Hi friends! We are in the preparatory mood for our international conference coming up next month in Nepal. Hope you are getting ready to join us? That is great!
This edition of YS is focusing on secularism as a glimpse into the theme of the conference. Let me quickly share a thought I put together some years ago when I was so radical in my views on religions.
The title of the piece was “I want you DEAD!” (What a scary title for a piece to be hand-delivered to an editor of a campus newsletter).
The piece continues,
“for blindfolding many from daily realities of life, for bearing so mUch grudges against critical inquiry; for waging an open and secret war against science; for corrupting the youths with indoctrination; for deceiving people with hope of heaven and lake of fire that do not exist; for being intolerant of opposing views and lastly, for your inability to control those that sheepishly follow you, Mr or Ms (or whatever designation you prefer) Religion,I WANT YOU DEAD”
Yep! If you would like to know, I truly wanted religion dead at the time.
Unfortunately, the editor considered the piece too harsh; appreciated it but never published it. That was six years ago. But having been schooled in the true tenets of humanism in the last half a decade, I have come to realise that the the verdict of the indictment/miniature charge sheet should have been: YOU ARE HEREBY BANISHED FROM THE PUBLIC DOMAIN and RESTRICTED, ONLY AND ONLY, TO PRIVATE AFFAIRS!
That is the spirit of secularism that many humanist will gladly embrace today: a clear-cut separation of the state from the church, an expulsion of the Holy See from the United Nations, a fight against an imposition of Shari’ah anywhere, an absolute tolerance and co-existence of atheistic and theistic views in the global space. And that, to me, is secularism!
Yemi Ademowo Johnson