Atheism and the denial of true Samoan cultural traditions.

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.

  1. #1 by siaosi on January 5, 2011 - 2:29 am

    that is deep.. to say the least. I may not be an educated intelect like yourself.. but self-aware I try to be and agree with you that the white man and his ways, religion, and teachings are those to control anyone who may come in contact with them.. great read.

  2. #2 by PJ on October 29, 2011 - 11:08 pm

    Religion is heavily indoctrinated in our (Samoan) culture and society. Evidently, many religious people cannot support their beliefs with plausible evidence with such arguments being primarily subjective and fallacious.

    ”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. ” This is an excellent point which is self-evident. My sister and I are the only atheists in my family, and consequently have not disclosed this to anyone for fear of rejection and ‘betrayal’…lol. One must only question the hypocrisy riddled in the bible to be immediately ‘attacked’. Further, it’s ridiculous to see how much our culture values religion and its psychological bearing. What’s even more ridiculous is the hypocrisy of these sheep who exemplify the saying: ”do as I say, not as I do”.

    I’d question some of your analogies and their implications. Believe it or not, there are smart Samoans out there…

    You allude to the idea of our society once being secular and free from european influence. I always contemplate the potential of our society had we not had contact with egoistical bigots. I believe in a secular society and government, free from religious prejudice and ignorance. Anyway, it was extremely refreshing to read from an intelligent Samoan and know that there are more Samoan atheists out there. Cheers.

    • #3 by timbtufuga on October 31, 2011 - 3:31 am

      Talofa lava PJ,

      Firstly, I would like to thank you for your insightful comment. Secondly, I would like to extrapolate on my blog. It was a visceral disclosure of a very sensitive cultural subject matter. Religion is something very personal and important to individuals, families and cultures. I am a Samoan whose views of culture is not secularised far from it, instead, it is more culturally relevant to view our culture as being very religious. Before European contact we had our poytheism and animistic religions which were very well entrenched. We had even built temples in Upolu and in Savai’i as places of “idolistic” worship. As Samoans state E “Fa’avae i le Atua Samoa”, which alludes to the European’s judeao-christian religion of a monotheistic diety. We were polytheists and worshipped many dieties. Right from the outset, it is the modern Samoan who has betrayed the true fa’asamoa culture of our ancestors. Instead, the modern Christianised Samoan has become an assimilationist “Fiapalagi” worshipping a Jewish Martyr whom they called the Messiah, even the Jews thought that this bloke had a Messiah complex and crucified the purported charleton, too bad the rest of the world including Europeans thought otherwise and begun to abandon their Nordic religions and to adopt the nouvou Semitic religion from the Middle East. The semitic religions of the Abrahamic religions, namely, Islamism, Judaism and Judeao-Christianity, have influenced the world that all world conflicts, albeit, conflicts of territorial acquisition, colonisation exploits have all been reasoned with the blessings of the three major Semitic religions. Samoans and other non-Semitic peoples of the world have realised that we are either culturally assimilated by the religion of the conquerer or we relent and remain culturally stoic.

      As for atheists, we reject the pre-European animism and polytheism of our forefathers as well as the presentday Judeao-Christian, or even Bahai following, Samoan. It is still an Abrahamic religion. To fill in the religious vacuum is much too difficult. As the Russians have realised with the return of the Russian Orthodoxy renaissance which is necessary to proffer the spiritual vacuum of the hitherto atheist communist state. The ‘soma’, (Aldous Huxley Brave New World) was considered a necessary institution for a functional society. I agree with this return to religious traditions for it will ensure the functionality and continuity of a modern cohesive society. As an atheist we have cross our Rubicon and we have come to terms with our isolationism and exclusion from this institutionalisation process. Instead, we seek for alternative institutions in order to replace this spiritual vacuum, we have sporting clubs, political parties, interest groups, health, and or military units, and the internet, to channel our atheistic energy. We go to public office for celebrancies, ie, funerals, weddings and birhtday rites of passage. It is lonely from a gemeinshaft and gessellschaft perspective (Jung) but it is life.

      Finally, when I was living in Samoa, during the late 1980s, I had been an undergraduate at the National University of Samoa, within their Malifa Campus, before they had opened the Papaigalagala campus, in Magiagi road. I was aware of the Samoan intellect when I was in Samoa. So, I did not mean to insult the intelligence of Samoans at all, afterall, I am a product of the thinking Samoan.

      Fa’afetai lava

      Male fa’aaloalo lava

      Tim Tufuga

  3. #4 by kay neich on December 17, 2011 - 4:17 am

    It’s good to know I’m not alone. Well, sort of… I don’t really wish to spend even more time, waiting around, hoping for more change. Moreover, I don’t want to upset people I know who desperately need their beliefs.

  4. #5 by kay neich on December 18, 2011 - 9:19 pm

    ps. yes, of course, the dynamics that uphold the current way of relating so strongly to Christianity, as many Samoans do, is very worthy of formal study and discussion, but my initial response on this page was a reflection of my more personal approach. cheers.

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