On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
Activating Divine Blessing For World Peace
THE Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) otherwise known as the Rosicrucian Order, in a symposium recently agreed that one world religion is attainable. In a well attended workshop held in Ikeja, the Lagos Zone of the order posed question: One World Religion, is it attainable? The discussion was moderated by Professor Isaac Alaba, a consultant on Culture and Language.
The discussants included Professor Douglas Anele of the Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos; Retired Professor Sophie Oluwole and Professor John Idiodi of the University of Benin. In his keynote address to the seminar, the Grand Administrator and director of the Supreme Board of the Rosicrucian Order, Dr. Kenneth Idiodi defined religion as worship service, devotion or commitment, principle or system of benefits held with ardor and faith. He said people assemble in shrines, synagogues, churches and mosques in a collective search for God. However, he avers that the discovery of God will always remain strictly a personal experience. Idiodi said mysticism is the key to all religions and that the key to world peace is the observance of silence, humility and tolerance. Idiodi blames insecurity in Nigeria on the commercialization of religion and politics. He quoted the great English novelist and critic, Aldous Huxley who said that, ‘‘It is customary with truth to start as heresy and end up as superstition.”
For Douglas Anele, who spoke on the ‘‘Origin and Purpose of Religion, he condemned Nigeria’s newly fangled prosperity evangelism as the reason for Nigeria’s backwardness. He asserts that among the numerous theories of the purpose of religion, six of them predominate. First for consideration is the anthropological theory of Ludwig Feuerbach, God is the projection of everything valuable in man.
However, the Marxists affirm religion as a by-product of the economic exploitation of the masses in the capitalist system. For Karl Marx, the originator of Marxism, religion is the opium of the people, the cry of the exploited under the merciless conditions of Capitalism. Because of oppression and suffering, the masses look up to God in the sky for deliverance. That is why the poor are more fanatically engaged in religion than the rich. It also explains why people are more religious in times of war, suffering and hardship.
In his conclusion, Anele avows religion as a human phenomenon, which allows us to cope with the various challenges of existence. Thus religion is a veritable source of spiritual enlightenment necessary for our attainment of peace, contentment, happiness and well-being. Unfortunately, the essence of Christianity and Islam in Nigeria has been so perverted that self-indulgent materialism is the dominant orientation. It is noteworthy that while Nigerians are trooping to churches, mosques, Jerusalem and Mecca, seeking divine solutions to their problems, immorality and corruption are escalating. It is time Nigerians begin to question the fundamental principles of their faith. A healthy dose of skepticism is what every believer needs to curtail the dogmatism inherent in religious superstition.
On the other hand, professor emeritus, Sophie Oluwole traced the differences between the religions, saying Islam is nearer our traditional religions for accepting that in every epoch, God sends out an appropriate prophet for a particular civilization to grow and develop in divinity. She said Orunmila, the prophet of the Yoruba religion of Ifa, like Siddhartha Gautama, predated Jesus the Christ, the founder of Christianity. She said it is erroneous for a religion to claim to be the only path to salvation. Professor Idiodi, on his own part admonished Nigerians to eschew the practice of religion without spirituality. He urged us to keep silent, be humble and tolerant in order not to repulse God in His blessings.
In summarizing the submissions of the discussants, the grand administrator of the Rosicrucians in Nigeria, Dr. Kenneth Idiodi affirmed that one world religion was attainable. And that true religion would teach the truth, not based on the treatises of philosophers. Indeed, true religion helps people to know God and focus on communion with Him, rather than human governments. Such one world religion would promote unselfish love, respect for all ethnic groups who use their resources to help others. Such a universal religion shall be a way of life, not just ritual and commerce.
During the question and answer session, a question on how to stop the Boko Haram menace wasn’t answered adequately in my view. To me, the solution to the abduction of 276 Chibok girls and the insurgency itself has a multi-faceted answer. The solution to the recovery of the abducted girls is to negotiate a swap with the girls, which is why President Jonathan’s hiring the Australian Cleric, Dr. Stephen Davis is very appropriate. A good example for Jonathan may be found in the freed U.S. soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years. The Taliban, a terrorist Afghan organization agreed to turn over Sergent Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The transfers happened after a week of negotiations mediated by the government of Qatar. That puts paid to the fallacy that people don’t negotiate with terrorists.
Terrorism is being used to balkanize Nigeria in the way the Great Powers used religion to Great Pakistan out of India and South Sudan from Sudan. They also used ethnicity to create Bangladesh out of Pakistan, they dispersed the Soviet Union, separated Taiwan from China, broke Korea into two and created the Czech Republic from Czechoslovakia. It is being done to create a more pliable world whose resources they can continue to dominate.
Finally, the ultimate solution to terror in Nigeria is for Jonathan to institute the Jonathan plan for the eradication of poverty in Nigeria. It should be a three part plan. One, the poverty alleviation or the reconstruction programme for the unemployed which will imitated U.S. Marshall Plan of 1946. Two, a social security programme, which will imitate the German example and finally a new Pension Reform Act of 2014. The innovation is that all beneficiaries of social security shall automatically become spooks of government, exposing crimes, corruption with an enabling law protecting them on whistle-blowing. On that score, parliament shall establish the National Social Security Administration as its administrative organ. Inspiration for the eradication of poverty programmes abound in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Asian tigers of Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Grameen banking.