God has an ongoing civil war in Samoa with the leadership of Samoa’s biggest church (CCS) taking it to the Prime Minister over the payment of taxes. God’s self-proclaimed leaders have gotten their knickers in a twist over the way the other self-proclaimed leaders (the HRPP government) pushed through laws that required them to pay taxes on certain entitlements previously escaping taxation – without their say-so. As with all scraps in Samoa there is a huge amount of ego involved. Enjoy my take on this trouble in Paradise.
Samoa is a unique state with a unique island/Polynesian culture. Wholesale conversion to Christianity occurred nigh on a couple of centuries ago when the English Missionaries arrived – the denominational sequence of arrival roughly representing current adherence, CCS, other Protestant denominations, followed by the Catholics and the Mormons who have made hay better than the others with their later arrival.
There are three control systems in Samoa – the central government, the local government and the religious. Tuila’epa’s HRPP has always dominated central government since its inception, local government is viewed locally as Fa’a Samoa (the Samoan way) and is essentially the power of the Chiefs as bestowed by tradition/culture and since the Missionaries arrival the third control structure is dominated by the Christian denominational structures. An uneasy but generally surface calm exists between all three – politics and expediency put the inevitable power struggles behind closed doors. Power & money struggles exist the same as any country or culture. The corruption in Samoa has been revealed to huge effect with anonymous blogger OLP’s writings in the last couple of years. There is no question though that current Prime Minister Tuila’epa is top dog and rules the roost.
So to the current scrap. On the one hand you have the predominantly HRPP politicians who under Tuil’epa’s leadership have determined that the church leaders will pay taxes on their ‘packets of cash’.
On the other you have a church denomination standing up to the government of the day and telling them to “stick it!” “We’ll make donations to a worthy cause – not you!” they throw in for good measure. Yeah right! What does that actually mean when they cream the fat from the little people for self, I’d encourage you to ask.
From my perspective we have two illegitimate power systems fighting over a tax. Power and Money – déjà vu all over, again, again! The government achieves its authority for power through the people voting. If the people could only see the incredible immorality of democracy and people power they would know that the politicians they scream corruption about are only utilising the power that the people gave them! Idolatry if ever there was.
Likewise with the spiritual leadership of the religious leaders – idolatry again. Jesus came to empower the little people – to show them and give them the freedom from religious rule that the Samoan pastors, priests and Christian Ministers assume. He reserved His greatest words of condemnation for the religious leaders in His day, even to physical violence in clearing the courts of the Temple of arrogant crooks living off the backs of the little people, and preventing them from a godly relationship. That Samoa’s religious leaders take offence at another subset of evil is kinda ‘cute’ to an outsider like me!
I’ve never really attacked Samoa’s religious leaders. I figure that Albert Wendt and others have done a decent job before me and that 99% of guests to Samoa work it out in short order – best cars, best houses, fattest people, first-class travel, front seats at weddings and social events, packets of cash slipped into their hands for any prayer or blessing, fear from the little people . . . it takes them only a minute or two to work it out.
The politicians though are the talkers and need explaining for their capacity to misrepresent things is renowned. Tuil’epa p*sses me off most when he stands tall and claims to have been appointed by God. Knowing what I do about him and his corrupt, cowardly ways it is incumbent on me to counter his nonsense:
Reported by the default government press, Talamua, Tuila’epa says of the CCS decision to refuse to submit,
“This is a very shallow assessment made by just as shallow people,” he told Parliament.
“Why? It is because God appoints the country’s leaders to lead a government founded on Him.”
This is utter bollocks and is a cynical perverted twisting of scriptures to try to make his (Tuila’epa’s) conduct out falsely to be endorsed by God Himself.
You can read the government’s side of this fight at historical Talamua articles: http://www.talamua.com/congregational-christian-church-calls-to-boycott-the-church-ministers-tax-law/, http://www.talamua.com/church-maintains-opposition-to-paying-government-taxes/ and http://www.talamua.com/taxing-church-ministers-should-not-have-been-an-issue-says-pm/.
There are several points to be made from this latest brain-fart by the Old Man, which is (to give him his due) simply another repeat of his comments over the years which actually show the shallowness of his own faith. You can always tell the real issue when a false accusation is made – Freud nailed it! “Shallow” is indeed the issue Mr Prime Minister, but it is not the CCS leadership that attention should be drawn to in this regard!
- As I have oft mentioned, it is impossible to have a country, parliament or any organisation “founded upon [the Christian] God”. Many a country claims to be founded upon God – all Muslim ones do for a start. So which God is Samoa referring to – the Catholic faith or the Protestant one? Tui is a Catholic. CCS clearly have it wrong or it doesn’t matter or . . . perhaps it’s a meme and BS used by those in power to deceive. Then as I have mentioned many a time, Jesus came to seek and save the lost – individuals, not to bring any denomination or another religion into a hurting world. Christianity has a social conscience but by nature it is a personal thing – a relationship. To have a government “founded upon God” is an oxymoron – it’s technically impossible.
- Then we have to assess the government’s conduct – an arguably criminal enterprise – corruption (best defined in Samoa as extreme nepotism) from the top down the norm – indeed a cultural norm. Tuila’epa’s own cowardice in dealing with me personally and my illegal expulsion from Samoa, let alone the horrendous crimes that he has committed and covered up while in Government, certainly according to OLP, my experiences and my sources all point to a godliness – totally contrary to the Old Man’s speech of shallow BS.
- “God appoints the country’s leaders”. No Tui, No. First you got into power because you were the man in the centre of things when your predecessor ‘moved on’. You took that responsibility because you wanted it. You engineered it as the consummate politician and over the years have cemented it. Nobody can or should ever take that away from you – this is who you are and what you did. You deserve all credit for playing the political game in Samoa, ruthless to gain, retain and increase that power in a highly challenging political environment. That is YOU Tuila’epa. That is YOUR efforts; YOUR skill, greed, opportunism and corruption, sir. God tolerates your leadership Tui. He permits you to play with Samoans’ lives like you do and He permits you to rule, lead, deceive, gain personally and even take others’ lives if you so deem it so. The reason He does this Tui, contrary to your shallow take on the matter, has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with you or your immoral [or godly] conduct. You could be the nicest guy on the planet, second only in humility to Christ Himself, or you could be an utter animal of evil and He would permit you to rule but note this very carefully . . . He does this because of who He is. Your people believe in democracy, idolatry that you consciously perpetuate for your own interest, thus you have the vote of the people. God says that the people get the leadership that they deserve. You sir are what they deserve. You are not there because God WANTS you there. He recognises authority – that’s all. And for even thinking that the Lord endorses your despicable conduct having got there – dream on! Corruption, greed and self-interest may be the way of the world and alive and well in Samoa but there will come a time when you and your kind will run for the hills when the people wake up to reality. Roll on the events of Daniel & Revelation and pray that you are not around when they occur.
Make no mistake about this scrap between two of the power-bases in Samoa. This is the church giving the politicians a single-finger salute. With his new tax, Tuila’epa took them on, head-on and hurt them where it hurts all who put power and money centre of their lives – in their pockets. He did this either because he assessed his power to be under threat or to potentially increase his power. As Tui says, 56 years and “no more”.
The Samoan way is to talk war, pontificate and then back down sideways all the while everyone saving face. Tui has the power and took it to them. It was a power move from the political old-hand with another power move in reply to save face. Look next to backroom deals, talks where all conflict is covered up and there is an ‘arrangement’. It is likely to be money-related. The law will stand. CCS will be able to save face and corruption paid for by the little people will continue unabated.
My prediction is that no taxes will ever come from the CCS people – ever, although the others will likely cough it up. No investigation or charges will ever occur either. That will be part of the ‘Samoan-style’ deal, for sure.
And Jesus? Well you’d think that He never rose again with these fools playing in the sandpit like kids would you? Jesus would ignore the lot of them, get down and dirty with the boys out the back in the umu kuka, roast a pua’a with talo and teach the world what it means to give. Based on His ignoring of TPTB when He walked the earth, I think He’d probably come and be gone from Samoa before these goons even knew He’d been!
Tui, you are an utter fool to believe your own BS. You are a politician, nothing more; nothing less. You are skilled at playing games with words, leading your unique people and presenting yourself and political issues as someone/something you/they are not. You do this for political reasons not out of any love for the Lord, or the truth and you make d*mned sure that you do not miss out personally in the process. God did not put you into power. He allowed and permits you to rule the roost in Paradise, but the people know Tui. Increasingly they know the real score. Like me, and OLP.
To everyone else, thank you for tuning in. There are some genuine people associated with Samoa, despite the games these ‘losers’ play at the little peoples’ expense. It’s just that it’s hard to find them in political or religious circles, especially when you get higher up.
Watch them fight and laugh at it all.