Mauna Kea 

Astronomy is a deep and passionate interest of mine. It has captivated me since I was a small child gazing at stars up until I was a scruffy looking postdoc receiving a PhD certificate in astrophysics. I'm saying this so you'll understand where I'm coming from when I say – the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) needs to be built somewhere else. They need to leave Mauna Kea alone.

There are many other places to build telescopes, and it's inexcusable that US authorities are doing their best to sweep Native Hawaiian voices under the rug. I want no part in this. Nor should anyone with even a shred of compassion.


Mauna Kea 

I think a big problem is that people of European descent have no analogous sacred places.

For example, a Japanese friend of mine was confused about the situation in Hawaii, so I explained it to her like this – "How would you feel if people came to Japan from some other part of the world and decided to construct a huge building on top of Mount Fuji?" She immediately understood completely, without me needing to say more. In Japan, Fuji-san is sacred among both Buddhists and Shintoists.

But there are no such sacred locations in Western worldviews. As a result, people of European descent have no way to truly empathise with the Hawaiians. Where the Hawaiians see a sacred site and a symbol of their culture, all Europeans see is a big mountain.

Mauna Kea, religion, cop worship I guess 

Jerusalem? The Pope's house? The Notre dame? The whole countries worth of white people would be protesting uf they tried bulldozing a cop memorial .

Mauna Kea, religion, cop worship I guess 

@cuttlefish thing about that is that they're all artificial, rather than a natural place/entity given value beyond our history with it.

the modern western abandonment of the very notion of sacred material things and spaces is a huge problem even when considered within christianity, but even where christian civilization remembers the existence of sacrament that sacrament is never intuitively, implicitly understood in the absence of human artifact.

Mauna Kea, religion, cop worship I guess 

@cuttlefish "never" may be a bit too far - i know at least one orthodox priest who's made it his life's work to raise that awareness within christian theology, and the old testament (psalms, job, genesis) is pretty clear on this topic.

but a combined fear of liberal-darwinist-antihumanism-etc. and overzealous fear of "idolatry" inherited from the protestant reformation is still a stumbling block for many in my experience.

Mauna Kea, religion, cop worship I guess 

@carcinopithecus @cuttlefish I can think of this: (I'm talking specifically about the small original cave, not the theme park the Church seems to have built around it...)

It's the only non-human-built sacred place that I know of for European Christians, but at least there seems to be one. If someone proposed building something on it, they'd absolutely revolt, just like the Hawaiians

Mauna Kea, religion 

@jon_valdes that's still more "this is sacred because the mother of god chose this place to appear to this person" (and directed the building of the church), rather than "this place itself is sacred", but reading more on mauna kea i'm starting to think the distinction i'm making is inappropriate here.

in that case i can definitely think of analogous places in eastern orthodoxy and i'm sure the catholics have more too:

Mauna Kea 

@InvaderXan this is true. I was reading about people climbing Uluru and the Aboriginal Australians asking them not to, but white Australians are just like "you didn't build it." Like the only reason you'd respect something is if it were private property

Mauna Kea 

@interneteh Yeah, this is exactly the kind of mentality which is the problem. πŸ˜•

Mauna Kea 

@InvaderXan This is only true for the last 100 years or so. Since the birth of Christ the Western landscape was a sacral topography, in which, e.g., the Way of the Cross has been locally re-enacted, in which the cycle of the year was joined w/ & understood through the lithurgical year, structuring time & space according to the biblically revealed salvation. There were the relics, being the presence of the sacred at a specific point in space; pilgrim paths ... all structuring the land.

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