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Because you are a decent person does not mean your religion is not harmful: My 24 hour ordeal with religion.

I shared my post about the Twenty Reasons I am distressed by Religion and its Believers on my Facebook wall and as usual, some religious believers felt the need to defend religion with the usual “Religion is not harmful; it is some few bad believers that  make it appear so“. I am really tired of explaining to self righteous religious believers that their religion is in and of itself harmful and yes, it causes us non believers, distress. Here is an example of such comment from a decent person who just happens to be a religious believer.

 My dearest, religion if practiced in truth and in spirit is a way to cope with life’s difficulties.
Do not be distressed. If you can teach people how to cope with difficulties, you have a religion.
Religion is a discipline, a way of life to deal with life issues. Some have become predators using religion to take advantage of others—those I abhor.

I gave you my definition of religion. My definition does not include preying on children and calling them witches. No. Those who prey on others in the name of religion must be brought to line seriously.
Religion is about grace, mercy and faith and hope….We live by the principles of those who have been passionate and died for a cause. It is a choice and a way of life. Everyone has a religion.

While I appreciate and understand the way this commenter tried to paint religion, I must point out that Religion in its ordinary and accepted meaning is not “a discipline” or “a way of life to deal with life issues.” Religion is based on the belief and practice that 299640_2502429690969_1559765948_32692757_375854935_nthere are supernatural powers and beings that have effect on our natural existence. The typical dictionary definition of religion refers to a “belief in, or the worship of, a god or gods. It is “the belief in spiritual beings”.

When people believe in supernatural beings, they are most often than not, willing to accuse children of witchcraft, accuse their neighbors of standing in the way of their progress, accuse their family members of demonic spirits, eagerly condemn those who do not share their belief in spiritual beings, seek to make laws, especially draconian laws that impose their religious beliefs on others and defend child marriages. They are also eager to proselytize to non believers about their Skydaddy and eagerly describe what torture awaits them in hell fire if they refuse to convert.

Religion might give delusional comfort, but some of us appreciate the cold hard truth even in our most depressing and difficult times. I have no problem with people who wish to be comforted by religion and its God delusion. However I do have a serious problem with the implications and known negative effects of believing in supernatural beings. After all, as Voltaire said “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”. And that is depressing.422578_10150654291961873_639253793_n

It is possible to be a decent person and hold religious beliefs. The sad truth is, Religion gives room for people to use it to take advantage of others. Religion itself is that room. When I call out religion, it is not a personal attack on its believers but an attempt to scrutinize the religion like any other idea, belief or ideology.

There are already too many Absurdities and Atrocities believed and committed in the name of Religion. Religious believers are also quick to say that we cannot hold the crimes of a few (what exactly qualifies as ‘a few’ here, I can’t say)  against all religions, after all we do not hold every human being responsible for the crime of a few.

Yes, a whole race, sex, left handed people or gays should not be held responsible for the crime of a few of its members. But race, sex, left-handedness and sexual orientation are natural, religion is not.

Religion is a myth created by humans. It is a belief in supernatural beings and their passive or active influence on our natural world. When you hold religious beliefs, you hold a mythical belief that impacts on the lives of people around you.  Unfortunately those impacts are often negative and harmful.31028_376957645712060_1709111172_n

If you believe there is a God with angels doing His divine will, you also automatically believe that there is a Satan with demons doing His bids.  This leads you to pray to your supreme God for blessings. You also pray for protection from the evil machinations of Satan and His demons.

You think some few people like your pastors and Imams are angels sent to you by God to guide and bless you. However, since we hardly experience angels in human forms and considering the harsh economic condition, most often than not, you see demons in your fellow human beings. You think-

  • Your Mother-in-Law is a witch who does not want you to be happy with her only son.
  • Your work colleague is using demonic powers to claim the promotion you feel belongs to you.
  • The old haggard looking woman on your street looked at you in a certain way and that day you had a road accident, surely she must be a witch.
  • Your friend seems to be having a streak of good fortunes, maybe she is using demonic powers to divert your blessings to herself
  • Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals , Transsexuals and Atheists are possessed by demons…the list goes on and on.

Religion is not used to refer to “grace, mercy and faith and hope“, it is about a belief in Supernatural beings. And my point is, believing in supernatural beings has a whole lot of harmful effects that have hurt many and dragged humanity backwards. There was a time religion ruled the world and that time is known as the Dark Ages.

Also, when we call out religion, it is not an attack on anyone’s personality. You can belief in a supernatural being and s425432_265441616863221_126894987384552_609382_453469780_ntill be a decent human being and you can be an atheist and still be an asshole. Your beliefs do not make you a better person, your behaviour does.

Religion is about grace, mercy and faith and hope? Hmm, OK, here is my encounter with religion in the last 24 hours.

First, I had an awful night because ‘my dear one’ was woken up in the middle of the night by a call from a  family member, pertaining to a ‘spiritual’ emergency. From the little I heard,  it sounded like her baby girl was not feeling fine or maybe she sleepwalked, she panicked and called ‘our dear one’. Even though she had to get up for work early, ‘my dear one’ spent  most of the night praying and advising the family member to pray and also read a psalm verse, 7 times into a bucket of water and use it to bathe her baby girl morning, afternoon and evening.

The blame for this new ‘spiritual ailment’ that must be curtailed immediately, was put at the doorstep of a friend who was visiting UK with her young children and was accommodated for close to two months by this family member.  The uninvited quest overstayed her welcome and now the suspicion is that this guest must have cast a demonic spell on her hostess’s baby girl , which accounts for the sudden illness or sleepwalking.

‘My dear one’ had earlier advised the family member to be careful with her daughter’s hair because of a dream she had. I remember that she actually woke up muttering something about the baby girl’s hair. As she said, with the new sleep walking event, the dream now makes perfect sense. Hmm. The sad part was, I really could see that she truly believed the jargon she was spewing. She was visibly in distress and jumped up from sleep clutching her bible to pray and ward off this ‘spiritual attack’. Needless to say, I felt like vomiting and my heart really sank to a new low! And of course I knew I had to call all estate agents in London to please get me out of here before I kill someone.404291_2885868499494_1043602147_2953767_1849342968_n

When as atheists, we talk about the harm religion causes; it is not because we are feeling superior to the believers, but mostly because we have seen firsthand how it destroys families and friends. I have cut off relationships with most members of my family because of such religious nonsense and the odds of me being good friends with a religious nutter, is ZERO. So when people wonder Why I speak out against religion, why I am so anti-religion or angry at religion, it is because religion made my family members people i can’t bear to be in the same room with and also deprived me of a few who would have been good friends if not for their constant yapping on about a Skydaddy who they claim speak to them (or is it gossips?) about the evil intentions of their enemies. They claim Skydaddy also dishes out destinies to us mere earthlings.

Well, my 24 hour ordeal with religion continues…

Still sad by the night episode, I got up to prepare to meet some estate agents. I heard my Nigerian neighbor, a loud Christian, speaking loudly on the phone. She was advising a friend not to attend a 40 years birthday bash. According to her:

All those people have been celebrating 40 years birthday for the past 10 to 20 years, they are always 40. You attend their parties, eat all the sumptuous dishes they prepare and even give you nice take away meals, but what you don’t know is that these foods have been prepared with demonic portions. You will just be here in London working day and night, without seeing any financial rewards. These people have used the food you eat at their party to divert your blessings to themselves. You work but they reap the financial rewards. Don’t go to that party, if you must go, don’t eat at the party. If you want food, come to my house, I have just prepared Jollof rice.”

No, she is not a stark illiterate.  She is probably a graduate from one of the polytechnics in Nigeria. Unfortunately the advice she dished out is not an uncommon one. It is quite common amongst Africans who have adopted a foreign religion, mostly Christianity, to dish out such advice to their friends, family members and children. They tell their children not to accept food from  neighbours because they could initiate them into witchcraft. Even if you do not want your children to accept food 33770_167366599945211_100000156154826_637981_5432461_nfrom outsiders, why link it to witchcraft?

You raise your children to see black people as the epitome of evil, the machinery of Satan and as demons walking the earth to frustrate and tempt your faith in your new found blue eyed, blonde, Jew, personal saviour called Jesus!

BTW, I have seen General Secretaries of troubled trade unions in Nigeria refused to sit on the office chairs used by their predecessors for fear of demonic attacks from jealous contenders. There was a well known case of a General Secretary of a trade union who took his office chair home with him every day! Needless to say when I raised skeptical eyebrow at this action, I was told I was naive and don’t understand spiritual matters.

Anyway, my 24 hour ordeal with religion continues…

On my way to the bus stop, right on the high street, I encountered a group of black men and women, mostly women. They had with them a big radio blasting Christian tunes. They were dancing and distributing tracts inviting people to their church. From their accent they were probably Ghanians. Something in my face, probably the despicable look I threw at their direction, must have warned them off trying to give me their damned church invitation.

I crossed to the other side of the road and lo and behold, a middle aged, fairly well dressed black man who could pass for ruggedly handsome was clutching a megaphone and screaming about how we are all gonna be condemned to hell fire if we do not embrace Jesus today.  Why does it always have to be black people proselytizing on the streets of London about their new found, born again Christianity!

I jumped on the overground train with a heavy feeling in my heart. What the heck is it about foreign religion that has black Africans deeply in its grip? One would have thought the mere fact that a lot of atrocities were perpetrated against the black people in the name of Islam and Christianity would be enough to make them run the heck away from those religions. But no, they are deeply attracted to their own tormentor and wish to drag every other person into that torment with them.

Native African religions adherents never bothered to proselytize. Almost every ethnic group has gods, goddesses or deities that are peculiar to their clan. No proselytizing was needed. It was never forced on anyone. 734789_334547843328637_241749167_nIf you wanted a particular deity to bless you, all you need do is visit the shrine of the deity, and the shrine keeper, babalawo, spiritualist or voodoo man will tell you what is needed. You perform whatever sacrifices that are needed and wait for the outcome. Well, you might wait for eternity or simply interpret events to fit into your desired outcome. Whatever the case, you don’t disturb your neighbours with loud prayers or scream on the high street with megaphones.

If you needed to deal with someone you think has done you harm, it is between you, the voodoo man and your mythical deity. You don’t dance in broad daylight singing the praises of your deity, if you must dance at all, it is often late at night in a dense bush where you will not disturb anyone or be seen by anyone, except the deity living in your imagination and its errand boy on earth who feeds fat on your stupidity.

Why is it now a thing of pride for Africans to dance like ignoramuses on the streets in praise of a deity that looks nothing like them and actually holds them in contempt?

I alighted from the overground train and joined a bus that would take me to my destination. Sitting right in front of me was a black woman who appeared to be talking to herself. She was saying things like “Read your bible, love Jesus, don’t join bad gangs, if they come to you, tell them about Jesus…”At first I thought she was talking to a black teenager standing not too far from her. The boy was also looking at her with puzzled eyes. He alighted from the bus but the woman continued her rant. Becoming more agitated, she muttered ‘Trouble stay one place, you went looking for trouble, you ask for my advice, you don’t take it, I say, Jesus loves you, come to Jesus. You must pray or you go to hell”

I thought “Oh no, not again, maybe she is on the phone, using ear buds”. But no she wasn’t. She was taking to herself and it all has to do with heaven and hell and that ever popular white, blue eyed blonde Jew lover of many black women, Jesus Christ.

I wonder why early signs of depression or mental cases amongst black people involve talking to oneself about heaven and hell and proselytizing on the streets about Jesus. No, I don’t have data for this but from what I have seen in Nigeria and even here in London, this is most probably true.  Christianity as a Religion seems to be one of the chief manifestations of mental disorders amongst black people.

My 24 hour ordeal  with religion continues…

I got to the estate agent whom I had earlier met. I was now desperate enough to consider a property they have outside London area. I asked if I could be taken to view the property. While waiting for some other person who had a say in it, our discussion veered towards human rights. He is a person of colour and according to him, a member of some South Asian human rights groups. They are interested in setting up offices around the property I was interested in. They wanted me to consider partnering with them on human right issues. We were throwing around ideas when he gave me a small colourful book titled ‘A gift for your neighbour’.a gift 1

Not really catching on fast, I said ‘Oh, I do designs too. I have done advocacy calendars and we could do something like this for human rights promotions”.  He responded that he feels good giving out the tracts, but if I don’t like it, I can pass it on to someone else. I flipped through the tract and well, it was a colouful Islamic tract talking about introducing your neighbour to God. I didn’t know Muslims now distribute tracts like Christians.

First page reads: “How and why were you created? You were created out of the Love of God. Your eyes, ears, sense where all designed to serve God.” Hmm., so I wasn’t created because my parents fucked but because a Skydaddy wants me to worship him on earth. Couldn’t I have worshiped him in whatever state I was in before my parents fucked?

A gift 2 a gift 4

Anyway, I took the tract, said goodbye with a promise to add him on LinkedIn. I checked him out on LinkedIn as promised and knew immediately that  I wouldn’t be renting his property or partnering with him as he runs or wishes to run some kind of charity for God philanthropy targeted at royalty and Sheiks. He said I am pretty and intelligent and should be able to raise some funds from the sheiks. Yuk!

I opened my email and responded to a few FB inbox messages from friends who were abused on some facebook threads for questioning the belief in God. They were lamenting how some relatively intelligent people could defend atrocities in the name of religion. A friend was baffled as to how graduates still think eclipse is a miracle from God. Do I even need to mention the many ignorant and hateful comments waiting for me on some of my blog posts like this and this, sent by ignorant religious believers? Pathetic does not even begin to describe some of these comments.

All these happened in less than 24 hours. Even though I am not a religious believer, religion follows me everyRELIGIONwhere in my daily interactions. My very existence as a feminist, bisexual and atheist is threatened because of what religion says.

When you get angry because I call out your religion, think about the many atrocities your religion gives room for.  Child marriages, burning witches, stoning gays, accusing children of demonic powers, slapping, beating and tormenting children accused of witchcraft, breaking up families and friendships because of suspicion of demonic influences, refusing to help strangers, friends or even family members because you fear their predicaments might have been caused by demonic forces which you believe would be transferred to anyone who helped them overcome the travails,  and defending the atrocities of your ;Daddy in Christ’ because your holy book says “Touch not my anointed”. All these are daily consequences of your belief in spiritual entities.407171_2699056189303_1043602147_2867789_1434976931_n

You might think your belief in a Skydaddy does not cause any harm, but in all honesty, it does. It causes a lot of harm. A belief in a good Skydady necessitates a belief in a bad Underground  monster who is Skydaddy’s enemy. And that causes harm to our friends and families. It gives room for atrocities.

As Steven Weinberg said, Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things. But for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.

By affirming the myths and forcing it down the throat of vulnerable children, you are also culpable of spreading The Cancer Called Religion.

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Yeah, one of my clients this summer gave me a Qur’an and a bunch of Islamic tracts, about how awesome it is for women to be Muslim (written, shockingly, by a man -- :-| = my surprised face), how Muslims love them some Jesus and Mary, and a bunch of other stuff marginally better than Chick tracts.

    I always figure I’ve reached an interesting stage when a religious friend of mine decides to tract me up. I’ve got them all on my bookshelves: an inscribed Book of Mormon (now THAT is one kooky booky), a Tanakh/Pentateuch, a Catholic full bible, and a non-denom KJV Christian-only bible (fits nicely alongside the Tanakh, of course, but they’re in quite different styles). I’ve got a Landmark pamphlet or two, and even a Scientologist tract that tells me how awful it is that I take anti-depressants.

    I, in turn, think it’s awful that they take superstitions* seriously, so I guess we’re all being amazed by one another.

    * And isn’t it fascinating how often the views of the invisible skywizards seem to reinforce that the priestly class should be both tightly restricted and recompensed at a rate vastly exceeding the value of their services to the community.

  2. says

    Thank you for your inspiration and your well written articles. I think the greatest impediment if not the greatest threat to human rights in Africa generally and in Nigeria in particular is the religious imperialism represented by “the book” religions.

  3. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @CaitieCat- Growing up, 15./20 years ago, I actually used to collects tracts. I was in my ‘Freethinking/Soul searching’ period, and just loved collecting and reading every religious tracts out there. It is no wonder it got me fast into the atheist lane. Reading some of these stuffs, you just have to ask “Are you fucking kidding me?” Unfortunately, they weren’t. And there really is no better way to grow out of religion than to read the books.

  4. says

    @Yemisi -- totally. I’m really very lucky, I consider, to have been raised atheist, and never having had to unlearn the “believing in the insensible” thing. So my books are just that, books, usually fairly poorly written anthologies.

    Although, I’m working on a novel/worldbuilding thing wherein the monotheistic religions never became popular -- that is, there are Christians and Muslims in my world, but they have a similar role in society to those the Jews filled for many centuries, small, insular communities that had to create their own wealth because they were shut out from all power. One of the little ways in which my world will be different is that William Tyndale, perhaps the single most-quoted author in the English language, will have written famous plays and novels rather than translating the Christian book, leaving him in a similar place to that of Shakespeare. Tyndale, if you didn’t know, is credited with about 3/4 or so of the words later used in the KJV of the Christian and Jewish books.

    It also means we get an Africa without Christianity imposed on top, and no biblical support for slavery. Our world would look a very, very different place if monotheism hadn’t caught on. No systematic robbing of everywhere by the Catholic church. No giant Islam to make a huge impression on Indian and Persian history. No pogroms (without the Christian blood libel, there’s no particular reason for Jews to be hated). No Crusades. No Inquisition. No Pope to divide other people’s lands between Portugal and Spain. Maybe no Final Solution.

    In my world, Hinduism will be by far the most popular, alongside a more philosophical strain of Buddhism, but most people would be atheist or mild pagans (think Christmas’n’Easter Christians, only pagan).

    Hmph, now i want to go write, and I’ve got work to do instead. Poo. :)

  5. Pen says

    I mostly pass off the conversion attempts with a friendly smile but there was one incident where I was so pissed off I nearly did lie in wait for the culprits to talk to them about it when I saw them next. They were a nice middle-aged black couple recruiting for the Jehovah’s Witnesses from door to door as they do. They’d been a few times and their little leaflets usually contain hilarious articles on how jellyfish prove intelligent design and stuff like that. I dissect them with my daughter to train her in debunking bullshit.

    But this one’s cover featured a blond-haired child in 1970′s style dress and her equally pale and young-but-old-fashioned mother trembling in fear behind their front curtains at a ‘dark’ man standing at the bottom of their driveway. I don’t know if he was black. He certainly didn’t look white, that’s all I can say. This was followed by a whole article on how rightly terrified we all are of each other today, the world is full of crime and violence, you can’t trust anyone, etc, etc… oh, except God of course.

    Well, I was totally disgusted at the producers of this document for trying to rouse the fears of the ignorant and vulnerable against the people around them, then turn on the God. Actually I’m disgusted anyone would try to rouse the fears of the ignorant and vulnerable for any reason. But this was also right in the middle of the Trayvon Martin furore, and still, I’m sure my nice visitors were utterly unaware of what their pamphlet was saying and its racial overtones in particular. We may not have too much of a gun habit in London but we still don’t need that kind of garbage infesting our neighbourhoods.

    So there I was, with this brochure ready by the front door, planning to be a whole lot sweeter and more tactful than I’m being here, only that was their last visit. I have a feeling my husband may have got to them first. Or maybe someone else on their beat. Maybe everyone else?! I hope so, but I would have liked to get some closure on this one, as the Americans say.

  6. thinkfree83 says

    Are most people who are outspoken about their faith in the UK people of color? Do you think that a perceived connection between racial minorities and religious devotion could lead to a racist backlash among white atheists in the UK? Because of the racial politics in the US, black and white Christians tend to go in opposite political directions even if they agree on many issues, like homosexuality and prayer in public schools.

  7. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @Sidney Davis-Thanks. My fear is that it is more of mental slavery than imperialism and the ‘book’ itself. Many believers I know (and i know quite a lot), only tend to read the part of the book pertaining to Prosperity or Protection from enemies like the Psalms. The Holy books are hardly ever ead for knowledge or to even question status quo. The holy books to most black believers represent a sort of ‘talisman’ against ‘evil’ , That is why almost all black believers i know have one under their pillow to ward off evil spirits. So I really can’t blame the holy books or imperialism , but the people who have refused to free themselves from mental slavery and their fear of imaginary beings.

  8. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    Pen-

    and still, I’m sure my nice visitors were utterly unaware of what their pamphlet was saying and its racial overtones in particular

    And that is the very sad part. A black couple distributing a heavily racially overtone tracts designed by their white religious superiors. What better way to portray terror than a Lilly white lady hiding behind a curtain from a burly black man prowling her garden!

    I wonder why Jehovah Witnesses’ tracts producers are so obsessed with the intelligent design stuff. I remember reading their tracts almost two decades ago about how every building has a designer therefore the universe must have a designer and they just conveniently forget the question, if everything must have a designer, then who designed the universe designer and of course that question goes on and on. An encounter with a Jehovah’s Witness always leads to the intelligent design stuff. And there really isn’t much intelligence in their tracts. So stupidly boring and easily refutable.

  9. Pen says

    I want to respond to thinkfree83 #6 as a white resident of one of London’s more multi-racial areas and an atheist. The first thing to understand is that white Britons tend to the atheist, agnostic and apathetic where religion is concerned, but especially apathetic. Really, really apathetic. Richard Dawkins is NOT typical. Nearly all of us are generally tolerant of religion, especially Christianity, which is even nominally our state religion, but many of us are quite intolerant of those intolerances we recognise in a non-apathetic way. The second point is that significant multi-racialism is very regionalised, but heck, we’re talking about London, so yes, people who are outspoken about their faith tend to be people of colour in our perception. 88% of the British population is white and in areas where they predominate it’s easy to get the impression that religion is essentially dead except as folklore.

    Nationally, there is a certainly a backlash against Islam and its mostly south Asian followers (who are, incidentally our second largest ethnic group), and there is also a backlash against the backlash, but I still wish none of it was happening. This is a real problem. As far as I know, there is no backlash against black Christianity in general terms and isn’t likely to be. There are specific issues that might come up in the media from time to time: an African pastor came over recently and practically breathed the money that was thrown at him. Very occasionally, the treatment and prevention of these ‘spiritual ailments’ Yemmy mentioned results in grievous bodily harm. I’ve never seen these tend to anything resembling a racial backlash. It’s not the religion itself we have a problem with, it’s the specific harm it’s related to in a given instance. You also have to understand that the black community in Britain is extremely diverse in every possible respect and we all know it.

    I think Yemmy’s explained her reasons why black proselytisers make her feel uncomfortable as a black person and an African. I absolutely see why she would feel that way but I’m sure her feelings are far less positive than those of most white Londoners, including atheists. Even my desire to engage with the particular people I spoke about above had to do with values that, in my opinion (not theirs perhaps), should transcend religion, and even then my priority was to stay on good neighbourly terms with them. For reasons that you might be able to understand, black Christians in general and even black proselytisers are not bothering me to any significant extent at all, or anyone else I know, though I see that they’re bothering Yemmy and why.

    Incidentally, I also don’t think black and white Londoners are necessarily at odds politically, though white Londoners especially may be divided on class lines and class has traditionally determined political party so strongly that race doesn’t seem to have much effect on our vote. It’s an interesting point, because we’re practically bound to get our first black mayor in the near future and rumours are that there may now be a serious contender. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    That’s my take. Maybe Yemmy will give you a completely different answer.

  10. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @thinkfree83 -- Just to add to Pen’s response- From my experience, blacks, especially Black Africans in UK tend to attend churches founded and populated by black Africans. There are many spiritual white garment churches in London and they basically cater for the spiritual needs of Africans.

    There is also influx of new generation Pentecostal churches. Branches of these new generation African Christian churches are being established in every nook and cranny of London by affluent Pentecostal churches who are doing well in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. This also means there is not much interaction between Christian white Britons and Christian black African immigrants in the area of religious practice.

    I don’t often meet proselytizing white Britons, but my relationship with most white Britons is mostly official and they know enough to keep their religious beliefs to themselves in such situations. However, I remember a few months ago when I was vacating my flat, my landlord’s agent, a white Briton, came to inspect the property. The man kept talking about how God was so good to him, he said he has a cancerous tumour in his leg and Jesus has been helping with the healing and all that bullshit. I really did not know why he was telling me all that personal stuff, short of trying to sell Jesus to me. As much as i would have loved to give him some logical retorts about his religious convictions, I just smiled and hurried him up. I didn’t want to create a tense atmosphere where he would suddenly find some mythical holes in the apartment and use it as a reason to withhold my rent deposit!

    Also, a few weeks ago, I was out with a friend and her white Briton friend. I thought I got along well with the white Briton, we exchanged cards and she said she was gonna check out my blog. Well, the next time we met was at our mutual friend’s party. I greeted her warmly but she looked at me with an accusing stare and coldly said “I read your blog”. Lol! Well, she was pissed that I am an atheist. I just told her I am at this party to enjoy myself and not to discuss religion. She said fair enough, but i got the cold shoulder and some sinister looks from her for the duration of the party. And her parting shot was to invite me to her church, which i graciously declined.

    So, it could be that since my interactions with white Britons are mostly official, it shields ne from their religious beliefs. Bur scratch the surface, it is there.

  11. reasoningbeing says

    Ditto this. My mother’s religious beliefs have destroyed our relationship. She’s now into scapegoating homosexuals and atheists (I am both) for climate change/severe weather events. I’ve had it. Communication with someone this unhinged from reality is impossible.

  12. Remi says

    Good Morning, just a few clarification from someone that believes the Bible :)

    Your quote
    When people believe in supernatural beings, they are most often than not, willing to accuse children of witchcraft, accuse their neighbors of standing in the way of their progress, accuse their family members of demonic spirits, eagerly condemn those who do not share their belief in spiritual beings, seek to make laws, especially draconian laws that impose their religious beliefs on others and defend child marriages.

    Just like Jesus did not force anything on the religious leaders of His day, so true Bible believing Christians don’t force their belief on anybody. Inquisitions and other atrocities are man made, not from the Bible, Jesus said to love your enemy and to bless those of curse you. We have to show the Love of Christ, not to force anybody to believe.

    Religion gives room for people to use it to take advantage of others.

    100% True
    Religions are bad
    Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with G-d, the mark of a true believer is that he will love other as much as he loves himself. (Not perfectly, but they will try)

    You think some few people like your pastors and Imams are angels sent to you by God to guide and bless you.

    There is no one good, no not one, only G-d is good and all the rest of us are bad. We all sinned and none of us is good, that is why Jesus (Yeshua, which means savior in Hebrew) came to die as a sacrifice for OUR sins.
    We all lied, all have stolen, all have done evil things that we are ashamed of.

    God being Holy sent his Son to die in our place.

    Your quote
    The holy books to most black believers represent a sort of ‘talisman’ against ‘evil’ , That is why almost all black believers i know have one under their pillow to ward off evil spirits.

    This is called Idolatry, to think there is something magical from a peace of paper, just like crosses and talismans and other stuff like that, this goes against what the Bible says.

  13. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @Remi-

    Just like Jesus did not force anything on the religious leaders of His day, so true Bible believing Christians don’t force their belief on anybody

    Are you saying the Pope, the Anglican Diocese and the many Christians who quote from their bible to justify why women should not have the right to use contraceptives or why gays should be imprisoned or stoned to death are NOT “true Bible believing Christians”? Maybe you are the one who is not following what is written in your bible. BTW, your bible says to kill all who take you away from God and Jesus also said he came to fulfill the word and turn fathers against sons. How sweet! :)

    Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with G-d

    If Christianity is a personal relationship, then why do I keep hearing about your personal relationship? I don’t care, it aren’t my business, don’t stop me on the street to share your personal relationship with God with me!

    God being Holy sent his Son to die in our place.

    God is a made up asshole who raped an engaged young virgin, so he could give birth to himself to die for the sins he already drowned his faulty creations for. This God character is a pompous, egoist, sadistic jerk. Such a character is not worthy of my praise or love. Believe me, there are better fictional characters that deserves to be loved like Superman, Wonder woman and even Batman. God does not make the list.

    If you come claiming to be a Bible believer,, well, you are not allowed to cherry-pick your bible. Your precious bible is a book filled with sexism, racism, hate, genocides, egoism, sadism, patriarchy and above all lies. There is little to be proud of in the bible. Sure, a few passages talk about love but is it really worth it to wade through a mass of bullshit just to find a grain of sweet corn? So not worth it.

  14. says

    Yemmy, you’re awesome. What a wonderfully blistering review of “God: The Long-Running Hit Musical”. :D

    Happy New Orbit, beautiful lady! I’m glad I found your blog.

  15. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @CaitieCat- “New Orbit.”, I like that very much. Happy New Orbit to you too! :)

  16. Remi says

    @ Yemisi

    Good Morning,

    Are you saying the Pope, the Anglican Diocese and the many Christians who quote from their bible are not Christians.

    yes the Pope is not a Christian, he is an anti-Christ, someone who denies the Christ. First, the Pope says he is the mediator between G-d and man (Vicor of Christ), but the Bible says there is one mediator between men and G-d, the Man Christ Jesus. the word “Pope” means father, and Jesus Himself said we should not call anybody father, The pope is an idolater, and said Mary is the mother of god, which is blasphemy, and finally, their priest forgive sins, and not Jesus.
    http://www.gotquestions.org/catholicism.html

    If Christianity is a personal relationship, then why do I keep hearing about your personal relationship?

    If I believe that Christ died for your sins and that you will die and go to hell if you do not repent and believe in Jesus, it would be wrong if I don’t at least tell you, isn’t it?

    Finally, we can know that the Bible and that G-d is true, you can read it for yourself and see for yourself and decide for yourself. Who is that bible verse talks about?

    Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
    2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
    He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
    3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
    Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
    4 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
    yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
    6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
    7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
    he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
    8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
    For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
    9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
    though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
    10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
    he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
    11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
    by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
    12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
    because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
    For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

    If you answered Jesus, it was written 515 years before his birth.

    G-d bless.

    Remi

  17. says

    So…the book written by people who agree with you, agrees with you.

    Welp, I’m convinced. I mean, nothing convinces me a book is holy but that it says right in it, “This book is holy.”

    That’s why I live my life according to the manual of my waffle iron, because it was badly written, but where it says about how the studs on the iron will make the waffles have dimples, they wrote it as “this will make them holy”, and I thought, “Meh, close enough.”

    So now I live according to the holy commandments:

    1) Clean the iron regularly, else it may fail when you need it most.

    2) Do not submerge in water while plugged in. I now unplug myself carefully before taking a shower.

    3) Careful! Waffles will be hot! This is just good advice generally.

    QED, god is a waffle iron, because the book about it says so. I can scan it and send you a copy, if you’d like to join me in my hol(e)y quest.

    You get the most fun visitors, Yemmy.

  18. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @Remi -- You really are as deluded and bigoted as the average Christian out there. Is it really so difficult for you to understand that your Bible is as fictional as Batman comics? Quoting from your supposedly Holy book to prove that God exist is as useless as quoting from Batman comics to prove that Batman is real. In fact Batman comics has more value than your precious Bible, at least it is entertaining fiction. Here is Proof that God exists just as Spiderman exists

    If I believe that Christ died for your sins and that you will die and go to hell if you do not repent and believe in Jesus, it would be wrong if I don’t at least tell you, isn’t it?

    If you truly believed such thing and you sincerely think you need to tell others about it, you need to be in a mental ward. At least that should keep you from disturbing public peace with your ‘let me save their soul’ grandeur delusions. BTW, threatening an atheist with hell after death is like threatening an adult that Santa Claus won’t bring them Christmas gift cos they got on the naughty list! Hell is to atheist what Santa Claus is to adults.

    Now get this straight, this is my blog, you do not get to use it as your pulpit. You don’t get to spew your delusions on my space. Proselytizing is against my comment policy and you have violated my comment policy.

    I am allergic to ignorance, i am especially allergic to ignorance spew by proselytizing, bigoted black Christians who are deluded enough to think a blue eyed blonde Jew is their savior. Black Christians who ignore the inconvenient fact that those who brought them the bible and their Saviour actually also brought a ship named Jesus to cart off their ancestors to a degrading, inhuman lifetime of slavery, an act which is actually approved by their new found God as stated in their precious Holy book, a book which they stupidly defend as the word of a loving God. As Chris Rock said, A black Christian is like a black person with no memory Truly Remi, Christians like you make me wanna puke.

    You need to emancipate yourself from mental slavery before you can ever have a decent discussion on my wall. For proselytizing, further comments from you will go straight to the moderation box to await approval and further proselytizing will earn your comments a permanent place in my trash can. :)

  19. Remi says

    Hello CaitieCat, Do you think lying is right? You might disagree with me, but I think lying is wrong. Do you think murdering is right? How do you know. How to you know what is right and what is wrong. Is there moral absolute and who decide what is right and wrong? If you say you decide yourself what is right or wrong, serial murders might feel no remorse whatsoever and actually think it is right. If you say society is the standard, murdering would have been fine and totally acceptable in the time of Hitler. You have a conscience and you know murdering is wrong, don’t you? There is no reason why things are right or wrong according to evolution, but everybody knows that there are things that are totally wrong. What do you think about incest? Is that right? Now we know that the things done against an innocence person is wrong, where does that knowledge comes from. It would be wrong not to be indignant about the Holocaust.

    I do not have to look at a book to see that there is a G-d, if you look at the evidence with an open eye. Of course you believe in evolution, you have been thought that since you are a child, I did too. I was a agnostic and evolutionist too, that’s what we have been though, isn’t it? 15 years of evolution courses. I have a bachelor in Food science, and I never asked the question, I only believed what they said. I mean, why should I doubt? I mean, there is no god, the world was created a few billions years ago, and I come from the bacteria. Where the bacteria come from? Aliens? If you want to see a scientific video on the possibility of DNA forming by chance, check this on out. It’s not Christian.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbluTDb1Nfs&feature=youtu.be

    You know, we suppress the truth, if there is a creator, then things must be right or wrong, and the wrong we do must have a consequence. What happened to Hitler? If there is a Creator and the Creator is just, then He must punish iniquity. Murderers, rapists, thiefs, extortioners, lyars must be punished. That’s why we deny that G-d is true, because we love our sins, we love the wrong we do and we do not believe that the bad things we do deserve Justice. We are not good, look at the news, the human race is bent on doing only what he wants. (Selfishness) Sin is a plague and we just feed on it, and we say nobody will know. G-d Said, love your neighbour as yourself.

    Finally, there is things that happened that were predicted by the bible, so how could this be? Think about the Jewish people, persecuted and being without a land since 70 AD. Surviving the Holocaust, the inquisitions, and in One day (not two) the nation of Israel was born. “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” Isaiah 66:8.

    That is only one example. The King Cyrus was name a few hundreds years before he was born, Wars were predicted, the destruction of the Temples. If you look for the Prophecies that Jesus fulfil alone, there is, according to statistic, 1 chance out of 10 exponential 21.

    http://sciencespeaks.dstoner.net/Christ_of_Prophecy.html

    If you want to check the evidence for yourself, you can, or you can continue denying the truth, blind faith would be stupid, but if you would only dare to check at the evidences. Have you ever read the Book? Before saying it is not true and only checking online for things that disprove it have you every though about reading it? You have blind faith in evolution, but why not checking the evidences yourself. If so, you can start with the book of John.

    G-d Bless

  20. Remi says

    Hi Yemisi, I think Yesuah was not blond with blue eyes, I do not picture anything in my head, but I would say he probably looked like the average Israeli.

    P.S. You might hate me, but I love you.

    Cheers, that’s my last comment, as I did not know your blog rule.

  21. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @CaitieCat- I do get the most ignorant of God defenders on my blog, I blame it on colonization and its irritating,’hard to get rid of’ remnant; mental slavery. :(

  22. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @Remi- The level of your self-inflicted ignorance is pathetic. All what your rambling says about you is that you believe if there is no God or Holy book, we will all be killing each other and committing incest. Was that what your forefathers were doing before the colonial masters brought them Yeshua?

    You forgot one thing; your Abrahamic God was the architect of genocide and historical incest. How did you think the mythical Cain and Abel populated the earth? Not to forget Noah, his daughters and their brothers. Ponder on this and treat it as logic test 101.

    It is pathetic that you cannot comprehend that the concept of Sin was invented to sell you a cute, the bible.

    Morality precedes Christianity. Christianity did not invent morality. Morality is as old as humankind and it precedes every God ever invented.

    Truly, the more you comment, the more you expose just how futile it is to attempt to have a rational discussion with you. You really need to grow a brain and emancipate yourself from mental slavery.

    BTW, my comment policy is right by the left-hand side of my blog.

    Also, I neither hate nor love you. I do not know you enough to invest my emotions in you. If telling me you love makes you feel high like a pompously good Christian who has done a good deed by loving a ‘sinner’, well, if that is the kind of drug that gives you a high feeling, bask in it. However, one thing I will tell you is, us atheists also feel that it is possible to hate ignorance but still love the ignorant. Make of that what you will. Goodbye. :)

  23. says

    Every time you say that, yemmy, I hear Bob singing it. “None but ourselves can free our minds.” I can’t speak to African experience of that, but I can to queer experience, and it was a huge shift in my head when I realized only I could free my mind. I hope it gets taken in, as it’s useful advice.

  24. cnnbotha says

    I did not read your whole article because it was quite long, but I can understand why you feel the way you do. The world seems to be in the dark when it comes to religion, however I can for a surety say that there is a God.

    He loves all his children and he has given all of us guidance to know good from evil. You yourself know good from evil. How do you think this is possible? I can tell you. The bible tells you too. God sent his spirit to witness to men about truth and untruth and to discern between good and evil.

    Just because many are in the dark concerning religion because men mingled scripture with philosophies of men does not make God less real. Satan is also very real, he speaks louder than God, because God treasure men’s agency. So those who are not seeking God/truth/good everyday are easier lead by Satan and they are more capable of making bad choices or teach untruth. Satan is also very good at persuading men to believe that there is no God, not that I am judging you in any way. That is just how Satan deceives people.
    I just look at creation and human existence and I can say that it is done in such perfection and order that it could not be there without a Supreme Creator.

    There was a time of apostasy (dark ages) when God’s priesthood was taken off the earth because evil men killed his apostles. In that time, religion became the philosophies of men and mostly inspired by Satan. However, God has never left his children in total darkness. Those who seeked him, found Him. The Bible, I can testify is the word of God (as far as it is translated correctly) and by studying it, pondering it and praying about it, one can get to know God on a more personal level.

    The good news is, and I know you will probably think of this as once again another religion with no worth, but God restored his priesthood once again on the earth in the 19th century through the prophet Joseph Smith, who like you, saw the craziness in religion and did not know which church to join, but knew that he needed some church to participate in certain ordinances, like baptism in order to inherit the kingdom of heaven, because he read that in the Bible.

    He read in the Bible that if he asked of God that give to all men liberally and upbraid not, that it shall be given him. Then he did do as the scriptures said. He asked God, first for forgiveness and then to know which church was true. God and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him that his sins was forgiven and not to join any church but to prepare himself for a work that they wanted him to do.

    Through numerous visitations from heavenly beings God restored his gospel through Joseph Smith in the same way that it used to be on earth when Jesus Christ lived and taught it. Today this restored church is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I can testify to you that God still reveals things to men through his spirit as well as through the scriptures and his holy prophets. This revelation is also given to men as far as men live in harmony with God’s teachings.

    As you learn of him, you will know when something is of God and when it is of Satan. If you live by his teachings you need not live in fear of anything, especially Satan, because Satan can have no power over you if you live God’s commandment. Satan can still tempt or try to deceive you to make you fall, because that is his purpose. As natural men, we do fall, but because Jesus Christ sacrificed his life for our sins, we can repent and try to do better.

    We cannot be saved without Jesus Christ. There will be no purpose to this life without his atonement and resurrection, but because he overcame sin, was crucified, buried and resurrected to overcome death, we will also, like him, live after this life on earth.

    You can fear religion as far as they are lead by men, but do not fear God. Believe in Him, believe that he loves you and he will show you the true purpose of this life if you seek it from Him. Go to mormon.org and find out what the true purpose of life is. I respect your beliefs. I understand your doubts in any religion, but sometimes there are truths that will always be true even if you choose not to believe in it.

  25. Ekuba says

    @ cnnbotha: so this long essay you wrote was to convince us to join the mormon church ie: the same church which didn’t use to ordain black people as priests & the church that makes people wear the ‘heavenly underwear’? LMAO

  26. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @cnnbotha -- Mormonism? Rolling with laughter! I only allowed your comment through for entertainment value and to show the extent of the stupidity of religious believers.

    Still LMAO! Don’t shit in your magic underwear, so you can at least be a righteous servant serving your Masters in heaven!

  27. cnnbotha says

    I am not trying to convince you to join my religion. My religion is my choice. Just to inform you, they did allow other blacks (like islanders, aborigines etc.) the priesthood, it was only the blacks of African decent that could not get the priesthood because of the curse that came upon them through Cain. This changed eventually as it was given in revelation to our prophets (who kept praying over it, because they felt that the blacks should be given the priesthood) and after a couple of years the answer came to them that now all worthy men from every race can get the priesthood.

    All I wanted to do through my comments is to testify to you that I know that there is a God. Whether you want to believe it or not. This is His world and we are His children. The purpose of this life is to gain mortal bodies and through the atonement of Jesus Christ we are be able to be resurrected and return to Him. We will be judged according to our thoughts, words and deeds, and that will determine our Eternal future. If we live righteously and follow God’s commandments we can inherit all that He has. This life is just a short span of time compared to eternity and this is the time for us to prepare to meet God.

    I would like to know what you think the purpose of this life is and what you believe would happen to you after death?

  28. says

    Ooh, ooh, I know this one, I know this one!

    Life has no purpose, and after death and my useable leftover meaty bits are given to people who can use them, I expect to mostly do a fair bit of rotting. Might look into some skin sloughing, smelling really bad, maybe even take up decomposition as a hobby. I don’t know, I figure I’ll play it by aer(obic bacteria). Haha. :)

    Unlike you, this doesn’t terrify me. It’s just the way life works. I’m content knowing that I will have my life here among my fellow plains apes, and when I’m done, a few of them will look sad for a little bit, and then they’ll get back to grooming and talking and clicking on listicles and other General Life Behaviours, and I will soon be pretty much forgotten, like almost every other plains ape who’s ever lived.

    Having no fear, I need no made-up Sky Wizard -- and wow, especially not that hateful whackjob Mormon one! -- to allay the fear I don’t have.

    You god-botherers are a hilariously terrified bunch, y’know that? So afraid to live in the world that exists, and to be okay with that world, that you need to believe in a lot of very silly just-so stories told by long-ago con-men. You have my sympathy. I hope someday you can come join us over here in Reality World.

    Enjoy your day! Hope you don’t start rotting any time soon! But if you do, I recommend relaxing and going with the flow. It’s really a lot more pleasant.

  29. Ekuba says

    @cnnbotha: I love how you excuse the blatant racism of your church with some ‘bogus curse of cain’. Guess what? As an African, I have zero interest in serving your racist god who allowed your church to discriminate against my ancestors for over a 100 years.

    As for the purpose of life & what happens after death, there’s no human being on earth who has guaranteed answers to these questions. The fact that you choose to believe the hallucinations of some ‘prophet’ doesn’t make these hallucinations true. No one on earth knows with a certainty or can prove what happens after death; whether there’s a god or gods or what such god(s) want. & if there’s a god, then he’s very callous since he can’t stop bad things from happening eg: children being raped. & if he can stop bad things from happening but chooses not to do so due to ‘some grand plan’ or whatever then he’s a very callous being.

    PS: I hope when you die, you don’t find out that the world is ruled by African gods! cos I have a feeling they’ll be super pissed that you choose to attend a church which discriminated against my African ancestors & they wont be amused by your heavenly underwear either :)

  30. cnnbotha says

    CaitieCat, what would your surprise be when in fact you die and to your amazement you are in fact not dead. You are just without your body. Have you never watched movies where spirits enter the bodies of others or of ghosts? Have you ever heard of those calling up spirits, talking to them? Go google about people who died and came back from the dead. All these people cannot come up with these things for mere entertainment of it. I myself do not believe in calling up spirits and do not entertain the thought of ghosts or demons, because I find it quite evil and freaky.

    However, what I am trying to say is, I believe that our spirits never die. You were you before you came to earth and you will be you when you die. You may leave your body behind, but that spirit which gives you life will live on.

    Well, this is also where the atonement comes in for us. Christ was resurrected and overcame death and gained his mortal body back. So through this act, we will one day gain our mortal bodies back, but they will be perfect, without blemish and will then be immortal. This is what we believe is one of the purposes for us being on earth. Is one, to gain a mortal body of flesh and bones and secondly, to be tried and tested in all things in order to gain salvation (a kingdom shall I say) according to our righteousness. The reason why we do not know of our life before earth is because a veil was put over our eyes so that we do not remember those things that happened before. We need to be tested on our faith in God. In order to have faith in God we need to believe in something we cannot see but which we believe is true. We would not need faith if we remembered God from the life before we came here. So thus we needed the veil.

    Ekuba, God has given all men agency to choose for themselves. He allows bad things to happen, because that is the only way justice will take effect. If men have evil thoughts and intents and eventually decide to act on those things, God will not stop him (unless the victim perhaps prays to him and God has a different plan), but will allow this deed to take place in order for Justice to occur. This bad person will then be fully accountable for the bad deed he has done and will therefore be punished for it on judgement day, which will take place after the millennium. There has to be opposition in all things. If we do not experience sadness, we will not know happiness. If there was no bad, we would not know good. Even when there is evil in this world, God will always balance it out with good too.

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