Developing countries with low literacy rates and poor education systems are bastardising moderate beliefs resulting in horrific and widespread crimes against humanity.
This post is going to read as part history lesson, part reminder about why religious groups need to stop punting their own agendas in African countries, regardless of their intentions.

I have always felt that notions of gods needed to be eradicated from Africa, but seeing an article by Ken Ham entitled From Old-Earth Compromise Back to Biblical Authority, which encourages the promotion of Christianity and Creationism in Ugandan classrooms, stating that Evolution has become a problem in Uganda, really set me off.

I have mentioned this in passing in my other blog posts, but I would like to make at least one post the undivided focus of this issue for a moment.

Christianity has had a devastating effect in Africa. When Christians entered Africa they saw a vast and beautiful land rich in gold, silver, diamonds, oil, minerals, and other vital resources. They decided to colonise Africa by preaching the doctrine of Christianity to the locals.

Christianity claims that Jesus preached forgiveness, love for your enemies, and the prospect of becoming God’s children.
Matthew 5:43-45 You have heard that it was said, 'Love your friends, hate your enemies.' But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil.

Christianity would further have you believe that Jesus changed God’s law written in Leviticus 24:19-20: If anyone injures another person, whatever he has done shall be done to him. If he breaks a bone, one of his bones shall be broken; if he blinds him in one eye, one of his eyes shall be blinded; if he knocks out a tooth, one of his teeth shall be knocked out. Whatever injury he causes another person shall be done to him in return.

Perhaps if Africa had held fast to the teachings of Jesus rather than God’s teachings, Africa and its people wouldn’t have been as negatively affected by Christianity. However, this has not been the case. Christianity has been a cancer for Africa. The more it has spread the more devastation it has left in its wake.

The BBC's July - Sept 2005 Focus on Africa magazine recently wrote "Africa is being colonized and christianised all over again. The colonisers this time are Americans, not Europeans, and the brand of belief they are bringing to Africa is Evangelical Christianity, a fundamentalist version of the protestant faith that many Pentecostalists, Baptists and others have allied themselves with."
The BBC article poignantly captures the ongoing religious devastation, exploitation, wanton destruction, and cultural rape of Africa by Evangelical Christianity, also known as Pentecostalism. Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Pentecostalism is spreading like a wild fire leaving death, rot, darkness and destruction in its wake.
Thousands of Pentecostal churches are mushrooming in cities and rural areas across the continent. In fact, in Africa, there are more churches and mosques than schools, industries and research centres. According to the Focus on Africa magazine, Evangelical Christianity has more that 125 million devotees in Africa - 19 percent of the continent's population - up from 17 million people who described themselves as 'born-again Christians' in 1970.

One of the reasons Pentecostal churches are making waves in Africa is their emphasis on miracles and faith healing. Africans are suckers for magic, miracles and paranormal claims. Evangelical churches now capitalize on that. They promise divine healing and instant solutions to all problems - poverty, hunger, failure, diseases, accidents etc. Pentecostal pastors claim they can make the deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk and the barren give birth to children. They tell us they can raise the dead, make the poor rich and the unemployed to get jobs. Africans are therefore trooping to Pentecostal churches in their millions mainly in search of their miracles.
This is one of many reasons put forward.

The most stinking and revolting aspect of the evangelical work in Africa is faith-healing. Most Evangelical pastors in Africa are now faith healers. They claim to have powers to cure all diseases and solve all problems. Recently, Gilbert Deya, a self acclaimed archbishop from Kenya, got himself into trouble. He said he could make infertile black couples give birth to miracle babies. But police investigations revealed child theft and baby trafficking.

Some years ago, a Nigerian pastor Temitope Joshua - of the Synagogue of All Nations - announced to the world that he could cure HIV/AIDS. But his claims were later discovered to be all fake and forgery.

In 2001, the German evangelist, Renhard Bonnke, was reported to have raised somebody from the dead. There have been a lot of such indiscriminate claims of miracles and divine healing by Nigeria's televangelists and doomsday preachers - Chris Oyakhilome, Enoch Adeboye, David Oyedepo, Helen Ukpabio, and Matthew Ashimolowo etc. These faith-healers use the money extorted from miracle seekers to mount billboards and sponsor radio and television programmes advertising their miracles. Last year, the Broadcasting commission in Nigeria had to ban the transmission of miracles on national television. Faith healing is the greatest threat to scientific medicine and health care delivery in Africa.

Claims of divine cure and healing cannot be reconciled with the dire health situation in Africa. Africa has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. And millions out there are still dying of preventable diseases like malaria and tuberculosis. According to the United Nations, 6000 African children die - and 11,000 get infected with HIV/AIDS every day. And if indeed there are people with supernatural powers to heal the sick, raise the dead and cure all ailments, why are Africans suffering and dying; why are human beings suffering and dying?

Fears of witchcraft are real in Africa. Churches have been involved in the torture and murder of thousands of African children whom they’ve denounced as witches. There have been reports of witchcraft murder in Lusikisiki, Men have been jailed for witchcraft murder, and numerous attempts to tackle witch murders in Tanzania. Even a London witchcraft murder was traced to Africa child trade. Witchcraft accusations of children have been made by their own families’ pastors in other African countries, with the families always taking the pastor’s side.

Christian "science" or Christian healing services are commonplace and extremely worrisome. This article discusses a Christian church currently facing action from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in South Africa after repeatedly claiming to heal the blind, the lame, and people with HIV Aids or cancer. They're on the chopping block for making repeated unsubstantiated claims about their healing services. As usual, the Christian zealots fall back on anecdote and irrational rambling to support their outlandish claims rather than proven science and non-alternative medicine.

Superstitions surrounding health issues in SA are not uncommon or limited to Christianity, however. There's also The South African Faculty of Homeopathy and of course let's not forget the use of muti, which has resulted in murder and madness through children being killed so that their body parts can be used and people selling sacks of muti to thieves who then think they're invisible and end up getting shot. Albino children are particularly sought after. Kenya has taken strides to clamp down on bogus herbalists. So far Nigerian pastors have been involved in over 100 incidents of murdered “witch children” and 13 churches have been named in case files. The nine year old boy, Nwanaokwo Edet had acid poured down his throat by his own father after their family pastor denounced him. He died a month later. Ugandans use Christian Bible to justify ritual sacrifice of children. Child sacrifice in Uganda.
Learn more about traditional African religions here.

As early as 1792, Christianity arrived in Africa through many groups of Christians of African birth or descent who had come to faith in Christ as plantation slaves or as soldiers in the British army during the American War of Independence, or as farmers or squatters in Nova Scotia after it. (5) They took their own preachers and church leaders to Africa and their churches were functioning before the arrival of modern missionaries from the Western world. (6) Therefore, the making of Christian Africa cannot be exclusively attributed to Western missionaries. The contribution of African influence and Africans' unique interpretation and application of the Gospel have been enduring elements in the making of Christian Africa in the twentieth century.

This graph shows the growth of Christianity in Africa.



In the early 1960s, when African nationalist leaders and politicians were fighting for political freedom from European countries and removing the last vestiges of colonialism, African Christians were also giving indigenous definition to Christianity. They defined the essential categories of the Christian faith in an indigenous religious paradigm and familiar idioms to the extent that Christian faith in Africa today is stronger than it has ever been, and also more obscure and dangerous since African pastors have drawn their own unethical conclusions regarding the Biblical teachings. Today, it is estimated that more than 360 million Christians throughout the world are Africans.

This graphs shows the number of Christians per region.




Many have noted the need to address the issue of Africanising religion. Academics in this field have warned of the radical rebirth of Christianity in Africa as a consequence of the dialogue between today's African Christians and the continent's traditional religions and philosophies, social and cultural contexts, and the like. All hell breaks loose when these dialogues either don’t take place or fail.

The existence of Bible translations into KiSwahili, isiXhosa, Zulu, Chichewa, Tswana, Shona etc is frightening. African cultures notoriously cling to superstitions as well as ancestral and tribal beliefs. Combining this with Christianity is resulting in an ongoing history of bad ideas. I have covered many of these issues before, but I'll recap very briefly:
The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which you can learn more about in this online documentary, Missionaries of Hate, is shockingly violent and, naturally, has its roots firmly in Christianity.The role of evangelical American Christians in pushing the bill spreading anti-gay hate in Africa has been a not-so-well-hidden controversy. Ed Brayton writes on the duplicity of the Ugandan Anti-Gay Legislation
The role of the Catholic church in both Mugabe's reign of terror in Zimbabwe as well as in the Rwandan genocide are just two more instances of disastrous mixing between traditional African beliefs and the larger world religions.


90 million African Christians are currently awaiting the completion of the Kiswahili Bible.
Africa is already rampant with a deadly blend of ignorant Christianity and tribal superstitions. This is fueling atrocities against young children on a daily basis. Not even to mention the role of Christianity in the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill which declares the punishment for homosexuality is death.
To add the Bible to a continent where the majority of the population do not have a tertiary education and barely a decent high school education is to put a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of the desperate who will believe anything they are told without being able to fully understand the supposed deeper philosophical and theological arguments presented in the contradictory, violent Biblical text.

The Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda is a quasi-religious movement that mixes Christianity with its own brand of spiritualism, the group reinforces its ranks by snatching and terrorizing children. LRA fighters wear rosary beads and recite passages from the Bible before battle.
Apartheid in South Africa and the Christian Dutch Reformed Church. The Apartheid regime implemented heavy racial segregation laws based on what the Churches supported, condoned, and suggested, resulting in many horrific laws. Our country is still suffering from the effects of these laws today and will continue to do so for generations to come.
The Afrikaans Resistance Movement (Afrikaanse Weerstands Beweging) In South Africa. Eugene Terreblanche was trying to revive the movement in God's name but was assassinated 3 April 2010. The AWB have been responsible for racism, bigotry and active homophobia, burning and beating people. Eugene Terreblanche himself committed and ordered many of these atrocities. A recent news bulletin revealed that one black man he had beaten so severely that he suffered severe brain damage.
The AWB website vow: When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay itl for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

How to "cure" homosexuality: American-based Christian ministries pushed Ugandan kill-the-gays bill
Uganda anti-homosexuality bill threatens liberties and human rights...
American based Christian ministries pushed the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill which states that all people engaging in homosexual activity should be put to death, all people harbouring homosexuals should be put to death, and all who have engaged in acts of serial homosexuality should be put to death. If someone has sex with someone of the same sex and does not report them, they are both put to death. If someone knows of a homosexual or a homosexual couple but does not report them then they are also put to death.

I understand that secular groups bringing aid to Africa do not always operate under a banner of secularism or atheism, or even necessarily humanism, which means that I'm sure there are hundreds of groups of aid workers, doctors, educators etc who are in Africa promoting understanding about HIV/Aids, malaria, the importance of literacy, agricultural methods and such rather than infecting third world countries with unhealthy levels of violent religiosity. However, I fear that this is not the case. I also do not doubt that there are religious people in Africa doing genuine work, but I strongly believe that teaching anyone living in poverty stricken conditions to turn to God is a cruel and inhumane act of emotional guilt and mental punishment.

AIDS & Literacy

The Pope says that Africa doesn't need condoms to curb the Aids virus, because the use of contraception is a sin, inspiring this response from Richard Dawkins. Dawkins says, "I wonder on what basis anyone can say condoms make Aids worse. The Pope is either stupid, ignorant, or dim."

Books such as When God Stood Up: A Christian Response to Aids, are easily accessible online.
It's all fair and well rallying the troops in God's name if it's going to bring relief to Aids sufferers, but how can you honestly look the mother of a dying child in the face and tell her that it is God's will that her infant child dies from Aids, or that her child will become one of millions of Aids orphans in Africa because God wills it? It's despicable to think that anyone would hold fast to their blind faith in such a time.
There are currently 22,000,000 people living with HIV/Aids in Sub-Saharan Africa, 12,000,000 are women, 1,800,000 are children, 11,600,000 are Aids orphans, and 1,500,000 have died so far because of Aids (Statistics per African country).
Help them, but do it in the name of humanity and decency rather in the name of a God who would create such a disease, make it possible for such a disease to exist, and/or transfer it/let it be transferred to such a large, innocent part of the world's population. The populations of developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa already lived hard and hardened lives before this virus spread. I also use the word "innocent" in the most secular way possible. I'm sure everyone is a sinner in the religious sense, but not everyone is a criminal or a generically bad person, and no one should be made to apologise for being human except in exceptional circumstances such as rape, murder, kidnapping etc. in which case their apology is owed to mankind, not to some god.

A royal senior in Swaziland has recently said that he thinks Aids is a scam. With the majority of African societies possessing such a low level of education and unawareness of their social responsibilities, you no longer need to imagine the dangers this could cause; they have become clearly visible.



The majority of African countries are at the very bottom of the list of nearly 200 countries included in international literacy surveys.


The above image shows the world-wide education index. Green represents high levels of education, yellow is medium, and red is low. Africa sticks out like a sore thumb.

ISLAM

Nigeria twenty years ago was a bastion of Christianity in Africa with 90% of the population adhering to the Christian faith. 50% of Nigeria is now Islamic. A night-time “ethnic cleansing” raid by Muslims on a village near Nigeria’s turbulent city of Jos resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Christians. Authorities say the invaders were Fulani herdsmen, who seek to establish Nigeria as an Islamic republic ruled by Islamic law.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) may have existed before Islam, but it has since been made part of the Sunna of the Prophet. Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes bravely about her experience as a Muslim child in Africa in Infidel. She became a member of Dutch parliament later in life and sought to abolish article 23, which permitted the creation of private faith schools.

Christianity in Africa has not only failed to do good, but it actually produced character defects and rebellion, at least according to Reverend Isaac Taylor, Canon or York. For this reason, he dangerously promotes Islam in Africa without considering the possibility that Africa might benefit from having no religion at all. Many of Taylor’s remarks are exceedingly racist, but it his own misdirected way he makes one or two objective points. The conflict between Islam and Christianity still rages today, but in a violent way, as Christian and Muslim forces fight against each other in such countries as Chad and the Sudan.

For centuries, Islam has attempted to move southward on the continent of Africa. In spite of wars, political upheavals, and massive financial investments, the spread of Islam has remained stalled for 400 years just south of the Sahara desert and just inland of the eastern coast. The Islamic and Christian worldviews remain deadlocked in front-line nations such as Somalia, Sudan, and Mali.





The issue of multiculturalism has always been an ethnically poignant one in Africa. It has also been noteworthy in instances of religious clashes or religious mixing. To combine the two results in an uncanny travesty of humanity.

Professor Molefi Kete Asante has some interesting comments on the clash of traditional African culture with the larger religions. “The early Christian church had to deal with the fact that Christians had used many African ideas, the son of God, eternal life, and the resurrection, in their religion. The sad fact is that since we have forgotten so much we do not know that we are the originators of religion.

The abandonment of our history, indeed the abandonment of our gods, the gods of our ancestors, have brought us deep into the quagmire of misdirection, mis-orientation and self pity.

Our traditional religious leaders have often been hijacked by the material goods offered by the purveyors of these migrating gods.
What is religion but the deification of ancestors, the making sacred of traditions within the context and history. How can we honor any god who was used against us? The only people who accept alien gods are defeated people; all others honor and accept their own name for the Almighty. We must learn to appreciate ourselves and our traditions. What is wrong with the African God?”

There are theologians in Africa who are trying as hard as possible to reconcile traditional African cultures and traditions with Christianity, however. They have acknowledged that the existence of these religions is a reality, and are seeking ways to marry the varying ways of thinking in a variety of socio-political contexts.
James Cochrane is one such person, from the University of Cape Town’s Religious Studies department. Also see this page for a list of his publications.

Keep God out of Africa. Focus on infrastructure, agriculture, education, and basic sanitation. If you feel the need to teach people about the existence of an invisible deity who will help them out, then bring some solid scientific proof to the table instead of philosophical theorising for a change, and maybe we'll let you drive your own religious agenda in Africa. Until then, whether you want to "save" people,"show them the light" or exploit them, ask yourself whether this is really a healthy, humanitarian move.



Views: 1491

Tags: Africa, Aids, God, HIV, Humanitarian, Humanitarianism, Humanity, literacy

Comment by Pope Beanie on May 17, 2011 at 6:01am

Why do you keep saying who created us, like it's a known fact or truth? Just saying that the universe was created doesn't make it true.

More importantly, what we care about is how the universe works. Whether God makes it happen or not, we still try to learn how fossils are formed, or how old they are, and all kinds of other questions about the universe and life, etc. Science solves mysteries, while religion perpetuates them. We may never know how the universe began, but science will still keep getting closer and closer to knowing it, regardless of whatever creationists preach.

Religionists are forced by peer pressure to believe that only they know one particular truth as prescribed by an uncorrectable dogma. So how do you know what God's nature is, and how can your belief be more correct than what other religionists claim? 90% of you guys have to be wrong, because the dogmas don't jive! But scientists can keep adding to their bank of knowledge, and eventually come to agreement on universal truths, no matter what language they speak or what culture they come from. They are humble about what they don't know, and they endeavor to learn what has not yet even been written.

I could go on and on, but there's just not enough time! Whether God did it or not, it's still up to us to learn how it all works. That's how we progressed from stone age to space age. That's how we learned about diseases (like HIV). Jeez, scripture writers didn't even know about germs, or dna, or that the world is round. Why couldn't God have said anything about that, or that those tiny, twinkling stars are other worlds, or that air has oxygen? And now, those poor Africans are to be kept ignorant for as long as possible. I want to scream!

Comment by Pope Beanie on May 17, 2011 at 5:22pm

Hi Paul. As a Christian Theist, I will tell you from experience that nobody is peer pressuring me to believe that Jesus Christ is the life, the truth, and the way. I lived my life an atheist so I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum now. It is my experience that many Christians were not raised Christians, or were, but didn’t truly believe-- it isn’t until later in life that the lightbulb goes off. 

Lastly, I will simply say that if you seek God rather than seeking to disprove His existence, you willfind Him. <3

@Reo, it sounds to me like you're an exception, unless you grew up in a Christian environment. How many Muslims grew up in Christian environments, and vise-versa? The vast majority of believers believe in the religion that's most prominent where they grew up. I call that peer pressure, even if they're not pressuring people to believe under penalty of death or threat of hell (which can also be common).

I am never out to disprove His existence. I simply believe His existence is just as irrelevant as the existence of Santa Claus or Pink Unicorns. (And how do you know He's a he, by the way? This is only what mortal men who wrote scripture say.) In fact conversely, it's clear that people "looking for Him" will find Him, and it's almost always the same version of Him that the local culture preaches.

Comment by Brian Stewart on May 18, 2011 at 2:33am

It seems that the numbers 'grabbed' are as fictitious as the Jesus story: Google is not research bru... Africa's total population as at 2009 is 1 001 320 281 persons (CIA The World Factbook): so the manufactured Christian figures are totally suspect I  couldn't be bothered with doing your research for you: However a quick survey of 10 African countries (4 predominantly Muslim; 4 predominantly Christian; 2 even) with a total population of roughly 445 million persons (which incidentally includes a very high proportion of children who normally don't have a religion!...stats would nevertheless incorrectly allocate the parents religion to them), reveals that Muslims make up 187 million (42%), Christian 191 million (43%). The balance is made up of traditional belief systems etc. So before you wax lyrical about the penetrative impact of your god's word, do your homework more thoroughly. Taking Kelltrill's figures for Nigeria you will note that Christianity has declined from roughly 90% twenty year's ago to 40% in 2009 due to Islam's penetration.

The only references you constantly give are from the bible...yet you attack Kelltrill for not quoting references, e.g.

[quote]Here are a few things within the Bible that are confirmed to be true by archaeologists and historians:

[quote]-Genesis derives the ancestry of Israel from Mesopotoamia, a fact with which archaeological findings concur. 

-In the genealogy of Esau, there is mention of the Horites (Genesis 36:20); findings have shown that they were a prominent group of warriors living in the Near East in Patriarchal times.[/quote]

You haven't answered any of my questions except in vague generalities and emotional appeals to 'believe' and 'find God". This is quite boring as I've heard it all before. 

About Luke: again no reference to the source of your statement that [quote]"The Acts of the Apostles is now generally agreed in scholarly circles to be the work of Luke,  to belong to the first century, and involve the labors of a careful historian who was substantially accurate in his use of sources. Luke is a historian of the first rank."[/quote]

Theologians generally agree that Mark wrote the first synoptic gospel and the rest including Luke copied it with some variations. It is suspected that Luke was a Greek doctor (he never knew or saw Jesus and his writings are hearsay although he gives a glimpse of Jewish pesher exegesis to early Christians) (source: Armstrong Karen, "The Bible: The Biography" 2007 Atlantic Books).

Coming to your interpretation of 'truth'; again you do not say which philosophers' views of 'truth' you subscribe to so it is difficult for me to address this view as you give it your own twist to suit your own agenda:

Question1: Is the story of creation as contained in Genesis 'True'; Yes or No?

Question 2: Was Noah able to accomodate all the animals on the Ark; Yes or No?

Question 3: How old is the planet earth?

Question 4: Does man have free will or does god determine?

Here just to stimulate your mind and think: Is religion a delusionary disorder? Here are some interesting sites:

- "The only cure for religion is an ability to recognize fact from delusion. The problem is when most theists see evidence that counters the existence of a God or some other tenant of their faith, they deny the fact, not the faith.":
http://religiousfreaks.com/2007/03/13/hindu-tolerance-and-the-iron-...
- "How do we cure people of Religion?":
http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/psychology/forum/topics/how-do-we...
- "Science is finally taking a new approach, a CURE for religion.":
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread502433/pg1
- "Saying religion is a disease is just as doomed to failure as saying homosexuality or jubilation is a disease. ":
- "How to Get Rid of Religion, and Why":
http://verlichtingshumanisten.web-log.nl/humanistische_denktank/fil...

 

I've said enough. Enjoy.


 

Comment by luvtheheaven on May 18, 2011 at 2:39am
Thanks for the awesome post, Brian. XD I too noticed the numbers of Christians in Korea according to that post outnumbered the world population lmao, awful statistics. XD TOTALLY wrong obviously. Lol.
Comment by Angela Gorman on May 18, 2011 at 4:28am
Hi everyone..interesting conversation but we seem to be drifting from the point. I am steadfast in my belief that religion has done little or nothing for Africa. The bible thumpers drive around in their 4x4s, with the faith based names of their organisations on teh sides of their vehicles, talk about heavenly rewards, while we try to keep them from staying away from the their hereafter. I cannot and will never believe that any god thinks it's right to allow so many mothers to die in Africa but not in the west. I retired from 22yrs of neonatal nursing and only did my job (from the religious perspective) by believing that there cannot be a god, otherwise it would not allow these innocent children to suffer. It is down to good and bad luck.. depending on where you live and are born. The same is true in Africa where we are trying to change the luck of mothers in 7 countries!       
Comment by luvtheheaven on May 18, 2011 at 4:32am
The point, Angela, is that religion hasn't don't little or nothing for Africa - it's that it's doing extreme harm. Child witch burnings, kill the gays, no condoms because of the Pope despite the AIDS epidemic, money spent on churches that should be being spent on much better things, genital mutilations, and the list goes on and on.
Comment by Angela Gorman on May 18, 2011 at 4:43am
Yes luvtheheaven.. I agree totally. Think my post was written in haste, which is unlike me! I withdraw my previous statement and concur 100% with everything you have mentioned and more. Just off to raise money now to save more lives that god obviously thinks are not worth saving. I heard a great quote at a conference in Kampala 3yrs ago.. "why are women dying in such numbers?" (i.e. one every minute) The answer from clinicians would be haemorrhage, infections etc... The real answer is that "they are not dying of diseased we cannot treat.. they are dying because society has decided they are not worth treating." We are all "society" and religions are equally culpable if not moreso than the rest of us, as mentioned in your reply.     
Comment by Brian Stewart on May 18, 2011 at 4:57am
Angela...as an African development economist I have basically supported your views but from a different perspective. You can see my posts earlier in this thread...to sum up: In un/der developed societies, there is a strong need to revert to external deities and this varies from a total adherence to animism, magic, spirits (usually ancestral) etc to a mix of western beliefs and traditional systems and more recently to the "new" kid on the block, viz Islam. Missionaries have for a long time been trying to replace one form of dependence on external powers with another, i.e. a god of some description. Education has been skewed to suit their agendas (and we see the disastrous consequences of the Anti-gay shit happening in Uganda right now). Education was not liberal empowering stuff but further enslavement. I disagree with your statement :"religion has done little or nothing for Africa"....it has and its been a disaster. I live in South Africa and I can see the conservative move religion is causing right here in front of our noses: censorship, increasing restrictions on a free press, freedom of speech, attacks on private property rights etc....a lot of this flows from religious rubbish and while we have a very liberal political constitution, the rule of law is constantly under threat from the conservative right. So I essentially agree with you.
Comment by Angela Gorman on May 18, 2011 at 7:42pm
Reo.. Respectfully, I'm afraid that nothing you have said, has had any impact on my beliefs. It just increases my belief that religion is a waste of precious time, when so much good could be done. My daughter wrote something when she was 15yrs old, (now almost 40yrs old) which stays with me. It was "I don't pray any more, it's a waste of time. People only pray when they want something and as everything in my life is fine, I'll leave gods time for those who need it." This was an essay on prayer, to be handed into a teacher at a roman catholic school. The more I thought about what she had written, the more I agreed with her and marvelled at her unselfish approach to a god we all believed in at the time, but no longer do. We think that we teach our children, but they teach us so much. It was a turning point in my life which is now quite simple.. what I see is all there is... I live, I try to live a good, unselfish life, I try to save the lives of pregnant African women by raising money to buy medicines to save their lives, (to date over 25,000 saved.) I die and that is it. I live on in my children. Nothing to fear except the words and actions of those who do the most terrible things in the name of religion and their gods. I now prefer to live my life believing that there is no god, even if turns out that there is one, than to live my life believing that there is a god, only to find out that I was wrong all along! www.lifeforafricanmothers.org you can email me through the website if you so wish. Many have tried to change my mind...(even set me as their challenge during a visit to Liberia) on the subject of god, only to fail miserably!         
Comment by Brian Stewart on May 19, 2011 at 3:48am
Thanks Reo. Your definition of what is the truth is now clear: The Bible is the TRUTH.... LOL but believe what you will.

This is the same bible that tells us that the universe is 6,000 years old and was formed in a week. It tells us that language diversity comes from a smitten skyscraper and that human ethnic variance came from Noah's family. It tells us that leprosy can be cured by bird blood, that pi=3, that the world would end within a generation of Jesus's death, and that a dragon will swipe a third of the stars from the sky with its tail at the end of the world. This is comedy. Forget correcting Camping on the Bible's specifics: lets correct the Christians on using the Bible at all.(an extract from The Teapot Atheist's Blog at http://teapotatheism.blogspot.com/) and as he says "the variance in expertise between the augers is not the issue, the issue is augury." Brilliant! That is why faith is needed because the facts tell a different story! But then religion was NEVER about the facts was it?

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