"At some stage one can forsee a situation where black people 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 noise from His counterpart" - Steve Biko in We Blacks (I Write What I like - Ravan Press)
What we are going to interrogate today is the different definitions of a caring God that many people use to suit their reality. The Americans, who some scholars term 'the most blessed nation on earth' have even inscribed on their currency the slogan ' In God We Trust'. They have done that oblivious to the fact that the same God they honour has in volumes and volumes of his theology literature relegated money to 'the root of evil' and went as far as attributing it to Caesar than His own kingdom. Thus, the Americans painted evil with the colours of God. The question right there should be; is God amused?
While some people has credited their God with a sense of humour for having created a penis it remains to be seen if such honour does not amount to heresy. The Holy Quran notes, "even though men's souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practise self-restraint, God is well acquainted with all that ye do" - Sura 4:128.
Known American evangelists like Phil Graham are quick to label other believers to something contrary to their extremist version of Christianity as absolutely lost. In reality you can only get lost if you either can't read a map, have a wrong one or don't have a map. The road to salvation is paved in tribulations and trials, not dollar bills and spilled oil (oops, innocent blood). The Bible, which Graham uses like a flack vest has 66 books divided into Old and New Testament which's message should have a universal appeal. Have you noticed that from Genesis to Revelation you'll never come across the word 'religion' in your Bible? If you find one please send me an email with the page, book and version and convert me.
Which then must bring us to another question. When was religion founded? Who founded it and what were the socio-political conditions on the ground at the time that necessitated the creation of an belief system called religion? Are those conditions still in existense today?
GOD BLESS AFRICA
Poet Don Mattera has a poem that requests God to bless Africa, especially the South. It is a poem written during apartheid when Bra Don, who comes across as a pan-africanist in his thinking was worried about the countless curses that seemed to bedevil the dark continent. Dark due to the complexion of its children and not the lack of libraries and exemplary leadership. Bra Don went on to request God to bless the white and the black child, more especially the black child.
Looking at what happened since African prophets soothsayed that 'Africa will know no peace until we the South are free' it's disturbing that it seems Uhuru (freedom) brought with it more suffering and squalor than blessings. A quick anaylis informs you that since Ghana (putting aside Ethiopia and Liberia which both were never colonized) regained its freedom Africa has had the following conflict zones; Algeria, Egypt, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, Sudan, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Chad, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Comoros, Nigeria etc. Can we safely say Bra Don's poem has received divine reciprocacy?
The opening quote on In God We Trust, which is a statement made by Biko in the 1970s should be understood in its entirety. Somewhere on the text he talks abut the conflict that darkies, who obviously Graham does not represent find themselves in when they have to kneel down and worship to the same God who seems to be bent on turning a blind eye to their oppression. Biko said, "The anachronism of a well-meaning God who allows people to suffere continually under an obviously immoral system is not lost to young blacks who continue to drop out of church by the hundreds"
That's the conflict; are the two races praying to the same or a different God one race witnesses blessings bestowed on the other while it remains in a state of semi-curse? Sadly Biko never lived long enough to witness the wheel turning, only for the blessings to remain in the same hands. Now, the racially heated US South, which has influenced films such as Mississippi Burning and plenty others is a religious bastion. There are so many churches of Christ the Lord and Saviour and your African rooted Baptist which, while they both claim to show allegiance to the same source of life, are out to render each other extinct. Race movements the world over are found on the basis of religion. Poet Laila Mataka once said, 'if someone bombs your church/ it's their way of saying 'fuck you' and 'fuck your god too'
Exodus 6:3 tells about how He exposed Himself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, before making known His name Jehovah. And Bra Don is undoubtedly still pleading for blessings for Africa - maybe this time not especially the South.
WHO IS YOUR GOD?
Poet Laila Mataka has a poem which asks if your God is worth defending. She said that she wants a God who will not tell her to turn the other cheek but a God who will give her a high five for having resisted oppression.
On the same breath rapper KRS One coined a new definition in his quest to find his God. He said that GOD stands for Get Own Definition. So, this line is not a formulation of Kasiekulture but that of recording rap star KRS One. Some cats (rap stars and fanatics) are unanimous in crowning KRS One as the most intelligent rapper without reliance on punchlines. He's a freestyle champion who is alleged to be capable of rapping about anything - from chalk to cheese. But him saying GOD means Get Own Definition is like throwing a cat amongst the pigeons, and please Mister KRS, this life we living is not a rap contest, no popularity stakes are in the offing. But then, if you don't want to get own definition, you should be able to tell 'who is your God?'. Whose definition is it that you are basing your faith on?
"Yet there are men who take (for worship) others beside God, as equal (with God). They love them as they would love God. But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for God" - Sura 2, Section 20:165. Now let's go out and Get Own Definitions as the verse above is taken verbatim from The Holy Quran - the version translated by A.Yusuf Ali where Allah is translated as God.
The question we need to preoccupy ourself with is why are we following the existing Gods? Is it because of what some people say that without religion morality would crumble? Which is disputable because the animal kingdom does not ascribe to any religion but its morality is far from crumbling. It seems humans are more immoral than animals that never pray to any deity. Thus this suggests that humans are not in religion or the quest to find God for discipline reasons but rather to escape that much-hyped hell-fire. The religious authorities were so strategic to create a fallacy called eternal hellfire. With this paranoia rooted in the brain of parishioners, it becomes easy to offer salvation as an option. No wonder some charismatic prayer groups these days even admit homosexuals and serial adulterers within their fold because all is lost already. They argue that that Jesus came for the lost sheep and not the converted. It's not about discipline but salvation. Interesting enough the same pastors will tell an African that God despises people who use herbs when they are ill but provided hospitals - falling blind to the fact that the herbs were buried by the same God on the ground, hidden from the sun which speeds up their expiry dates and rains which might erode them for people to discover and heal themselves.
GOD - GET OWN DEFINITION
Otherwise further on, if it was for discipline we couldn't find it so easy to hate and kill others in the name of our God since all the gods say they are a personification of love. Millions of people have perished in the name of religion and some still continue to. Thousands have been maimed in Uganda in the name of the Ten Commandments. Healthy intelligent folks have voluntarity joined Jihad Squads as an ultimate sacrifice to their God. But does God love them bleeding and charred instead of healthy and potent creatures to be standby carriers of His gospel? Who are they dying for in conflict zones all over the world?
If it's salvation the people are looking for, why is it so hard to with the same quality of life to our enemies? It should be simple for the Muslim Extremist to wish health and harvest on the infidel because God is love and Allah is Most Merciful and Kind. Can any acts of hate and murder be attributed to a God in the manner the Ku Klux Klan and their Boeremag / Weerstandbeweging/ Wit Wolve and Christian Extremists are doing? Acts like the decicrating by US prison guards of the Holy Quran while they hold the Bible closer to their chest.
Go Get Own Definition because all humans look the same but they hate each other with passion only reserved for contaminated blood. Get Own Definition because the God you are worshippping now is already tainted. Some rich people are said to have a God-Complex and when you analyse it you see a rigid person who lacks flexibility - is it what the God you worship like? If so, get yourself another God. Get Own Definition because the map that you are using to find Him might be badly printed and lead you to your demise. Get Own Definition because the ones we have now are as flawed as the people propagating them. Get Own Definition and feel the halo when you make time to pray.