The simple reason the majority of people who follow the religions of Christianity and Islam in Nigeria is because they were born into it. Not because they acted independently of familial influence and through research, philosophy and sane experience, found the truth. They were groomed and influenced by their parents who were groomed and influenced by their parents who were groomed and influenced…you get the point. But how did we get here? How did the first Nigerian parents in the brainwashing program receive the information? How do we know that anything is what it is? What makes any concept more important than the other? Why Christianity and Islam and not Buddhism, Hinduism or Ifa or Odinani?
‘History is a fable agreed upon’ is one of the great truths in the history of mankind. The winner tells the story and in the story, the defeated adversary is demonized. The popular often submerges the unpopular and it is easier to believe stories told by the popular than stories told by the unpopular. The most influential influences and controls the less influential and concepts, ideologies, cultures, etc., are easily transferred. In that case, if a group of people who are more powerful comes together, either by force or strong brainwashing and propaganda, there is a great chance of conquering people who are less powerful with less brainwashing tactics and propaganda. They will use persuasion to convince, spice propaganda where necessary and use arms where there is stubbornness.
The mind of man is a hard thing to crack. It is flexible, malleable, unseen but his body, as massive as it is, takes instructions from this entity. The experienced conqueror goes for the mind and in a twisted carrot and stick technique, approaches the body of the element he looks to conquer – some beating here (for the body), some brainwashing there (for the mind), gifts for the body and programming for the mind. He looks forward to conscripting the mind into his army and because the minds of his targets are unsophisticated and project ideas that are loving and wonderful, ideas of rehabilitation and naive ideas, it is easier to fall prey to monsters, witches and warlocks.
After all is said and done, after the mind and body have been tortured and denigrated, after his space has been taken away from him, after every damage to his views and faith before conversion, he becomes the preacher serenading the next generation with the same fire, brainwashing, threats, and even death, as given to him by his master. They threatened him, now he threatens people. They brainwashed him, now he brainwashes people. They destroyed his mind; now he destroys the minds of people. They took his identity and he is doing the same to his minions. Just like his master, the stories, which could have given room for rational discourse has been muddled and rewritten, unfortunately, by him too. The hunted has been made to hunt too. That was how these religions came to us.
Christianity and Islam are not special. What really happened is that, like most religions, they were forcefully passed down the throats of the adherents who sustained them before they got to us. Today, Islam is seen by many as the problem of the world. To begin with, there is nothing special about Islam. Though analysis can be drawn from the lives of its preachers, to look for truth, to look for clarity, to try to understand something, we have to look squarely at the etymology and nature of the thing. We can’t say that a particular law is bad simply because people don’t follow it or because the law enforcement agencies do not abide by it. We have to look at the law itself.
It will be questionable for any student of ethics to call Mohammed, the stature and ‘etymology’ of Islam, a good person. If the world isn’t really messed up, he’d be tied up there at the stake with the Fuhrer of the Third Reich. He passed his ideas the same way but in today’s world, you can’t Heil Hitler in peace. In the Islamic holy book, there are many inconsistencies and immoralities that a little sense of what is right should tell us something is wrong. The prophet and his men went from Medina to Mecca and spread Islam with violence. The blood of dissenters was very necessary for the faith to have lived up to this point. Not only are these events recorded in the Koran, but they are also glorified. If it were reformed a bit like Christianity maybe, like Christianity’s atrocities, the deception will be hard to spot.
Christianity on its own seems more like an elaborate scam. It was obvious to many that the guy in the Old Testament, Yahweh, had some serious mental issues and monstrous, and a new likable guy, Jesus, saved the face in the New Testament. For this reason, it is hard for people to effectively criticize the religion. If we follow the theory of consistency and take into account scriptural passages like ‘I and my Father are One’, it is baffling to relate Jesus with Yahweh. Just like Dawkins wrote, the God of the Old Testament is a bloodthirsty monster who is selfish and proud of it. How can anyone take pride in selfishness? Or is it the bragging in the book of Job?
As humans, we often preach humility and no matter the inventions of men like Steve Jobs and Gates, any trace of egocentrism just slightly above the normal level on their part, will be met with criticism. See how we criticize Donald Trump and among those criticizing him you will find Christians and Muslims. Truth is, you can’t separate Christianity from the Old Testament and irrespective of the goodwill and kindness of Jesus, Yahweh’s immoral actions have destroyed any faith in the religion. This is more like Christian Taqiyya. Sell a monster to the people with a fine face. More like what you get in commercials these days.
And how were these religions passed to us? If they were so solid on their own why did the promoters had to resort to violence? Today, when terrorists strike, Christians talk about the uncivil nature of Islam but they also forget that they have a lot in common with Islam. They had the same thing. Islam was spread by sword and Christianity was also spread by the sword. Today, we have Muslim terrorists just like the Christian terrorists in the past (who hide in plain sight today). Islam killed, Christianity killed. Islam is crude and so is Christianity. The main difference between Christianity and Islam is the calm of Jesus and the violent personality of Mohammed and that too, like fables agreed upon, could be a work of fiction. How can a son be so different from the father and they are one?
Before Christianity, there was Odinani in Igboland which encapsulated the tradition, culture and religion of the Igbo people. Chukwu or Chineke was number one. There was the Ifa religion in Yorubaland which encapsulated the spiritual aspect of the people, their cultures and traditions and Orunmila as the Grand Priest. Get this: in as much as I don’t see anything special in the religions of Christianity and Islam, I also do not see how the religious or cultures of our forefathers were number one. And by special, I imply more important, holier, greater, better, etc., in that order, than those of others. Religions are just simply attempts at exploring other realities to give meaning to life.
From the little advancements we have made in Quantum Mechanics and Noetic Sciences it is safe to say that man evidently has another part of him that connects him to another reality, another dimension, what today’s esoteric philosophers call the Astral Plane. If we consider the fact that the mind is not the body and that it is beyond what happens in the brain, then it would be safe to say that we can reach another reality by a projection of the mind. This is what, I think, our father’s religion and other religions, including Christianity and Islam, are trying to achieve. Most religions strive for this but because men are greedy, scared of going extinct and mischievous, at a point in the life of most religions, they were hijacked by men who embody these characters.
Jesus could be just a random guy preaching the elevation of this part of us and our storytellers who define history for selfish interests would be seeing business opportunities. Basically, the point of all these pseudosciences is that these two religions that have divided Nigerians and Nigeria shouldn’t be in existence if people really do a conscious search for the truth. The truth is we know nothing. It is usually heartbreaking and unusually soothing to read of African American brothers like Garvey, King, Douglas, and X, speak with inspiration from these faiths that tortured them. But, well, that is proof that we can always make something good out of the very worst of situations but, honestly speaking, it is also a fine reference to the mental cages of the carrot and stick.
Christianity came to Nigeria through deceit and violence the same way Othman Dan Fodio brought Islam to the area known today as Northern Nigeria. After Africa was shared in the Scramble For Africa to establish ‘order’ in the slavery market, they came to Nigeria with guns, roses, and the Bible. They destroyed and stole artifacts and had priests and missionaries whose jobs, either knowingly or unknowingly, were to massage the pain inflicted on their victims. When flogged look up to Jesus. When raped trust in Jesus. When killed just know that there is a place called heaven for people like you. For the caliphate the story was similar. Allah knows better in everything but in the matter of who owns the land, it is left for the superior race doing the invasion, the Fulani, to decide.
If the roles were reversed and we had the resources of Europe, today they will be worshipping our Gods and putting up the same energy we expend in defending them. If it were the Indians who colonized us and gave us the same package, today we will be singing Hindu praises in the worship of Vishnu. You see, modern religion is all about packaging and good marketing. How much are you willing to sell? How far are you willing to go? The few ones that we ought to really fancy are those that suggest self and health improvement, not the ones that are about hate, suffering, and pain like Christianity and Islam sold to us. If we must buy something we can find inside-outside, it must have better quality. Why buy stone rice if I can have stone-free rice?