What is Chief Seattle’s view on the White men’s religion, Christianity? How does he show the contrast between Christianity and the religion of the natives?
Chief Seattle in his famous speech of 1854 says that the White people’s religion, i.e. Christianity, is written upon stones so that people never forget it. It is not felt by heart. He also complains that the White people wander far from the graves of their ancestors without any regret. Their religion is somewhat artificial and mechanical, as they have no respect for the environment and for their ancestors.
Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could never forget. The Red Man could never comprehend or remember it.
According to Seattle, it was in complete contrast to the native people’s religion —
Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors — the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.
Chief Seattle’s comment on Christianity was a reply to the charge of ‘godlessness’ of the Red Indians and against the White men’s expectation of the natives to finally adopt their religion.