Recent scholarship efforts by the Congregational Christian Church to usurp the indigenous ancestral role of Saʻo Tamaʻitaʻi as Feagaiga a le Aiga in Samoa is an interesting exercise in academics that deserves nothing but respect.
To effectively digest and discern the efforts however, certain questions have to be asked about the theology and its history outside of the Aiga and Samoa.
Who taught it? When did they teach it? And for what purpose did they teach it?
The Faifeau and members of the clergy or au faigaluega a le Atua have been accorded the highest place of honor in accordance with our Samoan Tu ma Agaifanua.
According to Fanaafi Aiono-Le Tagaloa in her book, Tapuaʻi: Samoan Worship, our ancestors had already had a family (Aiga Potopoto) priestess in the Sa’otama’ita’i as Feagaiga when the European missionaries arrived in 1830 with their new teachers.
The new teachers were however, given the title or fa’alagiga of Faʻafeagaiga - one who is like a Feagaiga or Saʻo Tamaʻtaʻi.
The fa’aaloalo, inline with Samoan customary hospitality, put the stranger and new comer in opposite but equal with our indigenous national measina or treasure.
It was from this privileged position, Fanaafi believes, Christianity took root and firmly established in Samoa. The faifeauʻs distinguished place in the social order of Samoan society in my view, reflects the humanity and civility in our ancestors’ spirituality and worldview rooted in Creator Tagaloa-a-lagi, the universal spiritual energy or force in both nature and the cosmology and our Samoan concept of Va Fealoaʻi.
The Faifeauʻs academic efforts to usurp and colonize the indigenous ancestral role of Saʻo Tamaʻitaʻi as the Feagaiga a le Aiga is an accurate reflection on his European ancestors, spiritually speaking, and those who had taught him the art of racism and white supremacy.
The ideological foundation of the Roman Catholic Church and European Christian missionary conquest goes as far back as the 14th-15th century.
Their theft of native lands and murderous campaigns of civilization of native societies like native Americans, Samoa and Oceania to name a few, was based solely on the European concocted notion of intellectual and racial superiority wrapped around the lie called, the Light of the World.
And to meet their standards of a civilized human being, one has to accept the theology and God who loves everyone equally unless he or she deserves a rightful place in Hell.
The present state of reality in Samoa is in my view, a measure of how the Faifeau and the au faigaluega a le Atua in Christianity have affected the faithful tagata Samoaʻs spiritual development.
The saturated presence of church buildings, maota o le Atua alongside maota o le galuega, throughout the islands indicate there is not a single soul in Samoa that has not been touched by the Alofa o le Atua.
Yet according to court records and media reports in the Samoa Observer, similar news outlets and the internet, festering inequalities, violence, corruption and depleted sense of morality and accountability are so pervasive and entrenched in the same people who have supposedly been touched by the very same Alofa o le Atua.
The reality is the rubber of violence has hit the road of yet more violence in what I see as violence against violence.
Tagata Samoa have been turned against each other by design of colonial institutions of Democracy and Christianity.
When the Europeans were talking of Democracy for all and the Alofa o le Atua for everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in Christianity, more than half of their population were serfs, slaves, war captives and women.
Tagata Samoa as a direct result of the Faifeau and Christian assimilation and propaganda, has effectively been separated from his and or her self. This separation has usurped their potential creating a vacuum now colonized by extreme pain, disillusions and discomfort.
They have fallen victim to violence and a strong sense of inferiority thus creating dependency on the very people they look up to, respect, admire and love as a symbol of God.
The fact that tagata Samoa have grown to love their oppressor is indeed the essence of brainwashing.
Their sincerity has been used to manipulate them against themselves for simply and unsuspectingly serving the purpose of the European slave master turned indigenous Samoan in the Fa’afeagaiga a le Atua. Some of the hallmarks of spirituality are enlightenment, clarity and the ability to discern reality.
Jesus Christ is neither Roman nor Greek. And God of the Christians has already chosen his people, and they are not Samoans.The people we have grown to love the most are the same people who have done us the most damage.
And they do not have the monopoly or the sole authority over our lives and our indigenous national and family treasures of Gafa or Feagaiga a le Aiga.