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How Religion Underdevelopednigeria (3) - Religion - Nairaland

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How Religion Underdevelopednigeria (3) by oluwashaddow(m): 10:17am On Jan 05, 2014
In fact, despite the hysterical shibboleths
of sycophants, broad sections of
Nigerians believe, correctly, I am afraid,
that President Jonathan’s administration
is among the most corrupt since
independence. If religion were a force in
fostering good leadership, Nigeria would
have been the greatest country in the
world, even surpassing the United States,
given her incredible human and
material resources and clement weather
conditions.
Accordingly, outward show of religiosity
by our leaders does not have appreciable
positive impact – probably they are
pretending in order to deceive gullible
Nigerians. I am not surprised that
President Jonathan’s religious
devotedness has not really helped him
fight corruption and indiscipline
effectively, because reliance on
supernatural assistance for exemplary
leadership tends to discourage critical
and creative thinking that can generate
valid solutions to the problem of
haphazard development. That said, the
Islamic and Christian clergy currently
hobnobbing with Mr. President,
governors and so on are mostly cash-
and-carry “men of God” only interested
in boosting their bank accounts and
prestige. Prominent imams and pastors
supported the odious regimes of military
dictators, just as President Jonathan is
receiving unalloyed backing from
prominent pastors. Considering the
closeness of our failed leaders to
sycophantic pastors and imams, the
latter appear to have connived with the
former to impoverish the people more
and more since they do not want to lose
the benefits and privileges they enjoy
being close to the corridors of power.
Ideally, religious leaders should be bold
in speaking out against injustice,
corruption, and impunity in
government. In our own case, fawning
members of the clergy are
pusillanimous; they pretend that “it is
well,” and continuously ask Nigerians to
pray for their leaders. The only prayer
our leaders deserve, if indeed there is a
God that answers prayers, is the request
that those guilty of corruption and
incompetent leadership should be
afflicted with protracted terrible and
incurable diseases that will prevent them
from enjoying their ill-gotten wealth.
Looking at the main theme from a
different angle, on the strength of
Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution
which prohibits adoption of a state
religion, Nigeria is often referred to as a
secular state. But it is more accurate to
describe the country as a multi religious
society, judging by the overarching
influence of religion in all aspects of our
national life.
People hardly realise that the billions of
naira flowing out of the country for
government-sponsored pilgrimages and
religious tourism could have been put to
better use in education, health and
general infrastructural development. If
Nigeria were indeed a secular society,
why should the federal and state
governments be involved in financing
and organising pilgrimages to purported
holy lands outside Nigeria? What is the
benefit of wasting public resources in a
matter that should be more
appropriately handled by the intending
pilgrims and private organisations? The
way I see it, going to Jerusalem,
Bethlehem, and Mecca for religious
purposes is a waste of energy and
resources. For, assuming that Jehovah or
Allah is omnipresent as the faithful
claim, what is the point in spending vast
sums of money in holy pilgrimages, with
the risks associated with air travel, since
the supreme being can be worshipped
anywhere? If God can answer a sincere
believer in my village, Ishi-Owerri, what
is the need for travelling to the Middle
East? Another issue to consider is the
debilitating effects of Christian and
Islamic doctrines on the intellect,
especially on children and the youth
generally. The scriptures of both
religions contain numerous absurd
propositions that can only be accepted
with blind faith. Unquestioned belief in
virgin birth, resurrection, existence of
angels, hell fire and paradise, for
example, is based solely on faith, not on
scientific evidence. Thus, it is regarded
as a sign of piety for believers to be
indifferent to the question of truth
concerning these articles of faith. The
negative consequence of this attitude is
that believers hardly try to justify their
religious doctrines with sound argument;
the more violent ones among them
readily resort to violence against those
who refuse to believe what believers
believe dogmatically.
The best one gets from most religious
devotees is the sanctimonious fallacious
argument that one ought to believe
everything in The Holy Bible or The Holy
Koran because doing so is socially useful
or encourages ethical conduct. It must be
remarked that oftentimes people have
already accepted the fundamental
principles of morality on purely
mundane grounds before citing relevant
religious texts as justification. That is to
say, they have a theology based on their
conception of what is right and what is
wrong, and not the other way round.
Dogmatic assurance of the truth of
Christianity and Islam has done
incalculable harm to the cognitive and
affective faculties of Nigerian youths.
Think of all the hocus pocus about sin,
miracles and supernatural interventions
preached several days in a week from
different pulpits in all the churches
nationwide; consider the fiery
admonitions of fanatic imams to the
faithful on the need for martyrdom in
the cause of Allah. It is almost impossible
to discuss rationally the difficult
challenges of contemporary Nigeria with
the average Nigerian without the latter
expressing total reliance on the
inexorability of divine intervention in
the fullness of time.
A generation fed continuously with the
diet of religious superstition, as is the
case presently, can hardly incubate the
critical mass of creative and bold minds
capable of generating imaginative ideas
and implementing them for positive
social transformation. Devotion to the
teachings of Islam and Christianity,
usually distorted by power-hungry,
sexually perverted materialistic
preachers and evangelists, leads to
cognitive dissonance and all sorts of
mental disorientation. Pentecostal
churches are the biggest culprits in this
respect, because the general overseers,
by relentlessly regurgitating falsehoods
and uncorroborated accounts of miracles
that never took place, disconnect
millions of their followers from the real
world, many of whom suffer severe
mental torture bordering on insanity as
a result.
Moreover, there is compelling evidence
that many pastors and imams use
diabolical means to strengthen and
consolidate their entrapment of
prominent church members. Thousands
of gullible Nigerians have given away
billions in cash and property to wily
demagogues and criminals
masquerading as men and women of
God. Countless others have been
rendered useless by greedy and wicked
religious preachers who readily exploit
the existential fears and gullibility of
people to extort money and property
from them. It is impossible to forget
those that lost their means of livelihood
and whose families are destroyed simply
because they succumbed completely to
the sugary banalities of lunatic
demagogues in religious garments. What
about sincere worshippers who died
while under the illusion that they are
doing God’s work, and believers that
refused to seek medical help on time or
take their medication due to unshakable
trust in God’s alleged miraculous healing
powers?
To be continued.
copied from osundefender

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