Tuesday, 21 April 2009


I am currently reading “The Brief Wondrous life of Oscar Wao” which, aside from being very good, contains lot’s of footnotes and asides about the Dominican Republic and it’s history. Not a subject I know much about.

The most recent footnote regarded a native chief called “Hatuey” who tried to throw off the Spaniards in 1511. He was captured in the end and before being burned at the stake a priest asked him if he would accept Jesus and go to heaven.

Hatuey asked "Are there white men in heaven?" When the priest assured him that there were many, Hatuey replied "Then I’d rather go to Hell."*;

A quote I really liked and it could easily be paraphrased for use by today’s unbelievers, “Men of Faith”, perhaps?

I got an extra kick out of this as it really puts the Popenfuhres opinion of the conquest of the Americas into context;

Pope Benedict XVI told Latin American bishops in Brazil that American Indians had been "silently longing" to become Christians 500 years ago.

* There seems to be several differing versions of this statement on the web, I’ve used the one from the book