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24 December 2013


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KJ - Papua New Guineans are very superstitious.

A lot of people know that the person who carved that lintel spoke some sacred words.

And when superstition blends with Christianity, the trouble really begins - KJ

It's interesting that only two contributors on the opposite side of this topic be picked out and made a mockery of and labelled as having 'logical fallacy' and 'false dichotomies'.

Regardless of whatever fancy description is given the truth remains that the majority of people on the streets and villages are not affected by the carvings, though they are part of a small section of our culture.

Also it's funny how people who don't have carvings in their cultures can make so much public ridicule of others who have them.

To paraphrase and quote one of the leading PNG lawyers in The National newspaper article , "when politicians say the Lord's Prayer before every session or when witnesses in court rooms swear by the bible before giving evidence, these do not impose or force the speaker' s beliefs on others, Dr John Kuwimb".

Frank, if you had read my words with care you would see that they neither mocked nor ridiculed. And many more than two people have used PNG Attitude to express concern at the destruction of the carvings. If you wish to debate, at least argue with honesty. Oh, and we do have carvings in our culture - KJ

Let's face it , I think a lot of Modern Art is trash! Others are willing to pay millions of dollars for it and stick it in the National Gallery. What a waste of good taxpayers money! They say "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

To some people these carvings are evil. Other people are willing to pay millions of Kina for it and stick it in an Art Gallery.

To others they can see that they are carvings that in the past were used in occult practices and they are PNG traditional art and part of the traditional PNG culture. They should be saved and put into the Museum.

Maybe too many of these carvings come from the Sepik and there has been a long history of tying these carvings with occult religion. It is quite likely that there is still some of this occult religion being practiced in the Sepik today.

Maybe, in the eyes of the Sepik man, who has been freed from the lies of the occult, these carvings still remind him of evil. He hates them. They remind him of death.

Evil is in the mind of the beholder.

For human societies to work peacefully and fairly, I think we might need a rather more objective and mutually agreed definition than that - KJ

I have been talking about this issue for the past few weeks with different people. Most of them seem to agree with Robert.

That is why I tweeted that I should have an open mind and continue to enquire.

How do you enquire into whether a carving is evil or not? - KJ

I have been following all comments on the removal of the parliamentary carvings. Very interesting indeed reading about the views of Papua New Guineans and outsiders. Well, every one is entitled to their own views and beliefs, fair enough.
For me, I agree with Robert Puyu. I too, choose my fight against corruption.
The carvings, i believe are from Sepik and does not represent the whole of the different tribes and cultures in PNG. I have no idea, if they carry some kind of evil spirits....but if Sepik people believe they do, then get rid of them and maybe those politicians these 'evil carvings' seem to haunt will feel much better, running this country from their high chair.
There is evil every where in this world. They come in different forms, not just in carvings. Too me, the evil that embeds in the hearts of people, is the one that all Christians should condemn and pray about...CORRUPTION,!!

Keith, thank you for your view. Whatever you might think of importance and value is not so for some us who grow up in some of the most remote villages.

The parliamentary carvings are not a true representation of the 1000 tribes in PNG. Carvings maybe of national significant but I choose my fight to be a little voice against corruption that deprive many Papua New Guineans from the very basic services, it is a matter of life and death.

I mentioned in a previous post how the extreme right-wing religious fundamentalists in the US are right behind the actions of people like Zurenuoc in PNG and also Bahati and Ssempa in Uganda (look them up, you will be shocked).

Check this.

"LifeSiteNews Praises Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill

"The Religious Right website LifeSiteNews today published an essay from Obianuju Ekeocha of Culture of Life Africa praising Uganda’s brutal Anti-Homosexuality Bill and urging other countries to adopt similar measures.

"She said that the “courageous” supporters of the draconian bill rightly resisted the “totalitarian commitment to the hegemonic homosexual agenda.”

"The courageous Ugandan MP's have chosen to please God instead of men (or women!). And they have chosen to protect their citizens from the corrosive effects of moral decadence and unrestrained sexual lisence [sic]. They have voted their Christian values."

The agenda of the US-based evangelical fundamentalists is becoming clearer.

And be afraid.

Martyn Namorong was right in saying on his blog recently that this is not just about religion or culture, it is about fascism.

Religious fascism.

Mi stap wantaim yu Unkol Keith.

Also, someone might argue that animistic beliefs many thousands of years old which grew with a culture and are integrated into a whole cultural experience are more natural and holistic than a particular form of western Christianity originating mainly in the US and only artificially grafted onto PNG in the last generation or two.

Keith - I agree wholeheartedly. The ironic thing is that believing that carvings are evil and somehow represent demonic idols itself gives credence to the belief in the supernatural.

If they are so wicked that their influence is pervading the minds of the good people of PNG then it follows that demons and evil spirits are real too, otherwise why take them as a threat?

Fundamentalism and witchcraft are different sides of the same coin.

I know some people will say that the supernatural IS real, but our sectarian 'Christian' beliefs are good, and other beliefs are bad.

Surely, being logical, the same applies both ways. And so we see tit-for-tat killings and destruction between religious cults in places like Nigeria, India and Indonesia. The arguments always seems to be "we're right, you're wrong".

No one wins.

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