Religion, what has morality gotta do with it?

  • post Type / Young Humanists International
  • Date / 13 June 2010

There are questions I have grappled with why growing up.Some I laid to rest without finding solution(s) to, others am able to seek personally satisfying answers to. One of them is: why must I do good all the time, even when others are not so good towards me and my wishes? I once asked an uncle, a religious one,this question and he replied: “our father in heaven does not condone evil deeds or wickedness; all evil doers are wicked people and will be punished. Therefore, it is in your best interest to do good all the time”. Nice argument, valid and sound although am not sure he is aware that rather than helping me, he just ended up compounding my worries. Why? Well, unknown to my uncle, I have met some of his reverred men of God in situations and places only young persons can playfully entered or hide to await some persons just for the fun of it. It was therefore bafflying at the time that those holier than thou persons can be found in such places or be involved in an act. (Can never forget one that jumped the window to escape from the unsuspecting husband of a woman he was having extra-marital affairs with, right in her husband’s house).

Although, I wasn’t satisfied my my uncle’s reply yet because of the experiences I hinted above, yet I wasn’t prepared to throw the baby with the bath water. In other words, I still believe that even though religions are not the fulcrum of morality yet they help in detering many from acting contrariwise to the dictates of popular morality.

Today, it is no more news that many men and women of God, in the christian fold, are involved in acts such as witch catching, phedophilia, among others; and the Islamic men and clerics in child marriages, suicide bombing recruitments and so on. These are acts, however defendable in the books of these religions are surely out of the sense in the popular morality parlance. How on earth can one MORALLY justify the marriage between a 13years old and a 49years old? Only in Islam can that make any sense. How can one defend the search for witches and consequent dehumanizing processes involved in exorcising the perceived spirit? Only in pentecostal christianity, of course.

The point being made here is that it is wrong and rather impossible for the sake of UNIVERSALITY to locate or tied MORALITY with/to religion. Religions are personal and subjective with attendant doctrines which so many times are weaved, tactly, with moral argument, yet we know they aren’t one and the same. As youths,alive and bubbling with life, the best option for us is to aspire to align ourselves with the UNIVERSAL. Do not hate because the bible says “do not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever”. If you follow such non-sensicals, you are bound to lose valuable friends. There is nothing sensible in suicide bombing, so no matter what uphold the moral groundnorm that advocates the “sacredness of human life”. Bracket your religious-moral bull-shits and foundation all moral rules and acts on MORALITY. That to me is what youths should do. So, as the inscription on Nike sporting wears (in the spirit of the footbal World Cup) reads: Just do it!

Yemi Ademowo Johnson

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