Imagine

Imagine

Religion can be explained as people’s beliefs and opinions about the existence, nature, worship of a deity and divine involvement in the universe and human life. I have always wondered if a distinction could be drawn between God and religion. Has anyone ever thought about it? Does God exist outside our various religions? From the definition of religion above, it doesn’t seem very probable. All I know is that im not the only one who has such views.

But I believe we all worship one God, whatever your religious faith.

This is exactly why I have never understood fanatics or extremists in any form whatsoever. I admit, I am not a religious person. I don’t take religion too seriously. I was born a Muslim, but there are so many things about Islam that I simply don’t take cognizance of. You could say I’m simply picking what suits me about the religion. That’s one way to put it. However, I know that if I were a Christian or something else, I’ll still feel the same way.

Let’s face it, the major religions we have are more of a man-made business than God’s. Why would I become a fanatic about it? Almost everything regarded as orthodox in our religions was set down thousands of years ago. Times are changing, and everyone is aware that the two major religions have been trying to adapt. As Helen Keller, a US writer and lecturer wrote: “the heresy of one age becomes the orthodox of the next”. As far as I’m concerned, just because I don’t take religion too seriously, doesn’t mean I don’t believe in God. I’d really like to believe a supreme being exists, co-coordinating the affairs of the world.

Look at the universe in its totality; can you still say with conviction that no divine intervention is involved? The truth is science would never be able to explain many things, and not everybody would believe that God exists, until the Day of Judgment. To those who don’t believe in God, all I have to say is, wouldn’t you rather believe than eventually find out you are going to be burning in hell for eternity?

I want us to always remember that God predates everything, including Islam and Christianity. Often times, people forget this basic fact, and attention has shifted from worshipping God to what religious faith a person belongs. I know that it is emphasized in churches and mosques, without employing the use of any euphemism, that members of the other religion are doomed, and that they can only be saved if they converted. Very helpful in fostering unity and peace, isn’t it?

Honestly, I look at people who think in such a ludicrous and laughable manner with disdain, and most times, I cant stop the feeling of intellectual superiority from creeping in. We have all forgotten that we are human beings first, before we fall into various classifications such as sex, race and religion. The damage done to life and property because of fanatical and extremist dispositions, and other forms of discrimination over the years is incalculable. Do you remember the numerous religious wars, the holocaust? Or the massacres in the north? And apartheid?

Whether your black or white, Muslim or Christian, man or woman, Jew or Arab, gay or straight, we are human beings first. Liberalism would do this world a lot of good. I consider myself a very liberal person. That is why I have gone to church more times than I can remember. That’s why I used to have a gay friend (he was smitten with me a little bit, but I didn’t mind).

My final words would be from the song “Imagine” by John Lennon, a member of The Beatles:

“Imagine there’s no heaven….

No hell below us,

Above us only skies.

Imagine all the people, living life for today…

Imagine there is no country….

Nothing to kill or die for,

And no religion too,

Imagine all the people, living life in peace”

Would the world be a better place without religion, or countries or whatever? Think about it. What’s your opinion?

 



11 thoughts on “Imagine” by abky (@abky)

  1. I have learnt; to keep quiet about ‘religion-themed’ arguments. They usually lead nowhere…and cause enmity between ‘friends’ and acquaintances.

    One thing you said that I STRONGLY OBJECT TO; however is your comment that ‘liberalism would do this world a whole lot of good’.

    For there to be chaos; there must be order and vice versa. What you are suggesting here is a world out of control – because order is what separates us from being mindless automatons. I mean…think about this; if the whole world is liberal; WHAT WOULD BE WRONG?

    I could kill at will and get away with it; after all we are being ‘liberal’…EVERYONE has the right to do what they will.

    I guarantee you; this world will soon turn on its head. So you’ll have rich and powerful enough ‘child-molesters’ (the term won’t apply anymore then; they’ll probably call themselves a more friendly name like the ‘we-like-them-young-club’) who would say it’s okay to sleep with a child AS LONG AS the child consents. Age of consent then would probably be like nine years or so.

    And then; serial killers would get into power…and then cannibals…and then…

    So I strongly disagree about your ‘liberal views’. But then, to each his own.

    My 50kobo.

  2. @abkay…Interesting write up.

    I agree with you, IMAGINE indeed! Unfortunately man’s desire to save his fellow man so to speak, is an incurable disease.

    I want to believe you mean LIBERALISM in the personal way. That we can all basically concur is the case in most parts of the world.

    A belief system or pattern is autonomous to an individual, so we are still all responsible individually to where we stand.
    As@seun said, just IMAGINE his scenario…

    Ms Keller nailed this one though..”The heresy of one age becomes the orthodox of another”

  3. @seun…thanks for the comment…however, i think you have taking the word “Liberalism” to an extreme. Now, Liberal could be defined as “being favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.” Normally… Liberalism should always be within the law…more specifically, the Constitution of the Country, which is the grundnorm. I admit that there have been instances when in pursuit of individual freedom, the law has had to be disobeyed. A good example was when slavery and Racism was the norm. Those who protested for equality,”liberals” obviously had to disobey the law as it was then.But this is usually the extreme case, and that’s where the society comes in, to curb the incidence of this extremes, and it is very necessary that this is so…to prevent anarchy and chaos.

  4. We dont worship one God o. Where did you get that idea from?
    I have muslim friends who sound so rational and mouth same things you were yapping here, but if you talk trash about Allah, they would fight you.
    You cannever understand fanaticism, stop trying. There is a spirit behind it.

    About burning in hell, i have always said, to be in hell, one has to die first, after death, the rest na spirit things. it is the spirit that would go to hell. And spirits, i understand, do not feel pains.
    and you really should read up on liberalism.
    And to really write this kind of stuff you have to be unbiased, and objective.

  5. Religion! Religion!! Religion!!!

    @abky…One God? Hehehe…you mentioned two religions here. You’ve neglected a third probably because you don’t see that as a religion. Let me remind you; this is Africa and before christianity and Islam came, there has been the traditional religion. One thing common to all these religions is the belief in a Supreme Being whom many termed ‘God’. So I disagree, we do not serve one God. There are so many little gods that sometimes, we cannot tell the difference because the lines are not so clear anymore.

    The yorubas believe in something called ‘Ori’ which is a term I cannot adequately describe in English but literally speaking, means ‘head’. The Ibos believe in ‘Chi’ which means ‘personal god’ as Achebe as said. These terms are taken from traditional religion and the so-called muslims and christians believe in them. We’ve even translated them to mean ‘God'( with a capital G) to justify them in our new religions. In truth, these are only smaller gods in traditional religion.

    Questions for you: would you say that an Ogun worshipper serves the same ‘God’ as one who worships Amadioha? Or would you say an Oya worshipper worships the same ‘God’ the christian does?

    Religion (as someone said) is opium for the masses. It is one of the social structures that gives sanity to society. If and when taken away or blended, worse chaos would happen and society would further degenerate. Accept it.

  6. Cool writeup. Erm, I don’t think amadioha, ogun, buddah, baal, etc is the God I worship o… In essence, I don’t think we all serve the same God…

    Welldone.

  7. I serve God through Jesus Christ, who’s given us Priests, Pastors, Evangelists, Prophets and Teachers. Fanaticism, like @kaycee said, is backed by a spirit. However, he is wrong when he says spirits don’t feel pain.

  8. @kaycee….this write up drips with objectivity. That’s kinda like the whole point.

    @queenzayta….you seem to have missed a very crucial point I was trying to pass across. The only reason I didn’t mention Traditional religion is because its not one of the major ones, and they are in the minority, not because I don’t think they are relevant. Now, the major point you seem to have missed is…whether you worship Ogun, Oya or whoever it is you decide to worship…its your business, and no one has any right to interfere. My point was that this should not be the basis of determining someone’s existence. I believe your relationship with your own God, is a very personal thing. If people would only realize that….and this wasn’t exactly about religion alone…it is about all forms of discrimination by virtue of religion, race, sexual orientation, etc.
    Now, as to whether a christian or muslim would ever agree that he worships the same God as a traditional worshiper, I admit that is stretching it too far,because in every sense of the word, the answer is a categorical no. That is not exactly my bone of contention. What i was trying to stress is that it it not up to us humans to condemn others. Lets all wait till the day of Judgement….and let God decide.

    1. About the do-not-judge factor, I agree. About the fact that ATR is in the minority, I DISAGREE. Do your research, you will be shocked.

      I’m a devote muslim by the way.

    2. perhaps you do not know the meaning of objectivity

  9. Fanaticism is always irrational. Then again, religious beliefs, by definition, are irrational – not wrong, but irrational. @abky, I feel you on the way religious/orthodox beliefs can get so frustratingly parochial…that is the way with a good thing done in excess, or taking advantage of. Thanks for the thoughts, and I think there is value in talking about these things. Fine writing too.

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