And so the first session of Parliament for 2017 is done and dusted.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Members of Parliament gathered at their makeshift precinct at Tuana’imato to pass the Supplementary Budget and deal with a couple of other pertinent issues.
Among them was the report by the Commission of Inquiry tasked to review the performance of the Land and Titles Court Judges as well as the response from the Judges themselves.
The issue has been well detailed and debated. We’re not going to delve into it any further today. Suffice to say, we encourage you to take time to read the official response from the Land and Titles Court published on the front page of the paper you are reading and tell us what you think. (read story)
Our hope is that by the end of all this kerfuffle, you, members of the public, would be better informed about some of the challenges and that the grievances which led to this in the first place will be addressed to an extent. It’s going to take time but let’s believe for the best.
Away from the power struggle, another critical piece of legislation was advanced in Samoa’s halls of power. With the second reading of the Constitutional Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2016, Parliament is today a step closer to amending the Constitution to define Samoa as a Christian State.
As if that’s not pretty obvious already with the many church buildings and Bible-bashing Christians misrepresenting God everywhere, the government wants to take Samoa’s Christianity further.
When Parliament discussed the bill, the views expressed made for some very interesting reading. Take for instance the explanation by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi as to why this is necessary.
He said it is inadequate for Samoa to only have Christianity in the preamble of Samoa’s supreme law, describing it as inadequate.
“Inadequate in terms of how Samoa as a Christian State is not included in the body of the Constitution. Instead it is in the cover and the preamble of the Constitution, not within the body of the Constitution,” Tuilaepa said.
“This shows that it is not part of the Constitution. This does not stand in Court as it is not included in the body of the Constitution.”
Referring to the framers of our Constitution, Tuilaepa said that perhaps our ancestors were not thinking about the challenges of today when they wrote the Constitution. And because they did not include Christianity in the body of the Constitution, we’ve been fooling God all this time.
Listen to him again: “This means that we have been misled all these years. And every time we say that Samoa is founded on God because it is in within our Constitution, God must’ve had a good laugh and though that we have been fooling him.
“And it has been more than 50 years since we have been fooling God, because this is not in the body of our Constitution.”
Now hang on a second. Is P.M. Tuilaepa accusing our ancestors of fooling God and misleading us? What is he saying?
As far as we are concerned, the Constitution was fine as it was. And if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.
Besides Christianity is not supposed to be something you keep in a book. It is a lifestyle that is supposed to honour God and to love our fellow mankind on a daily basis.
If anything, the only people who have been misleading other people are Bible bashing and scripture quoting Christians whose behaviour is anything but.
We see them everyday – some in government and Parliament. We hear them espousing this and that Biblical principle and yet they are downright hypocrites because their behaviour does not reflect what they are saying. Their words therefore become empty rhetoric we should all ignore.
Don’t get us wrong. We don’t oppose Samoa becoming a Christian state.
The decision is not necessarily a bad thing and when the actions of this country follow our declaration it can be a most wonderful development.
But let’s stop kidding ourselves.
Samoa today is a mess. That’s because the leaders have allowed corruption and abuse of power to flourish. And enshrining Christianity in our Constitution does not weed out the corruption, abuse and collusion we’ve been talking about for years which continues to hurt our people on a daily basis.
The fact is Christianity is not supposed to be a label you wear.
It is a daily lifestyle that reflects a person’s intimate relationship with his God. It’s a personal matter that you don’t need to shout from the rooftop.
Anybody can claim to be a Christian, which is probably the biggest problem in Samoa today. But it’s their integrity and actions which prove who they really are. And that’s what matters.
By all means, go ahead and change the Constitution – even though we’d prefer it to be left alone. But let’s try and walk the talk. Our leaders - including church leaders - need to be serious and lead by example in all facets of life. Stop being hypocrites.
If Samoa wants to make a point about being a Christian state, our behaviour would do a better job to reflect that than another change to the Constitution.
Let’s not forget that God is not mocked. He knows and he sees through everything. Including these political, feel good but untruthful statements.
That’s what we think anyway? What about you?
Share your thoughts with us!
Have a peaceful Sunday Samoa, God bless!