By Viola Namyalo (AfWG Chair, YHI)
If any religious person is asked about the importance of religion in the past right into the current period, they will state, almost certainly, religion is incredibly important now.
Some of the reasons seem reasonable. It can provide comfort, hope, and emotional sustenance in times of need, even desperation and survival. Where would the poor and troubled people be without the hope and comfort that religion gives them?
Another relates to ethics or morality. That is, morals come from God or the gods. Our communities would be unorganized, dysfunctional, and downright nasty without religion, except, since religion exists, therefore, religion provides the moral grounding as a system to be in communion with God or the gods.
Another, more abstract, notion simply deals with the love and support of God in order to help manage daily life, whether professional, e.g., a new promotion, or personal, e.g., the curing of a cancerous growth.
A further is the idea of God and an afterlife. It gives motivation and motion to our lives; it adds to a sense of wondrous and lovely meaning for us. How can someone dare say that religion is not important in light of these reasons?
It has been important. It is important. And it will always be important.
However, as a human being who made a brave and realistic choice to be a humanist, I say religion is not relevant and unimportant.
It’s true: religion gives its believers comfort and hope, and the words spoken by pastors and preachers keeps them motivated in life.
However, we should note the many bad things done in the name of religion. Racists quote the holy books. Homophobic’s make heavy use of the Bible and other holy books; misogynistic men also make heavy use of the Bible and other holy books to deny women their rights.
I want to tell you, dear sisters and brothers. The bad things in religion outweigh the good. We shouldn’t major in minors; that’s why I say we don’t need religion today.
We should maintain a text and an ideology labelled religion that promotes racism while giving hope and comfort to people. Indeed, the comfort and hope from religions are false.
All we need are more social workers and motivational speakers to keep us motivated, not religious leaders who play around people’s minds. In this generation, we should not keep up with it.
Something, like religion, that continues to deny women their rights because it helps people manage their lives. You manage your lives by making reasonable decisions and from the support given by fellow human beings, not from God.
“God” is imaginary. It’s an idea. We were made to believe that he exists; however, in reality, he does not exist and, therefore, cannot care for or play a relevant or important part in our lives apart from the meaning given by us to “God,” the idea.
You always wake up, plan and work hard to get what you want; nothing has ever come from the sky. For an organised community, all we need are agencies that keep law and order not religion.
If we compare Norway (less religious country) and Uganda (a religious country), what one has a more organized community?
It’s a high time we should know that religion is just a lie, and a “sweet lie”; in this generation, we need to be realistic. Religion is not relevant today. All we need is a secular community where people can make rational decisions centred on human welfare.