Manataka American Indian Council

Proudly Presents






No Sin, No Guilt, Just Responsibility

by Rev. Thomas M. Haley, Manataka Elder


As a Christian pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I’ve heard the term “sin” close to a million times. First, no one is sinless. Second, even if we did not sin, according to many denominations, we would still be sinners.


However, in the Native American belief system uses the word responsibility which seems more correct than sin. Sin is not in the Native American vocabulary.


The more I study, the more I understand the Native American way of life. There is a sharp parallel between Christianity and Native American culture. The Native American culture takes Christianity to a whole new level. Love Mother Earth without greed or possession. Christians have a responsibility to Mother Earth, but have failed their responsibility.


As I became part of the Manataka American Indian Council and THE MOMENT event on the sacred mountain, I realized I was among strangers who became brothers and sisters to me that offered me unconditional love. I scratched my head and thought, “Is Jesus a Native American?”


I found encouragement, hope, direction and a unique family.


Jesus gave the world two commandments - only - Love God and Love Each Other. As Indians, we are responsible for each other and honor and take care of the older ones. This sounds so much like Love God- Love Each Other.


Sogoyewapha, "Red Jacket" - once said to a Christianity missionary: “Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book?”


I doubt if we, as Christians, will ever agree on everything. I do believe the Red Road Way is a necessity for all people, all religions, all people.


The simple way of life, the simple religion is embedded in love, respect and responsibility, not so much in guilt, sin and intolerance. Love and respect the Great Spirit.   Aho