James “Flaming Eagle” Mooney has long proclaimed that Oklevueha Native American church provides the safety and opportunity for all members to make their own personal choices as to what is best for them. This not only includes our First Amendment right to freedom of religion but applies to all of our civil liberties.
Simply stated, ONAC believes in each sovereign human’s right to choose in all that they do in their lives, so long as it does no harm to another. Therefore, ONAC has no specific dogma, tenets, commandments, or doctrines that it imposes on its members.
What that means for you is that you can make decisions about your life or the lives of your children, without fear of punishment or censure from ONAC, provided you honor our Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct. These two documents are critical reading about how to honor, respect, and respond to others within the circles, and in your own life.
As an example, here is a list of things that are current hot-button topics that ONAC believes you can make your own choices:
- Political affiliation
- Gender association and LGBTQ rights.
- Vaccinations or other medical decisions
- The right to bear arms
- Freedom to speak your opinion (however, this needs to be on your own personal page, not the Facebook groups)
- Equality for all
- And many more…
However, and this is an important topic to mention during these difficult times, everyone has the right to their own choices. We do not, however, have the right to criticize, condemn, scorn, or ridicule anyone for their choices. That would be against the Code of Conduct and the Code of Ethics. This freedom of choice must be respected.
The Seven Core Values of Oklevueha Native American Church
Values are the guiding principles of our lives. Whatever way we choose to act or even feel in a given situation, that choice invites others to do the same. In this way, our constructive choices actually change the world for the better.
We believe that all of creation has purpose and that each creation has value. We should especially respect our ancestors who have created and preserved the ancient ways that teach and bless us. Respect is also extended to all ceremonial ways and sacred medicines. We respect the gifts that Creator has given us.
Humility is seeing ourselves as we really are and understanding clearly the inter-relationship of all creation. This includes knowing our strengths and owning them as well as seeing our weaknesses and fears. Humility is not degrading or dishonoring ourselves but taking the responsibility to fulfill our mission without worrying about receiving credit or praise. We cultivate a spirit of humility when we understand our place in Creator’s plan, and how we have been blessed by Creator’s hand.
Gratitude is to first, feel appreciation for the gifts we are given and the blessings that come from the efforts of others, and second, to express that appreciation to Great Creator and to those around us. Gratitude is a daily, moment-by-moment practice, wherein we give thanks to Creator for all that we have and are.
Forgiveness changes the forgiver. The true meaning of forgiveness is to turn our hearts. When we forgive, it heals us and allows us to move forward. Forgiveness frees us from the pains of our past and enables us to walk in peace.
One meaning of Charity is benevolent giving to those who are in need or to good causes. Another is the ability to truly love and serve each other with our hearts and hands as well as our intentions. It also carries a meaning of giving others the benefit of the doubt when there is possible conflict, neither taking nor giving offense. We believe all of these definitions are of importance and recommend that everyone ponder them while in prayer and meditation.
Faith is hope, confidence, and a belief that our higher power desires good things for us and will open doors for us to receive them when we are open, prepared and willing to do so. It is knowing our lives are in Creator’s hands, and the we can create a life of connectedness and spirituality.
Honor is the ability to combine all these values into our relationships with those who travel the road with us and to those who created and travelled the roads before us. Honoring simply means that we notice, acknowledge, and appreciate those who open the way and give us the ability to live, move and accomplish.
Living by these values requires honesty with ourselves and integrity in our dealings with others. As we seek in our imperfect ways to always live by these values, we will feel fulfilled and strengthened in our own lives even as we affect the people around us and the world for good.
It is our deepest wish that every member of ONAC feel safe, protected, cared for, and supported. Please remember we come from many walks of life, and not every member may believe exactly as you do. Respect goes both ways, and we must always remember to honor another’s opinion, even if we do not agree.