Stop believing in myths …
Thomas Gray says in his poem Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College (1742) that “Where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise”. That is, lack of knowledge (on some things) results in happiness. Therefore, it is better to stay without knowing some things if knowing them will make you unhappy.
However, on a deeper level, the meaning is totally different. Seeking new knowledge that conflicts with one’s beliefs often proves to be a burden that many cannot bear. That is what Gray tries to put across.
However, for a government official to think that ignorance is bliss, then it proves to be folly rather than wise. I’m talking about Education CS Fred Matiang’i who recently told atheists to “keep off” from the education sector.
He was addressing an issue of sodomy in schools where a boy from a renowned secondary school was hospitalised under claims that he was molested by his seniors. Even his solution to the whole conundrum proves insane because “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results”.
But how is it insane? The government policy towards ending sodomy in schools is to employ more chaplains! Like Matiang’i says, the government thinks that students apparently need more ‘spirituality’ to do stop sodomy.
The funny thing is that, the same atheists he is telling to “keep off” the education sector have had some very radical proposals that can transform the education sector. One of these proposals is to do away with religious instruction in schools. Yet, this case proves the atheists right.
An atheist will tell Matiang’i that what the schools need are more professionally trained, equipped and experienced counsellors, psychologists and counselling psychologists. Religion has influenced government policy on education in the wrong direction. It has flopped badly.
In 2007, there were numerous secondary school strikes and riots. The knee jerk reaction by the government and school boards was to make religious instruction a compulsory subject. But did that help? 2016 also proved to be a year of strikes and riots and burning.
Therefore, what the schools need is not atheists to keep off but the government to stop using atheists as a scapegoat for their failure. Atheists are here to stay and they are citizens like any other Kenyan and all they want is respect.
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Stop believing in myths ...