Street poll tells the story about beliefs

Wednesday August 09, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor

It has been a little over a week since the crazy Christians arrived in Rarotonga – you know, the folk who think Jesus was re-reincarnated as a Korean guy.

 

As expected, more thoughtless, blind religious garbage continued to fill the newspaper in opposition to the preaching of these obviously incorrect Christians.

What may have been most enlightening were the common themes in the CI News street poll interviews, where people were asked what they thought about other religious denominations evangelising in the Cooks. Confusion, harm and damage were certain to follow if other religions were allowed here. What these interviewees really wanted was truth!

As one interviewee revealed, “The Cook Islands’ identity is found on Christianity and we need to protect who we are and not let false religions come in and cause damage and erode our values.” Using a few spicy Bible verses, let’s analyse Christian identity and values for a moment. I’ll only select three verses to avoid filling the entire newspaper.

Exodus 21:10: “If a man who has married a slave wife takes another wife for himself, he must not neglect the rights of the first wife to food, clothing, and sexual intimacy.”

Second Kings 2:23-24: “Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up 42 lads of their number.”

Deuteronomy 22:28–29: “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.”

Do any of these verses sound like the “Cook Islands’ identity” or good “values?” What does approval of slavery, polygamy and instructions for treatment of a slave-wives, God’s sending of two bears to kill 42 children for calling a stranger “baldhead,” or instructions for marriage between rapist and victim after paying the victim’s father silver coinage have anything to do with “Cook Islands’ identity?”

Why would anybody want to identify with such vile things? I know, I know, “those quotes are just metaphors. You’re taking them out of context!’ Save it. The Old Testament is a disgusting Middle Age relic. You better hope the Cook Islands’ identity is not based on Christianity, which is in turn based on repulsive ancient scripture.

Moving on to the “false religions” theme, I’d like to point out, as it was last week, that of the thousands of religions humans have ever believed in, you think yours is correct. The others are just made up nonsense. This is a common belief amongst all currently practiced religions, including the ever so common Mormons, Jehovahs, SDAs, Catholics and CICs here in the Cooks. Why do you think that is? Could it be that the subscribers of these religious groups have closely examined all other possibilities and chosen the religion that actually makes sense?

Well, after seeing the responses in the most recent CINews street poll, the answer for some Cook Islanders is clear – other religions will not be evaluated for “truth” because heads are firmly buried in sand. God must be male, and that is that! End of conversation. When was the last time you learned something from shutting your eyes and not listening?  Is this how to learn the “truth?” No. In fact, this is called cognitive dissonance – not believing something because it conflicts with your worldview, rather than not believing something because it conflicts with facts or reality.

When Christian missionaries first came to the Cook Islands nearly 200 years ago, infanticide and cannibalism were quickly extinguished. Great. But at the same time, missionaries destroyed ancient marae, building Christian churches directly on top of them. Missionaries shipped beautiful Cook Islands Maori carvings, including those of original Polynesian deities, to museums back in Europe, selling others and burning the rest. The real Cook Islands culture, the one that arrived with the original Polynesian voyagers, was destroyed in the blink of an eye. To say that Cook Islands culture is based on Christianity is to ignore these events, the generations of Cook Islanders’ non-Christian ancestors and to blindly accept the forced conversion and indoctrination of the Cook Islands people over the last two centuries.

Overlooking the Crusades and other holy wars, it should be pointed out, that Christianity (maybe even your particular flavour of Christianity), might have done much good in the world. Art and music, architecture and language have all been heavily influenced and even driven by religion. But should the Cook Islands continue to associate with ancient ideas in ancient books that overwhelmingly divide and exclude?

Keeping people out of this country, not because they are violent criminals or drug dealers, but solely on a basis of their religion is short-sighted, bigoted and shows the religious fundamentalist’s true colors: Suspicion, hostility and hatred of those believing in different fairytales.

             Wake Up – Reality

            (Name and address supplied)

 

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