Vasco Núñez de Balboa has Forty Native Americans torn to pieces by his War Dogs for homosexuality.
When Spanish Conquistador Vasco Núñez de Balboa came to the Americas, like the good Christian he was, he set a course for conquering territory and land, seeking gold. During his travels, he subjugated and slaughtered Native Americans for noncompliance, which included what he deemed “sodomy” and “idolatry.” In one example, Balboa unleashed war dogs on the people of Quarequa to punish them for their unchristian behavior.
Vasco discovered that the village of Quarequa was stained by the foulest vice. The king’s brother and a number of other courtiers were dressed as women, and according to the accounts of the neighbours shared the same passion. Vasco ordered forty of them to be torn to pieces by dogs. The Spaniards commonly used their dogs in fighting against these naked people, and the dogs threw themselves upon them as though they were wild boars on timid deer.
Christianity has always been a violent religion responsible for destroying entire peoples. Christians like to glaze over Christianity’s past and pretend horrific behaviors were isolated incidents, but the actions of Balboa reveal a systematic colonization effort aimed at raping the New World of riches. Christians not only didn’t see their atrocities as wrong, they felt they were doing good. We know this to be true because Peter Martyr D’Anghera, the Roman Catholic priest, chronicled Balboa’s conquests for Pope Leo X.
More than showing the destruction of the New World’s indigenous peoples, this account shows how Christianity has never concerned itself with anything less than power. Had Christians been concerned about saving the souls of the Native peoples and bringing the word of Christ to these peoples, they would have handled the New World far differently. Instead, the primary goal focused on resource control with converting indigenous peoples as an afterthought. Peter Martyr D’Anghera makes this clear in his letter describing the native people after witnessing Balboa’s slaughter of their people,
The natives worship no other god than the sun, who is the master and alone worthy of honour. Nevertheless, they accepted instruction and they will rapidly adopt our religion when zealous teachers come to instruct them.
D’Anghera alludes to the missionaries coming once the conquerors have seized the land for mining gold and other resources.
Peter Martyr de Anghiera, De Orbe Novo. The Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D’Anghera (translated by Francis Augustus MacNutt, New York & London: The Knickerbocket Press, Volume I, 1912), pp. 285
Balboa’s dogs killing native practitioners of homosexuality (1594); New York Public Library. Engraving by Theodor de Bry. Public Domain