Dangerous Compassions

missionary being eaten by a jaguar

Hello, how are you doing?  Just thought you might need to see a missionary being eaten by a jaguar.  Art titled Missionary Being Eaten by a Jaguar from Noé León in 1907, so some say.  Others say later, like 1967.

missionary being eaten by a jaguar

I love the stylizedness in the folk art style.  And you know I love Jaguar.  I read that the missionary type pictured is Jesuit.

Ming saw this art and showed it to me.  He knew I would adore it, good medicine.  He knows me well.

It’s a small flicker manifestation of the sacred rage of indigenous people whose lives, biomes, families, cultures, and religions have been torn apart by white people who are trying to save souls and push their truth with self-righteousness.

I read comments on this painting like “missionary position.”  Someone said “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.”  Someone commented with this similar art–a mechanical toy from India depicting a tiger eating someone British.

tiger eating British invader


A friend of mine posted this scathing meme on her social media which relates to this topic.  A conqueror says “Without us you’d still be worshiping the sun.”

The conquered person says, “Dude, the sun is real.”

sun is real

It makes me think of “progress” and all the justifications, like building structures and bringing toothbrushes.  Some missionary defenders point to increased freedoms for women as justification for destroying cultures and lives.

People who say, “That was a long time ago–it has nothing to do with us,” may be speaking too hastily.  Can a bad org do good things?  How about a bad religion?  How many people need to be killed in the name of a religion before the religion is bad?


These questions remind me of Nevada Desert Experience.  Ming and I were told recently how one of its founders was a chronic sexual assaulter.  I never met the guy.  He died right before I arrived.  Ming and I had heard he had one issue with an intern, not that he had been fired from his religious job for sexual predation, and it was a lifelong problem.

The person who told me and Ming this news was like–of course.  Any org that’s founded by someone who’s so messed up will be a messed up org.

Is that true?  Was something rotten at the core?  Did I feel that?  I’m pondering how important origins are.

Also it reminds me of David Bowie.  If he sexually assaulted teenagers, does that mean I can never listen to Hunky Dory again?


What org is without conflict, scandal, and harm?  Any group of people will do violence, if only small violence, right?  I do feel “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”  But also I don’t want to be someone who looks the other way and pretends horrific abuse of power and sexual violation isn’t being done.

Again I feel like giving up on community.  Who else has given up on community?  Let’s go to the island of misfit toys and dance.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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