by Steven Newcomb
Pagans in the Promised Land provides a unique, well-researched challenge to U.S. federal Indian law and policy. It attacks the presumption that American Indian nations are legitimately subject to the plenary power of the United States.
Steve Newcomb puts forth a startling theory that U.S. federal Indian law and policy are premised on Old Testament narratives of the chosen people and the promised land, as exemplified in the 1823 Supreme Court ruling Johnson v. McIntosh, that the first "Christian people" to "discover" lands inhabited by "natives, who were heathens," have an ultimate title to and dominion over these lands and peoples. This important addition to legal scholarship asserts there is no separation of church and state in the United States, so long as U.S. federal Indian law and policy are premised on the ancient religious distinctions between "Christians" and "heathens."