Blasphemy is Plural

September 05 03:40 2020

By Frank Tietie
I respect the name of the Holy Prophet of Allah. I have been taught so and I have also witnessed the consequences of mentioning it without due regard.

Nduka Obaigbana, Thisday Newspapers and the Nigerian government have learnt a lesson in that regard and they have one to tell for the reckless and casual reference to the name of the Holy Prophet by that Nigerian newspaper.

The spontaneous reactions of those who hold the name of the Holy Prophet so dear can have very sure and crucial consequences. Therefore it is considered by non-moslems to be a very sensitive matter.

The message that the name of the Holy Prophet must be accorded full reverence has been made quite clear by His followers to non-moslems in quite unmistakable terms and that has come to be respected by all, including the government, the people and Nigerian law.

On the other hand, the Lord Jesus Christ is declared by the Holy Bible as the Saviour of mankind. He lived and died on earth, a propitiatory death, as the typical sacrificial lamb of God that was slain and His blood was used in spiritual symbolism to wash away the past, present and future sins of all those who might believe and accept such claims as made His disciples, thereby assuring such believers a heavenly place of eternal bliss for their disembodied souls when they die and cease to be earthlings.

The Holy Bible and Christians declare that His name, the name of Jesus commands the highest authority in the spiritual realm and at its mention, the devil flees, miracles happen, prayers are answered and there are deliverances. What a name! The wonderful name of Jesus!

Yet when the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is used in ribald jokes by ingenious Warri comedians, nobody gets bothered. Even His so called followers pay stupendous amounts of money to laugh at such jokes. They don’t get angry but secretly, they think within themselves that if the Lord Jesus Christ actually feels offended by the abuse of His name by comedians, He should fight for Himself, after all, He is Lord of the heaven and the earth.

Some of the leaders of the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ have formed and belong to certain groups like Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN).

Whenever the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is abused and misused by the likes of Warri based comedians, these leaders of CAN and PFN don’t get angry or charge at the government to invoke Sections 210 -213 of the Penal Code, with regard to offences relating to religion. They often remain calm and consider themselves to be religiously and politically correct so long as the finances of the Church of Jesus Christ are not touched or affected.

So which is more important? The name of the Lord Jesus Christ or the money belonging to His Church?

I have come to see a recent trend where some of these church leaders have become so insensate about the public abuse of the Lord’s name that they have now begun to invite these comedians to their churches in order to swell their throngs.

Meanwhile, there is a usual strange fury and righteous indignation by these church leaders against anybody or thing that touches or threatens to touch church money. But there is a cold peace whenever the name of the avowed owner of the church money is blasphemed.

A denominational pastor once told me that church founders are prepared to forgive any sin or offence except that concerning church money. So I have seen church founders pursue their employee-pastors, seize all their property and arrest them with police for failing to account for church money yet such vehement resolve is never expressed in calling for public respect for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I circulated a video to over 5000 persons on my WhatsApp broadcast list where a cadet instructor was sacreligiously using the name of the Lord Jesus to beat an applicant in the head with a stick in a diabolic manner. To my surprise, after about an hour only two or three Christians decried the mention of the Lord’s name in that kind of drill. All the other commentators of the Christian faith, only saw the human rights dimension of the abusive drilling of the cadet.

As a student of religion and a seeker of spiritual release myself, I know the efficacy of the power of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ when done in faith. Therefore, I appeal to His vicars here on earth to stand up more for His name and not for His money.

Without resort to extremism, there is nothing wrong in ensuring that the same regard and reverence that is accorded to the name of the Holy Prophet in the public national life of Nigeria should also be accorded to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is blasphemous to one faith should be blasphemous to all faiths because blasphemy is plural.

Frank Tietie
Human Rights Lawyer
Writing from Abuja

I have used capitalizations to depict the highest regard and reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Prophet, and the Faiths.

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