Religion And The Nigerian

By Ikenga Chronicles October 1, 2019

Religion And The Nigerian

–By Onyemaechi Ogbunwezeh

Religion, like every epistemic or conceptual tool invented by the human mind, remains an instrument.

It can be a tool for both good, noble aspirations as well as the darkest atavisms native to the human mind.

Men never do evil more zealously or more willingly than when they do it in the name of deity.

Religions most times shows you the moral imbecility of every spiritual aristocracy! That is why most religions are dens of robbers; swindlers paradise; or palaces of impious neurosis, peddling jeremiads against iniquities they themselves frolic in.

Bolaji Idowu railed against the Priestcrafts of every religion in the third page of his Opus Magnus: African Traditional Religion- A Definition.

Religion is capable of inspiring the human mind to acts of edifying nobility. Some of the most wonderful hymns attesting to human ingenuity were antiphons or psalmodies dedicated to deity. Some of the greatest architectural masterpieces of ancient times were engineered to the praise and worship of deity; be it transcendental imaginaries or personality cults.

I wonder if anyone could ever understand this ambiguity of religion been a citadel of nobility and a den of robbers, without understanding Freud!

In spite of its claims to divine origin, religion is a human invention. It is a projection of every human need, aspiration, desires, and propensities, clothed with metaphysic, and elevated to the ontological level. It is a cultural product. One sees that in the fact that it can be an oasis of historical dregs; as well as a vortex and whirlpool of the infinite potentiality of the human mind to invent iniquity. Richard Francis Burton summarized it well, when he said

“The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.”

We can always unfurl the inquisitorial flags of genocidal atrocity in god’s name. We can genocide a people out of existence at our god’s command, without qualms of conscience. We can burn women at stake for religious reasons. We can genocide their clitorises out of existence because some god or goddess said so. We can hate our neighbor in God‘s or Allah‘s or Buddha‘s name. We can baptise children of those, whose lands we are about to steal and smash their heads on rocks, as a religious duty. Just like Pizzaro and his horde of buccaneers did to the incas of South America. We can steal people’s land in a colonial land-grab; murder those who dared resist our land-grab, and put the rest in an Apartheid-like conditions of existence, which subjects them to a genocide-by-installment, all because the god of Israel promised us the land. We can sell tickets to our lynching of black people in our churches on sunday and still sing Hallelujah choruses to the gods of our neurosis. We can cheerlead the murder of six million jews because some christian theology labeled them as christ-killers. We can commit atrocities on those who do not believe our version of superstition because our Quran label led them as infidels. We have already burnt those we called heretics at stake because a Papal Bull empaneled Holy and neurotic sadists to that effect. We have also inaugurated the Trans-Atlantic slave trade with the christian offices of Popes and their Bulls. We have established misogyny and denigration of women all under religious auspices.

What manner of evil have we not committed or excused in the name of our various religions and superstitions?

In fact in such cases, religion becomes a balm to soothe our consciences, when we are sinning to our heart’s content.
We use religion to crucify the divine voice of conscience in us, when we are committing evil.

Examples are legion!

Take a look at Saul’s genocidal expedition against the Amalekites. The fact that he genocided a people out of existence, was not problematic for the prophet Nathan, who was supposed to be God’s mouthpiece. Nathan’s problem was not human blood spilled. It was not innocent children murdered or women defiled. It was not men killed for nothing. The only concern of this prophet; this spokesman for deity; his only problem was that Saul stole some choice oxen and other animals for himself.

So for those who thought that only Buhari loves cows more than human beings, just know that this Hebrew prophet, was more concerned about Oxen than about the murder committed in the name of his deity.

Have you ever considered Muhammad’s or the Quran’s declaration of war against the infidels? It is one of the darkest explosion of murderous atavism ever recorded.

Here, the impious neurosis of religion was on full display. The spectacle is nothing but unadulterated evil. Qur’an 4: 89 reads “If they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them”
The Sahih al Burkhari 84: 57 commanded “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him”.

And so many others.

In these cases, religion removed the veils of its pretensions to holiness and nobility; and the world saw its rotten core, as an edifice constructed for a primitive acquisition of power and privilege. Little wonder Bolaji Idowu, lamented in his book, African Traditional Religion, about the Priestcraft of every religion and the hoax that its pretensions are.

Do you wanna take a look at the Papal Bulls authorizing the inquisition and the crusades? This is the greatest act of religious shame ever written in blood.

Black slaves were compelled to baptise their children in the White man’s religions in the South because they were erroneously made to believe that once baptised that their children would be free since in “Christ, there were no Jews or Gentiles, no freeborn or slaves” as St. Paul wrote in his epistles. Little were they to know that scarcely could you can baptize many a child on a Sunday, than he is resold into slavery and separated from you forever on a Monday.

Does it bear repeating that Africans were primarily not seduced by sound and noble theologies of Christianity or Islam? No they were forced to convert with swords dangling on their necks or as they faced the speaking ends of the conquerors guns.

Do I need to emphasize that our ancestors met Jesus on the stinking and dehumanizing holds of slave ships? That God of mercy and compassion looked the other way as our ancestors were raped and plundered and fed to the fishes during the middle passage. Our people succumbed to the White man’s guns, not to his gods.

The ambiguity of the Nigerian approach to the Abrahamic religion are all rooted in this history, which is lost to the younger generation.

The amphitheater of African gods was an egalitarian democracy. We had no single deity that claims to be the creator of everything and who as a jealous god should be given all the pieces of meat or drops of our libations. Nope. In the African setting, If Ogwugwu does not hearken to my supplications; I will take my foul and libation next time to Amadioha or to Agbala and so on.

But we were assaulted and conquered by people’s, who came bearing their Allah and Jehovah; both competing monotheisms, with each claiming to be a jealous God that we should bend our knees in subservience to.

And our world fell apart. The gods of our birth and unfolding then disinherited us; paving the way for our being brainwashed with all the pathological neurosis of imported gods.

That is why we can steal swearing on the Bible and the Koran but are fearful of swearing by our local gods. Ask Chris Ngige what he was looking for at Okija.

The most odious dimension of Nigerian religiosity is that it confers on Nigerians the infinite propensity to endure evil. Buhari is sodomizing them without vaseline; instead of rising up to reclaim their mandate and show the tyrant his boundaries; they go to church to start chanting prayer for Nigeria in distress.

This religiosity canonizes a sheepish mindset as holiness. It elevates ignorance to the ontological level; and confirms stupid appreciation of reality over and above a critical, scientology’s-technical rationality.

This is one of the reasons why at 59 years of Independence, Nigeria remains an open sore on the conscience of the African continent!

Gwazia ndi yard unu!