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‘How Could the Aztecs Accept Catholicism?’
A Question from Vaxx Zombie DeGaulle, Oakland, CA, 3/27/22
Writing from the Waterfront Hotel.
Addendum to Musings on Hierarchy and Humanity.
This young man also wondered aloud as to whether any native North American tribes had written languages at the time of European contact in the1500s.
The semi-historical movie Man in the Wilderness, from 1971, starring Richard Harris as Hugh Glass [who is less historically depicted in The recent remake the Revenant] demonstrates Plains Indians using pictographs painted on buckskins to describe an event. An issue of Muzzleloader Magazine from a few years back showed a Shawnee pictograph. I am not aware of more intricate forms of written language among the paleolithic North Americans.
Europeans of the same technology level were limited to the same types of writing, counting on tusks, cave paintings, and eventually runic symbols. One thing that academic historians have generally gotten right, is that writing as we know it came about with civilization, and by that I mean grain-based civilization in which inventory and astronomical observations must be noted to facilitate agriculture and exploitation of labor.
Hunting and fishing based cultures that have built massive monuments, such as those as Gobletecki along the Turkish-Syrian border, despite monumental achievements, seem to limit their writing to the sacred and the symbolic rather than to functional codes.
That said, some 35 examples of Old World letters, including Punic script and Gaelic olgham and Norse runes have been discovered in North America.
I am at a loss as to whether the Mississippian Civilization that Soto wiped out in 1540-43 possessed a written language. If they did not, they surely would have followed after the Mayan, Toltec and Aztec in developing a complex written language. It may be that they practiced such a language and that it was not carved or painted in stone, but upon hides or bark and did not survive them.
As for the acceptance of Catholicism [which many other denominations of Christians regard as a satanic mimicry of Christianity] all of what was called Christendom was, in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages “Christianized” from heathenry by no other force than Catholicism. So modern protestants must suffer the fact that their pure faith traces a direct line down through the Catholic Church. To the extent that modern Latin Americans reject Catholicism, they tend to do so as protestant converts, tracking the same course as early Modern Protestants of the Reformation. If no Catholics ever had been practicing Christians, then The Reformation [so named by Protestants, in Protest to their Mother Church in Rome] would have instead been christened The Formation.
There were three methods by which Christianity was spread in antiquity and the Middle Ages:
The least and minor method was that practiced by Thomas, who traveled to India and by the Coptic Christians and Nestorians, which was by spreading the Gospels through peaceful means. This is the method still used by Christians today.
The next least used method was by the sword, a hallmark of Orthodox and Catholic dealings with heretical cults such as the Arrians, Bogomils, Albignasians, Hussites and Cathars, such as Charles the Great [800s] slaughtering Saxons and Moors that did not convert, by the King of Norway [1000s] making Thor cultists swallow snakes, etc. In the main, the sword was reserved for converting heretics, those who claimed to be Christians but were not pure in doctrine according to the wielder of the sword.
By far, the most commonly used form of conversion to any faith expressing itself as Christian, prior to the 1700s, was hierarchical compression. We labor under the false belief that the first Christians, such as Paul and Peter were poor folk. This is utterly false, for these men and most known martyrs were literate, which placed them in the top economic 1% of persons in Classical and Late Antiquity. Christianity did and does still express a higher regard for the kind treatment of the poor than most faiths known to our inquiry. However, it was a faith developed, spread, preserved and codified by the Elites of a dissident mind in the lands of Christianity’s infancy.
Christianity, in its adolescence, adopted many saints and angelic beings, as well as the entire idea of hell [a combination of Hellenic Pagan Hades and Norse heathen Hel] in a syncretic fashion. As the faith was typically brought into a heathen nations by a Christian queen married to a heathen king, whose sons would become Christian, the new faith was explicitly top-down in introduction. Indeed, pagan means “people of the village” the rubes, the hayseeds, the rednecks and sylvans, those outside of the cosmopolitan origins of Christianity, which was explicitly urban under Rome, and living beyond and far below the privilege of the manor house lords and ladies.
Frazier’s Golden Bough [0] is the best study available of how European Christianity of Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant denominations are infused with ancient pagan and heathen cultic beliefs. Anyone who disputes this must deal with Sunday, Monday Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, every one of our seven Christian days named after a pagan or heathen deity.
The feudal economy was a labor intensive and fragile thing. For a queen to insist that her husband the king or her son the prince have the populace of nature-worshiping pagans who did 100% of the food production and building, be converted by the sword, would have been disastrous. So, across Christendom, paganism and heathen elements remained embedded in all denominations until the Puritan Era [1500s and 1600s] of the late Reformation, when preachers and sermon writers took up the ideological purification of Christianity and began an overt attempt at stripping down Christianity as close to its Judaic roots as possible, declaring London “The New Jerusalem” and New England, “This New Israel in these Goings Down of the Sun.”
Spanish and Portuguese first contact, though much more brutal and “by the sword” on the point of contact, became immediately much more like heathen Europe under Christian princes. Although a few hundreds of Iberian Catholics and the pathogens borne in their blood, water casks [1] and breath sufficed to defeat some two million Amerindian warriors and reduce the population of Mexico, Central America and the Andes by 90 to 98%, when the conquest was complete those few hundreds of men were left ruling a few million souls and doing so, in many cases, married to Amerindian wives.
Thus the medieval practice of toleration of pagan and heathen gods and heroes as saints and angels, such as the Roman god Mars becoming the Angel or Saint Martial and converting to serve Christ, would find obvious expression in such cults as the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Finally, and specifically Mexican, was the odd compatibility of Catholic and Aztec blood doctrines, such as the thirst of Hutztapotle and the transubstantiation of wafers and wine into the actual real flesh and blood of Jesus Christ Divine. The Aztec worldview was extremely lawful, overtly hierarchical in the pyramidal scheme [see the back of our dollar bill] and spoke of a 51 year cycle. This cycle, almost exactly the same as the jubilee cycle of the Old Testament when slaves were supposed to be emancipated, spoke of a need to sacrifice humanity to appease the gods. Christianity was ultimately based on the covenant of Abraham and God and his willingness to slay his son for God for no other reason than as proof of loyalty.
Few faiths around the world were so compatible as Aztec and Catholic—indeed, they were more compatible than Catholic and Anabaptist. These were so compatible, that the sons of the Aztec priesthood became the local priests of the Church, with some, such as Sahugan, leaving detailed records of their heathen ancestor’s appearance, culture and worship.
In closing, we may reject the idea that our ideologies are top-down forms of social compression, and wish to think of ourselves and our libertarian or progressive beliefs as being spread and nurtured in the way of Thomas. But as capitalists all, we should examine who fiances the sources of our indoctrination, these being schools, universities and electronic media, to determine if we are more like the missionary based adherents to the faiths of Thomas, the Coptics and the Nestorians; or are we more like the people of Saragossa, besieged and conquered by Charles the Great:
“For no Saracens are left,
who haven’t come to Christ—or sudden death!”
-Song of Roland
Or, perhaps, we, as we sit before the TV, or adopt the palm-to-face attitude of supplication as old as Pharaoh, are more akin to the pagan folk of Europe, some of our beliefs tolerated for the time being, even as our rulers and their priests entomb our odd thoughts and old ways under a vault composed of their self-serving values to be imposed.
Notes
-0. Summarized in my 10-part essay, The Slain God, to run on Substack later this year, and to be published in Songs of Aryas, the third Volume in The Sons of Aryas series, estimated release in 2024.
-1. Malaria and yellow fever were unknown to The Americas until Mosquitos birthed in casks of African water were transported across the Atlantic with African slaves. This would cause the annihilation of entire civilizations “before” contact.
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