Just before leaving for Bali, I read a post over at Pharyngula that said an Indonesian secularist got into trouble by posting atheist thoughts on a Facebook page.
I reached out to you all and asked for recommendations.
To be fair, part of me wanted to blog while gone, but the other part wanted to take a break. I knew I wanted to blog pictures for my pro website, but possibly not here.
So when some of you recommended staying off, I thought it was validation enough to take a break. Then I asked if any of you wanted the blog while I was gone, and I was excited that George took to the call. He did a great job.
Check’s in the mail, Gee Dub!
Before leaving, my dad sent me a map and a movie about Indonesia. Part of the map is pictured above. Of course I looked over it before I left, but nothing really prepares you for something like experience. And then after experience, these kinds of things make more sense.
Over on the left, there is a line that reads, “State ideology: Pancasila.” I had to look up the word Pancasila, and the wiki link is helpful. It says this:
Pancasila (pronounced [pantʃaˈsila]) is the official philosophical foundation of the Indonesian state. Pancasila consists of two Old Javanese words, “pañca” meaning five, and “sīla” meaning principles. It comprises five principles held to be inseparable and interrelated:
- Belief in the one and only God, (in Indonesian, Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa).
- Just and civilized humanity, (in Indonesian, Kemanusiaan Yang Adil dan Beradab).
- The unity of Indonesia, (in Indonesian, Persatuan Indonesia).
- Democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations amongst representatives (in Indonesian, Kerakyatan Yang Dipimpin oleh Hikmat Kebijaksanaan, Dalam Permusyawaratan dan Perwakilan)
- Social justice for all of the people of Indonesia (in Indonesian, Keadilan Sosial bagi seluruh Rakyat Indonesia)
Indonesia is primarily muslim, and in that regard, one and only God refers to Allah, but they also include some Christians and then Bali, which is Hindu. Somehow Indonesia is able to reconcile polytheism with the state credo of monotheism.
It makes no sense to me either. In the article at wiki, it talks about some of the criticism of this statement. But that’s not my point.
When in Rome …
Basically, what it did for me was double validate that writing on an atheist blog might not be in my best interest while in Indonesia.
You might be scratching your head right now wondering, why am I writing all this?
Well, I’ll tell you.
Look over on the right side of the shot above. It reads, “Historical Highlights: an Ancient Land, a Young Nation.”
Beneath that, it talks about Indonesia reaching its fingers back into history close to a million years with the discovery of the skull, teeth and femur of the Java Man or “Pithecanthropus erectus”.
Yes, yes, yes, we all understand that there is some controversy about this discovery. But let’s look at this from another perspective.
Here is a Muslim nation that has no problem embracing a scientific theory that man evolved from another primate. In a part of the map not pictured, it talks about how humans and apes share 99.9% of their genetic information.
Do you read what I’m writing?
Those poor, third-world, backwards Indonesian idiots accept science.
These ignorant, sex-loving, chest beating, elaborately dressed, culture-loving morons think the world and universe is millions and billions of years old and not 6,000 to 10,000 years old.
These pathetic, ignoramuses understand the concept of evolution better than 63% of smart, brilliant, better-than-thou, pompous, greedy, first-world Americans!
It must be the devil, because there can’t be any other explanation for a country with a saturation of plants and animals that are found nowhere else on earth. Indonesia is a treasure trove of evolutionary brilliance. And, if what I understand to be true really is true, I’m thrilled to see Indonesia embrace history over myth in this instance.