Letters to the editor – 4/22/15
Taste of faith
Thanks to professor Jay Sakashita for great insights in his column, “Noshing On The Food-Faith Connection.” It reinforces what should be obvious to all: What you eat and the religion you follow have almost everything to do with where in the world you are born. Few wars are fought over food. So what is it about religion that makes so many people hateful of other religions and ready to kill for their faith?
I usually enjoy Bob Jones’ weekly column, but I totally disagree with one of the statements in his column “Two Hot Situations on the
Big Island,” when he says, “The claim that Mauna Kea is sacred doesn’t carry much weight with those of us who like to study mythology but don’t carry its baggage into the 21st century.”
In making his denigrating statement, he first ignores that all religions are based on myth — the myths surrounding their first adherents and the ancient myths upon which they were built.
The sacred scriptures of all religions evolved over time and were based on older myths. The Qur’an draws some of its imagery from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. The Christian Bible leans heavily on the Hebrew Scriptures which draw from Egyptian, Akkadian, Hittite, Ugarite, Assyrian and Babylonian myths and texts.
Mr. Jones’ second error is that he believes that ancient myths and beliefs have no place in modern society. Yet the liturgical cycles of the monotheistic religions owe much of their practice to the cycles of life celebrated in story, dance and song by ancient “pagans.” Those ancient accounts and sacred places have a lot to tell us about life. No era in the history of this world has been perfect. Yet, the mana, that sacred spiritual power that flows from ancient beliefs and places, offers those who believe in them a way of experiencing the divine and living a holy life.
Herman Ka‘imiloa Marciel
The real steel
Regarding Bob Jones’ well-placed sentiments toward respectfully mentioning the musicians accompanying hula at Merrie Monarch, it also would be suitable to hear the Hawaiian steel guitar backing the contestants on more than the extremely rare occasion. In fact, it’s virtually never heard. While steel has fallen hard in recent decades, through no fault of its own, it is indigenous to the Islands, is the most expressive of all stringed instruments, and still represents the Sound Of Hawaii as it did for 50 years during local music’s Golden Era, and helped put Hawaii on the map when it really mattered. Please, let’s hear it!
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