Atheism and the denial of cultural traditionsTim Tufuga
Recently, I have gone onto a Samoan website and thought that at long last I was able to engage in some intellectual discussion forum amongst some intellectual Pacific Islanders. I was very disturbed with realising that the enlightened Samoan intellect in Samoa was anything but tolerant of irreligious views. I had considered the power of the Judeao-Christian faith upon the hearts and minds of a Pacific Island culture whose cultural traditions have become transformed from a pre-European animistic Polytheism religious culture into one in which a Semitic martyr from a hithero alien culture would transcend Samoan traditional religions. It behoves the intellectual mind of the indigenous thinker to find the correlation between alchemist Eurocentric contrived religion from their seemingly quaint and purportedly unattractive primitive religion of the then Samoan religion. Animism was to be tossed aside like some old fashioned garment which had worn out their lustre and appeal. The arrival of the European draped with the fineries of materialism and their version of a cryptic and enigmatic religion would woo the seemingly tardy inhabitants. Samoans were easily cajoled into the psychological warfare initiated by the European explorer and conquerer like a child bfeeling excited upon seeing a stranger arriving bearing sweets for the child to consume.
The bible on one hand thrust forward in the bravado Dutch courage of a boisterous preacher man, and a gun hidden behind his backs would portray a very acccurate image of Pacific Islander diplomacy, The formula for cultural indocrination and cultural invasion was not dissimilar anywhere throughout the South Pacific or for that matter anywhere throughout the new world where ever a European would set foot onto their virgin soils.
Samoans are not unlike any infantile child being tempted by the delictable delights of cultural development brought upon their shores by a purported superior civilisation. It would be understandable also for any person to assume the notion that a white man was indeed a superior being than a brown man. Notwithstanding the fact that cultural advancement and the aggregation of cumulative knowledge and wisdom is all based upon an ecclectic experience of explored men who have accumulated the vast combined knowledge of other cultures and simply added them to theirs likened to the English dictionary being continually updated with newly created words. The idea of superiority is based purely on the empowerment of knowledge rather by some spiritual god and or religion which would bestow the white man with a divine right to rule. For instance when Marco Polo had explored the Asian lands he brought back to Europe noodles, spices and a new knowledge of civil service or bureaucracy not yet understood by the Barbarian Europeans. This would included paper money which was considered as outrageous by Europeans. In Marco Polo’s time the European was not unlike the Samoan who having first set eyes upon a White man thought with amazement of how superior this creature from heaven was. Hence he honoured the white man by calling him a ‘Papailagi’ , a Palagi. This means the alien from the heavens, or he who has “bursted from the sky”.
Their religion would woo them so easily rendering all animsim as obsolete voodoo magic which would drive all the old religions from the villages almost instantaneously. Such a situation occured in 1830 when John Williams arrived in Savai’i Island and was given an audience to the then Malietoa, Malietoa Vainu;upo. Malietoa Vainu’upo would consequently convert his entire people to this impressive religion so long as his army of warriors would also be equiped with this superior creatures weapons in order to defeat his rivals in the war against Atua and Aana districts. The Samoans were not as naive as some people thought. But in saying that the political cunning of Malietoa would not be fully appreciated by the lesser equals who seem to regard the Semitic religion as genuine.
It is unfortunate to realise that since Malietoa Vainu’upo’s time the intellectual mind of many Samoans have regressed and have become retarded by the absolute gullibility of the lesser equals who have since accepted the Judeao-Christian religion along with its sectarian conflicts as being part of the Fa’aSamoa culture today. This distardly cultural affrontary is obscene to any truly intellectual mind whether they are Samoan or an outsider viewing the complete gullibility of an inferior child.
The reality today for any self aware intellectual atheist is one of alienation and ostracisation from the comforming mores and taboos of a deeply entrenched Judeao-Christian and or Bahai religion within Samoan society.
The atheist is much more a braver man and a thick skinned warrior to stand defiantly against the whimpy conforming massess who will never accept the fact that they have been conquered by the Whiteman and must be forced to conform to the trappings and symbols of assimilation by wearing the ‘whites’ every Sunday as an act of racial contrition to a White Preacherman’s own contrived rules. The Samoan would meekly go to his church in the middle of the village and be deeply humbled by the Beautitudes and acknowledging that he his truly a conquered.