Excuse Me, You’re Trampling My God!
These are thoughts, truths, and difficulties I face as a young man living in Ghana with a non-conventional English accent that among other things makes me appear lost to foreign, ‘blasphemous’, ideologies, while being a harborer of a spiritual disposition that is mine, but not considered natural or “right”.
My ongoing career with humanitarian organizations causes me to give several talks and public addresses among different communities, and because of my known journey in the circles I belong to, and where I have come to find myself, I am often asked which religion I belong to (Because I certainly must belong to a major religion to be this successful in my work).
Living in Ghana, it is widely known that if you’re not Muslim or Christian, it would be in the best interests of your ears and your tolerance to stay clear off the subject of religion altogether. It’s never enough for people that I believe in God, and that I pray, but don’t subscribe to any religion or major faith, as if it is needed to be a decent human being.
Often when confronted with an attempt to shove religious doctrine down my throat, I ponder the following questions…
How did our forefathers define and maintain their morality before the advent of the religions of today?
Where did my father, who was a Yogi, go when he passed?
Why does fear appear to be the greatest tactic in conversion to a religion? (Not cool, people)
Several deeply religious people who belong to major faiths in Ghana seem to think that terrifying people about an eternal hell is the way to go. It is not. Please stop it! Many young individuals and progressive thinkers won’t say, but are shying away from the concept of religion more and more nowadays. For some, it’s because we’re tired of being forced and harassed into “believing“, and for others, it’s because we simply need a little space to find our own way amidst the chaos of outdated belief systems.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited over 20 countries, and to have met more people than I can count, and so I am keenly aware of the immeasurable number of people that have a belief in an external God, and an inner moral compass that is firmly grounded in conventional religious beliefs.
I respect the order and calm faith and religion can foster; but firmly reject the suppression and control they attempt to enforce. To the many die-hard religious folk, and your ilk, who cannot fathom my seemingly agnostic stance, if you truly love me, and want the best the “eternal” has to offer me, I suggest you pray for me, pray for my soul, and pray I find the right way, my way, as opposed to the current approach of condemnation and ostracism for not following a conventional path of belief.