Of course in my article yesterday about how terribly sad Africa is, I completely forgot to mention one of the main reasons why it’s so terribly screwed-up.
Yes, from the Muslim states in the north down to places with major infestations of Catholics, we find that religion is the cause of many, many woes in Africa.
First and foremost, of course, we have the fact that the Catholic Church, greatest force of evil in the world, as you might remember, refusing to allow people to use condoms. This means people either a: don’t fuck, or b: have many, many more children than they can support. Since expecting people not to fuck, especially if they’re married, is unrealistic, we find that instead women have nine or ten kids, sometimes even more. If you’re living in an area and a set of circumstances where supporting even one child is hard, can you imagine having to support ten or more? Hell, try to imagine doing that here! It’d take someone who is at least a millionaire if you wanted to do it right.
The lack of condoms also means a massive number of people end up HIV+, and most of them end up with full-blown AIDS. If you have the Church nattering at you to not sleep with anyone before you’re married and to stay faithful to your wife once you are, that’s a good thing. But if they don’t then add, “But if you sleep around, wear a condom,” that’s a bad thing.
Of course we should also note that in addition to this, the Church ought to be providing free condoms, but I don’t believe that’s going to happen anytime soon. Also it is worth noting that there are Protestant churches over there fucking with things, too, but the Catholic Church is the far greater problem in this area.
Then we have terrorism and genocide, both caused by religion. The Somali pirates, about whom I’ve written before, are Muslims, as were the Barbary Pirates back in the day. The embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam were done by Al-Qaeda. In Kenya, people other people thought were witches were burned alive earlier this year. Rebels in Uganda (like the Lord’s Resistance Army), and other places use religion to justify a lot of their actions. The genocide in Darfur is centered around religion as was the genocide in Rwanda.
Lastly religion tends to do very little to encourage critical thinking skills and real education among the poor in Africa (please note: there are exceptions). Religion, by its very nature, is about spreading ignorance and superstition, not facts. When you have a place as steeped in poverty as Africa, filling people’s heads with a lot of nonsense about gods does not do much to help make things better.
I could go on here, but my point is made. Africa is, as I’ve mentioned, dreadfully fucked-up and it shouldn’t be. There’s no reason for it. But as long as everything remains the same as it is now, including the interference of religion, it will continue to be a horrible, terrible place and not the gleaming gem of the world that it ought to be.