Open Letter to the Minister For Education. Hon. James Marabe MP

Dear Minister,

Strengthen Science in Our Schools to Address Religious Bigotry.

Since  the action taken by the Speaker to remove the work of Art that graced our Parliament, I have tried to rationalised his behaviour and that of a large number of our Population including members of parliament that support him and have come to the conclusion that his action is  grounded in the  real fear of the supernatural and it is a fear shared by a large part of our Populace and  reflects  the lack of a basic scientific understanding  of causes and effect that  influence the natural world we live in. It is the same fear that leads illiterate villagers to burn their womenfolk for belief in sorcery and leads to unnecessary tribal fights where sorcery is belief to be the cause of death.

I have listen to you articulate and speak in the past on major issues that confront our young Nation and would like to think that among the chaos that surround us today you will emerge as the rational voice of the future and that through your leadership PNG can address the  rise of  religious bigotry and to uphold the secular nature of our constitution and more importantly for you to uphold the freedoms that today form a significant part of our constitution  including the Freedom of Religious worship.

 In the age of science where man is in the process of mapping out our entire galaxy in three dimension with the recent European mission into space and with the discovery of Nanotechnology that will usher in another Industrial revolution in  material science, the level of the  fear of the supernatural as it exist in our country has reached a dangerous level where if nothing is done to address it PNG will end up following the path of Haiti , the first black  country to fight and gain Independence in 1804  but  one where  the lack of basic understanding of science in its 200 year history has allowed voodooism and black magic  to grow and permeate through all level of the society resulting in the arrest of its growth and progress making it a sorry failed State .

 It is a country where executive decisions and appointments to pubic positions is not based on meritocracy but one based on the advice of oracles and witchdoctors . The use of Poison abstracted of certain fish and Reptile to induce deep comatose   in   the  Haitian cult of the Zombie is not dissimilar to certain PNG practises of the blowing of the Kambang in our Sanguma cult to put people to sleep so heinous crimes can be committed and other such practises that has terrified the uneducated in our communities but which have their basis in science and not in the super natural.  The fear of the supernatural in PNG among the young in can be traced back to the failure of our education system to instil a strong Science Based Foundation in our Teacher Training programs in order to equip  teachers  who in turn can impart to  our next generation of citizens a solid understand of the world we  live in based on Science  so that PNG does not degenerate further to the level of Haiti but to use science to lift the quality of life of our People.

  I suspect that mainline mission agency schools in particular may be the weak link in a science based education for our children and implore you to request  Bishops of mainline churches in particular to articulate a theology based on a coexistence of science and religion and to ensure that Children in their schools and Trainee teachers in particular in their teachers colleges are schooled in and  appreciate the coexistence of ethical Science on the one hand and matters religious based on faith on the other to avoid and put an end to religious bigotry in our country. Religious bigotry as you are aware is based on arrogance, dogma and  ignorance built around  misguided  absolute truth. It is the kind of misguided truth that puts the German Aryans race as protectors of the Judeo Christian tradition under Hitler and led the Germans to believe it is their duty to exterminate the Jewish race and to puts 6 million of them  to death in the concentration camps in the second world war because of the sin of their ancestors in putting  Christ to the cross.

 It is the same Aryan belief that puts Gypsies and black people at the bottom of humanity because of the cures of Ham in the bible and it is the same type of belief held today by white supremacists and slave owners and extreme right wing religious groups  in the United states that belief in the absolute truth  that because of Ham , Black people  in the world today are nothing more then collector of  fire wood and water for the white and other races. These views are no different from the views shared by many of our citizens today that believe in the absolute truth that for PNG to improve the quality for life for its people the whole nation has to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour and destroy everything associated with our ancestral beliefs so that   hence forth our fortune as a nation will change for the better and that there is no place for any other religion and belief system in our country except that of Judeo Christianity.

 This view is held by many of our elected leaders today. It  is not malicious and they mean well albeit misguided. History through the millennia has demonstrated again and again that the biggest destabilising force second only to the war on resources has been wars based on religious faith and dogma. Even today in villages around   PNG , Christian sects are fighting among themselves and dividing our communities on the issue on what day should be kept holy as Sabbath or the role of Mary in liturgy. Overseas the fight between the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland continues unabated while wars currently raging in Syria and Southern Sudan are religious in nature. More and more the role of secular leaders to negotiate peace and goodwill among disputing parties becomes the more easier if leaders are mindful of their roles and do not take sides is religious disputes over Dogma.

 PNG must be look out for the religiously sly that have in recent time ingratiate themselves onto Politicians in the hope of enriching themselves by selling outdated  dogmas to leaders such as the one that says leadership is divine and ordained by God and to expose them to this heresy . Many of these people have in recent times obtained land for religious purposes but are quick to convert  these  track  of  land for personal gain.

Finally, there is another reason for the need to aggressive increase a science based education reform in our education system and that is the need to prime the country economically to drive the economy post the mineral and Oil and gas boom. I sincerely hope that as Minister for Finance and Education we can count on you to grab the horn of religious bigotry and put an end to this insidious cancer that if not addressed now will come back to haunt us.

Gabriel Ramoi


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