Religion is a mere construct, a Disneyland of fantasy. Taking religion to a higher level in Nigeria is like Emperor Constantine taking Jesus Christ from mere human mortal and skyrocketing him into divinity. Jesus followers and tribesmen had known and addressed Him as human son of Marry and Joseph. It was Constantine and his Council of Elders in Rome in about 325 A.D. who divined Christ into God-character and Godhead. Contemporary TV shows have taken cue from emperor Constantine in making ordinary people into superstars in 'who wants to be a star?' worldwide. Most musical and film superstars of today are product of: ‘who wants to be a star?’ A throwback to how the Pagan emperor Constantine made a superstar out of ordinary human Jesus. It’s well historised that He was recognised as no more and no less the son of man by his followers and townsmen contemporary of that bygone era.
Nigerian Christians are so God delusional that you wonder what magic wand their pastors used in turning adult men and women into amenable and unthinking zombies. Is it the brainwash of coercive persuasion, the Moses rod employed by pastors to charm their converts into closed mindset people as if they’ve been churned out of a robot factory from some where in communist Russia where people must ply by set down rules with no option to think for themselves? It’s way too vexing to contend with the arrogant idiocy of Christians who maintain that pastor Enoch Adeboye and his co-pastors are above criticism just by the say-so of the Christian Bible. What differentiate these kinds of Christians from homosexuals who claim that their deviant behaviour is their manifest destiny allowed by God and therefore they should be left alone? What stops us from allowing those who kill others for money ritual make their case why they and their God of Money should not be criticised? And why wouldn’t we believe Rastafarians who contend that their religion allow them to smoke marijuana and get high as the only way to get close to their God Jah Haile Selassie? Why’d we not let president Yar´Adua be, after he rigged election and claim God made him president? Who’s the rightful person to say who should be criticised and whom not, and why?
This kind of herd mentality of keeping up with the Joneses led a bunch of over eight hundred American Christians belonging to the ‘Peoples Temple’ agree to commit mass suicide in Guyana in 1978. While their pastor Jim Jones made his followers to take the poison Cyanide to kill them, pastor Jones chose to die by gunshot. Poison death is slower and painful with all the convulsion and whatnot before dying, while gun shot death is quicker and less painful. Even in death, pastor Jim Jones cheated his amenable believers by choosing a more speedy and less painful way to die while his followers had to go through hell of poison to die for the sake of a manipulative Christian religion. His converts just went with the flow of Christian paranormal lies of the existence of omnipotent sky God, to end their own lives without asking questions as to why. Should most followers of pastor Jim Jones wake up today to the news that they, the converts, died as per poison while their pastor died the easy way out via gun death, they’d have felt done in, and their pastor, a letdown.
In the event that those pastors in Nigeria call their sheepish followers out to commit mass suicide to appease their Christian God or the ego of the pastor himself, I assume most believers would kill themselves for nothing sake, judging by the senseless fanaticism with which they spit fire and brimstone to consume those who criticise Adeboye and other pastors. Should that happen, Nigerian pastors would choose the easy way to die while they’d sadistically make their converts die painful deaths like the believers of Peoples Temple Christians of America did in Jones Town, Guyana in 1978.
Nigerian pastors live swell lives of spending church thrift for their earthly personal enjoyment while their converts who donate the tithes live ghetto lives. Pastors live in apartness from the brunt of squalor their converts bear each day. It´d not be surprising whence pastor choose a more comfortable death as their pliable converts would clap to Amen songs and praises to their miserable deaths. There’s no Jupiter that can stop Christian and Moslem converts in Nigeria from committing religious hara-kiri when their pastors call them to die for their tithe-money and total obedience-demanding Gods. Boko Harem is modern pointer in this direction of senseless obedience to foreign Gods of Christian and Muslim fraternities. It´d be a form of hypocrisy to be seen only to lampoon those who criticise their pastors without dying howsoever-weird pastors dictates are. Most pliable believers across religion in Nigeria are doggone and still don’t know it yet. They’re endangered species.
The Guyana Christian mass suicide is enough warning for believers to desist from being fantasist who’d not question issues before they swallow hook, line and sinker under they’re brainwashed to subservient yes-men and women.
There’s this wisecrack: 'sex sells.' But I tell you; religion sells more that sex in Nigeria.
When the Israelites set up to formulate Christian religion in the manner resembling Christ’s activities and the local tradition of his countrymen then, they hadn’t Nigerians in mind. Nigerians and non-Israelites membering the Christian faith are gatecrashers. 'Amebo' and 'tafia' people. Israeli, Jewish worldview is narrowly restricted to the Jews alone. They hardly marry strangers and likewise, their socialisation is parochially restricted amid themselves. It’s out of misconception, ignorance, and low self-worth that Nigerians would abandon their native Gods and religions to become partakers of the scam of monotheism that came out of the Middle East.
For Christians of Israeli nativity, all non-Israelites are uncircumcised pagans not minding whether you co-profess Christian faith as they do. Jesus and Israelites of his time had never intended to include non-natives in their religious worldview, how much more today’s Nigerians. It was emperor Constantine that rigged early Christian scriptures, manuscripts and writings to make it seem as if non-Israelites are included, when he collated the Bible. Constantine himself a Pagan, was unaware that his scam of political brinkmanship to unite every one of his then citizens under one religious fold for political expediency would blaze this far in 21st century Nigeria. Religion is the hottest currency in Nigeria where pastors have hijacked emperor Constantine universal Christianity for their personal egos and pockets.
Nigerian believers, who’re hooked to the sky and can’t divorce their sky-Gods omnipotent, should at least look before they leap. They shouldn’t agree to all their pastors and Holy book tell them. There are many pastors in Nigeria like Jim Jones who’d coercively persuade their converts to mass deaths just for their personal egos and self-inflicted palavers. Most Nigerian pastors, like Jim Jones, wouldn’t want to be the last man standing, they’d confuse their believers with threat of hell damnation to go with whatever flow are their fancies and fantasies.
Since we lampoon everything under the sun on this earth, pastor Adeboye and other top faith-workers in Nigeria shouldn’t be made loners. It’s arrant make-believe to think that there are those who are more sacred than others based on the dictate of an imported religion. The culture of sacred cow belongs to Indian and not Nigeria. To see things before one believes them make for more rational sense of purpose.
S. Njokede writes from The European Union