Let’s have Church: Doctrine

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Whatever the case, he appeared to think about the word “abomination,” and then he said, “I myself, I’m no longer very much into church these days, as you know. See, I’m a businessman. And if you’re a businessman, then one thing you know is that business is all about gathering as many customers as possible and retaining them. Religion is basically a business, a very large corporation. Take the Anglican or Catholic Church, for instance. You have all these doctrines that are set up, and we are told that God is the reason for all of them.”

“Isn’t He?” I asked.

 
Chibundu shook his head. “No. I don’t think He is.”

 
“Why not?”

 
“Because if you look deeply enough into those doctrines, you begin to see that the Church just wants to do whatever it can to get as many followers as possible and to keep them under control. This is the way business works. So the Catholic Church tells us ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ means ‘Don’t use contraceptives’. And people actually soak it up and wind up having twelve children that they can’t possibly take care of. And they continue to have more children for fear of using contraceptives and angering God. And really, it’s not even God who’s making them do it. it’s the Church that has interpreted God’s words to its own benefit. Because the Church wants as many members as possible, as many followers as possible.”

 
“But that’s not us. We’re not even Catholics. What’s your point?”

 
“My point is that business is the reason for things like doctrines. Business is the reason for words like ‘abomination.’ The Church is the oldest and most successful business known to man, because it knows not only how to recruit customers but also how to control them with like doctrines and words like ‘abomination’. Bottom line is, take your abomination with a grain of salt. My sense of it is that some things are called abominations that really aren’t. and anyway, like you said, your mama is praying over you. And here you are, praying for yourself. If I were God, and if it turned out that you were actually committing an abomination, then I’d forgive you.”

 
“Don’t you want to know what my abomination is?”

 
Pg. 231-232, Under the Udala Tress, Chinelo Okparanta

Let’s Have Church: Black Theology

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“At some stage one can foresee a situation where black people will feel they have nothing to live for and will shout unto their God ‘Thy will be done.’ Indeed His will shall be done but it shall not appeal equally to all mortals for indeed we have different versions of His will. If the white God has been doing the talking all along, at some stage the black God will have to raise His voice and make Himself heard over and above the noises of His counterpart. (…)

 
What of white man’s religion – Christianity? It seems people involved in imparting Christianity to the black people steadfastly refuse to get rid of the rotten foundation which many of the missionaries created when they came. To this date black people find no message for them in the Bible simply because our ministers are still too busy with moral trivialities. They blow these up as the most important things that Jesus had to say to people. They constantly urge the people to find fault in themselves and by so doing detract from the essence of the struggle in which people are involved. (…)

 
The bible must not be seen to preach that all authority is divinely instituted. It must rather preach that it is a sin to allow oneself to be oppressed. (…) It [Black theology] seeks to demonstrate the absurdity of the assumption by whites that ‘ancestor worship’ was necessarily a superstition and that Christianity is a scientific religion. While basing itself on the Christian message, black theology seeks to show that Christianity is an adaptable religion that fits in with the cultural situation of the people to whom it is imparted.

 
Black theology seeks to depict Jesus as a fighting God who saw the exchange of Roman money – the oppressor’s coinage- in His father’s temple as so sacrilegious that it merited a violent reaction from Him – the Son of Man.”
Pg.33-34, I Write What I Like; Steve Biko.

*will be sharing weekly reflections/excerpts from books I’ve read/I’m reading under ‘Let’s Have Church*

We Should All Be Humanists

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Praise God brethren. The last time I started like this I had decided I could not go on being an angry feminist. Today, I had another change of heart altogether. The Lord has been purging my life and we have come to this; we should all be humanists.

I have recently engaged with mansplainers humanists and I decided that the Lord really does speak through his people. This feminism thing is trash tbh. Too much noise for so many petty issues. The other day, someone was complaining about the groom being told to kiss the bride without asking if she actually wants to be kissed or do the kissing. Imagine. Syria could be burning and these humans would be talking about consent with your damn wife. Trifling.

Anyway, my driving point here is not bashing feminism even though as humanists that’s what we spend most of our energy on, it is to tell you how you can be a humanist. For the most part, being a humanist is really easy because weeeell, all you have to do is be human. Just live. Because that’s really all there is to life. Live! No mythical systems of oppression what what. You see, the problem with these feminists is that they have a victim mentality. They think the whole world is out to get them. Mans embraces chivalry, they call it sexist. Mans is Bible believing what what who doesn’t think gay people are as human as he is because Leviticus, mans is a bigot. Mans asks how he can be involved in feminism, mans has to google. Mans breathes, mans is trash. Why exactly would you want to be associated with people who have no respect for the male ego our humanity?

I say let’s all be humanists. We preach peace and love and tolerance for all of our bigoted and misogynistic different opinions. But mostly we just sit back and enjoy life as conventionally as possible. We can applaud when others say Black Lives Matter, well don’t they? But the truth is all lives matter. We can be really really really sad when we hear about rape victims and domestic violence and child marriage. You know, stuff that’s actually stuff? But to blame a system? It’s a post feminist world really, woman have jobs and stuffs. We shouldn’t get hysterical.

I’m fairly new at this humanist stuffs so I can’t offer much information, but yea sounds just about more awesome than violent peoples.

change

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“If everything you think you know
Makes your life unbearable
Would you change?
Would you change?
If you’d broken every rule and vow
And hard times come to bring you down
Would you change?
Would you change?”

Change, Tracy Chapman

some days more than others, you need to ask yourself hard questions. you need to realise that you might not like the answers but still have the grace to sit through the conversation with yourself. it’s how we progress. sometimes we are at war only with ourselves. we want things that don’t us. we are with people we don’t want to be with. we are doing things we don’t want to do. we are amplifying things we are not sure we believe in.

and sometimes, it’s simply because we don’t like the uncertainty of change. we are not brave enough to do the things we know deep down are what’s right for us. we don’t want to be any different from the person we were yesterday. it’s too uncomfortable. it upsets. but baby, it’s got to be done. it’s got to be done.

“Are you so upright you can’t be bent?
If it comes to blows,
are you so sure you won’t be crawling?
If not for the good, why risk falling?
Why risk falling?”

-Change, Tracy Chapman

do you like the person you have become? it’s okay, you are getting there. you are getting there. but what’s got to be done has to be done. if it will make you sleep at night with no regrets, it might be be brutal but, it has to be done.

do you like the person you have become?

 

Life Hack: How to survive as a Bibliophile in this Economy

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Life is hard when you have expensive hobbies, innit?  But thankfully, reading is not. Or so you would expect except this economy won’t let us prosper. Yes, we are not broke, it’s just the economy that is not in favor of our financial resources. Sigh. If you are one of those, and not just a recovering spendthrift, then I come bearing good news. No, it’s not about a miracle baby.

I mean, are you one of those people who like to walk through bookstores and ogle at books for hours on end and end up leaving with only one book or nothing because economy? Is your TBR list always overflowing instead of the proverbial cup in front of your enemies (in which case this would mean the people who have read more than half of your TBR. Yes, how dare they when you haven’t😒). Or is it that you always find yourself choosing to buy raspberry cheese cake and milkshakes so by the time you think of getting the books you want puts you in a position of walking the rest of the month? Bbz, I gatchu.

So here’s the thing, we have to enjoy this life even as the economy is not on our side, right? Right. I guess the first suggestion here should be; download the damn eBook apps. I know, I know. We all prefer paperback but tell that to the economy. They are cheaper except for BOAT(if you know what this is, can we be friends please?) which is the same price as the paperback. Just wow. (P.S: Books by African authors on Okada Books)

The most obvious way to deal with this our economy should be borrowing. Ahem. But lending books is hard. You know, it probably won’t return in the same condition, if at all.

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So how to deal with this, earn trust. I dunno how. Read an inspirational book on that or something. But then, the most effective way to do this is actually exchanging books. And not just taking. So er…you gots to have some of your own bbz. Haha, talk about that with your financial advisor but I recommend adding at least one book a month to your leverage.

Also, make friends with bibliophiles. They always know how to get the books to you or know of good deals. Oh, book clubs. You’ll find some there. Or on bookstagram. Or Good Reads. Or Litsy. Whatever.

Anyway, we all know that’s gibberish. The most important thing to do in this economy is to find a glucose guardian. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to get one but if you know, please share😭.

But  if none of the above works, play Sudoku.(I feel like I can write an inspirational book now hihi)

 

 

 

Book Review: Kintu

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I didn’t really think my first post for the #UgBlogWeek would be a book review but I’m all about that ‘Hype your writers like you do your rappers‘ life. So here goes nothing.

The question for the person who has not read this book is whether it is worth it. Because if your acquaintances, like mine, are voracious readers, then they have surely read it and incessantly make references to it. The natural response, if you are noncomformist or pretend to be, is to assume you’ll never read it because really, why so much talk? Okay, this applies to those who have not(and obstinately refuse to) watch Game of Thrones. Otherwise, the normal response is FOMO.

Sigh. It is with a heavy heart that I say, yes, it is worth it. (Now I am like everyone else who has read it, can you believe? I need to spend some time in the company of the good people at Kampala Express.)

The story of Kintu is a very stunningly disturbing one. I don’t know, are you superstitious? Coz damn, this story made me believe all kinds of things. But you know what they say, nothing imagined is too far from the truth. Joel actually believes the things in this book to be true, and not just myths or nice stories. *shiver* It sort of traces a curse from the 17th century to well, the 21st century. I really hope that’s a neat one line representation. But if it isn’t, read the book 🙂

The thing about literature, I have come to learn, is that it plays an important role in decolonization of the mind because it makes you ask yourself questions(right? Right? Yea, we good). Kintu is such a powerful book in this sense. I want to add especially for our friends with fragile masculinity but I don’t have the energy. Anyway, in a way we have ‘culture’ to blame for this. My very brilliant friend, Sunshine, likes to say that if you are going to throw the word ‘culture‘ around, be sure you are not picking out only the parts of it that serve you. And it seems like we are always trying to reconcile this culture  with who we are. You know, like Faisi’s family who are Christians and want nothing to do with any of their ‘pagan’ ways or the atheist and believes in neither the ‘pagan’ nor Christian ways. It’s really interesting, the way Jennifer deals with these characters (yes, first name basis what about? Lol, I’m wanting.)

Anyway, do you think if black people had colonized wypipo we’d all be worshipping Jjaja Ddungu or whoever else? Like, I mean the mainstream religion.

P.S: don’t read the book at night or just before you sleep 🙂

P.P.S: The background in the photo is the place the book is about. Coooool, right? Yes, that excited me.

acceptance

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And one day when you look in the mirror,
all the demons you contained will stare back at you.

This, your moment of making peace
with the you you never accepted,

when you get to it,
I hope you say, welcome, my love

I have been waiting for you.
Do not join the world in crucifying yourself.