LETTER OF COMPLAINT TO NHIALIC
By Tears Ayuen
Nhialic, you know me very well. I don’t complain a lot. You created me. I appreciate who I am and what I have. I accept anything that comes my way just the way it is or I work out a few modifications at least to suit my taste, without bugging people close to me. I sometimes simply change my attitude whenever I find a problem too hard to cope with. That’s how I have been surviving this unforgiving world for the past twenty-something years. But now I am afraid, I have failed to tackle something, something that is increasingly attacking my originality. And that’s why I am presenting it to you, as my creator, to look into it seriously. It is this thing called religion.
Remember I was born into a Dinka family. Dinka people are religious souls, naturally. They believe in two divine bodies; you, Nhialic and Jok. We believe in life after death. According to Dinka mythology, you are the creator of everything, including our cows. You are all-powerful and the controller of all events. You prohibit and condemn wrong-doings of any kind. You hate dishonesty, stealing, killing, adultery, lying, disobedience, name it. You encourage love peace and harmony amongst brothers and sisters. You also love good neighborliness. You, who normally appear to us through parents, write down your expectations in every Dinka fetus’ essence, of which the parents help instill into the child through upbringing. That’s why Dinka parents beat their children thoroughly whenever they go astray. Frankly, you don’t have to be the parent to spank a Dinka brat. Anyone can beat the cream out of it provided that you caught the young rascal misbehaving.
Jok is more of your opposite. He is some greedy super being that talks to its followers through signs and sorcerers or magicians. He is in form of python, turtle, cobra or monitor lizard, depending which clan. He angrily violently reacts when annoyed. He demands for bulls to be slaughtered to appease him.
What one worships depends on a family or clan. For me, my great parents were followers of you, Nhialic, until some strange, pale-skinned, tall, aged creatures with bushy faces and long big knob-like noses showed up in my motherland about two hundred years ago. They settled and quickly began to preach the contents of a big black book that is white inside. The book, popularly known as Bible, condemns everything Dinka, you in particular. Those who believe in biblical teachings are called Christians. Christianity attacks your divinity, claiming you’re a false super being and places the white man’s first. The bible calls him God. I have read the bible several times, cover to cover. It talks about the same things you planted in me- knowing right and wrong.
Bible was written by some crooked sneaky white people who, I feel, deleted and or added some valuable information. It is supposed to be a history book just like any other book that talks about the past. I don’t hold any grudge against Christians and their bible but the problem sets in when they consider my beliefs uncouth and unacceptable, and try by all means necessary to have me believe in theirs. There’s nothing they like about me. They want me to change the way I am; what I am called, way of life, what I believe in and so on. Whenever I introduce myself as Ayuen Panchol Anyieth Dhol, everyone rolls on the ground laughing. They suggest Jewish names like Jeroboam, Ecclesiastes, Ananias or Maccabees, of which I find unreasonable since they hold no substance to my lineage. They say my identity sucks. They use the biblical passages to force me into accepting their ways. They talk about some place called hell. That if I don’t believe in their super being, I would go to hell. Where the hell is that?
One thing that makes it hard for me to believe them is the bible itself. Its contents do not refer to me as a Dinka in anyway. Take for example the first commandment in which their God threatens, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.” How the hell does that concern me? I am a Dinka, a cattle rustler by birth. Have the Dinka people ever been in Egypt? If yes, then they must have been the ones who enslaved God’s people, and not the ones told to worship one God.
Another reason why I reject their ways is that they don’t practice what they preach: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” See? Their God prohibits them from making idols, a command they defiantly piss on by embracing this thing called cross which is worn on the neck. Some carry larger cumbersome wooden crosses. I heard that cross was used by romans to kill their holy ghost’s son. What if the son was shot between the eyes, would they be wearing bullets on their necks?
Homosexuality issue is another thing that makes me question the reality and trueness of their religion. Leviticus chapter 18 verse 22-23 says “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” yet the world’s largest church, catholic, supports it. A 2011 report compiled by the Washington DC-based Public Religion Research Institute, using past polls and studies showed that nearly three-quarters of Catholics favor either allowing gay and lesbian people to marry (43%) or allowing them to form civil unions (31%). Only 22% of Catholics say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship. Recently, the UK Prime Minister in an interview with BBC was said to have threatened to cut aid to anti-gay countries, stating that countries receiving UK support should adhere to proper human rights. What human rights? If human rights give criminals absolute immunity to punishment, what do you expect murderers to say? Form their associations that would present their issues in the parliament? Where is the credibility of what they believe in? Do I really need to believe them?
A number of big church elders indulge in a lot of bad practices. They sleep around with married female members of the congregations. Somewhere in my current location in 2010, a married pastor was caught red-handed, making love to a policeman’s woman. Community members offered him neither mercy nor grace, especially because he was heard preaching against adultery in a crusade the day before. They beat them both, stripped them naked and forced them to kiss in public. See? And how many cases of that kind go unnoticed? Thousands!
Wait, there is more. In July, 2007, A Zimbabwe’s state-controlled television broadcast photographs showing Archbishop X in bed with a married woman. The woman’s husband later filed a lawsuit that sought about $80,000. How about this thing called “vow of celibacy?” what happens to it?
Somewhere in the bible, the whole mankind traces its way back to two first beings; Adam and Eve. Where did their sons, Cain and Abel, find girls they got married to? How did that happen? Bible does not say.
These people called believers never cease to make me smile. They do things just to show off superiority. A bunch of those who are tired of doing big bad things spent months, begging and kissing another arrogant group to not launch a dangerous missile into the orbit. They defiantly held their middle fingers up high and launched the rocket, but failed due to some unknown reasons. Maybe you were behind their failure. Weren’t you, Nhialic?
They manufacture guns and distribute them to hostile communities who attack the peaceful ones for fun. My people no longer defend our livestock and ourselves from the unfriendly neighbors who now use sophisticated weapons like RPGs and rocket launchers to attack and drive away the cattle you gave us. And quickly go on radio and television, condemning the act. Thanks to their gods.
They nicknamed me pagan, atheist, non-believer, infidel and so on. There is another religion whose male believers tie white turban around the head and they keep long tidy beards. One of their celebrated men was shot down by a tall black guy in 2011. They are also trying harder to talk me into becoming one of their own. My female workmate provocatively calls me kafir, meaning an unbeliever. She dresses up like a ninja. I hardly see her face. I fight back by telling her that her face is either too ugly to show or she has a big wound on her head or she can’t afford to pay a hairdresser.
Now, why are they telling me to leave you and worship theirs? Is it because I am black? Or are you inferior to their gods? They have managed to convert my brothers and sisters though, particularly the older ones. I call them religious slaves because they got cheated or misled. They go to church Monday to Monday, when they should be working, farming. The book of Titus says “Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.” The owners of the religion they abandoned theirs for work hard and go to club every day and go to church maybe once a year. Do you feel me, Nhialic?
In my third-eye perspective, since bible scriptures directly refer to Israelis, then it was meant to be the national constitution for Israelis, and holy Koran for Iraqis. I have my own laws outlined in a book called National Transitional Constitution of South Sudan. The constitution adds nothing other than annotates the moral grammar you wired into my neural circuits by evolution. It is evident that Africa is the place where world super powers show off their influences. During the past centuries, they greedily scrambled and partitioned it with intent to suck her resources dry, of which they did. That was an economical competition. A religious one followed. Old men preached word of their gods which condemned African ways, while their sons pleasurably enslaved, raped, killed and sold Africans. Nothing much has changed today; same song, different verse. These people are so hypocritical. They condemn corrupt and thieving African politicians but on the other hand help them hide the stolen billions of dollars in their banks, leaving the ordinary man with nothing but protruding ribs. Others grant asylum to African butchers, the committers of genocidal actions. What’s biblical about that? Nothing! So, why do they speak against wrong-doing in their big black books but offer first class protection mechanisms to the wrong-doers? Whose beliefs are worth rebuking? And who should abandon his and adore the others’? Who is better off?
That’s it. I have rejected their ways and their gods. Keep an eye on me lest their pastors, priests, imams, bishops and converts confront me in any way. And remember to base your judgment on my deeds, not beliefs, when I ceremoniously die of old age like my grandfather Anyieth Dhol, in about 80 years to come.