Kissing ‘Prophet’ Elvis Mbonye Feet Only Alienates Religious Skeptics More

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Reflection on Religion

A great sense of awe that inspired sheep to lick shoes of the shepherd has elicited awful response from angry Ugandans! Prophet Elvis Mbonye and his followers are at the receiving end of ridiculous annotations and condemnations. Why? To borrow journalist—cum—gospel minister Joseph Kabuleta’s justification, licking Mbonye’s shoes “…was an expression of our hearts and what he means to us…”

We ought to be cognizant that licking Mbonye’s shoes by his followers is of noJournalist Joseph Kabuleta kisses ELvis Mbonye feet equal magnitude to the 2000 Kanungu tragedy. Joseph Kibwetere and his accomplices set ablaze Ugandans because of the latter’s absolute loyalty to their spiritual leader. As, a believer in pastor, priest or prophet, sheikh A,B,C et cetera, do you once in a while muse on teaching of your religion? We have heard of pastors telling gullible believers to eat grass, drink petrol, purchase holy rice, anointed knickers, blood of Jesus and many other items. And believers accept such silly instructions and orders!

When professing our religious faiths and beliefs, we accept to be born again and be transfigured into sheep. A sheep not the wooly horned ruminant mammal but “the timid defenceless simpleton that is readily preyed upon.” We become that “docile and vulnerable person who would rather follow than make an independent decision.”

In our spiritual journeys, we walk through different paths but end up on same spot—worshipping the true God—albeit with different practices, symbols and beliefs. The Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Adventists, Pentecostals, et cetera worship one God. This God we believe in is infinitely beyond our comprehension, since he is beyond indivisible and without limits, he bears relations with all of us.

We have been blindfolded, chained and imprisoned in our “righteous” faith and taught to condemn faiths of our neighbours. We have been told that that our beliefs and practices are superior and what other people profess is satanic. This is why we boldly castigate those who differ from our beliefs and practices for being unable to give rational grounds backing their faith. But in the eyes of those we condemn, we are also unable to give rational grounds for our religious practices.

The Daily Monitor’s Tuesday, 5th September editorial termed Mbonye’s worship as worrying. “It is worrying on many levels because it now looks like the prophet wants everything to begin and end with him; having services where he is honoured as though he is a demi-god… It is worrying because these look like elements of a cult following.” But to Mbonye’s followers, this is a no rational ground for anyone to be worried.

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Religion is a philosophical question that has been debated for centuries. It still remains a philosophical question that will be discussed up to infinity. The existence of God, problem of evil, beliefs and practices subjects have dominated philosophy of religion.  The volumes of literature published on this subject are immaterial in defining who is right and who is wrong.

As American philosopher Alvin Carl Plantinga argues, “in religious belief as elsewhere, we must take our chances, recognizing that we could be wrong, dreadfully wrong. There are no guarantees; the religious life is a venture; foolish and debilitating error is a permanent possibility…if we can be wrong, however, we can also be right.”
Where do I stand? I am a Roman Catholic believer, however, I prefer to be labeled a “part time atheist” because my I have decided to keep my mind in suspense rather than close it on insufficient evidence. It’s not that I pick the dash of atheism lulling in my mind from Roman Catholic. It’s from all religions including Mbonye’s what? I don’t know.

Commercialism, corruption, church inspired assassinations, religious extremism, delusionary preaching informs my atheism. I have been ridiculed for professing my “part time atheism,” particularly by who say they are searching for God fearing husbands. As I search for the truth, I have decided to better saunter around without belief than believe lies.

Musinguzi Blanshe is a part time atheist and journalist

@[email protected]

 

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