FEATURE ARTICLE

Tuesday, December 26, 2023
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Arizona, USA
THE AGE OF BELIEVING VERSUS THE AGE OF KNOWING

"You cannot easily brainwash critical thinkers that use their brains effectively for thinking, reasoning, evaluating, and problem-solving." -Dr. Sunday Iwalaiye.

"Christmas or other festivals have a shade of humanity imbued in them. It isn't about the festivals' name but the spirit of compassion, love, and human kindness that entwined them." - By Yahaya Balogun.

December 25, 2023. 08:30 am. he bastardization of religion and spirituality in Africa has done damage to people's sense of reasoning. A few days ago, on the Zuckerville, a born-against religious netizen without netiquette espoused, out of bigotry and blissful ignorance, that it is sinful (idolistic) to celebrate Christmas.

One fanatical 'Islamic cleric' even said it was evil to give or receive gifts during the Christmas period. The militant cleric even said that uttering a Yuletide salutation and wishing other fellow humans merrily well during Christmas is also a sin. Bishop Oyedepo and his lieutenants hate anything Islamic and Yoruba Orisha more than they hate Satan. Haba! Muslim and Christian clerics in Nigeria, where is your common humanity?

As a humanist, I morally and vehemently disagree with any antithesis to humankindness. Why can't people just be who they want to be or profess their faith without infringing on other people's fundamental rights to speech and freedom of religion? My youthful age was, interestingly, nostalgia. I miss my lovely past, the innocence, the "Age of Believing," and loving. Egungun festivals and other traditional get-togethers were our cultural beauties. Our local cultures share remarkable similarities with our constricted foreign cultures. Why the religious brouhaha!

As children, we always looked forward to Yuletide and festival periods. We are losing these beautiful cultures to mental slavery. Thank goodness for people like Timi Daniel and Gen Z, who are evolving to wake us to the "Age of Knowing." Unfortunately, the human relations and behavior of these children of these "gods of men" are eviler and antithetical to morally thoughtful people like Timi Daniel and the evolving Gen Z.

Even though the church in Rome began celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ as Christmas on December 25 in the 4th century during the reign of Constantine, the first Christian emperor. We all know Emperor Constantine was one of the most brutal emperors in human history. Constantine used the celebration of Christmas to bring the world together and redeem his religious atrocities. We should see the beauty of this immortalized period as a period to reflect and celebrate our shared humanity.

However, it is important to note that Christmas is a bonding, positive, healthy human mind programming and reflective period. People, irrespective of their creed, race, and religion, globally and socially celebrate Xmas to recognize the beauty of true love and humankindness. Christmas is a yearly and beautiful period to celebrate the humanity in all of us. Why do some African people get fixated and subsumed in the emasculation of their mental reconstruction?

Nevertheless, I agree with one of my esteemed readers and followers, Asheik Dangoba, that some (African) people are religious by identity and have zero practices of their professed faiths. They mix religion and spirituality. Asheik Dangoba says, "If you say you are irreligious, some people think you have gone astray. Meanwhile, all the evils being committed in this world are associated with religious people." I couldn't agree more or less with Ashei Dangoba's submission. It is high time African people woke up and came together to reorientate their mental well-being for the growth and development of Africa. Asian, European, and Western countries are developing digitally and AI(ing) to re-revolutionize and re-colonize the vulnerable world (Africa).

In the continent of Africa, African minds are situated in the pseudo-religion spheres, a religion that lacks spirituality. Elon Musk is the wealthiest human being on the earth, and he is an atheist, but he is overtly spiritual, with stupendous knowledge of inventions. He has invented some godly things that shaped and eased how humans have lived. In the foreseeable future, Elon Musk is musingly planning to colonize Mars to relocate some human beings to Mars for human cohabitation. Elon Musk's strange conviction for possibilities is the premise of his weird imagination. Africans, where are thy minds?

Many African people are fantastically religious but lack spirituality and godliness. Yearly, some African people ostentatiously visit Mecca, Jerusalem, and other "holy" places in the Middle Eastern world. The "holy" pilgrimages have not significantly changed the ugly characters and behavioral lives of some African people. Instead, African religious practices are a tale of woes and wickedness against the existential interests of many of their fellow African people.

Despite its wealth, Africa is faced with the moral dilemma of poverty. African people have enabled the erosion of their cultures and values to their foreign ideals. African cultures are sacrosanct! Africa is in a state of confusion, dilemma, contradictions, and deception--the orientation must change.

Traditionally, as we celebrate the beauty of foreign festivals, we must preserve our cultural heritage without allowing it to become extinct. The "Age of Knowing" is evolving! The "Age of Believing," without questioning, is facing challenges from Gen Z. The bulk of neocolonialism and mental slavery is still prevalent in Africa. Africa needs mental reforms, true freedom, and emancipation from neocolonialism.

Moreover, I am a human before my faith. Some people wouldn't agree with my submission about celebrating Christmas or other religious festivals. In this day and age, any religion that doesn't promote the mesmerizing tapestry of love, diversity of cultures, races, unity, and shared humanity should not be reckoned with. It is noteworthy that Yoruba and the evolving generation are returning to basics to revive our near-extinct cultures and mores in Yorubaland and Africa. We must begin to cherish our cultures and disallow foreign imperialistic nuances that shortchange the intrigues and intricacies of our beautiful cultural heritage.

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