Christianity and the authoritarian rule in Samoa

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Dear Editor,

Thanks for the editorial titled “Thinking critically about our future.”

It raised many good points about the education system. 

However, the education system is simply a reflection of Samoan society. 

I would argue that the mentality of “repeating back everything they have been spoon fed” is inculcated in the home and at church. 

Most, if not all, Samoan parents rule their children with an authoritarian fist born of cultural and religious beliefs. 

Samoan parents do not do “critical thinking”. They do “here are your orders to obey for today”. 

Children learn to obey without questioning authority. 

That authority starts with your parents, aunts and uncles and grandparents, as well as older siblings. 

The Christian religion as it is practiced in most Samoan churches supports the authoritarian role of Samoan parents by teaching an authoritarian command structure. 

A well-known Sunday School hymn has two key words that sums everything up: “trust and obey”. 

In this religious and cultural environment, is it any wonder why children grow up not having a clue about critical thinking?


PS Jeffrey 

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