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Don't ridicule religious folk, even if you're not a believer yourself

By Awuor Omino | January 23rd 2022 | 3 min read

While our parents with supple knees and raised arms fervently pray for us from their village dwellings, your everyday youth is finding it trendy to denounce religion and declare life a series of random events triggered by chances and ill-lucks. They find pleasure in ridiculing religion and anyone who shows belief in a god.

Even though it is okay to question religion and to poke holes in theories we find surreal, it is unacceptable to deride anyone because of their religion.

Religious tolerance calls for us to appreciate other people’s values and beliefs even when they are different from our own.

Meanwhile, let us try not to be washed in the wave of unbelieving for the sake of it. Charles Darwin with his knowledge in evolution and contrary opinions on religion did not ridicule any faith but you who has no solid knowledge in any subject cannot let others worship in peace.

The contemporary Nairobian youth will mock anyone who appears religious and create nasty memes from religious books. We think we are cool when we say there is no god but we cannot adequately justify our views. By shelving religion away, we are hoping to live in a society where no one will question our unethical trends. We dream of a world where social constructs like marriage or monogamy do not exist. Anything goes.

Belief is very important whether it is based on religion or not. Man has to have principles to guide him through life and religion has provided that for most people. Belief brings with it a sense of surety and gives us direction by ensuring we live within the values that we subscribe to.  

For any society to function well there has to be structures and rules and for many generations, religion has been the rubric through which our social norms are measured. Some amongst us may desire to grow like wild plants with no set direction, they find it hard to live within the social constraints and blame religion for any obstacles that hinder them from living freely with no inhibition or accountability.

For many families, religion provides a strong moral ground for nurturing children. Long before we learn of vices in social ethics, our teachers in Sunday schools and madrassas have already taught us that it is a sin to kill and steal. The religious stories are the moral compass that guides our actions through childhood into our youth. Extrinsically religion provides a platform through which we can build important skills like endurance and loyalty. We train our bodies and minds to not act on impulse because the tenets of our faith are the guiding lights to our deeds.

Religion aside, should you decide that there is no god then at least create some principles that will guide your actions and give direction to your children. We do a lot of disservice to our children when we neither take them for worship nor impart on them the good values we ourselves gained from these institutions of worship. We cannot live in a laissez-faire world and expect to thrive. Instead of ridiculing religions find an alternative that will fill your vacuum and give direction to your life. Ethical standards apply to all of us and running away from religion cannot save you from that. At the end of the day, we have to be accountable to ourselves.



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