At birth, we come blank and without prejudice, religion or ideologies or like the philosopher puts it, Tabula Rasa. We have no ideas of our own until our senses begin to register the experiences we have in our new world. Initially, we couldn’t formulate any speech and we babbled but the experiences we have with our parents, guardians and environment shape our tongues, we familiarise with the most common tongue and gradually, we begin to use similar words. Our caretakers also have ideal meals and as we move from infancy to adulthood, as we leave the stage of life where the body is less strict on the type of food digestible, we model our diet after the readily visible.
A black child born in Nigeria will not crave for Gingerbread because to begin with, she doesn’t really know what Gingerbread is or what it tastes like. A white child born and bred in the USA can do without Egusi soup and Fufu because he wasn’t brought up with that. Just like our meals and the languages passed down to us, our positions and beliefs in God(s) and religions are the works of those who nurtured us. At birth, we had neither belief nor disbelief in any deity or God. We did not know what theism meant or understood atheism. We never saw the need or came with the innate desire or physiological function for religion, like in hunger, until the religious lines of human interaction was imposed on us. We are Christians because our parents are or were Christians. We are Muslims because our guardians passed down Islam to us as the only truth.
As we age and begin to operate outside the confines of our family’s control fangs, we develop independent thoughts and ideas that often lead to crisis within us. We question everything and most often, the outcome is usually influenced by how much brainwash and independence we allowed and willing to allow. We think of the after effect of our actions and what we stand to lose or gain from those around us and what we stand to gain of ourselves. Will our friends reject us? Will companies let us work with them? Will our girlfriends and wives be comfortable living with the devil? What will the family say? Will we be pelted with stones? Should we ignore the raging fire of hell fire? Aren’t we disrespecting the maker by our new position or thoughts? Are we better off with our new position? At a point in life doubt creeps in but we, contrary to what is logical, often provide illogical grounds for the faith to live long and the consequences have been disastrous. Because the consequence of leaving Religion was negatively heightened we don’t mind burning bridges to protect the interest of our faith.
Politics Controls Everything
Religion poisons one’s mind against other religions. It condemns the faith of people of other religions before tacitly and openly condemning the people of the religion. Religion has been used as a tool by men in power to easily control people. The existence of God(s) wouldn’t wash away all the sins of religion. The Christian child is brought up differently from the Muslim child and told he should be unequally yoked with unbelievers. The Muslim is also brought up by people who tell him to avoid the infidels because they are sinful. In one part of the Koran, Muslims are told to love the followers of the book and in another part; the holy book is talking about dealing with infidels. The Bible talks of loving your neighbour as yourself but also glorifies the rascality of King David.
It is small changes like this that change everything. That small thing we think has no real life consequence is actually the reason the world is the way it is. In childhood, the child’s mind is still unformed and ideas from trusted persons are taken as truth and ideas from those deemed mischievous are never taken to heart. At that young age, the Christian child sees the Muslim child as an enemy and unbeliever and vice versa but this was never the case. Just like racism is passed to innocent children, religion is transferred from one diseased parent to a sterile child. These kids played together and as toddlers there was no discrimination because the idea to discriminate was not there. They played together as teenagers until they knew the religion of one another and stepped back.
Their actions were inspired by the parents who actually got the inspiration from their respective holy books. These books insult the infidel and the unrighteous and admonish believers to follow the example. The unbeliever is a sinner because he does not share the same faith and that implies that by virtue of being outside the faith you are an enemy of God and the enemy of God is an enemy of all. An enemy is been pummelled by a terrorist somewhere right now. Most terrorists today are Muslims but if we want to be honest, we have to dig deep and see what sustained Christianity up to this moment. The inquisitions, the crusades and the dirty politics of Popes, you only need look at Galilee Galileo’s life to see the Christian benevolence. Christian terrorists have had their day (and still covertly terrorise) and today it is the turn of Islamic terrorism and maybe since Islam came about 500 years after Christianity, the terrorists are counting to make sure no one was cheated in the terror business. At every point in time, there are methods to sustain ideologies or they collapse. If not for the crusades and inquisitions Christianity wouldn’t have survived this ‘Renaissance Age’ and Islam just like her brother from the same region is riding on similar privileges.
Some will blame it on people and not the religions (I did) but if we really analyse we are forced to ask, when did God or Gods or the contents of religions’ holy books begin to be civil? Have Gods or God shown enough good behaviour to be termed civilised? The inspirations behind the deaths in the world today were inspired by the Gods and their holy books. Today, Israel does whatever it feels like in Palestine even though the United Nations, UN, have told them to stop on so many grounds. They kill Palestinians pelting them with stones and most times, undergo military drills in Palestinian territory. Despite atrocities they have committed and still commit, the typical Nigerian Christian sees nothing wrong in the killings going on.
To him, Israel are Gods choose people and the Palestinians, who in his ignorant mind are all Muslims, deserve whatever the Israelis give them. He erroneously thinks majority of the Israelis are Christians so he is simply supporting one of his own and because he hates Islam more than every other religion, the enemy of his enemy is his friend. It is not uncommon to see Iran’s Ayotallah Khomeini speak of death to the Israelis. It is a common site to hear Arab Muslims say the existence of Israel is the reason for the chaos in the world and here the Muslim catches the religious fever. The Nigerian Muslim, like his deluded Christian brother, hates the Israelis even though he doesn’t understand anything, he also thinks they are Christian and his competition must be done away with no matter the cost.
hated too but not like his Christian counterpart hates Saudi Arabia but the
Christian sees nothing wrong in America bombing and destroying Middle Eastern
countries. What religion does to us is similar to what racism and class do to
us: division. It breaks us into identical cells and tissues and makes our
specialized organs the agents of systemic failure. What respective religions
are asking for is identities with a unique morality. Goodness is not enough,
what matters is your interpretation of this goodness. Been evil is also only
meaningful outside the corridor of the faith, but once it is done in the name
of the faith, it is not registered as evil. It is God’s work when enemies are
physically challenged. And don’t get it twisted, I believe today’s Christianity
is less aggressive than Islam but at the mental level, the seed of discord and
hate is still in existence. One sees you as an infidel that shouldn’t be
allowed to speak about the faith; the other considers you too spiritually blind
to see even the physical. One sees you a demon for not been with them; the
other attacks you for apostasy. Two sides of the same coin. There are other
religions too and most, if not all, attach salvation with adherents and predict
disdain and sufferance to unbelievers.