WOULD YOUR ANSWER BE
If your answer is in the affirmative, you probably are among the class of persons who give special reverence to a Supreme Being; you also believe that the evils of today’s world are perpetually regulated through strict adherence to religious tenets. Indeed, many feel the need to draw close to God in times of lack and also in surplus; the reason? It has been agreed by many scholars, that man’s nature and intelligence pressures him to question himself and his immediate surroundings, upon getting no finite answer he invents a theoretical answer, a “Supreme Being”, one who creates and destroys; gives and takes.
According to Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) a psychoanalyst, in his book totem and taboo, he explains that the very first religion grew out of the concept of ‘father-figure neuroses. He theorized that as was true with wild horses and cattle, in primitive society the father dominated the clan. The sons, who hated and admired their father, rebelled and killed the latter, in other to acquire power, however, out of remorse they invented rites, ritual and ransom sacrifices to atone for their deeds. In ancient times, religion was a basis for everything including government, lifestyle, knowledge, inter-personal relationships, and law, amongst others; hence, society was a reflection of religion; law became a by-product of religion. Interestingly, in modern times, Law has become the basis for everything; it controls religion, liberty and life itself. Hence, the question is begged. WHAT IS THE RELEVANCE OF RELIGION TODAY?
A lot of persons, especially in developed countries, appear to have divorced themselves from religion, according to Nandhini Narayanan (in her article why the world no longer needs religion) she states that “I have come to believe increasingly…that we no longer need religion and that, honestly, it is doing more harm than good in the world today.” She continues “…if religion began as an explanatory guide for the unknown in the universe, it has stayed as a tool in the hands of rulers (frauds), the rich and the privilege as a means of control, information, wealth and knowledge…religion has certainly not kept someone from being bad and religion is not a prerequisite in order to be or do good.”
According to the Daily Telegraph UK, the nation of England is no religious country as over 65% percent of citizens claim to be non-religious. Interestingly, many countries claiming to be non-religious appear to have relative peace and material prosperity, as opposed to religious nations such as Palestine, Iraq, and even Nigeria, who plummet perpetually to civil/tribal wars resulting in genocide. Notably, even the richest Arab nations (UAE) have learnt to relax their religious laws in an attempt to promote tourism and material prosperity, the result is a printer effect to why this writer wants to visit the Burj Khalifa as soon as P. (e no fit pass dis year).
It must be strictly understood that this article does not attempt to disassociate a reader’s mind from religion, however it fiercely warns against the extremist view of the latter. In sum, Religious extremism is the essence of this article. It is no gain saying in recent time, terrorism, prejudice and death have become wards to religion; it begins with a little twist on a religious philosophy and ka boom! Chaos is birthed, a partial gossip about practices of a certain religion and just like that, people begin to harbour resentment and hate for another.
Indeed, religious extremism does not start with shots fired from a canon or shrapnel generously chipped to the insides of a bomb victim, it begins from the thought, to the expressions of the mouth, to the transmission of such poisonous reasoning either verbally, WhatsApp-ly (he-he), or a positive action of one man. In truth, no leader was ever born with followers; he gathers sheep through respect and example. Many people today are guilty of this act, that is, religious extremism. We forget that religion is a path way of one man to the universal one (if He did exist), hence, it ought not to be universal but personal; not public but private. Therefore, acts of evangelism and conversion should only exemplify peace and order in the stead of social vices. Many sects from religion do imbibe this culture of peace and hence must be commended.
According to Thomas Hobbes, “without law…life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. Indeed, in light of recent political and religious evolution, the LAW must take charge of today’s human society. Thankfully Kaduna state has taken a pivotal step in chaining the bulldog. With the executive religious bill timeously initiated by the state governor ‘Nasir Ahmad el-Rufia’, the legal document, although currently enduring near violent reviews, attempts to prevent the use of abusive language by religious clergies on any person, the government or public figures, it also attempts to strikeout the use of loudspeakers (irksome noise) around streets and so on. Indeed the mischief rule behind this bill is to curtail the excesses of religion. The fact remains that; religion must be controlled in order to guarantee peace and progress for the world today and in the near future. Ever wondered, if Nigeria would be better off as a practicing-secular state instead of an ostensible-secular state? What if the government left Christianity, Islam, Atheism, and Paganism to the realm of private law? What If the government dignifies Laws rather than religion? These are largely unanswered questions which ought to be attempted through practice.
In summary, as clearly channeled in this article, all religion are forces for either good or bad. Man has always and shall always have an inherent desire to search for God, his way and manner should be of his own dictate; hence, his attempt to share his belief with his fellow citizen should not contravene the law. Religion is no doubt a way for man to fulfill his spiritual inclinations, a filling to his spiritual lacuna, an answer to his eternal questions and a display of his invisible faith. Religion is no doubt needed by man…or at least most persons. However, like software, a little malicious program could compromise an entire system; religion too can be corrupted by greed, lust & selfishness. It is happening today. Religion must be curtailed, but only via LAW.