It’s a Sunday and time for me to try to be naughty again. I like nothing more than to needle the religious, most especially on this holy day; but the lazy bug kind of got a hold of me today.
Until I went online, that is; and followed the debate in the comments section of a picture posted on Facebook. Aside the obvious stark contrast in how the religious and non religious answer questions and explain themselves; the biggest theme I picked up on which got me out of my stupor to write is how vehemently a bunch of Africans were defending the religion imposed on us by those who once oppressed us.
It is no secret that a large swathe of this continent is illiterate and not exactly that high on the thinking plane. Aside that; even those who get formal education to a high level often never learn anymore than they need to keep passing their exams. We loathe reading so much we learn virtually little aside from what we are told in the classroom; leaving a large portion that are ‘educated’ in classroom knowledge, but lost to the rest of the wonders the world has to offer.
This problem, coupled with the obvious deference to authority drilled into an African child from a young age, and centuries of colonial oppression and degradation of the African leads to a big problem. Lack of critical thinking skills, inability to challenge authority, and centuries of colonialism establishing an inferior mentality; has resulted in the rampant inferiority complex we still exhibit today, decades after the last African nation threw off the shackles of colonialism.
And the obvious, the biggest manifestation of this rotten way of thinking resides in our wholesale acceptance of the outsiders religion; Christianity and Islam. All over the continent local customs and practices have eroded to the point of being non-existent; and everyone has become an expert on the Bible or the Quran.
So whilst Europe, which did more for the spread of Christianity than the early apostles could ever have dreamed of, moves towards secularism, the continent who received the religion from them continues to embrace it more. Whilst most Europeans would scoff at anyone who denies evolution or the age of the earth, and maintain bible stories such as the creation myth and Noah’s Ark are merely allegorical; one would get scoffed at in Africa for exactly the opposite.
The creation myth, the purpose of this so far winding piece. Whilst it’s practically fact that our species originated from Africa and spread to the rest of the world, most Africans wholeheartedly believe they originated from a Middle Eastern couple named Adam and Eve who lived in a garden with a talking snake, and that they got banished from the garden for eating an apple. Because sadly, taking the Bible literally is the norm here, and suggesting otherwise would get you laughed out of the room.
Why are we so adamant to discard the discoveries of science for a two thousand old book full of regurgitated mythologies? Why would we prefer a story that infers an omnipotent deity could find no better way for his creation to repopulate than twice through incest, than for the one that celebrates the sheer will of the species to survive an inhospitable world that tried its best to get rid of them?
So it seems to me that if we want our belief systems to fly in the face of all that has been discovered by science, it speaks to a deeply ingrained inferiority complex that we cannot get rid of.
Of course, there are many other reasons humans continue to cling to religious myth, it’s just that in the case of the African there is an extra layer to it. The gods we imagined in the past weren’t exactly merciful gods, but that is nothing to what Yahweh or Allah have sanctioned in their holy texts.
Whilst I would never advocate for the continued propagation of religion, if we’re going to worship imaginary beings, I’d rather they were our kind of imaginary beings.