Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why to admire Haleola

- Good quotes/exerpts from "Moloka'i" -

1. (p. 71)

"My husband is very sick."

"I know," Damien acknowledged. "Would he...like to receive the sacraments?"

"We are not Christian."

"It's never too late to come to God. I can baptize him now, before..."

"No, thank you," Haleola said coldly.

The priest took a step inside. His tone grew more emboldened. "For your husband's sake, consider. Would you deprive him of the joys of heaven?"

Haleola ignored him. Damien's tone became harsher. "Would you condemn him to everlasting perdition?" he asked. "A moment in hell contains a thousand tortures. Is that what you want for your husband - eternal torment? Because make no mistake," and here his voice fairly boomed, "that is precisely what awaits him if he dies a sinner!"

Something cold and angry broke loose inside Haleola.

"My husband is a good man!" she cried, as vehemently as Damien. "An honest, loving, decent man! He gave me three beautiful sons - sheltered us with his tenderness - never let us go hungry or homeless! And now you tell me he's a 'sinner,' that he's going to burn in some fiery place forever, you dare to tell me that?

"If that is your God, Father Kamiano, your Jehovah, who would condemn a kind and tender man to hell for the sin of not believing in him - then I shall follow my Keo to hell, as I followed him to this one, and together we spit on your God and his heaven!"

She spat enthusiastically at his feet, and for once in his clerical life Damien was speechless.

(I hope you will agree with me when I say this is what not to do as a Christian....or Catholic, at that.)

2. (p. 180)

"Auntie? Do you...still believe in the old gods? Are they still real to you?"

Haleola seemed surprised, even amused, by the question. "Aouli," she said, "is a daughter 'born from the brain' of her mother any less believable than a virgin who gives birth to the Son of God?"

"That wasn't what I asked."

"I know." Haleola stood, a bit shakily, and signed. "I wish that I had been born fifty years before I was," she said. "Before the kapus were overthrown. When things were more certain. All my life I've lived in two worlds - the world my mother raised me to believe in, and the world around me. As a healer I was taught that sickness came from the soul, from a person's past actions and state of mind. Yet I've seen with my own eyes the tiny creatures that live in our blood, the 'microbes' that supposedly make us sick. Which do I believe? Maybe both."

Monday, June 4, 2007

Another argument for We Are All One

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. ~John 14: 20