Imtherabbit wrote:Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes
is a great read about a (former) missionary and his life and study of language and culture of the Piraha, a very unique tribe in the Amazon. I highly recommend it
Thanks for recommending Don't Sleep, There are Snakes
. It was fascinating. I really related to the author and his story.
I remember reading the story of Jim Elliot, mentioned in Don't Sleep There are Snakes
. He and 4 other missionaries were killed trying to convert the Auca Indians in Equador. Their story inspired many young people to become missionaries. I was one of them. That was one of the main reasons I went to Bible college, but I learned later after taking anthropology that trying to foist western ideas upon primitive people was simply ethnocentricty at its worst. I wonder if people do it in order to self affirm their own beliefs and lifestyles more than really caring about others.
Have you ever seen the movie, Mosquito Coast with Harrison Ford? It shows 2 people, one an inventor who thinks the natives need technology and the other a missionary who think they need Jesus. Both fail miserably at trying to change the natives and suffer the consequences.
The part about Everett's deconversion really struck home. He talked about how scared he was to admit to others he had stopped believing and it took him 20 years to come "out of the closet" about his atheism. Me too. His wife apparently left him because of it and it sounded as if he is or was estranged from his children. That is what I am trying to avoid in my life, but it isn't easy.
Of course Chapter 17, "Converting the Missionary," really got to me.