God is a democrat

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th December 2000 03:00 AM

He is neither Christian nor Muslim, but allows his servants to choose as they wish as long as they realise he is almighty and knows all

He is neither Christian nor Muslim, but allows his servants to choose as they wish as long as they realise he is almighty and knows all THE happy coincidence of the Muslim festival of Eid-el-Fitr and the Christian Christmas this week is proof, if any was needed, that God is neither Christian nor Muslim but does not mind his servants worshipping in either of the religions or any of their choice as long as they recognise and proclaim that he is almighty and knows all. All those who kill, maim or disorganise society in the name of God must re-examine their motives and actions. Religious extremists are given to intolerance of even sects within the same religion let alone members of other religions. But from all available evidence, God is a democrat. He does not act dictatorially even though many of His so-called followers act undemocratically. Were God a dictator he could have used his infinite powers to make all human beings worship him for seven days in the week and all the 365 days in a year. He did not. He could have made us one race, ethnic group or nationality. He did not because he must have cherished the pluralism of our differences. The share boredom of making billions of humanity into one race or ethnic group must have inspired his aesthetic creativity in making us different in shapes, sizes, complexion, gifts, strengths and weaknesses. No matter how nihilistic you are can you really stand four billion people looking exactly like you? If you are still in doubt The Almighty God is a democrat ask yourself why does the Satan still exist and has huge followership? Could God not have abolished him from creation? He allowed him to flourish so that we can know the difference. He gave us choices which means that differences are not sins. Why am I in this preaching pseudo-religious mood these days? No doubt it has something to do with the festive season but the main instigator is my current visit to Nigeria. The country is gripped by an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion among communities that is too real to be dismissed as purely the work of alarmists or scare mongers. The controversies surrounding the introduction of Sharia by some of the northern states have not abated and it will run and run for sometime. The politics of it is not being handled correctly and it is threatening the nascent civilianisation (I am not saying democratisation because that remains a goal) in the country. The politicians behind Sharia are using it to promote their narrow political interests. That is why they are concentrating on the Sanctions aspect of the Sharia (like cutting of hands for petty theft) and some of the petty social rules (such as segregation of the sexes). The welfare and social justice aspects like , care for the poor, just rule, fairness to all be they Muslims or non Muslims, etc are conveniently by-passed. How can a government that cannot guarantee basic minimum living wage to its workers, provide decent housing for its citizens, educate its children, maintain public infrastructure proclaim draconian laws against petty theft, loitering, prostitution, consumption of alcoholic drinks, etc? One of the states recently made begging illegal. This is a country in which unemployment is widespread and many who are employed are technically underemployed or in jobs that they are doing just to keep body and soul together. Another state made it illegal for men to drive commercial vehicles carrying women or vice versa. The same state made it illegal for men to carry women on private motor cycles that are popularly used for cheap public transport. All these legislation in a country where public transport is in bad shape, grinding to a halt due to a combination of high petrol prices, high cost of travel, bad roads and dilapidated vehicles! There is an absence of common sense in all these but there is a logic to it. The leaders want to use the draconian rules to keep the masses in check and to control them. Whereas the enthusiasm of the masses for Sharia in some of the predominantly Muslim areas is a cry for justice and accountable leadership. Political leadership in the country has become so discreditable that there is no binding values that ties it to the people. The masses hope that Sharia will provide them with the kind of just leaders they aspire for and give them shared yardsticks to judge them by. Both are in for a rude shock. The political Sharia advocates will not and cannot deliver and the masses will not get the kind of responsible leadership they hoped for. The creation of a society in which justice, accountability, good governance and responsive leadership is a patient process of building trust among the people and between them and their leaders. It can neither be forced nor imposed. It is not the work of God though God-fearing people may contribute to its achievement. Genuine democracy is what is needed. Democracy like rainfall, showers on the good and the bad alike without exception. Happy New Year to you all.

God is a democrat

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