GOING through Douglas Anele’s piece: ‘An unbeliever’s interpretation of Easter’ in the Sunday Vanguard of April 10, 2016, one is left with one conclusion and that is, Christianity is truly a religion of peace, instead he would by now be hiding in a hole, shielding himself from the fatwa sentence that surely would have befallen him. Luckily for him, he knows the court to play his game because he cannot try it with every religion.
It is important for writers and public commentators to realise that the biggest threat to world peace today is religion and therefore, issues related to it must be treated with the highest sense of responsibility. You can debate whatever you want within the confines of your philosophy classes.
You can choose any religion you want to practice and even highlight the good in that religion but to denigrate and belittle the religious beliefs of others because you want to exhibit your intellectual capabilities, sourced from foreign books and journals is taking it too far. Every religion the world over is based on faith and mythology, they are not subject to scientific reasoning and evaluations and if you try to do that you will be over extending it and in the process incur the wrath of the adherents because even till date, there are living testimonies from worshippers whom you cannot disprove through science.
The Holy Book envisaged such people like Douglas in the book of Romans 1:22-32. I paraphrase; “Professing themselves to be wise, they become fools(22)….And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient(28)”.
Religion has never claimed to be scientific, so attempts to bring scientific logic into matters of religion will not sell. For those of us familiar with students of philosophy, they do all they can to contradict conventional norms, the more they debunk existing thoughts, the more their claim to philosophical knowledge, that is what Douglas tried to do in his analysis of Christian Easter. Searches and researches are vital to moving the world forward in positive directions but when the research is intended to cause conflicts and disharmony in society such should be discouraged.
As a philosopher, he is free to express doubt but he should consult the Psychologist to enable him understand the power of faith in the lives of men. All the major religions of the world are based on faith and, even renowned Philosophers have recanted their harsh analysis of the past. Also, religion has also contributed to the growth of societies; science, arts, administration, and more. The main area of departure between Christianity and others is in the area of sacrifices which Jesus Christ already took care of. If their belief is working for them, how does it concern an unbeliever?
If we can just mind our business and work within the purview of global peace, the world will be a better place for all. The way the world is today, there is definitely a superior force beyond the comprehension of the ordinary man, this has manifested in several forms and deep thinkers understand this. Where science stops is where religion begins, even present day scientific discoveries are not new, they have been foreseen and foretold in the past, we are only moving in circles.
Nigeria is a country that claims to be secular in the matter of religion that means; everyone is free to practice the religion he or she chooses openly and without fear of intimidation or persecution.
There must be mutual respect among adherents of different religions, when you leave yours and begin to find faults with the others or distort their known history, you are creating room for conflict and this is not good. I am not saying here that you should not try to win converts to your faith but this should be done without running down the others or trying to cause discord in the society. You can only highlight the benefit of your religion and show proofs by your works, that is how it should be done.
Nigeria is already very heavily polarised along religious lines, no one should try to pour fuel on an already burning fire. It is important that we do not force a radicalisation of the passive Christians with such articles that tend to denigrate their God and Prophet. ‘Wisdom is profitable to direct’ and this is what the likes of Anele should understand.
There are so many things to write about concerning the state of Nigeria. We expect researches that will expose the causes of Nigerians penchant for corruption and other vices. Why has it been impossible for the country to produce capable rulers despite the glut of human potentials?
Why are our universities unable to conduct researches that are relevant to societal growth? Why do we have to import products into this country that we have the raw materials in abundance? Why can’t our universities carry out smooth transition over the leadership in the individual campuses? Why are our university unions only known for strikes and not in their research outputs?
How do we curb the excesses of our politicians? How do we re orientate Nigerians towards a patriotic desire for the country? And many more of such that needed answers to. Anele should concentrate on his religion and leave others alone.

Mr. Ikhioya, a commentator on national issues, writes from Lagos


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