[Just so we’re clear – the phrase ‘oldie but goodie’ in the title of this post doesn’t refer to the Minister of Ethics and Integrity – rather, it refers to my response that was published in June 2009. Thanks!]
One of my first public excursions into freethought advocacy was in form of a response to an article written by the Minister of Ethics and Integrity, James Nsaba Buturo, on June 1st 2009 called “Anti-God secularists want to dictate national agenda”.
In his typical fashion, rather than take the time to investigate and find out what is really the cause of the problems Uganda is facing, he attacks one of his favourite scapegoats – secularists.
Battles are being fought in the theatres of the media, schools, churches and in the minds of Ugandans. Forces of secularism and extreme liberalism are pitted against those which are advocating for a morally upright and spiritually-inclined Uganda. There are many Ugandans who believe that in this war, secular forces are having an edge over their opponents.
Secularists have reasoned, therefore, that if they can succeed in weaning Ugandans of God, they will have succeeded in exposing and rendering them vulnerable to dangerous, abnormal, illegal and unnatural practices such as homosexuality.
Our preferred choice must be to ensure that Uganda is rejuvenated and transformed and that our leaders put God first in their national duties.
Ugandans must be wary of anti-God secularists and extreme liberalists who seek to dictate the national agenda. The objective of all citizens of goodwill must be to decapitate Uganda of the tag of moral degeneration.
My response to Buturo’s article appeared in the New Vision on the 4th June (three days later) under the banner “letter of the day” (in the print version).
Any study on global life expectancy, standard of living, literacy, respect for human rights, education and crime rates shows that the most secular countries of the world today (e.g. Sweden, Norway, Japan, UK) far outperform their more ‘religious’ counterparts like the USA and Africa. Also, when looking at the most corrupt countries in the world, the list is filled with countries that are unwaveringly religious. The same goes for HIV prevalence and teenage pregnancy.
The most religious countries tend to be performing poorly in these areas compared to secularised countries. By looking at these and other global case studies and statistics, it is clear that irreligion, or secularism, of a country does not lead to societal breakdown as Buturo seems to imply. He has not succeeded in proving that correlation and therefore his argument fails.
Evidently, societies that don’t put ‘God’ first are thriving without a problem.
All this is from over a year ago, but since there was no mention of it on this blog (because by then this blog did not exist), I thought it might be worthwhile to bring it up for the benefit of those that might have missed the exchange.