Shall We Ban Religion? By Michael Egbejumi-David

Michael Egbejumi-David
By Michael Egbejumi-David

I got the first phone call just before 1:00pm, UK time.  This was Tuesday 13th November 2012.  It was from my sister in Lagos.  She was frantic.  Our younger brother’s wife was bleeding, losing a lot of blood, laid out on a bed at the National Hospital, Abuja.  She had just delivered a baby, their second in just over two years.  My sister informed me that despite serious pleas from everyone in the family, from clinical staff at the hospital, and from concerned strangers, my brother refused to give his consent for his wife to have blood transfusion.

Why?  Unfortunately for his wife, my brother is a Jehovah’s Witness.

I called my brother and spoke to him.  He didn’t budge.  He said his faith; his religion forbids its members from accepting blood under any circumstance.  Though I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I said that it was ok.  I told him that he could refuse blood transfusion when he is the patient, but since it was his young wife at death’s door, he should give consent for the treatment for her.  I added that after his wife has been saved, he could go ahead and ask for forgiveness from the anti-transfusion god, and once again reconcile himself to his faith.  
He declined.  

I then went into the medical aspect of what was happening.  I informed my brother that the average male has only about 5.5 litres of blood in their body.  The average female has even less.  I told him that if the body loses too much of that, there wouldn’t be enough for the heart to pump, and the heart would stop beating.  The patient will die.  He still didn’t budge.  In fact, he promptly hung up on me.  I called him back a few more times but the young man refused to answer his phone.

I called back my sister in Lagos and reported my failure.

he second call came at exactly 2:00pm.  This time my sister was crying.  The young lady has died.

I immediately called my brother again.  I wanted to tell him to take and bow and to clap for himself.  But he was still refusing to take my calls.
I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about religion.  I know that religion has its many benefits, but I am beginning to wonder whether these are outweighed by its negative aspects.  Most people appear to check their intelligence at the door when it comes to their religion and practicing their faith. 

Unfortunately, my brother is one of them.  I couldn’t believe that an educated man (he has a Master’s degree from the University of Ibadan) would sit around and watch his wife die when he could have very easily prevented her death by signing a piece of paper.  What has religion done to us?
I called my other sister in Abuja to get more details.  I wish I hadn’t.  

She informed me that she spent more than an hour on her knees begging our brother to give his consent for his wife to be given blood, but he refused.  He refused her, and he refused all pleadings from the medical staff, some of whom were begging him with tears in their eyes.  He was told repeatedly that without blood transfusion, his wife would die.  He wasn’t moved.  He informed them all that if his wife died from bleeding and never got blood transfusion, she would go straight to Heaven.  This is a novel idea.  If only Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Abacha and the rest of them knew this nice little secret.  All they needed to do was slit their own wrists and the express lift to Heaven would have come for them.

Then it got worse.  I was informed that the young lady’s mother was present throughout at the hospital.  The doctors went to her to give consent for her daughter to be given blood to save her life, but the mother also refused!

She too is a Jehovah’s witness.  She maintained throughout that only the husband can give consent, she would not.  

In desperation, the doctors called the young lady’s younger brother who is a junior doctor in Jos.  The deceased worked at the National Assembly and was the main breadwinner in her birth family.  She paid for the education of all of her siblings, including that of this junior doctor.  As the doctors in Abuja pleaded with him on the phone to give consent for his sister to receive blood to save her life, this junior doctor demurred.  He directed that she be given some coagulants and blood clotting agents.  He was informed that all of that has been tried but the patient was still losing blood.  In the end, he refused to give consent.  He claimed that it was the duty of his sister’s husband, not his, and terminated the call.

He too is a Jehovah’s witness.  A doctor!  What has religion done to us?

Before this, I have never imagined that any mother could sit on a chair, fold her arms and watch her child die and not do something about it.  This was a child she gave birth to and nurtured, and who in turn, had been taking care of her in her old age.  I don’t know whether I’m the one losing my mind.  What has religion done to us?  
Anyway, the mother and my brother were finally called to go to the lady’s bedside as it became obvious that she was struggling through her last breaths.  Mama ran in the opposite direction shouting, “Jehovah o!  Jehovah is life!  Life is Jehovah!”

qqqqMy brother took his place by his wife’s bedside and watched life ebb out of her.  He stood there and watched her die.  What kind of boldness is that?  What kind of cold-heartedness is that?  When asked why he did what he did, he responded that when he dies, he would marry his dead wife again in Heaven!  Is this logical?  I have to confess that I am not the most religious person in the world, but are there marriages in Heaven?  Are we going to continue having more children in Heaven?

More importantly, would God be pleased with a person who had the power to save one of his children, one of his creations, but deliberately refused to do so?  It is one thing to watch helplessly and only give comfort as someone lies dying on a motorway, but to deliberately and actively withhold life-saving consent?  Especially to your own wife?  Your own child?  Your own sister?

My brother has become a latter-day Abraham.  He even went further by sacrificing his wife on the altar of religious principles.  But why are some religious people like this?  Is it the fear of going against the grain of their faith’s community?  Is it the fear of being seen or being thought as not faithful enough by their fellow religious comrades?  Is it the shame of being considered weak by one’s religious peers?  And if this is the case, are these feelings not trumped by love for another human being?  Personally, I think that it has got to be illiteracy of the mind.

Once upon a time, the Earth was thought to be the centre of the Universe.  That was the Church’s established view.  It was widely accepted that the Sun and all heavenly bodies revolved around an unmoving Earth.  Furthermore, it was thought that if the Earth moved, why are we not flung off its surface?  As Copernicus and science began to intrude, the Church was compelled to re-assert that the idea that the Sun stood still and that the Earth moved were "false" and "altogether contrary to Holy Scripture."  Well, Galileo later published a book, ‘Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems’ in which he argued and proved that the Earth is not the centre of the Universe, and that the Earth does move.  The Church and its head, Pope Urban VIII (who was actually Galileo’s friend) were enraged.  In 1633, Galileo was arrested and found guilty of Heresy.  His book was banned, he was forced to recant, and was placed under house arrest until he died.

But all of that took place in the 16th and 17th centuries.  Why are people today still favouring antiquated religious policies over love for one another – especially after the advent of Jesus Christ?  It cuts across all strata!  I don’t get it!  

The entire belief system of Jehovah's Witnesses is founded on the basis of its teachings about the second coming of Christ.  They are so fixated on the end of the world that they sit there, petrified, unable to move forward.  From year dot, they have been making loud predictions about this.  Some examples:

•    1877: Christ's kingdom would hold full sway over the earth in 1914; the Jews, as a people, would be restored to God's favor; the "saints" would be carried to heaven

•    1891: 1914 would be "the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men.”

•    1904: "World-wide anarchy" would follow the end of the Gentile Times in 1914.
1914 came and went.  Nothing happened.

•    1916: World War I would terminate in Armageddon and the rapture of the "saints”

•    1920: Messiah's kingdom would be established in 1925 and bring worldwide peace. God would begin restoring the earth. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful patriarchs would be resurrected to perfect human life and be made princes and rulers, the visible representatives of the New Order on earth. Those who showed themselves obedient to God would never die.

•    1922: The anti-typical "jubilee" that would mark God's intervention in earthly affairs would take place "probably the fall" of 1925.

•    1924: God's restoration of Earth would begin "shortly after" October 1, 1925. Jerusalem would be made the world's capital. Resurrected "princes" such as Abel, Noah, Moses and John the Baptist would give instructions to their subjects around the world by radio, and airplanes would transport people to and from Jerusalem from all parts of the globe in just "a few hours."

1925 came and went.  We are still here.  Things are still the same.

•    1938: In 1938, Armageddon was too close for marriage or child bearing.

•    1941: There were only "months" remaining until Armageddon.

•    1942: Armageddon was "immediately before us."

•    1966: It would be 6000 years since man's creation in the fall of 1975 and it would be "appropriate" for Christ's thousand-year reign to begin at that time. Time was "running out, no question about that." The "immediate future" was "certain to be filled with climactic events...within a few years at most", the final parts of Bible prophecy relating to the "last days" would undergo fulfillment as Christ's reign began.

•    1969: The existing world order would not last long enough for young people to grow old; the world system would end "in a few years." Young Witnesses were told not to bother pursuing tertiary education for this reason.

•    1971: The "battle in the day of Jehovah" was described as beginning "shortly, within our twentieth century".

•    1974: There was just a "short time remaining before the wicked world's end" and Witnesses were commended for selling their homes and property to "finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service."

Nope.  Nothing happened.  1975 came and went un-obstructively as well.  

Well, after mama ran away, my brother too voted with his feet.  He couldn’t be found for a few hours.  Eventually he showed up and took his day-old baby over to our sister in Abuja to look after.  The next day, ten of his fellow Kingdom-hallers turned up to stare at the baby.  I cannot help but wonder what would have been going through their minds.  Would they be jubilating that a fellow member has been ‘martyred’ by her husband?  Are they happy that a needless and easily preventable death took place in their midst?

My brother is now faced with the daunting task of raising two infants on his own.  I wonder whether he has thought much about the future.  What would he tell his children when they become old enough and ask about their mother?  Is he going to lie to them for the rest of his life?  They would find out eventually, of course.  And when they do, would they thank him for the leading role he played in their mother’s death?

And bringing up those two infants on his own would be tough – very tough.  I assume he would have to stay single now for the rest of his life since he claimed that when he dies, he would remarry his dead wife in Heaven.  It would therefore be illogical for him to marry someone else again in this world.  That would complicate things for him in Heaven, unless Jehovah Witnesses are entitled to marry more than one wife in the great beyond.

But God is so patient!  The many mad things we do in His name!  What a waste.  What a complete waste of human life and human potential.  What has religion done to us!

Well, three days later, my brother called me.  He was looking for N250,000 towards funeral cost.  Of course I hung up on him…
Twitter: demdemdem1

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Jehovah witness more like Devil's Witness

DEM what a sad story. The problem is that MOST Nigerians are SPIRITUALLY DEFICIENT AND BACKWARD. They do not apply commonsense and the basic ways of life God set down for man. Many have been indoctrinated into hopeless misguided buffoons masquerading as doing God's work when actually they are the Devil's agents. Anyway as the years have gone by I have come to terms that one has to pity and pray for misguided people like your brother. Jesus foretold how many will come in his name as false prophets to fool other like your brother. I could not stop laughing when I read he had the
effrontery to ask for funds for funeral costs...LOL. These type of people act stupidly without scant regard for the dire consequences of their blind fellowship. May your brother's wife rest in peace and I hope with time he will find peace and seek forgiveness. God is so merciful.

Ressurection Hope Sustains

Pastor Bakare stated in one of his sermons that whilst moslems leave their footwear at the entrance to their mosque, Christians leave their brains at home when they go to church.

All I want to say is that mindless beliefs such as yours will only lead to toa miserable future and you will have to live with the decisions that you and your in-laws have taken over her life. God id merciful but you will leave with the consequences of your foolishness.

It is stupid enough that despite all the predictions of your religious sect which has failed (God is not an author of confusion), you have persisted in your foolishness and have not subjected your kids to a hard life without their mum. I only pray that the lives of your kids are not put in your hands in similar circumstances.

I have no pity towards you and you should have asked you "GOD" for the burial sum instead of placing the burden on "unbelievers" that you refused to listen to.

Religion is not the problem

Religions for ages have basis through the holy books for guiding members. But what do we have, occasionally some overzealous men become mad in the delusions of supposedly serving God, create confussion and lead innocent people astray, Nay, to Hell. The Bible says, the Beearen christians not only heard but always go home to confirm with the scriptures. Some evil doctrines have taken precedence over the scriptures. Apostle Paul said, follow me as I follow Christ. Do not let any doomed person cost you eternity. Know God through His word. Jesus Christ is the word. Believe and be saved. Search the scriptures.

am sure you re also a jehova

am sure you re also a jehova witness. may God help you. i kept saying this. I patiently await the las day....... i really want to knw those serving God truly.

Ressurection Hope Sustains

Judging me unrighteous or unholy is playing God. HE alone determines that without any need of human help.What I stated was the biblical position, my position.ALL THAT IS REQUIRED IS A BIBLICAL REBUTTAL.The bible has the final say on a christian's way of life and belief system. Granted, to save the skin, we find it conflicting with "common sense"- man's sense because of its higher source.Its only human that Some of us would prefer it limited to abstinence from animal blood (and allowed to drink, eat or tranfuse the BLOOD OF FELLOW MAN TO SAVE LIFE AT LEAST) and applied only to judaism. But alas, it was reiterated by the apostles as NECESSARILY applicable both to BLOOD OF MAN AND TO CHRISTIANITY and has to be there (in the Bible)because the AUHOR wills it (Acts 15: 28,29). HIS WAYS ARE HIGHER THAN OURS.OUR LIFE IS NOT WORTH SAVING AT THE EXPENSE OF BREAKING HIS LAWS AND HURTING HIM INTENTIONALLY!John5:28,29; Ps 37:9-11; 2pe 3:13; Rev 21:1-5

what a foolish man.

what a foolish man.

your brother is a hero worshipper

he didnt apply is common sense at all. Well,i wont blame him,coz his common sense has been lost along with his brain when he was brain washed by the so called religious ethics that he believes in. To him,he did the right tin,coz d kind of environment he was groomed,preaches and promote what he did. If he wasnt brain washed,i am sure he wuld hav applied common sense. Chai,such a waste. He is no different frm the so called BOKO HARAM,he just doesnt deal with bomb. He is a brain washed stone cold killer. Beware of such people,and avoid dem. Regards

Jesus went through the field

Jesus went through the field picking grains on the sabath. when accused, he replied and said "GOD MADE SABATH FOR THE MAN NOT MAN FOR THE SABATH...IF YOUR OXEN FELL INTO A WELL ON THE SABATH, WOULD YOU NOT RESCUE IT?"

Chidi, God said a woman on her period is unclean and should not enter the temple. Do you still practice that? No. Now we have sanitary towels and tampons.
A man with emmisions is unclean. Do you still practice that? no. These law were given to the isrealites for hygeine sake and to protect them from pagan practices.

When blood is to save life, is that still prohibited?

Chidi, if your oxen fell into a well on the sabath, would you not rescue it?

Chidi, God is not impressed by this stand of yours. Please seek knowledge.

Mr Chidi, pls remember that

Mr Chidi, pls remember that God is wise not religious. God also asked that women on their periods are unclean and should not enter the temple. Do you still practice that? A man with emmisions(semen) is unclean and should wash himself and stay away from the people of God till evening. Do you still practice that?
Chidi, God in his wisdom gave these laws for hygeine sake. That is why even today, fresh meat is not kept near other onsumables because of contamination. Blood when its for saving life, screened of all impurities, is that bad too?

The laws were made for man and not man for the laws. God gave the laws on the sabath, yet Jesus went through the fields on sabath, when accused he repied them: IF YOUR COW FELL INTO A WELL ON THE SABATH, WOULD YOU NOT RESCUE IT?

Chidi< you are wrong my brother and God is not happy with that man who let his wife die

gays and lesbians not christ angels abeg!

Am not a religious person but am a christian and do not support the husband in any way. But christ angels are not gays and lesbians,NO. The bible proves tha God hates such act by sending his angels to distroye soddom and gomorah and futher explain God stand on the matter in Rom1:18-31.

The bible equally says that a

The bible equally says that a woman on her
period should not enter the temple. A man
with seminal discharge is also unclean. Do
you practice that today? God gave that rule
because blood is contaminated and they could
get infected. A screened blood to save a life
is not same as eating blood. You stand on this
my brother doesn't make you holy, it simply makes
you being blindly religious. Same old testament talks of
not wearing cotton and linen together. Guy, do you practice
that as well? I repeat, you're not righteous,
you're just blinded by religion.

Where do we draw the line

Where do we draw the line between our faith and common sense? This man is no different from the people who kill in the name of their god, believing that a great reward awaits them in the hereafter. It just goes to show that in spite of all the education you want to amass, your 'blind faith' can kill you. I just wonder if the woman wasn't conscious enough to consent to the transfusion herself, or who knows if she indeed rejected it too. Common sense vs. blind faith... I rest my case. Sad story indeed

I commiserate with u on this

I commiserate with u on this unwarranted loss.
I feel more for the poor little kids who would have to liv without the love of a mother (many children have been misled cos of this). in matter of weeks, i bet your brother will be looking out for a new wife (abi his JW is against dat too).

however, i FEEL U should not have hung up on ur brother..... u SHOULD AVE have have.... i dnt know wot to write, but u should av done sometin harsher than that.

I dont belive its religion, its the lack of pure, deep seated relationship with the one who originated RELIGION. God is not who or how we make him to be.

ur brother must really be naive upstairs to think he will marry his wife in heaven (pardon my use of word). if its even true, i can bet the wife will turn her back on him for wasting her life here.

The hypocrisy of ignorance

The hypocrisy of ignorance (displayed by the wailing family members)

Mr Chidi, that bible portion

Mr Chidi, that bible portion was referring to eating things that were unclean, chief among then, blood or food not properly drained of blood. I AM SURE that they had no blood transfusions then.

The Resurrection Hope Sustains!

If a Doctor asked a patient to abstain from Alchohol, would it not stand to logic that it includes not injecting/transfusing same through the veins? All manners of blood and all manners of eating same (by whatever means)is biblically prohibited: Ge 9:4; Le 3:17; Le 7:26,27; Le 17:10,11; De 12:16; 1Sa 14:32. The Domain of humain wisdom may suggest the reverse but I stick with the infallible Source-the Bible.It a choice I am willing die for...I equally respect yours, yes your choice not to abstain from blood. Kindly respect hers,her husband's and mine.

Ressurection Hope Sustains

Those who cant die for anything, live for nothing... The woman (she is an adult) paid the price for her deep seated convinctions that The Creator can recreate her in the resurection morning if she obeyed His Command to abstain from blood according to the unambigouous direction found in Acts 15:28,29: "For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burdento YOU, except these necessary things, 29 to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idolsand from blood and from things strangled and from fornication.If YOU carefully keep yourselves from these things, YOU will prosper.Good health to YOU!” She refused to expediently explain away this clear instruction so as to prolong her life now but rather chose to obey a higher principle.We all have a choice, she has made hers.If Jehovah God cannot raise her from the dead at His time,..If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied (1cor 15:12-19).

This Pastor Commander, you

This Pastor Commander, you are always writing nonsense. Are you challenged mentally?

resurrection hope is real

thanks brother,
Those who live for nothing,cant die for anything...
They overprize their miserly existence...

The creator of life can recreate it.
Our God Jehovah can and will do it again.

I witness the whole event Live.!

Micheal, I was there live when all these was happening, I also knelt down with ur sista to beg him with ur nurse niece that works in the was a big deal, that woman struggled to live, she was soo weak to make any decision,her mother was rolling on d floor and screaming after she dies, I was soo surprised becos she could have saved her. It was a very sad day for me.

God !! See what we are doing in your Name??

Michael . Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your Sister in law and the hell her Kids may go through with their moronic father. Please your family should rally round and take care of those kids as it will be frankly dangerous to leave them in the care of their Father or Grandmother. Someone should go to jail for this kind of nonsense

Blood Transfusion and Jehovah's Witnesses

Points to note:
1.Jehovah’s Witnesses cherish and deeply respect life.
2.Taking blood does not necessarily mean not dying. A lot have died even after taking blood.
3. It is always good to view matters from the giver of life rather than than yielding to emotional impulses:
Read: Genesis 9:3, 4 and Leviticus 17:10.
“The holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you, except these necessary things, to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper.”—Acts 15:28, 29.

Note, however, that not accepting blood is a matter of conscience and it is wrong to castigate others because of not giving approval for a patient to accept blood. For your information, the patient herself signed a legally binding document not to accept blood. Then, why should others force it on her.

re: collective guilt

Are u a lawyer sir? If the lady was unconscious she wuldnt have been able to consent so permission to so do falls on immediate family, the medical peeps to have power to take such decisions (i wonder why still) if they had gone ahead to defy the family they would be sued & can loose their licenses..that's the truth but to me its a SICK law & should be amended world wide the doctors should be given power to save a life NO MATTER WHAT. .

Doc, Sorry about the tragedy

Doc, Sorry about the tragedy that’s befallen your family especially, on the heels of the death of Aunty Shola. It may be an unnecessary death but it's happened. May God rest her soul.

Re: contributory factors: People will still have choices to make, irrespective of religion so, no point in blaming it entirely on religion. As a Dr, surely, you have come across atheist cancer patients who refused treatment upon the initial diagnosis & just preferred to go quickly with less pain. Will you blame Religion also? I'd have taken more interest in your essay, had you advocated taking the choice away from patients & relatives, particularly after a certain point but such is improbable in a free society.

Some people revile the Catholic Church for their pro-life stance, of which, I'm one (Pro-lifer) but the fact is that there are more pro-lifers than there are Catholics & more atheists within that non-Catholic majority.

Once the choice is still with patients, religion becomes irrelevant.


Emeka Okafor you are wise but you dont know which is God for Africans, because if God are not many prophet Daniel will not said for those who know their God shall do exploits. White men know their God and they did exploit of Africa and Black world. See the Native Americans today who taught the Whites how to live in American Wilderness but in the end they were enslaved and brought together as captives.Today the servants of Abraham of tithes and offerings know their God of sacrifices and rituals and they did exploit of Nigerians they are the Mega Churches in Nigeria. Muslims know their God and did exploit of ndigbo in Nigeria. Dr Zik gave them power. Christ of Africa Mother Christ The Most High God of the Livings and Dead is God of Africa. Allah is God of the Earth. Know you that God of Abraham is God of the Livings only. It's the reason Abraham was unable to delivered the richman in hell.

Re: Nice one

Sorry. But what's wrong with being an atheist?
It's a state of mind and belief. Everybody has one; regardless of what it is.

Re: Beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses

Relax. They only meant Jehovah Witness in Nigeria. You know say we sabi over-do am.

Re: The man will go to HELL

Ehen! You don talk too much. Mind your tongue

Re: If i have my way i will ban

Hush! You talk too much.
All of them are cults. From Jehovah Witness, to Redeem Christain church. From Christ Embassy to Kingdom Life e.t.c. ALL OF THEM ARE CULTS!!!
P.S. You just might like to check the dictionary to know the meaning of the word 'cult'.

Re: This is pathetic. A lot of us

Hi. Sorry, a lot of who?