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The Crisis of Religion: Interview with Adebowale Ojowuro (Part 2)

February 10, 2011
Radical Author of The Crisis of Religion spits fire again: To close one’s mind adamantly to reality and continue to deny the obvious, even in the face of all the evidence, is an appalling disease that’s exceedingly beyond insanity. This is the chronic sickness that terribly afflicts the people of faith in all corners of the world, beyond what the psychiatric specialists can cure.”

Adebowale Ojowuro

We here bring you the concluding part of our interview with African Atheist and author of the latest release and flaming hot book – The Crisis of Religion: The Feral Excesses of the Gullibility of Man.

Interview conducted by Echoes of Commonsense Editor Nathalie Woods. 

 

Q: In the last chapter of your book, you called for the return of Africans to their ancestral religions. Shouldn’t it have been more consistent with your mission if you had called on your people to abandon religious practices as a whole?

A: Of course, I critically perceive weakening the stronghold of organized religion in the lives of majority of the people as being the most important human obligations in our modern age.

Q: Why then the call to a return to ancient devotion; isn’t that a contradiction of your stance against religious practices as an Atheist?

A: It isn’t a contradiction at all. We need to have a starting point with the case of the African nation, because our own situation is totally different to that of other races of the world. You see, if I really want to control your life now, the most effective way for me to do so is to strip you naked of your inherent powers and infuse you with mock clouts. That’s exactly what foreign religions have done to Africans. It is undoubtedly true that several other races of the world have invented their religions out of their culture and traditional beliefs. Africans remain the only race in this world with no known religion that’s connected to its own cultural heritage and values. We are the only nation of people on planet earth with no form of identity we can truly call our own anymore, except our dark skin. It is certainly reasonable for Africans to equally uphold their indigenous faiths, rather than being perplexed servants to foreign gods.

The Crisis of Religion

Q: Is it now the case of Africans and foreign religions? 

A: You may tag it whichever case you like. All I know is that it’s undesirable to undress a nation of people stack naked of their cultural heritage. It’s especially funny how little children are compelled to study Arabic in West Africa so they can recite the Koran off-head and practice Islam devotedly. Show me any land in the Middle East or Asia where Africans can ever have the equal privilege to teach their children a fragment of African indigenous values? Of course, they will chase us away with machetes and guns. Not even the Indians in South Africa will allow any black Africans into their homes to come and compromise their faith in Vishnu with teachings that are unfamiliar and strange to them. Through my long years of reflection and extensive investigations into comparative religion, I sincerely could not identify any difference (outside of the several stages of reformation) between our ancestral faiths and all the dominant religions that now control our lives, because they are all works of fiction. The Biblical God is just another full strength fiction like all other gods known to mankind in ancient mythologies.

Q: How will Africa’s return to ancient practices help collective advancements in the continent?

A: The Chinese or the Japanese will tell you how their steadfast belief in their culture and tradition has aided their advancements in the world. How can a society that does not believe in its own, make any tangible advancement in life? Assuming God truly exists, isn’t it a shameful thing for Africans that the way to attain his kingdom is preposterously dependent on adherents to the dogmas of interlopers? If petty narratives have become the desired object of our happiness in Africa, do such paltry narratives not greatly saturate in the ancient Zulu Kingdom, the ancient Karnem-Borno Empire, the Yoruba and Edo Kingdoms, the primordial Kikuyu and Ashanti Kingdoms, and so on?

Q: What are the questions you’ve raised in your new book regarding religious practices?

A: Atheists, Freethinkers, and Sceptics of all ages have continually raised several pertinent questions regarding the deceptive foundation of dogmatic beliefs in the world; the bulk of which theologians have obstinately ignored, suppressed, and even distorted. I’ve also raised several critical questions on the pages of The Crisis of Religion in an attempt to fix reason firmly in her seat. In whole, I presented more than enough evidence to prove that religion is a cartload of pious fraud; and therein call an obvious bird that walks, swims, and quacks like a duck, by its real name.

Q:From all indications, religion is growing at an explosive rate in Africa; is that not a clear signal that people are not interested in Atheism, Freethought, Secular Humanism, or any other alternative to religion? 

A: Our world has obviously been under the stronghold of organized religion for millennia of years, and dogmatic belief has been deeply entrenched in peoples’ lives through all tactics of religious programming. The general assistance of our institutions of learning, which specialize from elementary level of education to tertiary education in raising gullible belief engines for different facets of religious sanctuaries, as well as training professional preachers in the proficiency of telling lies and preaching fallacious theologies to humankind has helped the advancement of religion at a very alarming rate. However, the touchstone of rationality and reason is fast signalling the inevitable end of dogmatic faith in our modern age. More than ever before, it appears people are rapidly straying away from the misfortune of dogmatic beliefs and are now coming back to the undeniable reality that the elation of rationality in our modern age is much more comforting than the ecstasy of fantasy and delusion. This wind of change will soon engulf Africa as well.

Q: But the faith of the believer is not always based on the support of any empirical evidence; it is, on the contrary, based on a superficial need to believe.

A: Of course, you are very correct! That’s the greatest tragedy in humankind’s history. To close one’s mind adamantly to reality and continue to deny the obvious, even in the face of all the evidence, is an appalling disease that’s exceedingly beyond insanity. This is the chronic sickness that terribly afflicts several people of faith in all corners of the world, beyond what the psychiatric specialists can cure. When it comes to this hag of superstition called faith!  Ooh… people don’t want to reason with it at all… It’s a virus that theologians have bred into this world through core processes of devout indoctrination from childhood. Frankly speaking, the gullibility of man is extremely sickening beyond the pale.

 Q:  Do you see a solution to this problem?

A: If a case of insanity has gone beyond what the psychiatric specialist can handle, what then is more? As Christopher Hitchens has correctly asserted during the Munk Debate, Religion is a real danger to the survival of (human) civilization… it will be the death of us all, the end of humanity.”  However, the cure to the faith mentality greatly lies in the therapy that only the larger corporate group of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Agnostics, and Sceptics, etc can offer – Critical Thinking. The big challenge is for the rational community to develop a way of extending the application of Critical Thinking into the day to day living of the entirety of humankind, and promote it practice across all facets of life. If we can achieve this colossal feat, even the self-styled prophets and professional preachers whose stock in trade is to preach absurd theologies to others will begin to see the detrimental ignominy of their professional trades in the society.

Q: Do you see a better world without religion?

A: Oh yes! Without religion, I see a better world that gives autonomy to humanistic liberty. I see a world that’s invested in rationality and reason. I see a better Africa that’s not immersed in superstition and ignorance as gullible zombies. More importantly, I see Africans boldly using their innate strength and ability in the service of their vision just like their contemporaries in the western world. I see a better world without religious intolerance and conflicts; I see a better world without suicide bombers and the acts of killing in the name of God.

Q: But do you see this happening anytime soon?

A: The world has now become a global village, so the possibility of radical change in faith is just there. It’s good enough that this whole revolution against religion has actually instigated from the descendants of the very same people whose ancestors repackaged dogmatic faiths into all corners of the world.

Q: I don’t seem to get that fact?

A: Well, what I’m saying here is that some few hundred years ago, Isaac Churchill came to us as a missionary of the ‘Christ Missionary Society’ to introduce his repackaged Jesus to our ancestors through the Anglican Church. Our forefathers believed his words, and his evangelism spreads across the four corners of our land. And now comes Jacob Churchill again through the British Humanist Association, saying, “Nope, our ancestors lied to your ancestors. Jesus is no longer the saviour of the world, here is the evidence from the text itself, let’s rationalize it together. Common Humanism is now the real thing.” Any sensible person should listen to Jacob Churchill and judge the case he has presented based on its merit.

 Q: Why then are people not accepting the new world view based on its merit?

A: It’s a gradual process. Things don’t just happen overnight. Mind you, theologians and professional preachers have done great damage to peoples’ psyche, and this damage still persists. Just watch it, one little thing will trigger the end of faith in our new age. Maybe a radical Pope will one day wake up to his conscience, resign his office, and cry out to the world, “Hey! I’m fed up with being head of this universal deceit.” Then again, if people also solve their social problems, the quest for fantasy in blowing one’s mind through dogmatic faith will diminish in the world; and this is the candid struggle that discerning African leaders must wage against organized religion to liberate their citizens from the bondage of core dogmas.

Q: What are the stories behind your disbelief in God?

A:  You see; an entity that required the belief of all demanded that the evidence of it be equal to all. As I have carefully detailed it in the Preface and First Chapter of The Crisis of Religion, my genuine interest to serve the true Almighty God actually led me into the path of penetrating search for Him. Despite my painstaking efforts in wanting to believe in him and serve him devotedly, my incisive search for God disappointingly revealed such shocking detail that he’s a bogus God that doesn’t exist. The deceit to turn human judgments into divine commands is the hit in the highest point of all spurious impositions that makes religion the most dreadful scam the world has ever known.

Q: If you say there is no God, where then comes the power that controls the amazing order in the universe?

A: Mother Nature, of course! In fact, every proceeding in this world has happened the same way we would have expected life to come about if God does not exist. The fact is undeniable today that the death of ancient gods did not in any way affect natural phenomena such as lightning and rain; neither did the death of Inca and Ra stop the sun and the moon from shinning unto planet earth. It is evident that our universe and everything in it would be unaffected by the demise of the Gods of all earthling religions.

Q: Why do you say religious practices are invented out of fraud?

A: It is very evident to those who have taken the trouble to undertake comparative studies of religion that the religions we now call false were once true. You see, all the Sacred Scriptures that alleged their origins from divine source are altogether a bunch of blatant forgeries and fantasies in relations to nonexistent Gods. For example, the story of the Biblical global deluge of Noah is a direct plagiarism from the Epic of Gilgamesh; the same with the story of Mithras and Jesus. The question that repeatedly arises in my mind is how this hag of superstition called the word of God has conquered the universal intelligence of humankind and surmounts it into the path of continual foolishness?

Q: What is the meaning of life to you?

A: The answer to your question is a bit too long for me to relay in this interview; but I captured my viewpoints as regards the meaning of life very clearly for everyone to understand in the sixth chapter of The Crisis of Religion, under the heading, Reincarnation vs. Resurrection. It’s a very explosive chapter that I would recommend its reading to all, regardless of one’s religious conviction.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. T. Be;llo permalink
    October 18, 2011 1:12 pm

    I agree wt you to great extent. Do you know virtually all nation/tribe has its own creation story? Most of these stories are similar- just each tribe twisting the content to own immediate context/ environ.
    Well, being a Muslim, I proclaim Islam as my religion but I take keen interest in friendliness, simplicity and good deeds/thoughts to fellow humans. I strongly believe these are things that can give me joy and the fulfillment I crave. I will be fulfilled if pple around me are happy.
    I may not renounce the religion because the fear of my ‘unknown end’ (after death life) lingers in me. However, I believe many things are secreted in this universe especially concerning RELIGION.
    Deep thinking, good job you doing out there!

    • October 18, 2011 8:06 pm

      @ T. Bello: It is very true that dogmatic believers constantly live their life in fear of everlasting damnation into hellfire. Those frightful pictures of eternal torture have undoubtedly helped religions sustain the belief of their absurd theologies in the minds of credulous believers from childhood. It is very unfortunate that people have practically refused to grow up; instead, they become born again in extreme delusion.

      Do the sacred scriptures that inform believers of the existence of God, as well as the eternal lake of fire their God had purportedly set ready to roast the vast majority of humans contain infallible account, and therefore trustworthy for belief as the word of the creator of the universe, if there exists any? Great evidence abound within the internal contents of these ‘sacred books’ that all of its ancient authors are primitive men who modelled their dealings and relations entirely towards the essence of superstitions—irrational beliefs that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of event allegedly influences its outcome. These beliefs are usually devoid of experimental reasoning concerning matters of fact, as they merely attempt to explain the course of events they did not understand with primitive myths. (See details in the first chapter of my new book ‘Echoes of Common Sense)

      According to Ruth Hurmence Green, “There was a time when religion rules the world. It is known as the dark ages.” It is evident that the origin of several of these ‘sacred books’ dates back to the age when religion rules the world—the Dark Age—the era of vast ignorance in human history. Therefore, the revered status of sacred admiration granted the reign of these doubtful and controversial theologies that are today called the ‘word of God in print’ by theologians and those with pious reputations, lamentably, signifies the depth of the human ignorance.

      The process of life and death, undeniably, remains the same in both animals and humans. I dealt extensively with the topic of afterlife in the 6th chapter of The Crisis of Religion; it’s the longest chapter in the book. I’d recommend that you try as much as possible to read it. There is no ‘Pot of Gold’ at the end of the rainbow. There is no life after death.

      In the immortal words of Albert Einstein, “For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.”

  2. February 20, 2011 1:25 pm

    Thank you so much for you response, John. Practical Christianity as we know it in Africa in the last 3-400 years have predominantly instigated from Europe and America. Firstly, (not chronologically) the Romans came to subjugate our ancestral faith in Africa with Catholicism; then came the English people with their Anglican church; thereafter, it was the turn of Islam, the Dutch Reformed Church, the Baptist, Methodist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and the worst of it all, the Pentecostals from USA. As things stand now in Africa, if anyone of us does not belong to any of these foreign religions, such a person is seen as an outcast in the society. I must confess, I do not know if the Greek and other European societies have also experienced ancestral faith conquest as we have continued to witness it all around the continent of Africa in the last 3-400 years, where indigenes do not want to hear anything relating to their native religions, unless it’s Arabic or European related. I think you’d need to visit Africa to acquire first hand info on how foreign religions have severely battered a once upon a time vibrant culture, and this is very disturbing.

  3. John permalink
    February 20, 2011 11:07 am

    I’m all for keeping the indigenous African culture and preserving African identity, but how far do you want to go? Are you as an atheist trying to form an alliance with Africans still practicing their tribal beliefs? Or do you want more A…fricans to give up with their foreign superstitions and practice their indigenous superstitions rather than just abandoning religion altogether?

    I do make a distinction between identifying culturally with the African religions and practicing them literally. I’d personally much rather see their tribal beliefs like all religious beliefs go into a museum rather than return in actual literal practice. I see both religion and tribal beliefs as superstition and in their own ways threatening to rationality. I’d be in favor of preserving African tribal art, music, myths, etc., but not in actual literal practice of the religion. Daniel Dennett the atheist for example loves to sing religious carols with his family on Christmas, but he doesn’t believe a word of it.

    Maybe it’s just me. I’ve had Protestant ancestors in my country for 400 years and I was raised Catholic. I as an atheist don’t identify as a cultural Protestant or Catholic the way Dawkins identifies being a cultural Christian being British or Pasolini being a cultural Catholic. Maybe it’s because I’m American. Americans can be a bit rootless in a way. Much of American culture contemporary and historically is pretty secular. Great writers like Twain, Lovecraft, Poe, etc. were all non-believers. A lot of the great American painters did mostly secular paintings, etc.

    I think how African culture is being destroyed today is very similar to what happened with Pagan European cultures and I think the same for Arabs where Islam destroyed the previous religions in the area. I don’t know the history as well, but I did hear about primitive European sculptures and stuff like that being destroyed. Greeks I think had Christianity shoved on them too. I don’t know how much Greek pagan culture plays in their society today, but fortunately the great Greek pagan writers like Sophocles, Homer, etc. still live on.

  4. John permalink
    February 20, 2011 11:05 am

    Sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner!

    I don’t think it’s true that “Africans remain the only race in this world with no known religion that’s connected to its own cultural heritage and values.”

    Greeks were worshiping Zeus …before they were worshiping Jesus and Germans and Danish were worshiping Thor. It was the Romans who forced many of the Europeans to worship Jesus and so Christianity is not really indigenous to Europe as a whole. Europe was once like Africa with all of their pagan beliefs, but not anymore thanks to the Roman Empire. Christianity was forced upon many of the Europeans before they started to force Christianity on other races. Latinos indigenous to the Americas are mostly Catholic which is a religion that was forced on to them. Indigenous Mexicans to my knowledge are no longer worshiping Quetzalcoatl. Also, the Arabs forced Islam on to ethnic groups around the world. The Muslim religion makes the majority several countries in Asia where Islam was once a foreign religion. The country with the most Muslims is not an Arab country, but Indonesia. I don’t see Africans as unique in this, except today Christianity is probably growing faster on the African continent than any other part of the world (which Christianity has already conquered or tried to conquer).

    I am in favor of Africans turning to their native traditions culturally (I like making my own West African stew and like some of the traditional African music with the complex rhythms). Of course I wouldn’t be in favor of Africans returning so much to their traditions to so much an extent that they’ll become superstitious and shun modern scientific discoveries which I know you’d agree.

    Have you got any more interviews coming up? I still have yet to read your article on Nigeria. I don’t really know Nigeria’s political situation at all that well and so I’m interested in what you have to say.

  5. February 10, 2011 3:09 pm

    Great work, Mr. Ojowuro. It would also be great to interview African American non-theist authors, such as Sikivu Hutchinson, Anthony Pinn, Donald Wright, and others.

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