How we cite our quotes:
"It would only be blasphemy to say [the gods] don't exist if they were real." (4.239)
Mau verbally punches Ataba right in the faith again here. And you know, he kind of has a point. If a god falls in the forest, and no one is around to swear at it, is it really real?
[The people] were lost, and they wanted their gods. (7.17)
No one can explain the tragedy that befell the islands, so the people blame it on the gods—and yet they still turn to the gods for comfort and guidance. This sounds a lot like—bear with us here—an abusive relationship: first they give you candy and tell all the best stories, and then they smack you around a little to teach you a lesson.
Please give us a simple answer, so that we don't have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don't fit the way we want the world to be. (7.149)
Mau's putting himself in the minds of his people, trying to figure out why they want gods. But… he's a little condescending and presumptive about it. We're not loving this side of Mau, so it's nice that he seems to mellow out by the end of the novel.