An Alternative Solution for ‘The Site’

Everyone here it seems has written a diary on their take regarding the Ground Zero Mosque. The ‘cultural center’ thats a place for ‘healing’. Obviously, putting the mosque there is not going to “heal” anybody and the idea just poured salt on a very deep wound, which I suspect was their idea all along.

Rather than rant off about why we shouldn’t have it there which has been done ad nauseum, I wandered off a different trail and thought to examine what could be put in that spot instead. Something to provide a similar service but without any of the 9/11 stigma attached.

Today I found the answer, thanks to Matt Drudge. Drudge led me to a story where the Federal Bureau of Prisons is looking to employ a medicine man. He has to be Native American and has to be adept at teaching and guiding the inmates in:

1. Red Road 2. All My Relation 3. Medicine Wheel 4. The Sacred Pipe 5. Sweat Lodge 6. Elders
7. Circle of Life 8. Traditions/Rituals 9. Prayers 10. Ceremonies 11. Fasting 12. Smudging
13. The Drum 14. Grandfather/Grandmother 15. Dances 16. The Medicine Pouch 17. Offerings
18. Decision-making 19. Ritual Objects 20. Eagle 21. Eagle Feathers 22. Nature Lessons
23. Family Relations 24. Parenting 25. Learning 26. Healthy Relationships 27. Culture
28. Healing Traditions 29. Herbal Medicines 30. Understanding Self 31. Respect 32. Traditional Games
33. Traditional Foods 34. Seasons 35. Healing Self 36. A Grateful Heart 37. Cleansing Ceremonies
38. What is the role of faith and Community Re-entry?

Just look at all that stuff! Talk about healing. I don’t have a clue what some of the stuff is but it sounds awsome. Remember this is for a medicine man to work with inmates at a federal prison. But consider this–suppose a structure would be put up at ground zero that was a place for healing and a cultural center focused on the Native American culture. God knows they were maligned enough during the history of this great country and it wouldn’t kill this country to offer up a little something in return. I could envision a very large building to include a sweat lodge. Instead of an imam, it would be a medicine man. Instead of teaching where the best jihadist training camps are located, the lessons could be about smudging or the eagle feather. It would provide a tremendous teaching opportunity for the community at large and be a center for persons who have native american ancestry to connect.

I’ve read there are a number of mosques around New York, apparently some are just a few blocks away from where they want to build this one. So its not like there’s nowhere for Muslims to connect. How many spiritual buildings are available in downtown New York for Native Americans?

No, I am not Native American, this isn’t my culture, don’t smoke peyote, and never claimed to be 1/64th anything, so I don’t have a dog in the fight. But I’d much rather go and learn and absorb what this type of cultural center offers than what a mosque would put forth. The Native Americans are as much a part of this country’s history as 9/11. If anything could help cleanse and heal that area this just might be it.

Ps. If your interested in applying for the job as medicine man at the prison here’s the government website.


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