God is not religious

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                                           By Philip Amiola

I have observed with strong feelings of embarrassment, the degree to which human beings can be
so enslaved by religion that people would go to any length to defend their religious views. Africans
are known to be very superstitious, and this is especially true of Nigerians. People have been
known to mutilate their bodies and engage in other unseemly behaviour in the name of religion.
Some members of a religious sect even go as far as committing such heinous crimes as arson,
murder and rape all in the name of religion! How debased can the human mind be to commit such
dastardly acts in the name of God! Such is the power of religion to condition peoples' minds. I was
prompted to compose this piece by a story which has been making the rounds in Nigeria about a
baby who was born clutching a copy of the al-Qur’an from the womb! I first got wind of this news
on an online forum for university students where I expected the story to be greeted with some
scepticism, but to my dismay, the supposed intellectuals fell for it hook line and sinker.

With such comments as “Allah is mighty!” my friends went all the way against every principle of
nature to prove that the “supernatural incident” was, among other things, an evidence of the
greatness of Allah and a warning of impending judgement to the infidels. I once read a similar
story about a commuter bus being caught in an inferno with everything destroyed and all the
passengers roasted to death while a copy of the Holy Bible remained untouched by the fire. It's
amazing how quickly we employ such misguided stories as groundless evidence to support our
faith. Religion is indeed the opium of the people! Now, I'm not disputing the fact that such incidents
could have happened by chance but it defies all sense of logic to attribute it to an act of God.
Perhaps it would have been a more plausible story if the Bible had saved the vehicle from burning
and the lives of the passengers from being wasted. Truth be told; the Bible and the Quran in and
of themselves are just like any other book. Just like Jesus said, the letter kills; it is the spirit that
gives life.

It is high time we stopped fooling ourselves and subjecting ourselves to needless mental torture by
means of these propagandist ideas and religious hype. Religion does not make us relevant before
God. It is having the life of God in us that matters. If God does not live in you and you in Him, you
do not know Him. True religion is a vital relationship with God and it is manifested in love for God
and man; friends and foes alike. We need not discard logic to substantiate our faith. Faith and
logic can actually agree. Our life of faith must be a response to God’s power at work in us, not to
some fancy mental or emotional footwork by anyone. If you know God and are known by Him, you
will know it in your heart, not by some supernatural feeling or extraordinary event, but by the
witness of His Spirit with your own spirit. With this witness comes God’s peace which transcends
all understanding; that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through the God-approved
way, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is.
If you are at peace with God, you’ll know it; if you’re not, please seek help.

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