Testing The Volcano Goddess
December 9, 2015
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While I was eating my lunch the other day, I came across a Christian blog post in which the author complains about something called Pele’s Curse. This is a belief among Hawaiians that anyone who steals any lava rocks from the volcanos of Hawaii will draw forth the wrath of Pele, the Polynesian volcano Goddess. Apparently, many tourists like to remove such rocks and take them back with them to the continental States as souvenirs. And sure enough, most of these people end up sending the rocks back to Hawaii, along with letters of apology that are often written to Pele Herself. In the letters, the tourists explain that they have had terrible luck since taking the lava rocks home, and I’m not just talking about missing keys here. We’re talking house fires, divorces, deaths in the family, that kind of stuff. Things so bad that even people who don’t really believe in Pele are willing to entertain the possibility and show Her some respect.
Of course, the author of this blog post – along with the people in the comments section – laments the fact that anyone would be so foolish as to believe in such “rubbish.” (The idea that a Polynesian Goddess might want Her rocks back is just completely nonsensical when compared to the idea of a carpenter rising from the dead and flying into the sky, isn’t it?) The thing is, experts do seem to think that the story of Pele’s Curse is a twentieth century innovation that only dates back to the 1940s (at the very latest). It possibly originates from a native park ranger who was really ticked off about tourists taking the rocks; but even if this is true, it doesn’t mean there isn’t any truth to the story. The ranger could have been a Pele worshiper; and even if he wasn’t, She could still have used him as a progeny for Her cause. I don’t know if Pele is really pissed off by people stealing Her lava rocks or not, but I’ll tell you this much: I certainly wouldn’t take them, and there are many other people who have but will never do so again.
It’s amazing to me that people can be so close-minded as to think others are ridiculous while failing to see how their own views can be equally so. If you’ll allow me to exhibit my own personal bias for a moment, this right here is just one more reason why I think polytheism is the most objective and intellectually honest form of theism there is. If I believe in something I can’t prove, I’m not going to ridicule others for believing in things they can’t prove either. I will, however, criticize them for talking down to people and treating them hypocritically. I think the author of the aforementioned blog post should go to Hawaii, take a lava rock, and see what happens. I think that would be very interesting to see.