We’re better than that, Samoa!

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Here is an idea. Why don’t we focus on fixing the rut in our so-called Christian country before we worry about the threat that outside religions might have on Samoa? 

We say this because the last time we checked, the majority, if not all of the prisoners at Tafa’igata and Vaia’ata do not belong to any other religion but the one where the majority of the people in this country are affiliated. 

Which means there is something awfully wrong somewhere when the leaders of this country – including mainstream church leaders - try to stop other religions from entering under the excuse that these religions are a threat to Samoa (see story N.C.C. calls for a ban on Islam)

It’s unfortunate that Christianity as a religion has been broadly dragged into this debacle because from where we stand, this has nothing to do with God and Christianity per se. This has everything to do with leaders misplacing the blame for the problems of today that they are largely responsible for today.

Unlike other religions that deliberately hate Christians, Christianity is about love, compassion and tolerance. It is about embracing everyone and showing that the love of God is far greater than any divisive tool there is.

This is why the thought that Samoa is even entertaining the idea of reviewing the Constitution to amend the freedom of religion clause so Christianity is the only officially recognised religion is worrying indeed. 

It is without a doubt the most worrying decision in a string of questionable decisions made by the leadership of today. 

How did we arrive at this? And how can we sit back and allow it to proceed?

From what we’ve been told, the government is planning to recognise Christian principles and teachings as the official religion of Samoa.  Nothing wrong with that. 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi reportedly made the point during the celebration of the National Council of Churches 50th birthday celebration last week, saying that Samoa is a Christianity-based country and that goes together with Samoan culture and traditions.

Now, the Secretary General of the N.C.C, Reverend Ma’auga Motu, has gone further, telling Radio New Zealand he would ban Islam because it poses a future threat to the country.

“We are not going too far, no,” Reverend Motu is quoted as saying to justify his point. “We are still wanting our own people to be prevented from this kind of influence, even though there are so many people who are good people but still there are some dangerous people among them who might come and threaten our peace.”

Now this is where it goes awry.

Islam being a threat to Samoa’s peace? Are you kidding?

If there was ever a threat, it comes from within. 

We have rapists, murderers and all sorts of criminals in this country already threatening that peace. We have thieves, incestuous predators and fathers beating their wives and children disturbing that very peace.  It has been happening for years.  

Some of the most corrupt officials who are driving around in town are Bible bashing religious cons. They go to church every Sunday. 

They pose a bigger threat to this country than any outside religion would.

So what is this madness about? What is going on in Samoa today? Have we really lost our sense  of  sanity?

Let’s be reminded here right now that like most countries in the world, Samoa is becoming a pluralistic society with people of other ethnic and religious origins and beliefs making Samoa their home. Many of these people have their own beliefs when it comes to religions. 

They deserve our respect and the courtesy to allow them to worship freely, just as we expect them to do to the thousands of Samoans who have moved to other countries making their homes there.

There is no disputing the fact that Samoa is a Christian country. That is made manifestly clear everywhere you look – with the church buildings - if you haven’t noticed already. 

But the Constitution as it stands is perfect as it is. It reflects the vision and wisdom of our forebears who knew what was best for this country. We believe the Constitution should be left alone as it is for the sake of peace and security.   

We repeat; the line being toed by these church leaders is making Christianity look bad. It’s a pity because we know that as a Christian country, we are much better than that. God’s poor name will be dragged through the mud by this ungodly decision. 

Besides, why are we trying to fix something that is not broken? Don’t we have enough problems already to deal with?  What do you think? Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts with us!

Have a peaceful Thursday Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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