Western nature enthusiasts are adopting Native American fetishes. While some wear these occult objects (imbued with power by the spirits) as jewelry, Phil Jackson honors and displays them in the inner sanctum of the Chicago Bulls. This is the fullest rejection possible of the Christian faith in which Jackson’s parents hoped to raise him, and a surrender to paganism. Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz, in his encyclopedic work on paganism—not as a critic but as a sympathetic believer—explains the origin of the power which Jackson and other admirers of native amulets and charms believe resides in the objects they venerate:
“Dr. Taylor has brought together examples from all parts of the globe of so-called fetishism, which is veneration paid to natural living objects such as trees, fish, animals, as well as to inanimate objects of almost every conceivable description, including stones, because of the spirit believed to be inherent or resident in the particular object: and he shows that idols originally were fetishes, which in time came to be shaped according to the form of the spirit or god supposed to possess them….
“The divine virtue residing in the images of the gods [or fetishes] was thought to be…transmitted by the imposition of hands and by magic passes…[and] extraordinary curative properties were attributed to it.”
Native Americans still pray to the trees and rocks and other inanimate objects. This is the superstition of animism, against which all experience and logic cries out in protest. Phil Jackson praises Crazy Horse as a great holy man. Black Elk claims that “our great chief and priest Crazy Horse…received most of his great power through…visions of the Rock, the Shadow, the Badger, a prancing horse (from which he received his name), the Day, and also of Wanbli Galeshka, the Spotted Eagle, and from each of these he received much power and holiness.” A prayer in the steam lodge cries out to the rocks:
“O you ancient rocks who are sacred, you have neither ears nor eyes, yet you hear and see all things. Through your powers this young man has become pure…worthy to go to receive some message from Wakan-Tanka.”
How amazing that Jackson and so many others like him would reject the God of the Bible, who has so fully proved His existence and love, and in exchange turn to pagan idolatry! How astounding that so many who have been raised by Christian parents would renounce the salvation which Christ offers and embrace instead the superstitious hope of some mysterious power within fetishes! One is reminded of God’s lament over His people Israel:
“Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be ye very desolate, saith the Lord.
“For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and have hewed out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah:2:11-13).
Those who deny the miracles of Jesus recorded by legitimate eyewitnesses in the Bible willingly accept the hearsay and myth passed on by native “holy” men and women. Black Elk tells how Slow buffalo received his power from a buffalo in a “vision”:
“I saw a great people who were breaking camp…suddenly…I was there with them…they all turned into buffalo…. They showed me a large buffalo bull and said that He would be my Grandfather…a younger buffalo would be my Father; then they pointed to a buffalo cow… She was my Grandmother…a younger cow…would be my Mother.
“They said that with this fourfold relationship, I should return to my people and that I should teach them what I had been taught there….
“Slow Buffalo then began to sing another of his holy songs.
These people are sacred;
From all over the universe they are
coming to see it.
White Buffalo Cow Woman Appears is sitting
Here in a sacred manner;
They are all coming to see her.”