THE DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY: THE ROOTS OF COLONIALISM & RACISM – with Mark Charles, Native American activist [LDT057]

Mark Cjarles
Mark Cjarles

I have to say that today’s guest is one of the most interesting folks I’ve brought to you on this podcast. Mark Charles is a Native American who’s building a nation-wide movement around the Doctrine of Discovery, which is the statement by the Pope, in the 15th Century, saying that if explorers find a land that is not governed by Christians, there are really no people there and the land is free for the taking. This completely unleashed the European powers to launch out and pillage the whole world.

I think that most of us knew that this was essentially the mindset of colonial-minded settlers, and entrepreneurs.  This pronouncement from the Vatican has led to all the laws and practices of land ownership that we know. It’s also led to most of the land grabs, massacres and genocides – both physical and cultural that are embedded in the history of the country that calls itself a great democracy.

Pointing to the Doctrine of Discovery would certainly be the basis of building a movement to redress this wrong against Native Americans, but Mark Charles, who is a former Christian Reform pastor, is building his campaign in a way that can lead to a massive shift in consciousness and different way of living. His Christian faith is the driving force behind his work.

I think you will find his ideas interesting and challenging, just like I did. Let me know your response, by commenting below, or leave a voice message using the tab on the right side of the page, or even email me at

I’m also giving you a bonus this week. Mark recently preached what I think is an amazing sermon on Biblical Dynamics of Power and Authority: Church of the Servant Grand Rapids MI.  (<< Click it) This is powerful stuff. You’ve really got to hear this.

So let’s begin the interview. Mark Charles was in New York to give a lecture at New York Theological Seminary. My thanks (again) to Rev. Dr. Peter Heltzel for putting us together.

Just so you’ll know: a “Papal bull” is a particular type of letter for, patent or charter, issued by a Pope . It is named after the lead seal (bulla) that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it.




Mark’s website: 

Mark’s YouTube Chnnel:

Mark’s Blog:

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