Dr Mikaele Pāunga, Professor of Catholic Theology/Photo, supplied.
Perhaps CEDAW has achieved its purpose – divide Tonga and then rule
OPINION:Sitting quietly here at the waterfront of Nasese Suva, I can hear some noises coming across on the surface of the water telling me that something seems to be dividing up my beloved country Tonga. It seems not only the Churches and leaders are divided but also notable theologians are at odds on the issue as well. THE PEOPLE OF TONGA ON THE WHOLE ARE DIVIDED AND CONFUSED.
Today, I was glad to hear that the King has also contributed to the debates and discussions. There are many who are CONCERNED AND CONFUSED I asked my friend Ufi, what on earth is happening? He said, “it is over an acronym that I do not have the slightest clue as to what it means.” It is called CEDAW. I guess, about 95% of the Tongan population are like my friend ‘UFI, they have no idea. Then I said to myself why on earth is the government so determined to sign up for CEDAW when people do not really know what it is? Why is the government in a hurry to sign and allow such a foreign culture to be established in Tonga? Will it benefit financially from it? How else would Tonga benefit from it?
Theologians speak of “Hermeneutics of Suspicions”. This is a very important tool. It is in the same spirit of what St. Paul says about the discernment of the Spirit, (Cf. 1 Cor. 12/10). Again in Romans 12:2, Paul says “… so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Finally, in his First Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul reiterated “Do not despise the words of the prophets, but TEST EVERYTHING…”(Cf. 1Thess. 5/20-21). Yes indeed, there is an absolute need to “Test everything” to see where they come from. This is a most noble wisdom. It involves reading the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospels and put them into languages that people can understand. It is to see, judge and then act. Perhaps the Tongan wisdom in the proverb “Faifai mālie na’ake paki’i ha lau (lau’i) telie” applies perfectly in the situation.
Therefore, before we accept anything from overseas, to become part of our culture, we must discern, test, investigate, examine and scrutinize everything to see where they come from. Who is behind it? What are its purposes and motivations? And in view of CEDAW will it truly be for the betterment of the Tongan people as a whole, especially that of the women as it claims it to be? If so, what are those benefits? Or nay, it may be a deceptive mantle to continue our subjugation to foreign cultures. Here, we have a noble, dignified, social, theological and biblical method to follow as we discern what is best for Tonga now and for its future.
It is up to the Tongans to judge whether they would wish to be lead by some new cultures unknown to humanity before, but which have just emanated only since the last 30-40 years. CEDAW is part of this New Global Culture designed by the UN, employing the smartest and most talented people in the world. This global cultural revolution took place immediately after the fall of the Berlin wall. New words, paradigms, norms, values, lifestyles, educational methods and governance processes, belonging to a new ethic, spread globally and have by now won the day. This is a novel, subtle and soft form of Colonization, very smart, deliberate and misleading but very effective.
This new-fangled ethical system that we are facing is new in the sense that it is postmodern, relativistic and, in its radical aspects, post-Judeo-Christian. It is, in addition, claims itself to be globally normative: it already rules most of the world’s cultures. The tendency of the majority of intellectuals and decision-makers, including Tonga for that matter, has been to follow the new norms without carefully analysing their origin and implications, while an ever smaller minority has been reactionary. Discernment has not been made. The content of the new culture is not self-evident. Under the guise of a “soft consensus”, the global ethic hides an anti Christian agenda rooted in Western apostasy and driven by powerful minorities at the rudder of global governance since 1989. Ignorance of the real stakes – be they socio-political, cultural or anthropological and theological – is abyssal. The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women established in 1979 and ratified in 1981(CEDAW), which is the subject of the current controversy in Tonga is at the heart of this new global ethical and cultural revolution.
So please all Tongans WAKE UP, as part of this new cultural revolution, CEDAW MAY HAVE ACHIEVED ITS PURPOSE ALREADY – DIVIDE AND RULE. THIS IS THE COLONIAL PRINCIPLE. Tonga is now already divided, Churches and Political Leaders as well as the people. Wake up, wake up and wake up. It may not be as simple and straightforward as some have expressed it “to ensure gender justice and equality.” Gender equality is a loaded and pregnant phrase that is consist of many other things concealed and hidden behind it. These are not known and so obvious to the not so enlightened eyes because they have been intentionally and cleverly designed to disguise its real purposes. There is a hidden agenda behind CEDAW and it has been achieved. Divide up the country, confuse the people, lure the government and then we can rule and take over.
Soon we will fight over rights of women, rights of children, rights of homosexuals, rights of abortion; rights of animals; rights of plants; rights to kill; birth rights; inheritance rights; and et cetera ad infinitum. We will take people to court over these various individualistic rights, something that Tonga may not be prepared for. It is good for the majority of the Tongan people to know that the UN is largely responsible and behind these rights in various conventions. These rights are far removed from the UN Declaration in 1948 and they have not stood the test of time:
- On Women’s rights, 1993;
- Mother’s rights;
- Children’s rights; 1993
- Rights to safe abortion; 1993
- Sexual rights; parental rights; homosexual rights; gay rights; sexual orientations;
- Gender rights; reproductive rights; Cairo 1994
- Rights to development – Millennium development 2000, New York, to name a few.
This is normally referred to as the third generation of Human Rights and they are completely foreign to our cultures but already causing confusions and conflicts. We do not have to accept them, in fact they should not have been imposed on us. They have attempted to DECONSTRUCT (PULL APART) the concept of FAMILY and replace it by “THE FAMILY UNDER ALL ITS FORMS,” so as to leave open the possibility to choose between “diverse forms of family” – such as homosexual or lesbian couples, families with or without children, reconstituted families, single parent families, and so forth. The Good news – it was defeated last year at UN. It did not become a law.
THEY HAVE ALSO DECONSTRUCTED AND DESTROYED GOD’S DESIGN FOR MAN AND WOMAN. Whether we like it or not, we have to fight a postmodern relativistic “enemy.” This enemy is quiet, cultural, soft, disguised, seducing, and seemingly non-threatening. Its practical accomplishment is not oppressive political regimes but the quiet deconstruction of God’s Trinitarian design for man and woman. Then came the murder & death of the father (whom Freud identified as the source of our repression). Then came an unprecedented deconstruction of MOTHERHOOD THROUGH RADICAL FEMINISM. Then pulling apart of VIRGINITY AND OF OUR SPOUSAL IDENTITY through the sexual revolution, the spread of the contraceptive and abortive mentality.
The consequences, this cultural revolution did not bring about liberation and happiness as it promised, but social fragmentation, divorce, loneliness, despair, and suicide. The death of man is the bitter fruit of the “death of God.” The devil is homicidal. Didn’t the Lord say he was a liar and a murderer? He lies and intends to kill. The crucial question is, do we want to establish this new culture in Tonga?
WHAT IS LEFT IN A SOCIETY WITHOUT GOD, WITHOUT FATHERS, WITHOUT MOTHERS, WITHOUT SPOUSES? OR WHAT WOULD BE LEFT IN THE TONGAN SOCIETY WITHOUT GOD, FATHERS, HUSBANDS, WIVES OR MOTHERS WHICH WILL BE REPLACED BY PARTNERS?
The “right to choose,” understood as the freedom of the rebellious individual who seeks to “liberate” himself from the conditions of existence in which God had placed him, has become the cornerstone of a new global ethic. But please note well, this paradigm or model has failed in the West but has been globalized.., watch out!
Love does not spring from citizenship, from rights, from institutions, nor from the conventions or partnerships of global governance. Love comes from God – the very one that modern world has killed. Our brothers and sisters live in a society that has deconstructed fatherhood, motherhood, our spousal identity. Let us help them get back to the father, the mother, the spouse. They are like the Trojan Horse virus. They are eating and deconstructing us slowly from within. We need to wake up. It is our rights to defend ourselves from this aggressive and oppressive cultural threat. This is part of the post-modern and relativistic imperialistic culture, what may be behind the UN attempt to open up Tonga.
WARNING: PLEASE BEWARE, CEDAW MAY NOT BE VALUE FREE. CEDAW MAY NOT BE INNOCENT. It may be deliberate, deceptive and misleading like globalization, Democracy and Human Rights. These so-called values are deliberately forced all over the world as good for all countries and peoples. This is part of the new culture of Relativism, post-modernism and extreme individualism. The recent decision in the USA to legalize marriage between the same sex is an example. Where does that leave marriage and family as the founding social unit and cradle of society? Do we not have any measures in our own culture and religions to ensure justice and equality to our women?
Why do we have to follow the UN? Could this be part of Western cultural imperialism? Sorry some think colonialism and imperialism are over!! Let us sit down and rationally re-look at this instead of being divided over it and condemning one another. We may have already become a laughing stock over this. CEDAW and those behind it may be sitting and laughing their heads out looking at Tongans fighting over this matter. Mission accomplished!!
Not everything that comes from overseas especially from the UN are good for us. It may be helpful and thought provoking to know that the US, the most powerful country in the world like Tonga has not ratified CEDAW. Thus, before we accept it we must test, interpret and scrutinize it inside out to see where it comes from. Is it for the betterment of people or not? Or it may be a deceptive mantle to continue our being harassed and subjugation to foreign cultures. What are their intentions? Why enforce such a foreign culture on us when we have our own? I am reminded of the wisdom of the late Mahatma Ghandi, we need to accept only what is noble and good for us, the rest we can throw them away. In the words also of the late Bishop Patelisio Finau, when someone from Opus Dei wrote to him about starting it in Tonga and he replied to this person saying: “This thing is good for the RUBBISH BIN”.
May God bless Tonga as it tries to grapple with this deceptive mantle. Dialogue, dialogue and dialogue to find out everything before we can accept it or anything else for that matter. And if we accept it, for what motivations? Test to see whether this is from God or not. May we be wise in our final and hopefully well informed decision to accept or not to ratify CEDAW. We need to educate our young generations who have no say in this important matter about this impending colonizing culture. Otherwise they would be like sheep being led into the slaughter house. Finally, we need not condemn anyone or a group of people in this debate as it is the process of finding out the truth whatever it may be.
Fr. Dr. Mikaele Paunga SM