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E O EkeThursday, November 26, 2015
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ON RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE AND ETHNIC HATRED

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am neither a preacher of religion nor a disciple of an ancient 'holy man'. Even though I have learnt from both, I see no necessity to define myself by either what I believe, or where I was born. I choose to see life through the prism of values because they are encompassing and exclude none. I am a proponent of enlightenment, justice as fairness, equality and peaceful co-existence.

I no longer proselytise from 'holy books or claim that God talks to me. I make no clear to foresee the future. I advocate from eternal principles on which human happiness, advancements and peaceful coexistence reside.

Therefore, the writings of holy books, important as they are, have meaning and relevance to me, only as long as they make sense and withstands the scrutiny of reason and/or empiricism.

In my world, whatever Jesus, Mohamed, Abraham, Buddha etc., said, is no different from what Plato, Socrates, Homer, Seneca, Shakespeare etcetera, said. They are all men of exceptional wisdom, understanding of humanity and compassion. I judge all on the altar of morality, reason and fairness. I accept Nothing that they or any one living today have said, without critical appraisal. I hold a faith informed by reason, common sense and evidence.

I reserve the right to decide what is true in what they said and how I wish to apply it in my life. It is part of my Liberty and a prerogative, which I reclaimed from religion and, would not surrender it to any other human being, until my last day on earth.

Now, I only believe what is honest, just and reasonable. That means, whatever is true, kind, loving, equitable and peaceful.

There is no longer room in my mind for the prejudices of religion and ethnicity. I see all, as Human beings, who have the same rights and needs as my duty is to treat all, in all circumstances in the the way and manner I would like to be treated, if I were in their shoes.

You do not have to accept the status quo. You do not have to accept what the pastor or Imam says about God or after life. They do not know. They have neither seen God or being to the land of the dead.

You have the choice to resist evil in any form you find it and in any way you can. There is no reason whatsoever why any one should accept the evils of corruption, religious intolerance and ethnic bigotry which some religion and group propagate in the name of God. I have not accepted them and there is no reason why you should, unless it is what you want.

Indeed, the future belongs to you and you must demand to have a part in shaping it with your ideas and values because you are the one who will live in it and pick the pieces.

Until we learn that there are a thousand ways to seek God and every one of them is right, that there are twenty-one ways to pray and God approves of them all, there are one hundred names for God and He answers to all, there are one hundred and forty four routes to heaven and each and every one of them leads to the city of four square with streets of gold and sea of glass, there is one broad way to hell and it is lined by faith, greed, hate, prejudice, pride and intolerance and, anyone can find it. Until we accept that all men and women are brothers and sisters, we will not stop disparaging, hating, squabbling and killing one another.

If religion is the means to God and we have each chosen a different route, and heading to the same destination, why are we so intolerant and hateful of each other?

Why are some of us so prejudiced against people of different ethnicity and or religion and , justify violence against them in the name of God or ethnicity? How can this be, when all religions teach 'love your neighbour as your self. Which father will give a sibling reason to murder another?

If, when our loved ones die, they go to heaven, why do we mourn them?

If we eat the body of Christ and drink his blood at holy communions, why do we condemn cannibalism?

If we honestly believe that grape juice turns into blood and wafers into flesh of Christ because a priest has uttered some mubo jumbo, why do they still taste like wafer and grape juice?

If dead suicide bombers and terrorists go to heaven to meet seventy big ones, why do their leaders not commit suicide? Do they not want to go to paradise?

Why do we squabble and worry, if we are all children of God? Why are we so particular about our ethnicity, if we are all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve?

Indeed, religious intolerance and ethnic prejudice must count among the seven stupidities of mankind.

A man who will see in belief and ethnicity, the eternal truth of God, is not only wilfully ignorant and infected with prejudice, hubris and greed, but very dangerous because he can justify anything, including murder. God is love. The Kingdom of God is in our minds and God made us many nations, of one blood. Let reason inform our faith. Let us end hate in the name of God??

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