Should infidels send their children to Sunday school?

Many times, it has been suggested to me that I should let my children go to church and learn about god. They add they will have a choice to believe or quit as I did. My corollary has been why not let them grow without superstition and if they should become religious as adults, it’s because they were not as intelligent as their parents? Whoever goes looking for a toothache just so they can in future say it is not a good thing to have?

The great agnostic, Robert Ingersoll, said this on the subject

My advice to all Agnostics is to keep their children from the orthodox Sunday schools, from the orthodox churches, from the poison of the pulpits.

Teach your children the facts you know. If you do not know, say so. Be as honest as you are ignorant. Do all you can to develop their minds, to the end that they may live useful and happy lives.

Strangle the serpent of superstition that crawls and hisses about the cradle. Keep your children from the augurs, the soothsayers, the medicine-men, the priests of the supernatural. Tell them that all religions have been made by folks and that all the “sacred books” were written by ignorant men.

Teach them that the world is natural. Teach them to be absolutely honest. Do not send them where they will contract diseases of the mind — the leprosy of the soul. Let us do all we can to make them intelligent.

and I agree with him.

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what do we expect of the African thinkers, intellectuals and leaders?

Bethwell Ogot, in Who, if anyone, owns the past? writes

African scholars, thinkers and leaders have a moral responsibility, therefore to create a New Africa, an Africa they want and that they have to decide to help shape. Such a new Africa will have to exist in the minds of all its inhabitants and become part of their every day life-a life that is full, vital, open and in which dialogue, co-existence, and mutual aid are taken for granted.

The collective identity of this New Africa in the making which will include peoples with different cultures, languages and histories, will be found in a shared set of values: the primacy of individual human rights, democracy, a balance between freedom and solidarity and between efficiency and equity, as well as openness to the world.

The new Africa must recognize the complementarity between its values, and the knowledge and understanding of the values of others.

Most African intellectuals have helped prop up dictatorships. They serve in the cabinets. They see no evil and say no evil. They contribute no thought in knowledge acquisition or development. They have PhDs but just for show or to get to the positions from where they can stifle thought.

The other group of intellectuals and scholars lock themselves comfortably in the academy earning meager salaries and because of fear of their employer, they see no evil. They, too, are no different from their partners who get into government and become one with the oppressive state.

I find it beyond belief in the face of human rights abuses by the state in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, scholars and intellectuals cannot find a single voice to condemn it. The academy has not issued a statement condemning state brutality at University of Nairobi or at Daystar or any other university for that matter? What role models are you? Are you cowards? Are you so fearful of university admins or the government that you can’t issue a statement in defense of your charges? You are a disappointment. You should all feel ashamed.

For the few independent scholars, Keguro, I can see you, thank you for asking the questions you do. For expanding the fields of thought in how we are showing care.

While I am no scholar, I find the attitude of the African populace towards their suffering sometimes perplexing. Are we so afraid of our oppressors to stand up to them? To mock them in our poetry? To show them our displeasure as a people and demand for better? Did the Christianization and Islamizations projects leave us as submissive and subservient to authority no matter who represents it, whether a god or a leader who claims to be from god?

Rise Africa and claim your humanity and dignity. Make the despots afraid, send them away, but save lives, if you must employ violence. But chase them away. They have caused enough misery already. They are the reasons our brothers and sisters die in the Med trying to get to Europe to be anything except poor and dirty African in Africa!

Many Africans, especially those brainwashed in the Abrahamic religions think Israel favourably as the holy[sic] land. These same people are blind to the injustices Africans suffer in that country or to the forced deportations. Fools all of you!

what are we to do

still from Who, if anyone, owns the past? the author writes, and I think this relevant almost everywhere, but especially in our current political stalemate between a rogue and theiving government and a desire for representative government

[..]Very little change is to be expected from those who are comfortably settled in life, sure of their position, satisfied with their lot, who continue to regard only their neighbours as their fellows, and live without querying anything and without asking anew every day the essential questions. Personal commitment and a willingness to make an effort and even sacrifice on behalf of a cause are not the result of material satisfaction but of spiritual aspirations. Something to live for and not on. Without human tension, there is no change. Without passion or compassion there will not be sufficient steadfastness in rebellion.

Those formerly committed to change become docile, the reformers of yesterday get co-opted into the Establishment and the ‘civil conspirators’ accept ‘things as they are’, giving up the attempts to make them ‘as they ought to be’.

In order to strengthen genuine democracy, reduce disparities and ensure that civil society takes on the responsibility that only it can assume, there is historically, only one path to follow; the defense of values and ideals that are regarded as crucial to human dignity.

And what do we, young people of Africa need?

We need role models who will show us the value of hard work, resourcefulness, integrity, and commitment. [..]the masses in Africa are fed up with the ruling vampire elites who make vain promises to seek election, but once elected, break their promises and become more preoccupied with the frenzied plunder of the state treasury.

who owns the past?

Is the title of my current read.

The author, in writing on why history of Africa and the relationship with the developed world is presented in the manner it is, notes

[….]I attribute the want of proper acknowledgement to a collective desire- conscious and unconscious- to conceal a very shameful and horrific past. To acknowledge the past would necessarily be to acknowledge the present, and the developed world is largely incapable of that. To acknowledge culpability in the historical and contemporary abuse of Africa and its peoples would force a revision of all righteous claims of European civilizing mission, modernity, enlightenment and white moral supremacy. Notions of aid and development would have to be re-framed as acts of reparation and restitution for the plunder of gold, uranium, diamonds, cocoa, rubber, coffee, copper and people. And so the dark secrets of empires must be repressed, and in that way, control the past.

 

Dear white people

Here, is me keeping the promise I made to get to you.

Many of you are well meaning and donate money for aid agencies in Africa but do you ever ask about the trade wars that your nations fight against Africa and other least developed countries?

Do you question, for example, the dalliance your governments have with despots as long as business of extraction is good? The masses can starve as long as multinationals make money.

Many of your countries talk about liberalisation of markets and free market while, for example, the USA built its economy through protectionist policies and subsidies that continue to date.

I keep reading comments by people who say by colonizing Africa, Europe brought civilization to Africa. What civilization if I may? 

Britain built its economy on the back of her colonies from Africa and India .

We, the youth of the present generation should be better informed and work towards a better world by fighting imperialism in all its expressions. Fight racism. Fight the military complexes. Fight overt surveillance in the name of security and fight against terror. Let’s work towards a peaceful future for all of us where each nation or nation state depending on how you see it have a right to self determination. People have agency and they know what is best for them.