To say in the affirmative that religion is a curse is to intelligently throw out the bath water, the bathtub, and the baby all together. What hasn’t been abused by man in the real sense of the word ‘abuse’? Think of it, is it drug, food, money, or our environment? And to crown it all, man has also perfected how to abuse man. Or isn’t that the basis of child abuse? So with what side of the brain do we now categorize money, man, food as a curse?
In the words of Abu’l-Ala-Al-Ma’arri (973-1057), a Syrian Poet, “The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.” His brilliant articulation and classification finds deep and absolute expression in the Nigerian society most especially the former. Over here lack, destitute, poverty and ignorance has partially wiped out the space to marry intellect with religion if not totally.
It’s quite understandable that the level of lack, hunger and ignorance has been solely responsible for the total dependence on the divine for the most mundane things of life. It is here that we essentially have to pray that our roads be fixed, when God himself has abundantly provided all that we need in terms of natural resources to fix them. It’s here that you have to pray that your rights as a citizen come to you on time and in right proportion. In this part of the world, we only haven’t perfected how to abuse man, we’ve also learnt to abuse God, too.
There’s this old saying that says that when the knowledge of a things is lost or deficient, the abuse of that thing is out rightly inevitable. Anyone who must use a drug and get the desired result must be willing to abide by the terms and condition of prescription administered by the pharmacist. It’s so easy to lazily blame religion for the backwardness in our nation or the inability of people to stay true to what they claim to believe. Wait and think, how many of those who claim to belong to one religion or the other actually know the basics of such religion, and how many have thwarted and amended the tenets of their religion for personal gain?
The Bible and the Koran are the two religious books that has its tenets well documented. I’m yet to see any compiled book or document that compiles the tenets of any of our local deity be it Ifa, Orunmila or Amadioha.
“My point of view is this, and I sincerely care less if you regard it as radical. Both camps would get a lot from reading their religious book as far as they don’t murder its interpretation in any way. If Islamist scholars are saying that Islam doesn’t in anyway support the killing of innocent people in God’s name, then it shows that some people are getting things twisted somewhere.
Yeah many Christians actually love the bible, though till date many only use it as a guide, well placed under the pillow. But how many actually read or know what it truly says? Many just carry these things around and probably feel that carrying and claiming to know what it entails is more fanciful than reading it.
It’s so very uncalled for to say that one religion is more perfect than the other or say that the good things in Nigeria were done by a particular religion as Sheik Gumi pointed out during the course of the week. To be candid, both religions are well represented in the group of charlatans who have brought big setbacks to this nation.
Do well to join me as we discuss other angles to this topic in my next column.
But till then if you must practice religion, be truth to yourself and the tenets of your faith. Also learn to respect the other fellow’s religion.
Do have a nice weekend!
#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on www.omojuwa.com every Saturday.
‘Lanre Olagunju blogs @ www.larigold.blogspot.com
Tweets @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter.
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