Bigotry of High Order
“If we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”
– Karl Popper
Disturbing trepidations, shock, upset, alarming hatred, intolerable heresy, disloyalty to ancestors, infidelity to God, and so on… This record of startling bigotry is what the mere mention of the word ‘Atheism’ regularly ignites all over the continent of Africa. All African communities perceive a handful of Atheists in their midst as immoral disciples of Satan, dissidents of inherited faith, extreme adversaries of evangelism, infidels, and activists of satanic doctrines, whose licentious lifestyles engender organized apostasy against a compassionate God unfairly hurt by iniquities of their immoral conducts. Many Africans still believe the Atheist is a legal outcast in the society; “a nondescript monster created by Nature in a moment of madness,” as William Gillespie has wrongly observed some 150 years ago.
In the face of these tainted opinions, does Atheism truly represent any aspect of the ailing stigmas, which advocates of dogmatic faith have deceitfully impressed in the minds of Africans? Are the abject calumnies with which organized religions have branded Atheism truly sensible and just? The answer to these questions is a resounding no. It is, therefore, on the reward that our society may succeed in removing some of the many prejudices that numerous people under the influence of superficial bigotry have, without good ground, erected against the holders of Atheistic opinions that I decide to write this chapter for the benefit of pious readers.
Certainly, the widespread prejudices against Atheism are blatant societal errors, which invasive ignorance of credulous believers chronically festers throughout the length and breadth of the African continent. These offensive stigmas and invalid perceptions about Atheism are indeed outside the realms of value judgments and all decent contemplations in the mind of any reasonable person in the civilized world. The words of the French Philosopher, Voltaire, still hold true today in Africa: “On religion, many are destined to reason wrongly; others not to reason at all; and others to prosecute those who do reason.” Read More…