Earlier this morning I was listening to Fatai Rolling Dollars and I couldn’t help but admit some of the lyrics were obsolete and would be considered unacceptable especially in the civilized world I have found myself. It didn’t stop me from basking in the nostalgic tune but it set me thinking. These songs didn’t provoke such thoughts as I now harbour in their days because it was a simple reflection of what was commonplace. There were subtle jibes at a woman who collected money for sex or so it seems but afterwards claims she is unfit for the purpose. Fatai sang;

“you can’t collect money for something and now say you can’t do.”

It was sung so humorously even a first time listener might not be unable to help a smile. Yet we’ve now grown more knowledgeable to know even if a woman decides she is no longer interested in the middle of sex, it is her prerogative; lest she took money and decided she no longer wants it.

You won’t catch any artiste that wants to be taken seriously make such ludicrous jibes as lyrics anymore. The world has evolved from seventy years ago when Fatai sang same. This is no longer 1920 when US just allowed women to vote for the first time.

This is the premises of my grouse with religion especially Christianity which I was indoctrinated into as a child. Religion has shown lethargy or unwillingness to evolve to reflect modern realities and latest knowledge and understanding based on incontrovertible scientific facts. Christianity makes an audacious claim of an unchanging Supreme deity. It painfully tries to reconcile a fiery dessert god whose documented fury by the way makes Hitler a debatable candidate of hell to Jesus Christ whose chief endearing quality was Love. In the same madness, this Jesus the supposedly son of this dessert God is the same as his father. Yet the claim to immortality of the Christian God is the fact that he is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. This poses a big challenge to the evolution of any follower of such uncompromising deity.

Let me use a relatable example to expound my point. In China, there were codified laws on victim compensation to discourage people from reckless driving. If you hit a pedestrian, you are responsible for their hospital bills. This has led many to bankruptcy as some victims stay bedridden for years leading to unimaginable bills. Humans being who we are soon found a way to avoid this misery. Drivers in China found it cheaper to kill pedestrians mistakenly hit. It became so popular a name was coined for the for the anomaly. DOUBLE HIT.

For a moment, imagine those Chinese codified laws were biblical commandments. When it became obvious it had become obsolete and counterproductive, what do you suppose would happen? I’ll tell you. A lot of otherwise learned religious lackeys would sacrifice their integrity to defend the indestructibility of the word of God. After all, he is an unchanging deity. Worst case scenario, adherents will try to excuse themselves using another subjective verse in the bible to justify the blatant hypocrisy. Christian feminists are familiar with this routine.

My grouse with religion is, it hardly evolves because it’d be an evidence that the deity worshipers serve is not all knowing after all and that’d be a big blow to religion’s credibility. But religion is a tool for control and those who practice it are steep deep in the hypocrisy of living up to the facade so it’d continue to be as it is.

Interestingly though, religion still manages to evolve lest it suffers one of Darwin’s theory which posits that what doesn’t evolve would face extinction. The custodians of these religions know and enable this. That is why  the Pope of all Christians can assure atheists they don’t have to believe in God to make heaven. The same Pope has been seen blessing gay couple and welcoming members of the LGBTQ+ to the fold. Same people these maniacs burnt on stakes centuries ago! And our friends in the ‘religion of peace’ recently took a bold step in evolution last week when the custodians of their religion promulgated laws making drinking alcohol and cohabiting without marriage now legal in United Arab Emirates. Unfortunately a northern state in my own country is slow in following suit as they celebrated state sanctioned destruction of crates of beers worth millions of naira the same week it became legal in the country that brought the religion informing this financial folly.

So the custodians of these religions think. But the adherents are sheep that need to be thought for or that need to maintain the façade for baseless fear. This is my grouse with religion. When it is not obliterating your ability to independent thinking, it is blackmailing you to conform to hypocrisy by living a lie. Even when it subtly evolves to escape extinction, it leaves majority of her followers in primitive way of thinking.

(c) Ogbeni La 2020