There’s a new celebrity that has just emerged yesterday. He’s now one of the trending topics on social media. Most people don’t really know him but via a Facebook account named Udummiri Nwakalu, he displayed pictures of himself condescendingly destroying a copy of the Bible. He also followed the pictures with the following words:
“I destroyed the Bible because it is from the devil. All Christians are very brainless for believing in this useless book that was used to enslave millions of people and you still praise your nonsense Jesus. For the past 3 months I have been using the Bible to wipe my butt as tissue paper everytime I go to the toilet.”
As usual, the Internet has gone into a frenzy in Nigeria. And as usual, I read through people’s comments to see what they made of the issue before making mine. Having gone through hundreds of comments from different forums concerning this saga, I can conclude that most people have made the wrong interpretation of it. I also took time to sift through his Facebook account and I discovered a few things. So I’ve made this post to address 3 misconceptions about the guy’s action.
1. He’s a Religious Extremist, not an Atheist
Many people called him an atheist. No, he is not. An atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in the existence of God(s) and the Supernatural. He wrote a post that says God will punish Christians. Atheists don’t believe God exists talk less of believing that God will punish someone. He also wrote that Christianity is from Satan. Atheists don’t believe Satan exists. So he’s someone with a God belief of some sort even though we might not know where to place him. However he wrote in another post that he wants to follow his ancestral ways. In yet another post, he complained that his destroying the Bible was justified because Christians tore down traditional shrines. Perhaps that makes him a traditional worshipper but atheists don’t believe in ancestral ways. He’s not an atheist.
He believes in some kind of God and he thinks he’s fighting for that God. He claims Christianity is a fraud of God’s message and he’s here to set things straight. Anyone who fights fellow human beings on behalf of a God is a religious extremist. It’s that simple.
2. He’s Either a Sociopath or a Psychopath
To insult an idea is not the issue. We now live in a world where it’s allowed to insult ideas. The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists are an example. That’s what they do for a living and there’s nothing wrong with it. Christianity, Islam, etc are ideas that can insulted just like any other idea. However insulting people who hold such ideas is wrong in all aspects. We need to draw the line between ideas and the holders of the ideas.
This guy has not just taken it upon himself to show hatred towards Christianity, he has shown hatred towards Christians too. In several posts, he rang war alarms against Christians threatening to bring them down if they try to bring him down. He’s also ready to cut ties with family and friends in this version of religious extremism. He also has posts that portray him as a violent IPOB member. I don’t think everything is well with him.
Even if he was an atheist, he failed. All the atheists that I know are peace-loving folks who simply criticize religion and nothing more. They won’t declare war on a religious group like this guy has done. He doesn’t deserve our time. He looks like someone who is about to land in a police detention or in a mental facility. His posts and comments show that his thought process is disjointed and chaotic. However it’s unfortunate that he lives in an environment where he won’t get help on time.
3. There are Better Things to Do To a Bible Than Burn it
So ask me. Is it wrong to destroy a Bible? Absolutely not. To start with, the Bible contains so many things that can offend. The guy claims to have seen so many offensive things in the book and yes, he has a right to tear the book.
A little of historical perspective. For centuries, you dared not say you were not a Christian. When witches and heretics were getting burnt at the stakes? You obviously dared not! Lots of unbelievers were killed by the church and Christians the world over. Lots of books were prohibited and destroyed by the church. In fact, ordinary Galileo who still remained a Christian but seemed to put forward a scientific theory that negated the Bible was persecuted by the church till his death. The church apologized for his death sometime last year.
But as human rights movement began and kept spreading, things began to change. Now people are free to practise any religion anywhere: atheists can even now openly identify as atheists and gays can enjoy the benefits in the developed world too. Slavery ended and today we are against religious and racial terrorism. That’s the world we live in right now.
If the guy was an atheist, he had a right to get angry and tear a book that calls him a fool twice (Psalm 14:1 & 53:1). He had a right to tear a book that condemns him to the eternal fire for just not sharing the same beliefs with its readers. The Bible was used by the colonial masters as the tool for slavery. The guy was right about that. The Bible deserves to be torn especially by Africans whose ancestors were colonized by folks who carried that book. It’s the book that says billions and billions of people are going to burn forever because they were born in a Muslim family or in a country like India or Saudi Arabia where Christians are a tiny minority. It’s a book that divides families and friendships by commanding people to not be closely tied to folks who don’t believe the book (‘Do not be unequally yoked…’). And so many other things.
Around 4.30 am today, there was someone on a megaphone screaming loud into everybody’s ears saying they’re condemned to the fire if they don’t live by this same book. You think it doesn’t take extra self-control for folks who are angered by this to not buy a copy of this book, set it on fire, and upload the video on YouTube? People come on video to tear passports that bear the logos of countries and nobody makes any noise. What’s different about a book? Yeah. It’s a book. It can be torn. You can’t tear people but you can tear a book.
But I won’t advise anyone to tear a book, any book at all. Why? Because I feel it doesn’t achieve much except that it makes you look like a hooligan and a vandal. And that’s how this guy looks right now. This Bible is his personal property and he can vandalize it. However it’s unnecessary. If anyone has issues with a book, what they need to do is to raise sound, intellectual rebuttals against the contents. If this guy really wants to free people from Christianity as he claims, he stands a better chance by being an intelligent critic of the contents of the Bible rather than tearing it like a thug. A book is far lesser than the ideas expressed in it. Tearing a book won’t make people stop being Christians. Showing them why they shouldn’t be sounds more sensible.
And there are people who think the guy can’t try the same thing with the Quran. They claim he would be beheaded or mobbed to death if he did. Well, that’s a moot point. That Muslims won’t tolerate someone tearing a Quran in his room and uploading the pictures online is not something anyone should be proud of. It’s something we should all see as a sign of anachronistic primitiveness, a sign of humanity’s shameful past that’s still living with us. Christianity used to harbour similarly violent elements and it’s Islam that’s in that phase now. However we should think ahead and look forward to the era where such attitude will become a thing of the past.
And to those who think God will punish him for this, I laugh. They claim he will soon be befallen by misfortunes. Haven’t those who haven’t torn a book been befallen by misfortunes? Very funny. Fellow human beings who are aggrieved by his action may punish him but God? How? Has God finished punishing all the politicians who have run our lives and destinies to the ground? How much has God dealt with ISIS and Boko Haram? I sincerely feel God should have more pressing issues to attend to rather than a spoilt brat vandalizing his personal property.
In summary, this guy is not what most people think he is. He needs to be seeing his shrink as we speak. I implore everyone to laugh about it, pity his situation, and move on. Let’s leave the guy alone and go back to worrying about important issues like the economy, the price of rice, and the MMM scheme.
Compliments of the season!