One of my areas of interest has always been to learn about the mindset of a people, living in a place that modern man now frequently refers to as paradise,Â which caused that race, a nation of free human beings, to accept the slavery that comes with the embrace of a religion. I am writing of the Hawaiians of course.
To me, the use of the word, “slavery”, it really is not as antithetical to freedom as one might suppose. To be enslaved implies a certain ownership of us by something, or someone else.
In a conversation with the writer George Orbelian, in an interview for a film called The Aloha Project, I asked George about the reasons for the Hawaiian embrace of religious servitude. He said quite simply and in a somewhat startling manner on camera: “The Hawaiians were a very highly spiritually evolved people. So for them the message of love, of sacrifice, it all made sense. It was simply the embodiment of aloha.”
In a conversation with Hawaiian Historian Tom Pohaku Stone, Tom explained that the amazing tenets of HawaiianÂ civilization and spirituality caused the Kahu to look at Christianity andÂ go : “Your God rose from the dead. Ours have never done something like that. So they embraced the concept”
But for me as a Christian, and as a film maker, this is what I learned. My ancestors had mistaken the embrace of religion and expression of Calvinist Missionaries for the embodiment of the path to truth and enlightenment. We all know what the affect of that choice, and what it did to the Hawaiian race. But in terms of it’s spiritual existence, the Hawaiians never really died. Because they got it. That essential truth.
In the Gospel of John. (read the full account here) Jesus said this:
There it was. My answer. My ancestors chose to follow that. It was all about the story of this day. Aloha.
It does not surprise me, the manner in which the Western World brought their slavery to the world of the Polynesian people. But the irony is that when one gives something, it is given back to the giver in far greater abundance. The Calvinists may have thought themselves to be doing the Hawaiians a great service in a way, and they probably were. But what the Hawaiians did to the world at large , that gift brought a new freedom through their own sacrifice. The parallel is pretty obvious. They did not stay dead either.