Rob Beasley, author of “WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED GO(O)D?” and a regular on the Atheist Analysis, pointed me towards the “Two Wolves” story that he likes to use to support his arguments. After claiming I have not done much research into the life of Jesus, I conducted an investigation into his favorite “Native American” parable.
From a comment made after watching a video on Atheist Republic called “What has God done for mankind?”, Rob Beasley had this as part of his reply:
This thing called God or his kingdom is something in us all.
It’s the same thing that this old Cherokee was trying to say.
“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle was between 2 “wolves” inside us all.
One was Evil. It was anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other was Good. It was joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy,
generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
The reply in its entirety can be found here
It turns out, it isn’t native american in origin, at all. The first written record of this parable, is found in a Billy Graham book from 1978! The book is titled “The Holy Spirit – Activating God’s Power in Your Life”, and features the story with an Eskimo and his 2 dogs, as opposed to a Cherokee speaking of 2 wolves, but it is the same story nonetheless. It can be found on page 92, which is the start of chapter 7 in Graham’s book. I have attached a pic of the page in question for reference. Thanks to Amazon for having a full preview of the book available, and taking a screenshot was a snap 😉
Other than the book, I found a few references to the “2 wolves” parable online from Native Americans, stating that its writing style alone should be enough to tell that it is NOT an indigenous story at all. Below are links to some of the articles used in my research of this story, and I am most inclined to take the word of a Cree with a Bachelors of Education as well as a Bachelors of Law, who teaches real indigenous youth, and understands the traditions of other native americans, over an office worker from Australia, who got his degree at a community college in Arnold Missouri.
There are others, but these were pretty good to start with, as well as providing the most well known source of this fictitious parable of native wisdom. PLEASE, be sure to do some proper research, before passing along bullshit stories like these, as it does nothing to further your cause. I already knew that Native Americans don’t have a “moral to the story” part in their oral traditions, which prompted me to dig a little deeper to this story’s origins.
You sir, owe me a few hours of my life back, for the time wasted on your so-called “wisdom”. Then again, I knew that would be the case when you claimed: “Jesus REALLY said”, because of the Gnostic Gospels of Thomas, which are still nothing more than garbage anyways…regardless of how hilarious they are to read.