Sunday, December 23, 2012

History, Culture and Religion - The Relationship

Guest Post

By Temidayo Ahanmisi

When culture dies, humanity dies. When a history is stolen, the future is destroyed. Those who own our stories own our destinies. A human being who does not control his own narratives is a slave. It matters not if he has plenty finery or not. I regret that I can’t deliver this more superfluously. I regret that language fails me, so I can’t tell you what I’m trying to say without sounding condescending. I don’t believe in apologizing for my opinions, but I must do that here because what I am saying concerns even your children – those projections of your most cherished hopes & dreams.

…Well…say it I must...our children are slaves. Do you protest? Good. It means you still have some modicum of the basic dignity that should be yours by mere reason of conscious existence. Now place your Nigerian child beside a Japanese child…Ask your Nigerian child to tell you a parable about honour/duty/community/family/ forgiveness/ charity/ justice/moral rectitude…the things that make for character building…the character that births nations & projects races into the future for world domination…the building blocks that will ensure the replenishment of the earth…

The Japanese child will tell you about Shinto, Confucian philosophy , the Samurai creed & the sword eras…He will tell you about his ancestors & those who contributed to the building of his society as he has it today…the warriors, the poets, the musicians, the community lords & kings… Saikaku, Sei Shônagon, Sanyo, etc. It would matter little whether his parents are Christians or Muslims by association & worship. They are Japanese first. They come from the lineage of the Samurai. Their life philosophy cannot be separated from this unique ancestry. An average Japanese person has a concept of honour & shame that would confound an average Nigerian. Reason?...He knows whose son he is.

…His Nigerian counterpart on the other hand will explain such concepts using parables drawn from the bible or the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad. The ancestors (spiritual & temporal) of the Nigerian child are Jacob, David, Abraham/Ibraheem, Isaac etc. Now we should have no problem with this. No?...Well, there’s just this little issue…None of them are African. None of them know Nigeria. None of them are black people. They are Jews. But like I said it’s a little problem.

…Oh…not really little as such since one of them was a trickster/’’419’’ right from the womb…but it’s ok really. He was blessed by God and earned a place of honour in the annals of the patriarchs.

And I think one kept a female slave & had sex with her…and then his wife drove the slave out with her young child into the desert to starve & die. It’s okay. She gave birth to the ‘’child of promise’’, and so earned her place of honour among the matriarchs…okay millions do not agree & on this basis millions are still being slaughtered…but like I said, it’s no problem. This is Africa…this is Nigeria…the authentic theatre of the absurd.

…And another one…well he once slaughtered 7 men as human sacrifice to appease the Hebrew god to stop famine in the land…the men were from a rival clan, but it doesn’t matter now. The famine stopped, according to the legends. Indeed so exalted was this patriarch that he was destined to be the ancestor of the long-awaited Messiah of his people, the jews. Okay, millions of jews do not buy into this theory, but who cares? This is Nigeria…the land of the rootless.

…So like I said, it’s nothing serious. I know that ancestors are people with clay feet, and that their stories are necessary for inspiration because they are men/women of ‘’like passions as us’’…& talking about ‘’like passions’’…one of the ancestors of these Jews…well he ordered a lion to kill & eat some kids that were taunting him. The lion did. The Hebrew god supplied the lion. That’s an aside though.

There are a lot of things these ancestors reportedly did that would be judged by us in just about any way today…the words ‘’immoral’’, ‘’vile’’, ‘’despicable’’, ‘’dishonest’’, etc would come in…although some wouldn’t go that far…but somehow they would sneak into the consciousness. That’s the way of humanity & the human conscience. We know wrong. We know right. We know the truth. We know falsehood. We deny. We accept. The truth doesn’t care.

So like I said…it’s no big deal. Well it is. Our ancestors also reportedly killed, lied, cheated & caroused like these Jewish ancestors…but trouble is, our ancestors did not earn a place in the annals of our history for these very reasons. You see…we are clean & holy people. Our ancestors can’t have clay feet. We must appear ‘’spotless’’ & ‘’blameless’’ on the day of judgment fixed by this Jewish God. If we are found to have ever admired our ancestors or invoked their names in anyway, we will be placed in a place of molten sulphur & burning lava, hotter than a volcano. Ancestor worship is evil & we are born again. Well…we can invoke the names of some ancestors when we pray…but they must be Jewish ancestors as mentioned above. It is okay to worship Jewish ancestors.

And also it is okay to pray to idols, but they must not be those ugly African idols with those bulbous noses & bulging eyes…those black disgusting-looking effigies!

…So if all of this is not a problem, why should we bother then?
Anyway we are not bothered. It’s just that the Jews are mocking us…they ignore us. We don’t mind. We are redeemed. We will continue to align with their ancestors, worship their god, defend their interests in their numerous wars & have elaborate ceremonies to give their names to our children. They will come around someday. It’s been thousands of years, but they will come around.

In the meantime, we’ll just pay tithes/zakats, observe their festivals & norms, go to pilgrimage in their disputed lands & give them money from our govt. coffers; While we are at that, we will spend huge amounts on various ceremonies & rituals from myriad other cultures, ostracise our children who chose to decline, kill a few people for not following the religions of our chosen ancestors…some of us will buy jets, steal public funds, kill brother & sister, tear families apart, destroy whole civilizations & cultures, wander aimlessly through lands…destroy some native shrines…just generally act crazy…while we wait to join our adopted ancestors in paradise.
We are just happy that our ancestors whose perfidy caused a strong strain of ancestral curse to pass down to line to us will be in hell where they belong!

…Wait…what were we saying about honour-shame code? What was that again about native spiritual philosophy? What was that that talk about social justice?...okay so I know the Japanese child will share anecdotes about Amaterasu about the kami spirituality, about the Bushido honour code…but you know what? It doesn’t matter. I know the Japanese are stricter about abhorring corruption & laziness...oaky I know their code of preferring death to dishonour, but you know what?..My Nigerian child’s bible says he is more important than his community. His bible says he shall be blessed & have plenty to eat even when famine ravages the land…how you ask? Ask Jacob…they call him the supplanter, but don’t mind his detractors. His name is Israel. The angel renamed him after he fought for his blessings. Yes…that’s why we fight to keep our share of the commonwealth. We will never ‘’let God go until He blesses us!’’ We have good ancestors. They taught us well. Our children will follow in the tradition. Just as ancestral curses can pass from gene to gene so slavery can be passed down. Being a slave is better than being cursed.

By the way…I’ve checked….Chief Bode George was a good slave-son too. Remember that the next time you want to open your mouth to talk about shame & restitution. He had every right to go to church & give his offering & offer thanks publicly. Remember whose you are the next time you want to talk about ‘’putting Nigeria on the path of greatness again’’. Remember that the next time you talk about morality & pull out ‘’your bible’’...the next time you want to judge GEJ & his ministers ask yourself again…whether they have not repented in the course of the night, become born again & given their lives to Christ…in the few hours of the night. Well I just thought to warn you because you could be ‘’judging those Christ has redeemed from the curse of the law’’…and that would be ‘’doing the prophet of the Lord harm’’, you know…just as you do your pastor-prophets harm by judging their rights to private jets.

Abeg make I enter my Mazda dey go. I wonder what is wrong with these silly Japanese people sef! Imagine naming a car brand after a god…isn’t ‘Ahura Mazda’ one of their gods? Let me make sign of the cross before Lucifer will LOL after me. All these idol worshippers manufacturing cars for Christians! Well…God dey. On the day of rapture I shall leave this pagan car behind & ‘’ join the saints triumphant in Heaven.

About Temidayo Ahanmisi
Temidayo Ahanmisi is a young, dynamic and passionate Nigerian. A liberated mind, she is an inspiration to the young generation who clamour for change within the black man's homeland. She lives in Nigeria.

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