The Plagues – “One” Long Running Plague is At the Heart of the 500 Years Ago “Sad Times”

I was reading one of my “Life” magazines on Christ. These are special issue magazines on one topic. I saw something a about the seven plagues. I am assuming that the Corona Virus that we are dealing with now, constitutes a plague. Yes, according to Webster plague works. Plague also works with the Biblical use of plague.

I went on a search to find illnesses that come under “plague” conditions. I have more than seven here, but here goes. First, I used both and

  • The Black Death – 1346-1353, and 1665-1666m but it struck again and again. The Russian plague – 1770-1772; The Great Plague of Marseilla 1720-1723.
  • Cocolitzli Epidemic 1545-1548. Again in 1576. This was a viral hemorrhagic fever. 15 million followed by approximately 2 million. This took place in “New Spain” or Mexico.
  • American Plagues – Technically, the Cocolitzli epidemic could come under this. Basically, any of a number of illnesses that ravaged the native population because the population had no immunity to these illnesses. One large killer was smallpox. Smallpox struck New Spain before the Cocolitzli epidemic. Later it would attack the Aztecs and Incas.
  • The Flu Pandemic 1889-1890. This started in Russia and spread to the rest of the world.
  • Polio Epidemics in Europe and then The American Polio Epidemic of 1916, it kept surfacing on into the 40s, 50s – until a vaccine was developed
  • Spanish Flu 1918-1920. (Spain was able to write about the flu because it was not involved with the war – wrongly called the Spanish Flu.
  • Asian Flu 1957-1958. 1.1 million deaths worldwide
  • AIDS Pandemic and Epidemic.    1981-present. 35 million deaths
  • SARS – I don’t think SARS has been bad “enough” to qualify at this time.
  • Coronavirus. It’s a bit early, but if it affects people as predicted, it will be a plague.

Well, that is more than seven, but that is the way it is.

I was getting ready to write about the plagues and I realized that about 500 years ago or “In 1492, Columbus sailed the Ocean blue”. This was a very bad time for Native Peoples all over the earth. To what extent, I have to research a bit. One of the devastating effects of exposure to the foreigners was exposure to all sorts of illnesses. There was not anything that could have prevented this – IN MOST CASES. I read one story of one military figure that withheld smallpox vaccines from natives – that he had been directed to give them to. Horrid man. I just read some more. There was actually a vaccination act. For some reason Mandan Natives were not vaccinated. 90% of the tribe perished.

I got to thinking about what was going on in the world. Here were “white” Europeans conquering much of the world. In fact we could say that these started out as “Christian” Western Europeans. The word Christian is in quotation marks because there was not anything even remotely Christian about the way those barbarian (I will find exceptions I hope) took over, dominated and “converted” Native Peoples. In fact, these natives (I asked) were, for the most part destined to go to Heaven. They didn’t know about the Bible or Christ. But, in many cases, they followed principals of conduct set down by their tribes.

I guessed that God lost many future followers because of the natives that died from disease and were killed. The numbers of future followers was greatly reduced. Man was treating native peoples – well, like they owned the world and everything in it. THIS is one thing that was happening during the time where God became weaker and Satan became stronger.

Here is an example of what it might have been like to be a Native Person working as a slave at the Mission in Sonoma. Note: this mission is not owned by the church. I hope someone is still demonstrating what being a native was like in such an effective way.

My daughter’s class was chosen to be able to experience a day at the mission living the way people would have lived back in the day. Parent volunteers go for a training for a half day before the class event. There was at least one “activity” that all the students and adults participated in together. Remember, the native peoples, for the most part, did not want to lose their way of life and work at the mission. If they ran away, they would be brought back, often suffering severe consequences.

One docent led us into the sanctuary. He was dressed as a friar.

Imagine that, despite the thick walls of this mission, it is very hot in this room. The room is completely filled with the native people. In order to keep the dust down, the dirt has been sprayed with cows’ blood. It’s hot and the room smells like cows’ blood. The friar, is talking in a language that the natives do not understand. They practice their religion out in nature. Here, they listen for a very long time to sounds that make no sense.

Then, let’s go down to a mission below San Jose. On the wall of the sanctuary are pictures of the friars who worked at the mission. By each name is the number of Indians “baptized” by that friar. Exactly what did that mean? How many of those natives actually understood what they were even there for? How many slave baptisms were there versus “free will” baptisms. A person does not have to be running away to be a slave. They can be resigned to his or her fate.

We tend to think of the Indians in California as docile. Not necessarily so. There were a few revolts and a few revolts nipped in the bud.

Next time you visit a mission, just notice how the native peoples are “thanked”. Yes, they should be thanked. Somewhere I have seen adobe bricks in stages. I think there were markers talking about the native people making the bricks. What other information would be nice to know?

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