God or Caesar?

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Dear Editor

Re: “God authority is sovereign, the Samoan Caesar’s authority is limited”.

Well, here we go again: Should the pastors  pay taxes like everybody else or what? As far as we know they will pay, whether they like it or not. And who said so? The PM as usual. Who else? The buck always stops with him. 

The rest of his gang must accept his word as gospel. Or their job are in jeopardy next time around. 

He also messed up the S.R.U. saying they are bankrupt, insolvent. The World Rugby authority says they are not. Out comes the C.E.O. of S.R.U. saying, yes, we are “technically” bankrupt. Blah, blah, blah. 

Out comes the wheelbarrow to collect some needed tupe from the believers in rugby. Foreign companies operating in Samoa (the Chinese contractor and the Fijian network) open up their purses, of course, for their own purpose. 

Business as usual.

Now, think for a minute. What would happen if nobody pay taxes? 

Would any rich guy  start building hospitals, schools, roads, etc., for the benefit of others?. I hardly think so. That would only happen in Wonderland. 

From time immemorial, when families decided by themselves to live together in a society governed by laws and order and everybody, I mean everybody should contribute for the benefit of everybody. Am I right up to here? Usually I am wrong. But let us continue nevertheless.

Just like in any household. Everybody should help around for the happiness of the family. No exceptions. Kids can help, same as the dear old grannies. Unfortunately we are people without logic. Just because one book says pay your taxes to whoever deserves to be paid; you stick to that wording. But most important, logic must prevail. But like I said: There is no logic in this world, just like there is no justice in this world. We as an inhabitant of this planet are a mess. Preponderance and abuse of money, power, drugs, sex, guns, wars, etc. are bringing us to the point that in a not distant future, according to the expert-Hawking

Maybe we should be looking for another place in the universe to live.

As for pastors paying taxes. I don’t see any discrimination at all. You guys make money, doing whatever you are good at and get paid for that .Envelopes and all. Just like a doctor or a teacher, you enjoy all the things that the government puts up with the people’s money, for the benefit of all the people,. which you are part of. 

True. Some pastors make more money than others, just like any other business, same thing, some church denominations make more money than others and they know why. 

Take for instance the Mormon church, also the Catholic Church, both are tight-lipped about their finances. 

Here is some real data to surprise you. The real value of the Mormon Church is U.S.D. 40 billion, and they collect up to U.S.D. 8 billion in tithing each year; of which only 0.7 per cent of its donated income goes to charity, compare this with the United Methodist Church that gives 29%. The Mormon Church is owned just by one person, Thomas S. Monson, a supposedly living prophet, who makes a  president’s salary of U.S.D. 296,000.00 annually.

I suppose this guy makes that money working from 9 to 5, imagine if he would work like our good pastors here 24/7 as they claim. The Mormons with their vast holdings it would make more sense to call them The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Holdings Inc. 

If pastors work 24/7,then, when do they go to the golf course, or to sleep for that matter.? The reality is that they like to feel like martyrs and absolutely dedicated to spread the Word. Unfortunately their “efforts” have defeated them. 

Consider the state of the morals in Samoa. No harmony in the family, some people in high positions are crooks, containers of goods that go straight from the ship to the parking lot of the business; people holding power making them a lifetime occupation.

Yet, they all go to church , because it is convenient for them to be seen there and say hello to the other big sinners. White elephant churches do not make a Christian Country. 

Quality of the people does.

People go to church because there is no other place to go, like a zoo or a theme park. So it is a captive audience, where some parishioners empty their pockets to show off they have tupe to spare. 

Yet if you read the Village Voice, as I do every day, those churchgoers are “technically” and really, but really broke. No basic needs, as their human rights proclaim.

The government is lucky that those people don’t decide to camp in front of the government building for months until they get their electricity, water, free school, and most of all a source of work. 

I really feel sorry for them, being poor is no joke, I should know that. But knowing that there’s no light at the end of their tunnel is even worse.

Church “obligations” and fa’alavelaves finish them off. TKO.

Government has shown us that they are poor administrators, with no heart for the poor. 

Churches, according to the M.E.S.C., receive yearly 52 million tala, of which that money stays with them. They (the pastors) say that the money is for God. Come-on man!, God does not need money, if he does, what bank is he using, ANZ? or investing in what, churches?

Complaining and blaming don’t work. Action does. 

Your Caesar here is every paying (taxes)/ individual. Join the crowd, you will feel part of the team and a good God fearing, law abiding, taro loving, tax - paying proud Samoan pastor. God likes that! When you get the chance to meet him, he will ask if you paid your taxes. If not, God help you!

Since I have mentioned the word God, here are some points worth to acknowledge. 

The signer of this referred  piece mentioned the word God 71 times in his hybrid peroration. And all his quotations come from the Bible. 

You said, God’s authority is sovereign, said who? you? Besides, we do not have a Caesar here. What we have here is a man who is holding power, despite of everything, for perhaps close to the one of Mugabe’s term. Maybe he is taking advantage that we don’t have an army here. Henry Kissinger said; “Power is the greatest aphrodisiac.” Hope he catches the O Le Palemia and wrings his neck, or gives him a ministry, his choice.

The Bible because of its antiquity and its many authors is riddled with repetitions and contradictions (144 contradictions)  and should be updated to go along with the signs of the times. 

Read Psalm 93, to start. Would you teach maths or biology to your kids using a book of the time of the Sumerians? I would not. Repetitions and contradictions are understandable for a hodgepodge collection of documents, but not for some carefully constructed treatise, reflecting a well–thought–out plan.

Of the various methods I have seen to “explain” these (“That is to be taken metaphorically”; ”There was more there than;” “It has to be understood in context;” “There was just a copying/writing error” .”That is a miracle”.) Of all of these “explanations” I like this one heard very commonly: “God works in mysterious ways.” 

A useful dodge when the speaker doesn’t understand the conflict between what the Bible SAYS and what they WISH it said. Or you hear this all the time: “With God everything is possible” in Matt.19:26; to be contradicted by Judge.1:19.(For more details read: Jim Meritt: A List of Biblical Contradictions.  Or William Henry Burr’s Self  Contradictions of the Bible. 

That is not all. Let us hear what the philosophers have to say about God. 

Sir, you take the word God for granted. 

Not so, let me continue.

All this amounts to the question: How could belief in God be reconciled with the revelation of science? As Benedict Spinoza, an outstanding rationalistic/ philosopher, said: “ If everything that happens in the universe can be explained in terms of scientific laws and mathematical equations, it would seem that we no longer need God to function as any part of the explanation.” 

Immanuel Kant asserted in his doctrine: “ That we can never know for certain that anything exist, of which our body apparatus can give us no apprehension rules out knowledge of the existence of god and of immortal soul.” He demolished the so called “proof” of the existence of God, and in doing so reduced to rubble much of the philosophizing of centuries if not millennia. Let me quote Hegel here. He says: “ …man in the process of building his own civilization , create all sorts of institutions and rules and ideas than them become constrains on him. He may not even understand them. For instance when it comes to religion many people project  the qualities they most desire for themselves on to a god whom they see as perfect, omniscient, and omnipotent, while thinking of themselves  by contrast as base, ignorant, and powerless…He sees God as being quite different   from, indeed opposite to himself, when in reality he and god share the same spiritual existence.”

Enter Nietzsche: “God is dead.” Nietzsche agreed with Schopenhauer that there is no God and that we don’t have immortal souls. He says “…since there is no God and no world other than this one; then moral, ethics, and values can’t come to us from anywhere  outside this world, for there is nowhere “else”, they must be human creations.”

When Einstein was asked if he believed in God he said.” Yes, but I believe in the God of Spinoza.” He never was a practising Jew.  

“Over the centuries many, including Aristotle, believed that the universe  must have always existed in order to avoid the issue of how it was set up. Others believed that the universe had a beginning, and used it as an argument  for the existence of God. The realization that time behaves like space presents a new alternative. It removes the old-age objection to the universe having a beginning, but also means that the beginning of the universe was governed  by the laws of science and does not need to be set in motion in motion by some god.”   Stephen Hawking said that. He also said: “Because there is a law like gravity the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation  is the reason  there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists why we exist. It is not necessary to involve god to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

The signer talks about the law of God and the law of man up and down, left and right; that is confusing to follow with clarity. He is imposing on Stui to follow the law, any law. Do you follow the law, any law? We as human break any law at a bat of an eye, don’t we?. Remember he (Stui) got the power and you didn’t. What he says, goes. His H.R.P.P. is just a yes machine, with a button at his disposal anytime anywhere. Can you beat that? 

Now his goal is to beat Mugabe’s record of 37 years in power at age 93. Who is going to stop him? Anthony Joshua?

All your arguments make sense to you and others, not to me. 

Of course, I am not going along in the way he is running poor Samoa, to include his ‘brilliant” ideas. Our agriculture is at the level at the time of Noah. If SACEP is doing something worthwhile let us know more often, as your mandate says. In reading the Village Voice tells you how the Human Right Protection Party is protecting the basic human rights of a great sector of our vulnerable population. 

No protection, period.  

 

*Orlando Huaman is a freelance writer. Malololelei.

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