I believe, spiritually speaking, everyone has their own path on this earth. Generally, I don't try to change anyone's belief system. I love to debate religion and beliefs, and I can be a fierce debater, but I hold back on things (for example, with Christians, I think I have some strong arguments against certain key things which I just don't share), and I am not setting out to change anyone's beliefs-----it is a debate and I assume that people that enter the debate understand that. On the other hand, I do like to share my beliefs with those who are interested. But my beliefs are of a spirituality---so there is no religion to join, no baptism, or guru or preacher to follow. I am not out to change anyone----but I will point out where there are similarities and so forth. On a general level, I do speak out about what I call the post-planter culture zeitgeist, and how we need to free ourselves of it----I see it as the key problem of the Post-Modern Crisis, and the current age of nihilism is the logical end conclusion of it. This zeitgeist is made up of the very values we have carried down from our late planter culture ancestors---a dualistic world view, a group ethic, an overly rational and objectivistic understanding of reality, and a dominance of the masculine. These are all the very values that have shaped all organized religions. But this should not be a surprise because it was our Planter ancestors that developed civilization and the institutions civilization is based upon. I do speak out adamantly about missionaries proselytizing Indigenous people---destroying their languages and their own connections to spirit, and their ancestors. But I do want to support everyone in their own beliefs. BUT I feel angry right now, and frustrated----and I figured this little corner of Hipforums is a good place to get this off of my chest... My dad has spent more than a few years dealing with prostate cancer. He did radiation therapy and the doctors all claimed that he was improving. But he was starting to have issues with some medicines and so forth so my mom insisted he see a different doctor. Finally he agreed, and in January they went to a new doctor who ran some tests, and discovered that it was actually worst----it had gone into his bone. My parents are Christians but they are fairly liberal. As a child I went to their church, and so I know the people there. Today they are all a lot older and many are getting sick and dying and so forth----the cycle of life. But I hear some of these people talk, and I think, practicing the Native ways that I do, I see so many people healed, and so many good things happening---amazing prayers answered. And yet these people go to church and pray, and this and that, and well-------to my knowledge, nothing changes. But I keep my mouth shut---maybe I’ll make a small comment here and there to my parents… When I heard that the cancer was getting worse, I told my mom and dad that maybe they should consider doing ceremony. My dad was surprisingly interested (I thought my mom would be more interested than my dad). We talked about it, and I explained everything involved as best as I could. I had the help of a Native friend who did a lot to help them get ready for the ceremony. We opagi’d a young Lakota medicine man I know (meaning that I took them there and did the ceremony for asking for help). And a week and a half later we did a yuwipi ceremony (spirit calling ceremony). A lot of spirits came in and doctored my dad as well as my mom and I. I told them that it would be an amazing ceremony but you have to experience it to really know. We were next to a wall in the basement of my mom and dad’s church (yes, surprisingly we did it there, and even got permission from the pastor and all). But the spirits were behind us and all around us as if the wall wasn’t even there. My mom gushed about how the spirits had given her a wonderful sense of peace and happiness. My dad too was really amazed at it. The spirits took the cancer. And my parents saw firsthand how strange this spiritual part of my life really is (from a Modern Age perspective). We are supposed to follow up with a thank you ceremony in May. That was in February. They had scheduled a trip last year to go visit my sister in Washington, for all of March. They just got back. My sister is a fundamentalist Bible toting Christian. As my mom and dad told me, after they told her about it, she really wasn’t putting down Native ceremony, she respects it, but says that it just isn’t our way------and then she went on to tell them how Satan took 1/3 of the angels to hell with him, how powerful the devil is at making things look so powerful and good, and that this was all of the dark side, etc. etc. etc. Now my mom and dad are having second thoughts about the thank you ceremony. God doesn’t want us to mess with such dark powers----so my sister says. Yes-----apparently God----well the Christian God----wants us to suffer in pain and futility while sickness eats away at us------I guess it is perhaps due to the sins we have committed all our lives… I really do hate how Christianity controls and manipulates people through fear. Before we did the ceremony I explained to my mom and dad about belief being a big part of the healing----you know, a mustard seed moving a mountain. We did so much, and they saw so much and felt so good afterwards. The medicine man explained to them that even though the spirits said they took the cancer, the spirits have no concept of time, and that the complete healing would continue after the ceremony. I expect that he would be completely healed by the thank you ceremony----but now I fear that my sister has undermined all of that. My sister tried to tell me several times that I need Jesus in my life. The last time she did this was when my wife and I had asked for ceremony. She e-mailed me, and I responded back with all the amazing things that were happening around, within, and because of the ceremony. I wanted to tell her that none of that would have happened if I just had Jesus in my life----I know because I was raised in the same church she was. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the footprints in the sand poem-----well sorry, but a bunch of damn footprints in the sand wouldn’t have helped me much… Sorry----I just wanted to get some of that frustration off of my chest. I picked up my parents at the airport at 11:00 last night----and I wasn’t able to sleep at all------there is so much I wanted to tell them after hearing what all my sister told them, but I decided to let it wait.