

Please continue to join in prayer for the Apache people, Apache Stronghold as they lead this fight, and the judges as they deliberate the case.