I once interviewed an elderly man who told me blatantly (when I wanted to make a point he does not subscribe to) that he “has seen many x-mas”. Of course, seeing many x-mas means he is old enough for him to be corksure of the point he is making. For this piece I want my reader to also be aware that I have seen many X-mas, Eid-el Kabirs, Eid-el Maoulads, and forced to stay at home too on Easters, hence whatever point or points I make here is from the depth of my heart, and the core marrow of my bones.
What we call religious rights, to me, is OVERATED! And also frustratingly annoying! Rights? Rights are never one sided affair. For every right that ever exist, there is the other side of the coin: DUTIES. This other side are mostly neglected by the religious people. Yes! Agreed that they have the right to believe and practice their belief but is that the final? Dont they have duties to others who do not believe? Shouldnt their belief have any duty/duties to REASON, PEACE and JUSTICE?
Duties to the IRRELIGIOUS/UNBELIVERS: Many of the religious people claim that they have rights not to be hindered from performing the tenets of their belief. The performance of their beliefs, on the other hand, often include the maltreatment of other believers, favouritism, unnecessary solidarity, among others. Many of these violated duties which they never bother to be concerned about, are matters of JUSTICE, PEACE and DIGNITY OF HUMAN PERSON
Duty to Reason: Beyond the duties to the irreligious/unbelievers, the RELIGIOUS RIGHTS also need to be mindful of the importance of aligning their belief to the tenets of REASON. Although, religiousity and reason do not sometimes flow but this duty becomes impeccable if one considers some of the dangers inherent in some religious practices. Consider for instance, the practice of witch-hunting and exorcism, suicide bombing,purdah, etc, these are simply non-sensicals!
The point being made here is that the time is ripe enough for global citizens to demand for a review of the existing religious laws with due consideration given to these two points.
Yemi Ademowo Johnson