Is Samoa a Christian nation?

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Orlando Huaman*

Just because the majority of the Samoan population go to church, once a week, are we inclined to believe that we, as a whole, follow a Christ-like life? 

As per definition of a true Christian? Nothing is further from the truth.

 As we are about to make us believe that the whole country is Christian, right Mr. P.M. as it will be said in paper, but unfortunately not in our actions. 

By doing so, this accolade will do little for Samoa to create a durable future for ourselves—socially, economically, environmentally, or geopolitically. 

The problem, however, is that the teachings of the Bible are so muddled and self-contradictory (144 contradictions) that it was possible for Christians to happily burn heretics alive for five long centuries.

It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas), Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated the wholesale murder of heretics, apostates, Jews and witches.

Remember also, it was the Christians, nobody else, led by the pope Innocent III who created the Inquisition in 1198.  Horrible background, if you ask me.

Anyone who believes that the Bible offers the best guidance we have on questions of morality, has some very strange ideas about either guidance or morality. Proof: Read, Leviticus 25:44-46; Exodus 21:7-11; Ephesians 6:5; 1 Timothy 6:1-4.

  Since actions speak louder than words (i.e. widespread unchecked corruption in the government, thievery at all levels of our society, and immoral behaviour on the part of men and women) it would be much better for the P.M. to put a better effort to improve our way of life-in a Christian manner- than jump unexpectedly and unnecessarily to print it in black and white on the much manipulated Samoan Constitution.

 Leave the Constitution alone Mr. P.M., work on improving the standard of living (i.e. free compulsory education, supply electricity, water, and good roads, etc.) and choosing better Ministers of Education, Agriculture and Health. –Somebody who knows how to rate exams for our kids; make better use of our land; and somebody who can fight obesity among most of us.

 When, we as self respected conscious citizens believe that we are a bunch a nice people, law abiding, God fearing, and condemning corruption at all levels, then, and only then, we must think ourselves as a Christian nation, without the need to modify the constitution. Where it is now (Preamble) is just fine. Anybody with a modest I.Q. will understand that. Nothing is broke to fix it.

The Bible says love your neighbor. That means love your Muslims here. They are here to stay, believe me. Now, if and when, they do something wrong we have a Court of Justice, don’t we? to put them right back and live in a Mohammedan-like  way of living. Don’t make them feel unloved and alienated, just because they are in a minority. 

Just like the Samoans will be when a whole horde of Chinese overtake the business here and marry our nice Samoans ladies to make it legal. Integration is better than division. Cooperation is better than competition. Religion, so far, hasn’t solved the problem of human understanding. Love is the answer.

If the P.M. decides to amend the constitution, and he will, as usual, I wonder what would happen if a group of Muslins decide to build a nice little mosque in the middle of a village with 15 churches?

All hell will break loose. Let your imagination go wild. Is the ruling party protecting the human rights of all Samoans Mr. P.M.? If so, let any religion to blossom here. We don’t need the accolade of a Christian nation.

Since Christianity has to do about Jesus and by extension about God; as in the trinity. Let us talk a little bit about God. But before I get into that, let me say this: for those (the majority in Samoa) who are not well versed in religion in general, and perhaps relying everything on: ”the Bible says this, the Bible says that…” leaving no room for others views of religion.

Least of all, science. I, myself, having born a Catholic thought that the Catholic church was “The Church” everywhere. I was wrong.

It was when my family moved from a little hamlet to a big metropolitan city, it was then, that I learned that religion is practiced in various forms and shapes around the world. By the way, religion, as practiced everywhere, is not solving our human problems. To think otherwise is an illusion.

 The question in my mind is: Do I have to belong to a specific church? Or live my life obeying the laws of the country and following my motto: ”respect and consideration for the right of others is the strongest link in the chain of human friendship.”? 

Don’t take my word for it, you own your life, I own mine. Do I go to church? Do I pay my dues: “my obligations”? The answer is no. You know why? First I know what I am going to listen, and pay for it? No way.

 In fact I used to be a Bible salesman in between jobs in the U.S. You figure. Therefore, theoretically and practically I know what the Bible is trying to tell us. And not practicing. That does not mean that I refuse to go to church, any church. My wife occasionally invites me to attend her church, or if a dear friend extend me such an invitation. After all; I know where I am going to when my time comes. My wife does too. The crematory.

Did I say I am going to talk about God? Let me leave that job to those better acquainted with the subject i.e. God.  And who are they? The  great philosophers.

 Well, this article is about facts, scientific facts, all corroborated, proved and published, and most of all almost universally accepted, unless proved otherwise.

   It is my belief that it will take arduous arguments by scientist, laymen and above all  Christians to set back the clock when the Bible affirm in Psalm 93 (addressing to God) “…though has fixed the earth immovable and firm”. 

Along came Copernicus and destroyed the theory of Ptolemy, and “all hell broke loose”. It was the Church that held that belief and poor Galileo almost lost his neck if he  did not recanted (that the  Earth did not move).But it was believed that he said, under his breath “but the Earth moves”, after he left his inquisitors satisfied…but not for long. As every school kid knows that the Sun is the center of the solar system.

 Let’s dwell a little on God per se. The key is mathematics. Pythagoras was the first to bring mathematics in our understanding of the universe; from the galaxies to the atoms (and beyond) everything is expressed in mathematical terms. We all agree on that, or I am utterly wrong, hardly.

 It leads to Einstein to believe that there must be some sort of intelligence behind the universe, if not necessarily in the conventional Judeo-Christian sense. Epicurus said: ”Death is nothing to us”. When Christianity came on the scene Epicureans were anathema to Christians because of their denial in the immortality and of the existence of a benevolent God.

   All in all we are assuming that God exist, aren’t we? 

The consensus among philosophers now is that the existence of God can’t be proved. That is not, of course, to say that he does not exist, but only his existence is not something that can be rationally demonstrated. I.e. God existence is not a scientific statement.

   Let me explain. If a child asks you what is a unicorn, or tiger, or God for that matter, you explain to him the best you could, but if he asks you “Do unicorns, tigers or God exist”. The kid form the description itself he has no way of knowing whether they exist or not (Essence and Existence).

   This distinction was the basis for Saint Thomas Aquinas for rejecting Alselm’s ontological argument for the existence of God.  Alselm’s definition gives us God’s essence but no characterization of essence, however exhaustive, guarantees existence. Amen.

   So here we have Professor Hawking,  contradicting the Bible as to who created the universe. Of course, he is definitely entitled to his own opinion but thru mathematics he can doubtlessly   prove his point. Just like Einstein said mass is energy and vice versa and space and time is the same. So nobody can argue with his earth shaking formula E=mc2.

   All this amount to the question: How could belief in God be reconciled with the revelation of science? As Benedict Spinoza, said: ”If everything that happens in the universe can be explained in terms of scientific laws and mathematical equations, it would seem that we no longer need God to function as any part of the explanation”. Here you are, a man of the caliber of Spinoza said that God was not needed. 

 Immanuel Kant assert in his doctrine…”that we can never know for certain that anything exist, of which our bodily apparatus can give us no apprehension rules out knowledge of the existence of God and of immortal souls”. It is important to realize that it does not rule out the existence of God only the knowledge of the existence of God. As Kant himself famously put it, he had ruled out knowledge in order to make room for faith. 

He demolished so called “proof” of the existence of God, and in doing so reduced to rubble much of the philosophizing of centuries if not millennia. 

Let me quote Hegel here. He says: “…man in the process of building his own civilization, create all sorts of institutions and rules and ideas that then become constrains on him.

He may not even understand them. For instance when it comes to religion many people project the qualities they most desire for themselves on to a God whom they see as perfect, omniscient, and omnipotent, while thinking of themselves by contrast as base, ignorant, and powerless…He sees God as being quite different from, indeed opposite to, himself, when in reality he and God share the same spiritual existence”.

One of Hegel’s followers, Feuerbach, thought that God and gods were solely human creations, and were entirely to be understood in this way.

Enter Nietzsche: “God is dead”. Nietzsche agreed with Schopenhauer that there is no  God and that we do not have immortal souls. He says:”…since there is no God and no world other than this one; then moral, ethics, and values can’t come to us from anywhere outside this world, for there is nowhere “else”, they must be human creations.”

Nietzsche exerted a widespread influence on Europe writers, and play writers like Bernard Shaw, Pirandello, poets like Yeats, Thomas Mann, Herman Hesse, A. Malraux, Albert Camus, Jean Paul Sartre. Not only them but composer such as Mahler, Dalius, Schomberg. Richard Strauss wrote an orchestra tone-poem called Thus Sprach Zarathustra. Even Freud had an admiration for him.

We have come a long way since the Babylonian idea of a steady Earth, this made sense to the Greeks and everybody else for another three thousand years The Ptolemy’s model Earth at the center of the Universe was accepted by the Christian church as it has been to the religions of the ancient world.

Following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ had rapidly eclipsed other belief system throughout Europe. Its scripture very clearly preached the creation of the world by God, with man and woman in the form of Adam and Eve out of dirt and divine breath, in a garden with a talking snake by the hand of an invisible God. Then came Copernicus that the Sun was the center of the universe.

In 1927 George Lemaitre, a cosmologist working at the Vatican Observatory, came out with the idea that if the universe  is expanding-and it is-according to Hubble it simply meant that the universe would be smaller yesterday that is today. The universe would therefore have to be progressively smaller and it would arrive(very long ago) at it smallest possible size.

Lemaitre suggested that this would be the starting point of the universe, the moment of creation. He thought he had found the perfect model of a universe, which God has created as a “primeval atom” which continues to grow and expand as is today.

And it fitted the biblical picture. By calculating the time of the expanding universe it came out that Lemaitre’s moment of creation turned out to be 15 billion years ago (and not 6 thousand years as the Bible tell us). Now the “Steady State’ theory borne by Hoyle, a confirmed atheist. As the universe expanded galaxies grew apart and new stars would evolve and also possible all the elements in the universe would be derived from the hydrogen in the life cycle of the stars. 

But the question was; where the hydrogen comes from to make the stars in the first place?

 For the Big Bang to occur and according with the subatomic theory, a colossal high temperature explosion to create hydrogen from subatomic particles. This enormous heat exploded from Lemaitre’s primeval atom.

   In 1940 Hoyle not being convinced of the Lemaitre’s primeval atom theory asked the question: “if the universe began with a hot Big Bang” he mocked, “then such an explosion would have left a relic. Find me a fossil of this Big Bang”. It was in 1948 the Gamow and his student Alpher set out to find that fossil.

The paper became known as the Alpha, Beta Gamma paper. Sure enough the fossil was found they argue that the afterglow of the intense heat had not completely disappeared. In fact it w a s found the warm left by the Big Bang was a few degrees above -273 C. In the end it was Penziias and Wilson were awarded the Nobel Prize for it.

  So Big Bang therefore had been spectacularly confirmed. The rest is history.

Concluding: The only viable solution for Samoa, to qualify as a Christian Nation is to jail all the corrupt. That way the country will be a better Christian one; but not necessarily a Christian Nation in tot. If the DOJ does not do its job, who needs them? They should learn from the Village Councils; they ban and burn. Illegal? You tell us. Or do we have a dual justice system in Samoa? Amen!

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