Too much religion, too little spirituality

The other day I was having a conversation with a female friend of mine. It was a Sunday, and naturally she asked if I had done much with my day. I told her I hadn’t even stepped out the house and then came the second question. She now wanted to know if I went to a church service. I told her I didn’t and that was were our argument started. She said she would only marry a God fearing man and I asked her what that had to do with attendance in church.

Nigeria is an overly religious nation and if I dare say it, this is one of the biggest issues we face as far as social progression is concerned. Can you believe that on a road in Benin City I was able to count 16 churches in 1km. That is to say Usain Bolts would run past 16 churches in under two minutes in this city. But for all this presence of God in Benin there are very few cities in Nigeria as dangerous as this one. If we cannot accept anything else, let us at least accept that the current religious scene in Nigeria is marked with hypocrisy. How do we explain being one of the most religious countries in the world and also one of the most corrupt? An oxymoron if I ever saw one.

I have no problem with people believing whatever it is that soothes their soul, but when ideas drawn from these belief systems start to affect others then it become a problem. I will give an example. Earlier this year a law was passed to send homosexuals in Nigeria to prison for 14 years. Sadly, as I expected this was greeted with cheers by Nigerians on the premise that it was termed an abomination in the bible. This is the questions I pose to these so called Christians: What would Jesus do? Is the fundamental philosophy of being a Christian not being Christ-like? I cannot tell you for certain what Jesus would have done, but I am certain he wouldn’t lock anyone up for 14years. That in itself is immoral and if you support such measure of marginalisation then you are part of the Nigerian problem.

And when did religious grounds become valid for law making in a secular state? We were all up in arms with Yerima’s insinuation of child marriage on religious grounds, but when it suited our agendas we were all happy to accept religion as grounding for law making. And why stop at anti-gay laws, how about anti-adultery laws, laws against fornication,….did you know that the bible also regards eating shrimp to be an abomination in Leviticus! Where are the state laws to regulate these sins, or have we decided to pick and choose because it is easy to accept restrictions that do not restrict us. If you are a man and have watched girl-on-girl porn then you aren’t even qualified to have a negative opinion on homosexuality. For as long as religion has existed men have bent and twisted it to suit our needs and that is all that is happening in Nigeria today. I will stop here before I go into essay mode and rant on, but you can expect more posts of this nature. We need to drop this religious charade and get into the habit of learning to respect others even if we have clashing spiritual ideologies. It is almost as if the average Nigerian cannot comprehend that someone else can have a different idea of life to theirs, like we have some sort of monopoly of the truth.