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Posts tagged ‘Harvard University’

Islamisation Tricks: The Second Coming Of Jesus Is A Doctrine Every Muslim Must Believe, Says Imam.


Islamisation

The  Imam of Federal College of Technology, Yaba Mosque, Imam Saeed Salmon  has said that contrary to some belief by Muslims, Islam also subscribes  to the widely held Christian belief that Jesus Christ will return in  what has been described as his ‘second coming’, emphasising that any  Muslim, who does not believe in it, is not a true follower of Prophet  Muhammad (PBUH).Salmon, who spoke at a special lecture  held at the Lagos Central Mosque, Tinubu, said Jesus is a messenger of  God and would still return to a mosque in Damascus.“The  second coming of Jesus Christ is a doctrine that every Muslim must  believe. The teachings of Prophet Muhammad talks extensively about this.“The  Qua’ ran Chapter 4:157-159 teaches this but the teachings of Islam does  not support that Jesus was killed or resurrected, rather, he was raised  by Almighty Allah to his majesty.“Jesus is coming  again to refute the claim of the Jews that he was crucified and to  correct the doctrine of the Christians that he is the son of God.“Again,  the second coming of Jesus is to establish that there is a close  relationship between Prophet Muhammad and Jesus himself”, he said.The  Chief host and organiser of the lecture, Amir Ajala Kamardeen, noted  that he is under obligation as a true adherent of Islam, to educate the  public and to correct any misconception about the religion.“Jesus is a prophet and messenger of Allah and as a true Muslim, we are bound to believe all prophets of Allah.“The  holy book ,Qur’an points to the fact that the second coming of Jesus  Christ is a sign of end time but there are some group of Muslims in  Harvard University and in Cairo known as the fatimists and also  Ahmadists who are saying otherwise, so, I have put it upon myself to  correct them”, Amir Kamardeen added.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Millennials Turn Sour on President Obama.


President Barack Obama
Young people are abandoning President Barack Obama in big numbers, according to a new poll.

Young people are abandoning President Barack Obama in big numbers, according to a new poll by the Harvard University Institute of Politics.

The survey shows the president’s approval rating among young people has fallen to 41 percent, and 52 percent of those ages 18 to 24 say they would vote to recall the president if they could.

Researchers found younger Americans disapproved ofObamacare and the government surveillance program and that they’re concerned about their future.

“The trend is daunting for the White House but not necessarily surprising,” Catholic Online quoted Pew Research Center Director Michael Dimock. “Younger folks are part of Obama’s base … but the roll-out confirmed concerns that were already in their minds.”

The poll also found a growing disillusionment with both parties and Congress.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

CBN NEWS

Harvard Student Group Apologizes for Offending Jews.


 

Harvard
Harvard University (purplepic/rgbstock.com)

The student-run Harvard Ichthus Christian blog website apologized for an anonymous post saying that Jews deserve to be persecuted for killing Jesus.

The apology was issued on Friday. The post, which has been removed from the site, was published on Nov. 20.

“We sincerely apologize for breaching the confidence of civil dialogue,” editor-in-chief Aaron Gyde wrote in his apology. “This has been a growing experience for all involved here at the Ichthus, and, as students, we sincerely appreciate the patience and grace you have demonstrated towards us.”

The Harvard Ichthus is a university-recognized student group.

A Jewish convert to Christianity wrote the post, the Boston Globe reported.

“We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2,000 years,” the post said, according to theGlobe.

In the apology, the Ichthus wrote that its blogs are “intended to be areas of thoughtful dialogue.”

“This particular piece has led to increasing misunderstanding and disinformation about the author’s views, the Ichthus and Christianity,” it said. “We do acknowledge that many of the claims of Christianity are offensive to those who do not believe it, but we think that much of the offense that has resulted from this article is not the offense of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And for that we apologize.”

Read the original article here

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ STANDING WITH ISRAEL.

JTA.ORG

Harvard Poll: US Youth Unhappy with Obama’s Job Performance.


Image: Harvard Poll: US Youth Unhappy with Obama's Job Performance(Harvard University Institute of Politics)

Young Americans are unhappy with virtually every major thing President Barack Obama has done since he was re-elected, but they would still vote for him today, according to the results of a Harvard University survey released on Wednesday.The national poll by Harvard’s Institute of Politics of more than 2,000 people aged 18 through 29 is intended to provide insight into the political views of the youngest U.S. voters, an increasingly influential demographic known as the “millennial generation.”

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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More than 50 percent of respondents in the survey, taken between Oct. 30 and Nov. 11, said they disapproved of how Obama handled key issues in his second term, including Syria, Iran, the economy, healthcare and the federal budget deficit.

But a plurality of respondents, 46 percent, said they would still vote for him for president if they could recast their 2012 ballots, compared with 35 percent who said they would vote for the then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Some 55 percent of the survey respondents who reported casting ballots in the 2012 presidential election said they had voted for Obama, compared with 33 percent for Romney.

The results follow a separate CNN/ORC poll released on Nov. 25 that showed a growing number of Americans doubted Obama’s ability to manage the nation, amid ongoing problems plaguing the president’s signature domestic policy achievement, the healthcare reform law widely known as Obamacare.

Obama’s administration has also come under fire from critics at home and abroad who claim it is dealing poorly with the Syrian government over its alleged use of chemical weapons and Iran over its nuclear ambitions. They also say the administration has failed to rein in U.S. public spending or revive the economy.

Some 57 percent of respondents in the Harvard poll said they disapprove of Obamacare, with 40 percent expecting the quality of health care to worsen and about half expecting health care costs to rise.

The Harvard survey respondents spread out the blame for Washington’s shortcomings beyond Obama and the Democratic party. In terms of job performance, 54 percent said they disapproved of the president, 59 percent disapproved of Democrats in Congress, and a whopping 75 percent disapproved of Republicans in Congress.

Conservative U.S. Republicans took a hard line in the fight over October’s U.S. government shutdown, which was waged over the party’s demands to stop the launch of Obamacare. But delays in pay to some public workers, closings of national parks and reductions in public services only deepened Americans’ frustration.

Asked which proposals they would prefer to see enacted to cut the federal deficit, respondents tended to favor increasing taxes for the wealthy and cutting certain types of military spending – including on the nuclear arsenal and the size of the Navy fleet.

More than 70 percent also said they would prefer not to see any cuts to education spending on kindergarten through high school, the poll showed.

In a sign of ambivalence over the role of Edward Snowden, a contractor for the National Security Agency, in unveiling details of the U.S. spying program, 52 percent of survey respondents said they were not sure if he was a traitor or a patriot.

Some 22 percent labeled him a traitor and an equal 22 percent labeled him a patriot.

Snowden is living in Russia as a fugitive after President Vladimir Putin granted him asylum against Washington’s wishes.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Why the Atheist Agenda Is Furious at Oprah.


 

Oprah

Oprah

What was supposed to be a touchy-feely, one-on-oneinterview by Oprah Winfrey with long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad has morphed into a broader, sometimes angry exchange about what it means to be an atheist.

Earlier this month (Oct. 13) Winfrey, 59, hosted Nyad on Super Soul Sunday, her weekly talk program on cable’s Oprah Winfrey Network. Nyad, 64, recently completed a 53-hour solo swim from Cuba to Florida.

During the hourlong segment, Nyad declared herself an atheist. She then explained, “I can stand at the beach’s edge with the most devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist, go on down the line, and weep with the beauty of this universe and be moved by all of humanity. All the billions of people who have lived before us, who have loved and hurt and suffered. So to me, my definition of God is humanity and is the love of humanity.”

“Well, I don’t call you an atheist then,” Winfrey said. “I think if you believe in the awe and the wonder and the mystery, then that is what God is. That is what God is. It’s not a bearded guy in the sky.”

Nyad reiterated her lack of belief in a divine being, but the exchange upset many nonbelievers. They took to the Internet and social media to express outrage at Winfrey’s assumption that only believers can experience the transcendent or spiritual.

“As an atheist I am even more in AWE and WONDER about the Universe and Nature,” tweetedsomeone called “Mark Secular.” “I don’t need a god @Oprah to see the beauty of it.”

“[I]t’s ‘difficult’ enough being an atheist in these parts,” Stacypie tweeted from Dallas. “I don’t need her defining MY spirituality for all.”

And Boston Atheists, which draws members from across New England, launched a Twitter and Facebook campaign to get Winfrey to officially apologize.

Within a day or two of the broadcast, several prominent atheist leaders and organizations issued statements expressing disappointment with Winfrey. Most saw in the talk show host’s rejection of Nyad’s atheism what polls, studies and often their own experience tell them—that atheists are among the least trusted and least liked Americans.

“Oprah … does more to perpetuate negative attitudes toward nonbelievers than Pat Robertson or James Dobson ever could,” wrote David Niose, president of the Secular Coalition for America, on the website ofPsychology Today. “Oprah, as a media tycoon and a beloved celebrity whose opinions are taken seriously by millions, has just confirmed that atheists are ‘the other,’ outsiders who just don’t belong in the in-group.”

On CNN’s Belief Blog, Chris Stedman, Harvard University’s assistant humanist chaplain, wrote, “Winfrey’s response may have been well intended. But it erased Nyad’s atheist identity and suggested something entirely untrue and, to many atheists like me, offensive: that atheists don’t experience awe and wonder.”

Others weighed in on Salon.com, Patheos.com, Skepchick and other atheist and humanist blogs. Even Fox News’ The Five weighed in, with co-host Eric Bolling saying, “Oprah shouldn’t have an opinion whether Nyad believes in God or not.”

Why has this struck such a deep chord? Ryan Cragun, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Tampa who studies atheists, said it may be because atheists are beginning to be more public about their lack of belief, seeing this as an opportunity to express their difference, their presence and their rights—much like the gay community has done before.

“Americans are beginning to realize that there are atheists, but they don’t really know who and whatatheists are,” Cragun said. “They likely still think atheists are just crotchety old men saying, ‘Your god doesn’t exist!’ Thus, when they encounter an actual atheist who says, ‘I’m constantly amazed at the world we live in and it makes me stop and wonder all the time,’ they are surprised.”

Marcia Z. Nelson, author of The Gospel According to Oprah, agreed, saying Winfrey may be exhibiting more unawareness than intolerance.

“As I see it, Oprah was being her spiritually and professionally curious self,” Nelson said. “The problematheists have is partly one of language; the God and religion people have been working on refining their descriptive languages for millennia. Oprah was actually doing atheists a favor by quizzing Nyad. Atheists need to concentrate more on expressing awe and less on taking hyperbolic offense where none is intended.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Dershowitz: Ted Cruz Is an ‘Intelligent,’ ‘Principled’ Debater.


Image: Dershowitz: Ted Cruz Is an 'Intelligent,' 'Principled' Debater

By Greg Richter

Sen. Ted Cruz, who has led the teaparty wing of Republicans in Congress to push for defunding of Obamacare, is an intelligent and principled debater, says his old Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

Appearing Tuesday on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live,” Dershowitz called the freshman Texas Republican “one of the sharpest students I had, in terms of analytic skills. I’ve had 10,000 students over my 50 years at Harvard. . . . He has to qualify among the brightest of the students.”

Urgent: Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz’s Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here. 

Although some in his own party have accused him of grandstanding, Cruz deeply believes in what he is doing, Dershowtiz said. Cruz made intelligent points and won debates constantly in his class – including winning debates with professors, Dershowitz said.

Former economic adviser to President Barack Obama, Austan Goolsbee, appearing onFox News Channel’s “Hannity” on Tuesday, said much the same thing about his former Harvard classmate.
“I think Democrats would make a big mistake to underestimate him,” Goolsby said. “I think he’s very smart.”
“He deeply believes what he’s doing,” Dershowitz said. “I don’t think of him so much as a tactical or strategic thinker. He’s deeply principled.”
Cruz believes he’s doing the right thing, Dershowitz said, though he said that doesn’t mean he’s always right.
“And he’s very hard to get off that principled argument. I saw that years ago when he was a student,” Dershowitz said. Cruz was not a compromiser and didn’t care about making friends by accepting what was considered politically correct.
“If you want to defeat Ted Cruz,” Dershowitz said, “you have to appeal to his principles, not to his tactics.”
That said, Dershowitz thinks his former student has gone too far in pushing for defunding the Affordable Care Act. Republicans successfully tied the effort to 2014 fiscal year federal funding. An impasse with Obama and Democrats in the House and Senate led to a partial government shutdown beginning Oct. 1 and to a looming deadline to raise the debt ceiling on Oct. 17.
But Cruz’ action raise serious constitutional questions “of the kind that Ted Cruz should be interested in,” Dershowitz said. “Can you imagine [Alexander] Hamilton and [James] Madison sitting around and drafting the Constitution and the Federalist Papers?”They’re talking about how the government has to pay its debts, how it has to secure the credit of the United States. … Nobody, in a million years, would have contemplated the power of Congress to shut down the government to create doubts about our creditworthiness,” Dershowitz said.


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Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz’s Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here. 

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Yale Founded to Fight Liberalism.


Yale Founded to Fight LiberalismIt may come as surprise that when Yale University was founded on this day, October 16, 1701, it was by Congregationalist ministers unhappy with the growing liberalism at Harvard. It wasn’t called Yale then, of course, but rather the Collegiate School. The ministers donated forty books and declared their objective, that “Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences who through the blessing of God may be fitted for Publick employment both in Church and Civil State.”The huge campus of today, with over one hundred buildings was not conceived. In fact, the first classes were held in the residence of Rev. Abraham Pierson, its first rector. Not until 1745 was the school moved to New Haven and renamed Yale.

The name change was in honor of Elihu Yale, a successful merchant who made a donation of goods valued at $2,800. This was equivalent to the annual income of about fourteen medical doctors. The purpose of the renamed school was “To plant and under ye Divine blessing to propagate in this Wilderness, the blessed Reformed, Protestant Religion, in ye purity of its Order and Worship.”

Students were required to “live religious, godly and blameless lives according to the rules of God’s Word, diligently reading the Holy Scriptures, the fountain of light and truth; and constantly attend upon all the duties of religion, both in public and secret.” Prayer was a requirement. Furthermore every student was instructed to “…consider the main end of his study to wit to know God in Jesus Christ” and “to lead a Godly, sober life.”

For many years these high ideals were followed. One faculty member wrote around 1800, “It would delight your heart to see how the trophies of the cross are multiplied in this institution. Yale College is a little temple: prayer and praise seem to be the delight of the greater part of the students.”

But fathers cannot ensure the fidelity of their sons. Today Yale’s original ideals have faded. The school is a liberal institution with utterances and actions that are politically correct. One suspects that students are less likely to pray persistently than to engage in political protests.

Bibliography:

  1. Based on an earlier Christian History Institute story.
  2. Avery, Elroy McKendree. History of the United States and its People. Cleveland: Burrows Bros, 1904. Source of the image.
  3. Oviatt, Edwin. The Beginnings of Yale (1701 – 1726). Yale University Press, 1916.
  4. Yale, Eli. Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Scribner, 1958 – 1964.

Last updated April, 2007.

Dan Graves, MSL

The wonderful life…


By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
-Philippians 4:19

The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is an invitation to a wonderful life. It includes the dichotomy that Jesus talks about where sometimes he says it’s an “easy yoke,” and then other times he says it’s a “narrow, difficult road.” Which is it? Easy or difficult?

The best way to illustrate the answer may be this story about a young man that I knew years ago. He worked at Blockbuster. A brilliant guy, he got the best scores you could possibly get on the SAT and ACT tests. So, he decided to go for it. He applied to Harvard and he got in on a full-ride scholarship! This guy working at Blockbuster had an opportunity to go to one of the most prestigious universities in the world…but he turned them down. Why didn’t he go?

The unlimited video rentals? I hope not. I imagine thinking about competing with the other Harvard students was scary. Maybe he had low self-esteem, or the effort seemed daunting. So, he didn’t go and continued to work at Blockbuster. When I left Tulsa, that was the last time I ever saw him. That Blockbuster, by the way, is now out of business. I wonder what he’s doing today.

When you look at the Sermon on the Mount and you think, “This life is too hard for me; I can’t live that way,” you are like this young man at Blockbuster who didn’t take his free ride to Harvard. Yes, when living a Sermon-on-the-Mount life, you’re going to be challenged. But, imagine how different, how rich, how full, how flourishing your life will be if you do.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I must admit, there have been times when I believed that life was hard, sometimes too hard to want to go on. Nevertheless, as I have continued to seek your presence and wisdom, my life becomes richer, fuller, and more wonderful with each passing day. Amen.

Reflection: Have you ever believed life was too hard to go on? What did the Lord do to help change your mind?

Native doctor poses as Vice-Chancellor in Imo dupes more than 5,000 admission seekers.


Fidelis-Chukwujindu

The quest to acquire education at all cost has lured more than 5,000 students into the net of a self-styled medical practitioner and leader of a criminal gang that specialises in extorting money from unsuspecting candidates seeking admission into higher institutions. The suspect, Fidelis Chukwujindu was apprehended by the police while conducting common entrance examination for the victims who reportedly purchased the admission forms at N8, 000 each.

Chukwujindu, who was later discovered to be a native doctor, was eventually nabbed at the premises of his non-existent College Hospital which has the sign post “University College Hospital Ogboko, Ideato, P.O.Box 1960, Orlu, Imo State.

Also written on the signpost, which was conspicuously mounted by the roadside, is, “Present Courses: B.Sc, Nursing, Health Sciences, Education Humanities, Medical LAB Sciences. Admissions Are Still Going On. Govt. Approved. Call: 08064082750.”

The operator of the illegal college attracted students by printing flyers which he distributes to churches across the country, as most of the students claimed they came to know about the school through their pastors. But a visit to the site makes one wonder how a sane person could possibly fall for such a scam. The administrative office has just a single desk. The accused, who made several claims to buttress his competence of running the ‘college,’ which is sited opposite the proposed site of the Imo State University and adjacent to Rochas Foundation College, said he was an acclaimed Americantrained medical doctor.

He was, however, found to be a native doctor. He said that he had the permission of the State Government and Federal Ministry of education to run his non-existent college hospital. He also claimed to be a product of the prestigious Harvard University, America. According to the suspect, “I won a Federal Government scholarship to study abroad, but was incapacitated by an accident which disfigured one of my legs and I was flown back to Nigeria where I later decided to set up the college.

We were just conducting entrance examination in preparation to take off in a month’s time when the police swopped on us.” He told newsmen at Ogboko that to open such an institution does not require the approval National University Commission, NUC. “It is just how you manage the school that matters, not NUC or any other regulatory body. Moreover, this is a college and not a University and as such I did not obtain approval from the NUC. I went to the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja, severally where I obtained approval and it is affiliated to the University of London,” he maintained.

Assisting the suspect, who claimed to be the vice –chancellor of the university college hospital, was a middle aged woman later identified as Ngozi Ayoha. The woman, who initially said she was deaf and dumb, caused a stir when it was found that she was the Dean of Faculty of Medicine of the illegal college.

But when the duped ‘students’ revealed that she was pretending, she decided to open up. She said that she was a drop out from a School of Nursing and that the owner of the illegal college was training her to complete her nursing profession.

It was learnt that the woman asks calls and attends to students who come to seek admission into the college. Some of the swindled ‘students’ told Saturday Mirror that they were lured into believing that the school was approved by the various information the owner of the illegal school passed to them. Judith Kanu of Ndiogbuonyeoma Uno, Arondizuogu in Ideato North LGA of Imo State said she got to know about the school through her pastor who gave her one of the flyers.

“When I got to the place I was told that the school is accredited by NUC and that it is also affiliated to a university in London. But we were surprised when the police surrounded the premises when we were taking the entrance examination,” she said. Judith, who applied to read laboratory sciences, had intended pursuing Medicine as her first choice and Pharmacy as second choice.

According to her she had always dreamt of being a medical doctor. Also speaking, Favour Nwabue of 8, Oni Street, New Benin, Edo State, who said she is from Ihiala LGA, Anambra State said her intended course of study was Nursing and that she chose the course to “serve the masses.” Parading the suspect with his victims before newsmen, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Muhammad Katsina, explained that one striking thing about the strategy of the gang was that they carefully selected the site opposite the Imo State University, Ogboko, and adjacent to the Rochas Foundation College, Ogboko, to convince their victims of the genuineness of their business.

“This is a primitive catalogue of illegality by a self-acclaimed medical doctor who dubiously paraded himself as a product the prestigious Harvard University, America, but who is nothing but a native doctor. And more than 5,000 people from various parts of the country in search of education have been swindled by this young man”.

Source: Radio Biafra.

The QreatifDave Blog: Nigerian Christians Employ Blackmail And Deception In Recruiting New Members- O’Seun Egghead Odewale.


 

O’Seun Egghead Odewale
By QreatifDave Blog

One of Nigeria‘s most prolific social media expert, Egghead Odewale bares his mind about religion, activism, social media and his beliefs as a humanist.

Q: Can you please give us a little of your family background?

A: I was born into a family of six. I’m the first of four children. My parents are not extremely religious people, but they are both Muslims and I think I can safely conclude that all my family members are Muslims, except me.

Q: Can you give us a brief background of your educational career, your student activism days, your career in the civil society and in the government?

A: I’ve been subtly active in students’ engagement and functions from my days at the polytechnic in Bida. Even though I didn’t contest for any political position, I was part of a core group of engineering students that rallied round candidates competing for various slots in the students’ union elections and candidates that were contesting elections at the faculty and departmental levels.

But I didn’t become openly active in student activism until my university days when I came into contact with friends and folks like Daniel Onjeh, Ibrahim Jimoh, Olayemi Oguntimehin and a couple of others. It was then I really began to dig deep into activism and student unionism.

I and my friends had an issue with the school authorities, and were suspended from academic engagement on campus for various lengths of school sessions.

During that period that we were out of school, I came into contact with some civil society actors who developed a liking for me and as such became my mentors. I got enmeshed in all of that for a couple of years until I got the opportunity to work as a contract staff for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission in Abuja.

It was during my work with ECOWAS, that one of mentors that I’d had earlier on, Dr Kayode Feyemi, called me to be part of his campaign to be the Governor of Ekiti State. It was after he was eventually declared winner and governor elect of Ekiti State that I fully went into government. He appointed me his Personal Assistant and Senior Special Assistant in the Governor’s Office.

After two years of service to him, I got a scholarship to do research on Governance and New Technology at the Harvard University, which I’m presently pursuing.

Q: What is Humanism all about?

I’ve at various points in time been involved with the activities of the Humanist Movement. It is all about humanizing; all about evoking and naturalising human relationships in such a way as to pursue the common good of the general public.

The humanist basically tries to seek a psychological, emotional, ecologically friendly, and if you like, cultural, good of the general public through different activities, attributes, attainments, commitments, and self-preservation that promotes a conscious awareness of the self-interest vis-a-vis the general interest of the public in any given society in such a way that the interests of any individual do not override the common interests of the general public.

Q: Is there any difference between Humanism, Agnosticism and Atheism?

I don’t think there is any significant variation in all of these. Actually, there are points of intersections. The Atheist does not believe in the existence of God, and does not believe that there is a supernatural being out there, the agnostic is not quite sure there is a Godhead or any sort of unseen deity, whereas the humanist could actually be in any of these folds.

But whereas the atheist or agnostic can form laws, rules or creeds that are actually tangential to the general good of the society, the humanist seeks to pursue creeds or deeds that promote the wellbeing of the generality of the public.

It doesn’t really matter what religion, belief systems, cultural systems etc; what mores, norms, that guide society; the humanists has a set of creed that speaks to what is perceived as promoting the general good of the public. I think that is the basic difference.

Also, humanists do not pursue any religious beliefs or any of the ‘standard’ or ‘traditional’ religious beliefs.

These three creeds intersect. You may have a humanist atheist or a humanist agnostic. However, not all agnostics or atheists are humanists.  Humanists can be atheists or agnostics in so far as they pursue creeds that promote the good of the general public.

Q: Can people of faith be humanists?

A: I believe one can. But I believe if you are a Christian and you want to be a humanist, you probably have subscribed to subsume some of those canonical laws that you already held divine under the humanist creed that promotes the good and wellbeing of the society.

For instance, if you are a Muslim, and there is a law prescribing amputation for someone who steals, humanism, promotes people’s right to life. You cannot take anybody’s life. So if your religion promotes capital punishment, there is a point of conflict there.

So as a humanist, you can still be a Christian and not subscribe to aspects of the Canonical Law that says that people should be killed for offences or apply Old Testament laws to judge post-New Testament sins in a particular society.

Q: How strong is the Humanist Movement in Nigeria in terms of numbers? Is the movement growing?

A: I wouldn’t say that the Humanist movement as a group is growing. But I can say for sure that it is a general or global trend.

People around the world are now shirking religious beliefs and tenets for individualism, self-consciousness, and a sort of religious self-determination. People are now able to consciously prescribe for themselves new norms, laws, and beliefs that they want to adhere to.

I see this happening in different places, crossing different demography in our society. Basically, I think it is something far beyond Nigeria. It is a global trend.

Having said that, it is important to note that as population grows, you also have a corresponding increase in the number of those who go to church or mosque or have that attachment to a religious belief or some supernatural being somewhere who helps them resolve their problems, patent or impractical.

Q: Nigeria is reputed to be the most religious country in the world. Has this religiosity had any impact in the politics, economy and the development of the nation?

A: I think this is a contestable assertion. It is contestable in the sense that the different ratios and empirical information that is available from other geographical entities [shows otherwise].

However, I think it is also dependent on the manner of religiosity that is under discussion here. So that needs to be properly nuanced to put it in context. From all of these, we can still extrapolate. Nigeria is said to have the fourth largest Islamic population, after India, Indonesia and Pakistan as well as a large population of Christians. There is almost 50-50% Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. Nonetheless, there are other smaller sects and religious groupings that are not necessarily Christianity or Islam. So you could have a religious people, but it depends on what kind of religiosity is being promoted in the different spaces that we have.

Q: According to some sources, at least 50% of Nigeria’s population are Christians. What is your impression of Nigerian Christians?

A: The population of Christians in Nigeria does not matter; neither does the population of Muslims to me.

What I see is both Christians and Muslims proselytising, trying to conscript folks who do not lean towards their religious alignment into their perception of what the society should look like.

In the same vein, I see a lot of deception. I see a lot of straightjacketing. I see a lot of peer pressure. In fact, there is a lot of blackmail adopted against those who are not “religious”.

So, in the whole cycle of trying to find solutions to the myriad of problems that not only bedevils the nation as an entity but also individuals at their different levels, we have individuals who believe that all the problems that they have confronted in life may be resolved by some kind of attachment, or commitment, to some supernatural being, that they don’t have access to, or cannot realize at any particular time.

They also have this sentimental longing for religious cleansing through those who are perceived to be appointed agents (clerics, on all sides of the divide) for this supernatural being that have been spoken about.

Again, there is no agreement within Christendom about the nature of this supernatural being that everybody is expected to worship under that umbrella. You see Catholics having variant religious modes of worship from the Anglican; the Orthodox contemplation is in contradiction with the Protestants and those who are moderate Christian followers.

Then you have Christendom pitted against Islam in many ways including in the means they try to reach this Godhead to which both profess obeisance.

The humanist sees all of these as confusion that makes people brainwashed into certain mindsets and colours of thinking that does not allow for some kind of rational reasoning, some form of imaginative or creative assessment of a particular problem with a bid to finding lasting and enduring solutions to such problems.

Rather than work out the solution to a particular problem, [Christians] subscribe to abdicate the solution to that problem to the Godhead that is believed to have all the power to solve that problem but they can only draw the benefits from the Godhead by providing certain incentives that makes him to see them as preferred recipients of auspicious divine intervention in any particular situation that beset them.

Q: What are the best things that Nigerian Christians have brought to the table in pursuance of the Nigerian Project?

A: I think the things that come out clearly for me is the charity and hope that the Church and Christendom bring to the table. I think the church has done remarkably well in that regard.

You can imagine a situation where the church is absent and that charity and the hope that things will be better through the intervention of the Godhead were to be absent. I can imagine the kind of chaos, the catastrophe into which the country could have been plunged.
But because we have the church, we have people who continue to hope their prayers, their supplications, their various spiritual and religious rites would one day be accepted and a magic wand or command statement would change the entire way in which things are done, that things happen in the country. That is a significant thing that Christendom has brought to national development.

Of course an extension of that charity is the fact that some churches offer opportunities, offer assistance to those who need it in the society. It reduces the pressure we would otherwise have on the society. Essentially, they offer solace and consolation from the myriads of troubles we face daily as a nation.

Q: The Nigerian Church perceives itself as the moral conscience of society. Do you think it is living up to that perception?

A: It depends on how the society is configured. I think there are lots of contradictions. A society that is secular cannot look up to the church as its compass.

A set of provisions as enshrined in the Constitution will determine what will become the reference point in terms of the moral direction for society to follow. Each society will definitely have its norms and mores that it follows within that context.

It is important to note that there are societies that are fluid in their regard, or alteration, of the Grundnorm. Where society is flexible and open to changes, it is easier to accommodate new voices, creeds, and ethos within its fold. But where a society is xenophobic, it is more difficult and depends on how these, usually foreign, religions are able to co-locate with either the individualistic tendencies within the society or the traditional local religions that is already in existence in that particular society.

Q: What are the things that put you off Nigerian Christianity?

A: As an individual, I have been tolerant of different religious beliefs. I wouldn’t say there is something particular that puts me off Nigerian Christianity. In fairness, Nigerian Christians have been quite nice. I’ll rather be tolerant of their views.

But one thing that worries me is the newfound inclination towards prosperity in Christendom.

The church itself is political. When you have two or three individuals communing, politics abound, even within the family. So the idea of political Christianity is not bad. If Christendom wants to get involved in politics for the purpose of protecting the group interest of its members, I don’t see anything wrong with that.

Q: Most people I’ve spoken to want to know what Humanists think about life after death, abortion, same-sex marriage, homosexuality, divorce and capital punishment. What are your thoughts on these issues?

A: I don’t believe in life after death. I believe when I die, I die, I go into the ground, I decay and go back into the earth.

Personally, I don’t support abortion, but I don’t deride or judge those who do.

I am indifferent about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. They really don’t affect me so I’m indifferent about them.

I am a staunch advocate of divorce. If the marriage is not working, I see no reason why two people should magnet each other permanently because the society expects it. So, if divorce has to be the way out, I don’t oppose it in any form whatsoever. I think it should be encourage provided it will not be abused. In anyway, I am not a fan of the union of marriage; hence my position on divorce could be rationalized.

I can support capital punishment in some instances. But it depends on the kind of crimes we are looking at here. If the crime is murder, I think I can support capital punishment. If it can be proven that it was committed out of the sheer malice of the individual, not for self-defence or the protection of the life and property of a group, why not? I think capital punishment should be applied for very few and justifiable instances.

Q: Are Nigerian Humanists in all spheres of life any better than Nigerian Christians or even Nigerian Muslims?

A: I think all of these emanate from the general contradictions that we have in the body polity. Whereas you have Nigerian Muslims especially those from the North, are perceived as being violent extremists in their religious undertakings, but just the same cultural demography across the imaginary border to the north, we have Muslims who are Hausa kindred of our northern brothers, who are not as violent and morbid as we have down south in northern Nigeria.  I mean not as deadly because I am not sure there has been any violent religious uprising recorded in Niger Republic as it has been in Northern Nigeria.

Having said that, I will like to reiterate that the society reinforces the kind of thinking the people take into these various spaces. Whereas these religious spaces are suppose to promote some kind of indoctrination that goes into group thinking and ideology, I see that Nigerians, out of their own sheer stubbornness and aggression, have been able to infuse that thought and philosophies, that individualism, that is ingrained, for instance in Christianity, that kind of aggression, whether positive or negative, that is uniquely Nigerian.

If you go to the Nigerian Humanist movement, you will also see that that aggression has tampered the way the humanist creed is interpreted and promoted. It is also the same with Nigerian Atheist and Agnostics.

Aside all of these, I don’t see the Nigerian Christian as significantly different from Christians elsewhere. Remove the context of unique cultural diversity of Nigeria aside; what is preached in Nigeria is not significantly different from what is preached elsewhere, minus this new inclination of championing prosperity. It is the same thing in Islam and all other religions. I don’t see the Nigerian Christian Bible being different from that used elsewhere. So it’s a matter of knowledge, depth and interpretations.

I think Nigerian Christians have a huge influence especially in the global north. You have them in Europe influencing society in various ways.

Another instance I can give is that the Nigerian Humanist movement is probably more aggressive than its Ghanaian counterpart; the same with Christianity, Islam, Atheism, Agnosticism and any kind of religion we have in Nigeria.

Thank you for your time.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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