Bringing together non-believers
In the traditional African communities, there were religious rituals that were often seasonally carried out. These rituals were meant to ask or thank the Supreme Being, venerate the ancestors and the dead, inquire for blessings upon the people, ask for protection against calamities and disasters, etc. These religious rituals were conducted by the elders, prophets and prophetess, seers, community leaders, and other specially chosen and venerated persons.The rituals always involved sacrifices and offerings. Sacrifices were of animals (and in rare cases, humans, among some African communities) and offerings were of farm produce. The rituals were conducted during such times as planting seasons, harvesting seasons, birth, initiation, marriage, death, times of calamities to wade off diseases or curses, etc. I never heard of rituals meant for wading away poverty, ignorance, and such abstract occurrences.
The traditional African communities were empirical, practical, compassionate and empathetic. The poor, the widows and the orphans were well taken care of. There was no individualism, selfishness or neglect for the destitute in the society. Any kind of selfishness could not be tolerated and would often result in punishment, and in the extreme, ostracization.
Fast forward to the present, to the era of contemporary ‘foreign’ religions, which were inherited by Africans from the Europeans and Arabs. These religions have criminalized and condemned any type of traditional African religions and rituals that ever existed. The Africans have been programmed to hate their religious heritage, which is one of the core foundations of their origin and existence. As a result, these religions have been embedded with the prevailing economic, political and social situations such that, they have mutated the individuals who profess them from the state of self-conscious to a state of profound ignorance.
The situation among the indoctrinated Africans has thus totally shifted.
The spirit of reality, compassion and empathy has shifted to that of individualism and ignorance. Instead of working to elevate the lives of the destitute among us, we Africans have resulted to the extreme form of escapism in the form of prayer. This has made them weaklings and an easy target of exploitation by political, religious and economic vultures. They have been hoodwinked and screwed to such an extent that they have lost their conscious of being suppressed.
Hunger? pray. Corruption? pray. Power problems? pray. Election Rigging? pray. Poverty? pray. Disease? pray. Ignorance? pray. Tithes? pray. Marriage Partner? pray. Money? pray…pray! pray! pray! Africans have been reduced into mere objects of escapism and inaction in prayer. They trust their religious leaders more than their conscience. They believe in dogma and destiny that they have accepted their fate and have become complacent to change their status. They condemn philosophy and science as ungodly, whereas both work to complement religion.
I do not undermine the power of prayer, but if it does not encourage action to solve the current African problems, then to hell with that doctrine. Action must exceed prayers. Let not Africans hide anymore under the hypocrisy and guise of religion. “Religion is the opium of the people,” once said Karl Marx. Africans must embrace common sense and a sense of action in the spirit of Malcolm X, who meticulously stated that ” When you have a philosophy or a gospel–I don’t care whether it’s a religious gospel, a political gospel, an economic gospel or a social gospel–if it’s not going to do something for you and me right here and right now–to hell with that gospel! In the past, most of the religious gospels that you and I have heard have benefited only those who preach it. Most of the political gospels that you and I have heard have benefited only the politicians. The social gospels have benefited only the sociologists…”
We stand to emphasize the truth, truth is one!
By Maurice Khaguli
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