"I am inclined to think that so far as the relative wickedness of the parties is concerned, four or five Marquesan Islanders sent to the United States as Missionaries might be quite as useful as an equal number of Americans dispatched to the Islands in a similar capacity."

This quote comes in the middle of Chapter 17. With it, Melville argues that the Polynesian natives are just as appropriate as missionaries as Christian ones. This comment is an affront to all Christian believers who think that their faith is the true faith. Melville particularly seeks to ridicule the groups of missionaries who he sees as being so harmful to native cultures. For Melville, many natives live according to the guidelines of Christian conduct better than most Christians, because they fully embrace the concepts of honesty and generosity as Christ says one should. Because natives understand how to be humane to one another, something that many Europeans do not, they should be the missionaries not the other way away. Melville finds the European missionaries less helpful, since they primarily focus on destroying native sexual practices and making natives wear clothes, entirely purposeless endeavors.