Saturday, 7 October 2017

Exceedingly Heavy Stones

Academic Celebrates Degeneracy

A Maori academic has come forth claiming that pre-European settlement, Maori were sexually degenerate and engaged in unGodly practices.  Nothing surprising there at all.  Naturally, however, this modern academic is also claiming that the degeneracy of Maori represents a long honoured, storied historical tradition, which means (queue the drumroll) that modern Maori can glory in such degenerate practices in our modern world.
For Maori who don't fit neatly into carefully constructed moulds of gender and sexuality the term takatāpui can be a relief.  Scholar Elizabeth Kerekere argues that pre-colonial Maori were sexually experimental people who openly accepted gender and sexual fluidity.  Anyone who didn't fit into heterosexuality was considered "takatāpui".  [NZ Herald]
What is startling here is Kerekere seems to think that she has achieved some sort of amazing discovery.  What she appears to have forgotten is that whilst pre-colonial Maori were cunning and  highly intelligent, they were also degenerate--pretty much like today's average secular atheist.
Kerekere, who identifies as lesbian, has spent five years writing her PhD and discovering new evidence takatāpui existed in pre-colonial society. It was released recently at Victoria University.
Five years is a long time spent researching and searching for something that one would have expected to have existed in spades.
  After all, sexual degeneracy has been part of the warp and woof of humankind ever since the Fall.  The ancient Classical world was riddled with slavery and homosexuality.  Slaves often made easy homosexual conquests.  It's not at all surprising, then, that pre-colonial Maori, being a slaving society, also habitually practised homosexuality.  Moreover, cannibalism--both for ritual and dietary purposes--was also a "normal" part of Maori degeneracy.

Kerekere, however, runs the argument that because homosexuality was normal in pre-colonial Maori society therefore it is holy, just, and good.  But if traditional practice sanctifies degeneracy, Kerekere must also champion the less chic, fashionable causes in this "pick and choose" modern hypocritical society.  However, we don't see her defending cannibalism, nor slavery.  Why?  Because these are hypocritically and inconsistently regarded as evil or immoral to the modern liberal--for the moment.  On what grounds?  Purblind prejudice on the part of Kerekere.  If modern beliefs and practices are to be shaped and warranted by historical tradition, excluding the presently unfashionable ones represents hypocrisy.

But if Kerekere would insist upon the exclusion of traditional slavery and cannibalism amongst modern Maori, she ends up begging a most irritating question: why?  Why exclude them?  These odious practices were traditional, common, part of Tikanga Maori [the "Maori way of doing things"].  It is hypocritical to attempt to ignore or exclude them.  It is special pleading to argue that homosexuality is Tikanga Maori, but cannibalism and slavery are not.  By what standard would Kerekere accept homosexuality as part of Tikanga Maori, and exclude the other?

Ah, the hypocrisy runs deep in this one.
Maori were sex positive before colonisation. This can be seen in stories and songs, Kerekere tells the Herald, like the waiata about an elder woman singing about how her vagina used to travel the country.  "Sex was a normal part of life. There was a lot of pride in skill. If you wanted to have sex you should be good at it."
Maori were also "slavery and cannibal positive" before colonisation.  There was a lot of pride taken in eating human beings at the right time and in the right way, ensuring ritual compliance.  If you were going to eat people, you had to be good at it.

Homosexuality is a great evil--and when it becomes institutionalised it degrades human society.  So does slavery.  As does cannibalism.  The first Maori to be ordained to the Christian ministry had this to say at a large gathering to honour Henry Williams, one of the early missionaries:
In an attempt to preserve the good, and disinter it from the bones, around 900 Maori from all parts of the country gathered at Paihia on the 11th January, 1876, having raised 200 pounds to erect a memorial to the late Henry Williams.  Reverend Matiu Taupaki--the first Maori to be ordained--delivered the oration at the unveiling of the memorial for Williams before the assembled Maori representatives.

Think of the wickedness of our island.  The exceeding heavy stone which weighed us down was cannibalism, but that did not deter him [Williams].  He forsook his own country and people, parents and relatives.  He arrived here in 1823.  He landed at Paihia, and there built his first fortress, the church standing before you.  It was in that fortress he forged the weapons of war wherewith to overthrow the strongholds of the earth.  [ContraCelsum]
The strongholds of the earth in Maori society were brutal, degrading, and numerous.  By "picking and choosing" amongst historical degeneracies, as Kerekere does, she reintroduces homosexuality amongst Maori to an "exceedingly heavy stone".  It represents one more downward step to ethical and moral slavery.

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