Reject Bible Studies
THE article ‘The issue of bible studies in schools’ (in an English daily of 9 August) by Ngarikutuke Tjiriange argues that the teaching of bible studies is merely about the Namibian Constitution and should be debated in that context.
However, this issue is a very political one. Religion has definite political consequences in that it, for example, provides different explanations about the origins of life, the relationship between men and women, etc. It is not simply about the Constitution.
It is really farfetched to argue that bible studies would help to prevent moral decay in this country.
Just where is the evidence for this? The bible justifies violence and encourages the subjugation of women and children.
Former South-West Africa had intensive bible studies but yet was one of the most oppressive, violent and unequal societies in the world.
As stated in the letter ‘Do not impose Christianity’ (The Namibian, 10 August) by ‘Secularist’, the Christians hardly hold the monopoly on good morality and this religion should not be forced upon our children. I could not agree more with that writer.
The primary problem in Namibia is the decay in the socio-economic conditions of the people. We should rather have an honest discussion about why our people suffer so much under this post-colonial government and what the secular solutions are.
And, if religion should be discussed, then we should surely teach the history of ALL religions.
Why should the focus only be on bible studies? If the issue is about pedagogy, then instead of bible studies, we should rather consider a subject on racism, sexism, homophobia and classism that would be compulsory for all Namibian youth.
How about teaching the youth what secularism means? How about different life views such as Feminism and Marxism?
If Tjiriange is serious about us not compelling anyone to believe in the bible, then let us introduce religious (not bible) studies only from age 18 when young adults can think more objectively.
So, I think that Tjiriange wishes to take us backwards and close the minds of our youth with bible studies. He certainly does not have any right to decide for our children.
And, in any case, religion is coming out of our ears already in this country yet the ‘moral decay’ continues.