That Men May THINK

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That Men May THINK


New Converts make the worst Zealots.” – Anon.

The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion.” – Thomas Paine

“We weighing all and singular the premises with due meditation, and noting that since we had formerly by other letters of ours granted among other things free and ample faculty to the aforesaid King Alfonso — to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods whatsoever held and possessed by them and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to apply and appropriate to himself and his successors the kingdoms, dukedoms, counties, principalities, dominions, possessions, and goods, and to convert them to his and their use and profit — by having secured the said faculty, the said King Alfonso, or, by his authority, the aforesaid infante, justly and lawfully has acquired and possessed, and doth possess, these islands, lands, harbors, and seas, and they do of right belong and pertain to the said King Alfonso and his successors”. – Pope Nicholas V issued the bull Romanus Pontifex on January 5, 1455.


jonathan pray2


“How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us and our predecessors.” Pope Leo X


We have this penchant in Africa to borrow ideas from other people and, within a short time, manage to bastardize it to the extent that they become unrecognizable to the originators.

Take western democracy as an example.

I have lived in Europe and have witnessed firsthand how Europeans practice their type of democracy.

In Europe, it is only during election periods that anyone will notice that there is any form of politicking going on in the land.

In between elections, politicians do their best to carry out the act of governing and fulfilling the promises they made to the electorate. Please, I don’t argue that they always make success of it, but they look busy. The ordinary people go about their normal business and don’t dabble much in politics. Again, I do not argue that it was a nice thing for citizens to be apathetic. Everything remains normal until the next election period, when people go to their polling booths, gently cast their votes, return to their homes and cheer whoever wins.

In Europe, political analyses are left to professional political analysts.

What do we have in Africa?

We have taken to politics the way rabid dogs take to blood. We do our special brand of politics 24/7 from Monday to Sunday and from January to December.

In Africa, everybody is involved in politics and everyone is a political analyst. Everyone holds opinions on virtually every subject under the sun and beyond.

In Africa today, we appear do little else apart from politicking. We have reduced everything in our land to politics, and it is only through the political prism we see everything around us.

Our politicians do little but politicise all year round; they hop from one media house to the other, vociferating loudly against their political opponents using the most vituperative of languages.

If our politicians spend time debating issues and policies that will help our societies move forward, there will be little problem. But all we see them do is engage in cacophonous, mind-numbing noise-making that cannot elevate any intellectual discourse.

But maybe then we should not complain too loudly, since very few of them brandish any worthwhile professional or academic qualification. Politics is the only thing they know how to do.

Election times in Africa are occasions for great stress. One would think that countries are on war path during election times.

Few elections in Africa are violence-free and few are devoid of bloodshed and other mayhem.

Whereas politicians in the West phone to congratulate their opponents as soon as results are announced, elections in Africa are not resolved until losing parties threatened fire and brimstone and drag issues in the court for years on end.

For our politicians, elections are free and fair only when their party wins.

And let’s consider the case of religion.

Our ancestors bequeathed to us humanistic religions.

In matters of religion, our forebears were the most tolerant in the world. Affirming their fate in their creator, they also recognise that every person is entitled and free to find his way to his creator in any manner he chooses.

I speak here as a student of Comparative Religion, and I daresay that no one comes close to the Yoruba people in religious tolerance.

The Yorubas fully understand that a living god must be immanent – manifest in every living thing in the whole universe.

Recognising this, the Yorubas don’t build shrines or temples to Olodumare – their Supreme Deity.

They are also practical enough to have a saying: “Orisa, ti o ba le gbami, fimi sile bi o se bami,” to wit: “god, if you cannot help me, leave me the way you met me.”

The colonialists (Arabs and Europeans) came and imposed their intolerant religions on us.

They told us that only by believing in their desert gods can we be saved!

They used swords, bayonets and Maxim guns to impose their ‘peaceful’ religions on us.

The colonisers claimed that theirs are religions revealed to save mankind and send man to a blissful heaven where every need is catered for.

Ought we not ask ourselves that if these colonisers truly believe their stories, would they be so generous to tell us?

Shouldn’t our senses tell us that those that came to pillage, to rape, to enslave, to colonise will hardly show us the way to salvation?

Many of us have lived in Europe and in Arabia, we know firsthand the pervasive racism in those places.

Ought we not ask where and when those that treat us shabbily in their lands developed the charitable heart to impart to us the secrets of a glorious heaven?

Should we not ask that if their hearts are so filled with generosity, why they are so unwilling to share with us the wealth their companies extract from our land?

Should we not have the brain to ask why they fight tooth and nail to create their own paradise here on earth, while they ask that we die and go someplace before we can enjoy ours?

And since we know the benefits of science and technology and can point to concrete proof of the achievements of science, ought we not ask why the colonisers also put a sanction on those that try to acquire scientific knowledge?

The West always try to stop any nation from mastering the weapons technology with which they dominate the world. Westerners do not waste time to impose sanction on any country that attempted to master the nuclear technology.

Today, we have taken to the religions of our oppressors so much so that we know longer recognise our indigenous religions.

We even scoff at those that practice them as primitive savages.

Sadly, the more educated the African is the more alienated he is from everything African.

We remain the only race that educated its children to shun its tradition. We are the only race that feel ashamed to give our names to our children. We are the only people on earth that actively discourage the speaking of its own language! Our film industries lead the assault on disparaging everything traditional African.

Once again, we managed to turn our borrowed idea, religion in this case, on its head.

A European visitor to Africa will simply marvel at how we have managed to turn Christianity, the religion his ancestors brought to us, into a stupid caricature.

We have used the alien religions to turn many of our people into mindless zombies.

Many of us have abandon all reason and can only parrot quotations from ‘holy’ books, whether or not it accord with reason or with logic.

A recent poll said that Ghana has overtaken Nigeria as the most religious country in the world.

Were this to be evidenced by high-moral standard, this would be cheering news indeed.

But few will deny that we have not only become a more decadent society, but we are a morally bankrupt nation as adduced by the high level of corruption in our society.

We have a church or two on most of our streets, but stealing, robbery, lying, dishonestly in private and public lives are the order of the day.

Despite all the efforts the pastors expend daily in ritualistic prayers and retreats, crime is rising.

We troop to our churches almost every day, yet very few of us will think little of taking advantage of our fellow being or steal from our work-places.

Despite our professed Christianity, few of us will shy away from duping their own families or business partners.

We earn our degrees but we hardly do any thinking at all. We interact daily with people from other societies on the internet, yet we continue to take serious the nonsense the priests spew to us very day.

We enjoy the products of science and technology, yet we continue to give more space and attention to hypocritical and parasitical priests, instead of to our engineers and scientists.

Our political leaders parley almost daily with fraudulent priests, but never had time for technologists, engineers and scientists.

In our land, the cassocked thieves we call men-of-god have become emboldened; so much so that they can utter any rubbish and know that they can get away with it.

A leading pastor recently uttered the bunkum that only the Christian god can help Africa, without telling us which society has been aided by any god to achieve something.

Another one of the priests stupidly opined that it is only his god that ‘can change a man into a woman.’

That these priests think nothing of putting forth such ignorant views in national newspapers is, I believe, a very sad commentary on the level of intellectual development in our part of the world.

It appears that Men (and women, too) can, in the name of religion, utter any nonsense and believe that they could get away with it.

Anyone is free to believe what s\he chooses, but should our collective intelligence be insulted\assaulted with patent lies?

I think not. A wise man admonished that we are entitled to our opinions, but not to our facts.

I could only guess that, in writing the quoted statements, the ignoble priest has not heard of ‘Genetic Engineering.’

In this age and time, when the luminous light of science and technology is shining through every corner of our universe, revealing to us nature’s darkest secrets, it is not only the ignorant, but the dogmatic mind that still clings tenaciously to beliefs of yester-years.

It must take a certain level of unbelievable dogmatism to cling to holy dictates of thousands of years ago, penned by ignorant priests interested only in consolidating wealth gotten by preying on mass illiteracy and superstition.

Almost every day, Men and Women, struggling in their laboratories, are prying from nature secrets we yesterday considered ‘Supernatural,’ ‘Miraculous,’ or ‘Magical.’

Their findings are published and are available to those whose minds are not enervated by constant adjurations to Fathers, who are forever in heavens.


cockpit of spaceship endeavor

cockpit of spaceship endeavor


The internet plus Google, the fabulous search engine, makes doing basic research nowadays a breeze except for those for whom thinking is a great handicap.

In our part of the world, where ignorance and superstition and the fear of the unknown still reign supreme; where some men who, in the words of Robert Ingersoll, still pretend to stand between our fears and helplessness and the anger of the gods, dissuade and frown upon free inquiry and scientific investigations; where many go through life without reading anything more serious than ‘Holy Books’; we may know it not, but knowledge of genetics has made it possible to CREATE virtually ANYTHING.

There are many published works on cloning. Perhaps the best three best known fictions are Aldus Huxley’s ‘Brave New World,’ David Rorvik’s ‘In His Image*,’ and Michael Crichton’s ‘Jurassic Park.’

Of course, there are uncountable scientific papers on the subject. Sheep and other mammals have been successfully cloned as are virtually every one of the crops we eat. The cloned sheep even gave birth.

The problem of cloning a Human Being is no longer technological but political\ethical\moral. Some laboratories even claimed to have achieved the feat.

Intellectual laziness or pure inertia might dissuade some of us from gaining wider knowledge but their brazen, if self-induced, nescience should not be thrown in our faces.

While, in our part of the world, we continue to pore over our sacred texts of obscure origins, chanting our sacred hymns to our desert gods, people elsewhere are busy splicing and manipulating genes. The entire map of the human chromosomes has been published. While we freeze ourselves in mental lethargy, atoms are being split; genes are being manipulated and the cosmos is being probed. Atom cell technologies are developing at break-neck pace.

It is over half a century ago that Man landed on the moon – a feat brilliantly captured in the novel ‘A Fire on the Moon,’ by Norman Mailer.

Mailer’s book, I must say, is one of the most brilliant I ever read.

Currently, a NASA robot is probing the surface of Mars – we talk here of a planet two hundred plus millions of miles away.

And someone tells me that it should be considered a great miracle that a son of a god turned water into wine and believing that will earn me a passport into heaven!

That we in Africa spend our time reading nothing more serious than our Lotto papers, does not mean that the rest of humanity is asleep, or waiting for us to get up from our intellectual and mental languor.

In societies where men occupied their minds with more than waiting for ‘Salvation,’ or ‘Judgment Day,’ genetically engineered tomatoes, fruits, and cereals have become staples on dining tables.

Whilst we spend inordinate amount of time preparing to go to paradise, instead of trying to solve some of the problems here on earth, a genetically engineered cow has been offered to a patent office!

While we continue to wait for celestial ‘supernatural’ forces to help us feed ourselves, people that are more serious are simulating and proffering solutions to their earthly problems.

While we shy away from scientific enquiry and entrust our destiny to our ‘heavenly Father,’ other people, believing that heaven help only those who help themselves are taking charge of their own affairs.

Here on earth, most Men have stopped believing that there are forces superior to nature.

No sir, it is not only the almighty who could transform a man into a woman.

In places where men dare to confront and conquer nature’s mysteries, sex-transformation has become such a routine operation that it could be had for a song.

In tiny Holland, for example, women and men routinely transform their sexes, sometimes with the state footing the ‘health’ bill!

This is not hearsay; I have seen some of them myself.

‘Virgin Birth’ is no longer so wondrous to men who can CLONE a human being.

If certain things are not being done, it may not be because the technologies are unavailable; it may be due simply to moral or ethical considerations.

The power at the disposal of Man today is truly awesome and, what is more, it is available to those whose minds are unfettered by the proclamations of some heavenly fathers’ eons ago.

Those who can unshackled their minds from mental slavery can TODAY master their own DESTINY.

Africans arise; time it is for us to start to think, instead of continuing to muddle in ignorance- engendered poverty.

This is 2017 Africa, not some two millennia-ago Middle East.

I say that is time we re-discover our scientific and cultural roots and join the rest of humanity in probing nature rather to continue to be slaves to its vagaries.

Our ancestors bequeathed to the world the wonders of the Pyramids of Sudan and Egypt. The Great one at Giza continue to wow the modern world.

Today we, the inheritors of these marvelous feats, are being led to believe that our salvation lies in believing in a Jewish desert god with no single achievement to recommend him!

“You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you Free.” Ancient Egyptian saying, falsely credited to the Christian Bible.]

* Mr Rorvik insists that what he wrote actually transpired.


About the Author

Femi Akomolafe is a passionate Pan-Africanist. A columnist for the Accra-based Daily Dispatch newspaper and ModernGhana, and Correspondent for the New African magazine, Femi lives in both Europe and Africa, and writes regularly on Africa-related issues for various newspapers and magazines.

Femi was the producer of the FOCUS ON AFRICANS TV Interview programme for the MultiTV Station.

He is also the Man and Machine Coordinator at Alaye Dot Biz Limited, a Kasoa-based Multimedia organisation that specialises in Audio and Video Production. He loves to shoot and edit video documentaries.

His highly-acclaimed books (“Africa: Destroyed by the gods,” “Africa: It shall be well,” “18 African Fables & Moonlight Stories” and “Ghana: Basic Facts + More”) are available for sales at the following bookshops/offices:

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  5. African Kitchen in Amsterdam Bijlmer

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Femi Akomolafe



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