What inspired today’s piece was a question that appeared on my twitter timeline a few nights ago, which goes thusly “can you change you religion for the person you love?” I wanted very much to join in the argument but the fear of looking like that friend who is not in any relationship who is an expert at giving relationship advice anyway held me back. I however noted some replies to the question and some of them built the ideas that led to this post.
I have an opininion about most things, love however is not among them. Hell I dont understand how it works. Everytime i think I have it figured out, something comes along that pisses on my chips. That is why in my three years of blogging I have never written anything on Valentine ’s Day, because I suspect anything I write is either going to be a sermon or a sob story. For all I know this piece could be another sermon or sob story, but as our elders say “whether the child will live or it will die, one must congratulate the mother, so here goes.
If there is anything I am sure of about love, it is that it is not as difficult as people make it out to be. I know years of drawn out Nollywood sob stories have created a conception of about love that makes it look that you must shed a hundred gallons of tears, endure a whole season film worth of drama, and heartbreak and depression must drive you to the verge of suicide for it to be true love, but still when has Nollywood or any “Wood” for that matter been a valuable source of information about how reality works eh?
Still on the question on my twitter timeline. I like to use one of Jesus Christ’s most popular parables, The Parable of The Sower to describe love. I believe that every soil that has no weeds and is fertile has a capacity to support some kind of seed. There is no need for a tropical soil to want to be a temperate soil because it wants to grow apples. Mangoes and Bananas are equally sweet alternatives that tropical soils can grow. We can bring that analogy to answer our question too.
Religion is part of the conditions of love that an individual is already grounded in before he begins to understand how love (especially the one between a man and a woman) works. Religion is an attribute that is likely used to define a person rather before the love affair(s) said person is in. So is one’s religion worth changing because of a relationship? My answer is no, and the answer applies to men and women alike so this not matter of male pride or been a stickler for some “tradition”
Maybe I am just lazy, but for me, the benefits of a relationship is just like vitamins, I can get as much vitamins from oranges as I can get from apples or mangoes. So if I need vitamins, I’d rather just pluck oranges from the orange tree in my backyard with minimal stress instead of going to the market to search all over for apples or strawberries. In terms of satisfaction an apple is not inherently better than an orange; it is just a matter of taste anyway.
Can two walk together unless they agree? So does the bible say in Amos 3:3. You might want to argue that in a perfect world, religion should not even be source of disagreement. But we do not live in a perfect world and no matter how much we go on about interfaith dialogue. There is no arguing the fact that every religion has plenty of points where it can never agree with any other religion.
The point I’m trying to make is this; I am a Christian, as part of my Christianity, I go to Church to fellowship with other Christians, and among those Christians are beautiful young single women who have everything I as a normal human being would want in a woman. Even if I don’t like the ones in my own church, I have hundreds of churches to choose from. I know it is the same for muslims too, afterall I have plenty of Muslim friends And relatives who are married to Muslim spouses. Therefore, I don’t see any “real” basis for a Christian guy to leave all the eligible Christian girls and then go for a Muslim girl, and I don’t see any sort of love that could make a muslim lady leave all the eligible muslim bachelors and decide to fall in love with a Christian guy. It is not as if the Christian guy is less likely to cheat on you, or the Muslim girls are inherently better wife materials. I stand to be corrected, but the last time I checked it is not as if there is a scarcity of eligible men and women in either religion. There is nothing you are looking for in an opposite religion that someone from your own religion cannot give you. Marrying across religions has no real drawbacks or advantages, like marrying across tribe or nation. Everything is all a matter of oranges and apples and mangoes and strawberries. it is just a matter of taste.
On a totally unrelated note, I have just been told by a “reliable source” that the illiterate farmer next to my house just married another wife, his second. That shows that love is so easy to find, that even unlearned people know where it is, so forget what you heard from Westlife, you dont need to cross a thousand mountains or seas, or religious boundaries to find it. Thinking about “inter- anything” dating I often think about the Yoruba proverb ” If your own daughter has Kim Kardashian booty, it is moronic to put your waistbeads around another person’s daughter’s booty” (Sorry about the Kim Kardashian bit, I couldn’t resist the imagery). But again what do I know? after all my only experience of relationships was a mind numbingly boring affair that lasted a little more than one year, so there you go.