Do you know my biological father is a chartered accountant? I didn’t grow up and wasn’t raised by him well enough to be detailed about what he’s all about. But the man is a math genius.
My mum has a TCII, BSc. (Delsu), MSc (U.I). No idea the courses she studied.
But do you know religion and superstitious belief ruined their union, altered the original plans and have shattered the destinies of my siblings and I? Well;
I pay a little too much attention, and even now holding conversations with them both, I’ve gotten to know more personal stuffs that I was too young to know back then.
Dad landed a job for then Peugeot and was doing well for himself. He built his first house in the village in 1986 and his house in Ejigbo Lagos, in 1992, a year after my birth.
In 1993, he landed a freelance contract for a company in Delta State and had to travel from Lagos. He had an accident along Ibadan expressway where a boy was killed. The whole occurrence cost him both the contract and his job.
Somehow, he got a job a lot sooner with Longman publishing company and seemed to be on his feet in no time. We were still living at Maryland then, but his job with Longman seemed to fetch him good money and he was continuing his house at Ejigbo at the same time he bought his first car. The year was 94′.
By 96′, he had managed to buy two more cars and gave my mum one with a driver he paid. Mum was a full time housewife then. Later she began complaining of being idle and they started a CHALEX foundation, coined from their names; Charity and Alex.
All was fine until 97′ when my elder sister, now late, fell terribly ill. Her sickness defied all medications and for the two years before she died, her medical bills mopped up finances and even had huge debts piling up.
All along, we had been devout catholics until my siblings later joined RCCG. But it seemed these churches were too gentle for my mum as she sort urgent spiritual revolution. Her prayer constantly was her not burying any other kids of hers.
Then she found MFM. And this is how trouble that was mild escalated terribly. The pastor in the Ejigbo branch told her my father was a ritualist and he had used my elder sister to renew his pledge. That his loss of job was as a result of non renewal. He further went on to say the coconut tree in my father’s compound was evil and we shouldn’t eat from it anymore. This is coconut we had been eating from since we moved in.
Meanwhile, my father was seeking his own spiritual assistance in white garment churches and they saw vision for him. They said 5 of his 7 kids alongside my mum, were witches sent to destroy him as he was the only well to do from his family.
That is how an MSc and an ICAN holder began ridiculing themselves in front of their kids for months until the final divorce and separation. Religious leaders manipulated two adults who had spent years in school so much they hated each other. Now my siblings and I were torn apart. It was now a tale of who was more convincing in their story. I only narrated the lines that corroborated.
The fight against religious indoctrination and brainwashing is a personal fight for me. It is an experience with my shattered family that still haunts me until tomorrow. It is the fear that I’m surrounded by a lot of people who albeit their certificates and level of exposure are easily fooled and brainwashed by these vision seers, prophets and prophetess of doom, paedophile priest, fundamentalist Jehovah witnesses and so on. I am scared. I am worried. If my father and mother after nearly 20 years of marriage with 8 issues can become worst enemies under the influence of religious and superstitious beliefs, how much more people who aren’t related to me?
You may think rationality is being applied with faith these days, but I tell you, tales like people getting worked up over Tasha Cobbs doing a song with Nicki Minaj is how this sickness starts. Then it escalates to pastors giving their congregation rat poison to drink, burning them to death, extorting them with seeds of faith and pastor’s offering, to judging their decisions and actions. And the shocking thing is; THEY OBEY WITHOUT ASKING QUESTIONS. THEY AREN’T FORCED. THEY WILLINGLY SUBMIT THEMSELVES TO THESE DEHUMANIZING TORTURE.
Adults are the ones with lord’s chosen armour rolling all over muddy waters with megaphones claiming to be going radical for jesus. Think for a second what such person is capable of should Lazarus Mouka ask him to torch down his house because witches are holding meeting on the roof, and you happen to be a co-tenant?
You may think people are becoming rational until a pastor mounts a pulpit and present responsibility as a marriage thing saying when you have a wife is only when you can be responsible, and at 35 or 37, being single makes you useless. And so you’re pressured by these sermons to get into what you’re not mentally, financially and emotionally prepared for and mess up kids lives on the long run. Birth kids to poverty, starvation and hunger. Where would your pastor be then? How is the church helping men and women from 30 and 35 get employed and raise families? Your pastors are divorcing, priests are giving relationship and sex advice. What they claim never to engage in.
This is how we end up with so much mind chains that we can’t freely express ourselves and human desires. Religious leaders demonize sex and make it an abomination until we catch priests in the inbox of our girlfriends begging them for sex. Until an Otobo comes out open about your pastor licking plate and you still defend with the ‘touch not my anointed’ BS. How many priests and Reverend fathers have been caught with underaged boys and girls? They’ll demonize everything to make you fit into their tiny mind controlling box. They said high heels are demonic. They said human hair is evil. They said make up is Antichrist. So their wives come out looking like a blown up balloon in heavy shoulder padded skirt suits while they run after little girls with Brazilian hair high heels and miniskirts.
What social impact has religion made other than tear people apart with segregation and condemnation? The catholics don’t like Protestants. Deeper Life’s sunday sermon is an indirect attack on christ embassy’s lifestyle. RCCG think winners are overdoing it. MFM says Lord Chosen don’t serve the real god. Ordinary campus fellowship canvas for new members like political campaign. JW is in an entirely different league. Heard the other day of a JW who lost her life because of blood transfusion.
YET YOU ALL PREACH THE BIBLE.
Now I tell you, the scarier thing is to think all is well until it happens to you. To grow fond of, fall in love with, build a family, start a business, make plans with a religious person whose pastor can call one day, sit him or her down, have a talk with them and see them bailout on all the plans you have made together. People have called wedding off after years of courting because the pastor didn’t like the man or woman or they didn’t worship in their church. Contracts, admissions, business proposal and the likes have been retracted for faith and belief differences. So people are left shattered, desperate, broken, not good enough, hurt, lonely, broke, hungry, jobless because of your sick faith. Because you found claim to have found Christ on your wedding eve and he ministered to you that your spouse isn’t the right person for you after years.
How do you think it isn’t worrisome to be around folks who believe Isaac should have been killed for test of faith? People who can actually ridicule their mothers, Aunties and relatives because the pastor saw a vision and tagged them witches.
Olu Bunmi had been running a series for DV and rape victims and people had been supporting sharing their stories and commenting their thoughts, well wishes, prayers and goodwill messages. Until when she put out a post about Oyedepo, hell was let lose on her wall. Religion sapped away every iota of common sense in most women on that thread as they took defence for their spiritual papa.
I am scared for my society. Scared of my environment and the kind of people I’m surrounded by. I am scared I have lost and is bound to keep losing people who matter to me because of religious ignorance and overzealousness. I am scared I’ll get hurt by people’s insecurities and harms that would make them blame the devil, read psalm 21 and walk free. I am scared that notorious criminals and psychopaths use churches as rehabilitation centers by answering altar calls and making confessions that should ordinarily land them in jail to serve a life term, but would be anointed and become a pastor while his victims lie in the dirt. That people still give ill gotten monies to church and are glorified. That testimonies are coined from the inspirations of your fellow man’s woes. I am scared there are still doctors, lawyers, professors and the likes who still believe faith in god is the solution to all these ills and unless the lord builds the house, the builders build in vain.
Worse, I fear that this message will be read, not processed, not regurgitated, but pass through your eyes and mind with the glaring truth nearly blinding you, but deep rooted indoctrination won’t allow you think for yourself.
I fear for reasons too numerous to mention.
This piece was first published on Osula Daniel Enahoro‘s Facebook page.
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