The internet, particularly in anti-religious corners, exploded with a level of smug schadenfreude likely unseen since a vegan lady died climbing Mt. Everest when American Christian missionary John Allen Chau was killed by Sentinelese tribespeople upon landing on their preserved and travel-prohibited island in an attempt to spread the good news sometime last week. Chau, who apparently spent three years planning the trip, believed he was answering a call from God to bring gifts and translate the Bible to the basically uncontacted island tribe, which has had an enforced 5-mile radius travel ban around their small island after the tribe killed two fishermen in 2006. After contracting fishermen to sail him to the island, he paddled in on a canoe, where he was ganked with arrows immediately, retreated and documented the experience, came back singing “worship songs”, had his canoe destroyed, swam back to the boat, returned AGAIN, and was at some point finished off and dragged away. Talk about not taking the hint. His body has not been recovered and several of the fishermen (who warned him not to go) have been detained in connection to the case.
Fuck this piece of shit.
Western media, particularly this article on CNN, have somewhat thoughtfully memorialized this Jesus freak idiot for his persistence, quoting faithful friends now calling him a “martyr” for the Christian faith and comparing him to fellow moron missionary Jim Elliot. Newsflash: you don’t get to be a martyr for your beliefs if those you’re attempting to impose them on can’t understand a fucking word you’re saying and are likely murdering you in complete self-defense after colonialism brought diseases they have no immunity for (for starters) and ingrained what’s obviously a healthy distrust of outsiders. This is an island rigorously protected for these exact reasons, you’ve sneaked in anyhow to recruit new book club members from, to put it mildly, an uninterested audience, and got murked after returning, WOUNDED, twice. I have no sympathy, take your Darwin Award you stupid, arrogant jackass.
Now, I’m obviously not above wishing somebody dead or being glad it happened. Nobody is. If you say you are, you’re full of shit and probably not arguing in good faith or lying to yourself. This guy absolutely deserved what happened to him, and any logical analysis of the situation should’ve led to an understanding that this was the inevitable conclusion. I have more empathy towards a teenager high on LSD that jumps off of a building with a belief that they can fly. This was a man who believed voices in his head despite taking no drugs or suffering from any known mental illness, who remained delusional enough to put himself and this tribe at great risk for what? To sell a book or go on a speaking tour? To get jerked off every Sunday within Christian religious institutions for finally spoiling some of the last untouched indigenous societies with White Jesus? Who could look at the brutal history of missionary work within tribal groups and think, “let’s finish the job, the last 500 years have gone great for everyone we tried to convert.”? What level of kool-aid drinking cognitive dissonance must one possess to think this was a good idea?
Normally, I’d at least TRY to be an adult about this, scrunch my face up like Tony Danza, and bite my tongue. I wouldn’t try and rub anybody’s face in their own colossal, misguided, ignorant bullshit unless I knew it came from a place of real hatred. Chau gets the spastic stamp of disapproval because of the reaction from International Christian Concern, a brotherhood of self-proclaimed “victim’s advocates” for one of the most oppressive and genocidal belief systems in the history of the world:
William Stark, ICC’s regional manager, paid tribute to Chau and condemned his killing.
“We here at International Christian Concern are extremely concerned by the reports of an American missionary being murdered in India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to both John’s family and friends.
“A full investigation must be launched in this murder and those responsible must be brought to justice.”
He added: “India must take steps to counter the growing wave of intolerance and violence.”
Is this motherfucker serious? How ethnocentric do you have to be to impose the laws of a civilization that literally almost wiped these people off of the face of the earth 100 years ago onto a group of people specifically protected from said civilization? You can’t begin to hold the Sentinelese people responsible for this touched idiot washing ashore singing “Amazing Grace” decked out in clothes from the GAP and expect them not to just start loosing arrows between his eyes. If it wasn’t for the self-righteous victim complex I’ve unfortunately come to expect from Western Christians, I’d laugh at John Allen Chau away from mixed company for being, at best, a silly goose, and maybe feel sorry for his parents, who undoubtedly are regretting all of that extra Bible study from his youth.
Let’s run a thought experiment: a man you don’t know, who doesn’t speak your language and is dressed in clothing completely foreign to your own culture shows up, grasping some kind of method of communication you are completely unfamiliar with. Having an understanding that people like this have come before, long ago, and were chased away due to interactions that led to the death of ancestors of yours, you react defensively and likely in a panic. Wounding the stranger, he comes back not once, but TWICE, having somehow healed or become impervious to your weapons. Zombie or alien? Pick one. That’s not a figure you engage with, that is a figure you kill with fire and bury in a grave with the heaviest stones you can find resting on top of it.