The mere mention of the word atheism strikes terror in the hearts of men. A stigma so strong, it holds almost equal weight with homosexuality.

So I just got back from work and was tired as fuck, but I decided to write this piece, one which is greatly influenced by the events that took place today.

It was 10 o’clock in the morning and I didn’t have much doing. Scrolling through my phone, I got a ping from a friend of mine, a very close acquaintance. He wanted to know if I’d be travelling home for Christmas, and my reply was that it was still under probability. He then cracked a joke about my parents bringing up the “marriage talk” when I get home. I gave him a ‘lol’ and he went on to say that it’s my biggest fear. I was quick to clear that up. For the record, my biggest fear is “getting old”, yeah I’m vain. I can’t think of anything like old age damaging my pristine, pretty face. The mere thought of it sends a cold chill down my spine.

So I went on to tell him I’m just annoyed about the marriage issue, not scared. And that’s how the long argument started.

My friend told me that marriage is a fact of society, and I do not want to come to terms with it. I countered that it’s not a fact; it’s instead something people think they should do just because they’ve been told to. Just like buying a Blackberry phone and somehow making it so that someone else must buy it too. That’s how the world works.

Then, I added: that people have many false beliefs about marriage which doesn’t hold true and that’s why they fail often at it; that for some, it’s a huge achievement and for others, it’s fulfilling a duty to God (pleasing God), and to yet many others, it is something to get into to satisfy family and society.

A few years ago, I was willing to sacrifice my happiness on this altar. That changed last year. I started thinking for myself. Any marriage with a girl wouldn’t last. It’d break in a few years, that’s if it’d reach.

I have nothing against marriage. It can be beautiful with the RIGHT person. If I’m going to do it, it’d be with someone I love. But I can’t love girls . . . well, maybe like a sister, but not the other type of love.

We only think the way we do because of how we were brought up. I threw everything aside and started learning the world from a different perspective. I’m a perfectionist and so wouldn’t want any marriage of mine to go wrong, and in my case, it will, so I’d rather not do it. There might be kids in future, but not from marriage.

I’ve always known I liked boys since I was very little, I just thought everyone felt the same way. I thought I had perfect “attraction control” over girls. I thought of myself as some sort of incorruptible angel. Girls never moved me so I could never fall into temptation of impregnating one, that was my thought.

But I grew up and was told it was an abomination to do stuff with boys. God didn’t like it. He committed genocide in the bible because of it. Anyone who does it will go to hell fire where scorpions and snakes will sting and bite their manhood from a hole while being burnt alive endlessly. And that’s where the homophobia and the self loathing started. Such beliefs tend to make one develop an internal fear, one that grows like a seed, branching out with roots and making it impossible for self love to flourish.

I can’t claim to know the bible like a pro. I can only speak from what I’ve read according to the way I understand it. I also don’t think I’m a foolish person as I have an IQ north of 140.

Let’s think about it logically for once.

God is the creator of heaven and earth; He made all things and made man in His image (perfect).

God doesn’t make mistakes.

Man disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden (while He was watching them).

If the above statements are true, then God made gay people the way they are. And trying to stray from it would displease God. God wouldn’t want you to deceive a lady and marry her while you don’t love her. Love is the greatest commandment.

I can count how many times I’ve gone to church this year, the last time I did, the pastor lied about some baby that got his DNA changed by God after the father discovered he wasn’t his biological son. The wife cheated. They found out when they went for a DNA test to process some VISA paper. So the man went home and prayed and they went for the test again and – Voila! – the DNA became a match. And people were so happy in church, rejoicing and quite shockingly believing this man of God. They never stopped to think that maybe the first test had been a mistake, and that the reason the whole stuff happened might have been to expose the wife’s extramarital affairs in the past. Everyone just swallowed the pastor’s version of the incident hook, line and sinker, because anything that has to do with God and church is untouchable and unquestionable. It’s a taboo to argue, question or even think for yourself because they’ve laid out guidelines on how you should live your life. It’s like the movie, Divergent.

Man is flawed this way.

And such Man wrote the bible. And as we’ve seen that he disobeyed the Creator in the beginning, think of what he’d be capable of after he left Eden. Put up a 2000-year-old lie perhaps? And demonize people who are born different? Most parts of the bible might not be lies, but the scriptures were still written by humans. And from experience, humans like pushing their views unto everyone (I’m also guilty of that). The more you start seeing the bible for what it is – a book written and compiled by imperfect human beings like you and me – the more you’ll stop judging yourself. Writing books is cheap compared to what we humans are capable of doing to each other.

There’s god in every religion. In fact, most religions of the world have more than one. The way humans reason, it’s impossible for one god to take care of everything. The Igbos have Amadioha, Ogwugwuakpu, etc. This was before the white men (who they now seem to know more about their imported religion than) brought Christianity. The Yorubas have Sango and the rest. The Indians have several, my favourite being Ganesha (remover of obstacles); there’s also Saraswati, Vishnu, Krishna etc.  And there’s also a need for them to put a face to the gods they worship, that’s why they make carved figures of them, because praying to thin air would seem downright stupid.

I’ve always been fascinated by Greek mythology; the whole thing must have been written by someone with an active imaginative mind. It’s almost like the bible in terms of the various fictitious information it contains. There are the gods of Olympus, swallowed by their father Cronus because of a prophecy that speaks of his sons overthrowing him.  They later broke free from him and banished him to Tartarus. Zeus took dominion over earth and Poseidon took the sea, while Hades was deceived into ruling the underworld. And there’s Athena, the goddess of wisdom who came out when Zeus’ head was broken when he had a bad headache. Prometheus, Zeus’ adopted son was banished from Olympus because he took the fire of the gods to mortals. He was cursed by Zeus to be eaten alive by an accursed bird, his wounds healing at night only to be eaten again the next day.

The funny thing about all this is that people actually believe them. And people wrote them. People used to worship these gods, some still do. These beliefs are someone’s truth, in as much as they are someone else’s nonsense.

If you check the trend of acceptance of homosexuality internationally, you’ll see a connection; the more atheists there are, the more accepting the country. And vice versa. Countries with the most religious piety are the most homophobic. Religion is our biggest stumbling block. The talk or thought of homosexuality threatens the very foundation of several centuries’ old religion, championed most often by the Bible and Quran.

You think your religion is better than theirs? Who told you so? How sure are you? They’re prospering more than you, how come? They don’t donate their life savings to church, but why are they getting much in return? Why are they happier than you? He’s an atheist but he’s the CEO of a fortune 500 company. What went wrong? How can God bless such a person?

He committed heinous war crimes and is still living today, healthier than most his age. The last time he went to church was when he was baptized at the age of two.

He loves the Lord, trained an entire orphanage and loves his church, but his warehouse got burnt and he died a few months later of a heart attack. His wife and kids now go from house to house begging for food.

He’s wayward, cheats on his wife on a regular basis and beats her, he doesn’t go to church. He has four kids and he just landed a major deal that’ll propel his career.

He pays his tithes, goes to church every Sunday and follows the ways of the Lord, but he’s been looking for a child for fifteen years.

We have so many religions in the world which are supposed to fix things in our lives (at least that’s the promise), but the world is so screwed up. War everywhere, deadly diseases. Before you go pick up a megaphone to scream “END TIME”, you should know that there’s nothing happening now that hasn’t happened before. There’s the Black Death that happened in Europe in the 13th century, which decimated almost a quarter of a million people. I don’t need to remind you of the countless wars in history, way back when.

Today I saw a man in a company I went to (on outside duty) and he was trembling because of a General Manager. To go and talk to this GM in his office was so hard for the man; he almost keeled over when he opened the door. The GM, by the way, is an arrogant white man, the type I like to deal with if they cross my path. Seeing this elderly Nigerian man with graying hair tremble like a chicken brought out of a cage and is about to be slaughtered, made me realize something: Nigerians are full of fear. We fear bucking the trend. We fear change. We’re scared of trying to get better or questioning things because ‘God will be angry.’ It’s this same fear that’s keeping our country from development, the fear fanned by the belief that we are powerless and need a higher power (Almighty God) to deliver us. And that’s why we’re this way.

God didn’t build that country you’re trying to go on vacation to. He didn’t make roads or electricity. He gave you the damn brain that you refuse to use for your own good. We have some of the worst characters within the human race, but ten words don’t leave our mouth without them being accompanied by God.

So about the events of today – the chat with my friend and the elderly wimp, I’m just trying to clarify a general notion about some topics that people are too terrified to talk about. My friend himself still has doubts about being created this way. So I went on to tell him what makes me be at peace with myself. Belatedly, I realize that everyone’s entitled to it.

So I just have these three questions to ask:

Do you believe in God?

Do you NOT believe in God?

And what are the foundations of what you believe?

Written by Max