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June 12, 2005

Sunday Sermonette: Tai Solarin

Today's Sunday Sermonette is inspired by the life and work of Tai Solarin (1922-1994), arguably, the most distinguished African humanist of the 20th century.

First, a little background on this remarkable figure:

Solarin was an indefatigable warrior in the cause of democracy. He was a passionate secularist and humanist. He was opposed to dictatorship in all forms. He believed very much in freedom of expression, freedom of choice, everyone's participation in the structuring of society, irrespective of sex, creed, and tribe. He had always been a gadfly, a thorn in the flesh of corrupt governments. He was jailed several times. His whole career was one of combativeness against injustice and tyranny, and his loss was a great one.

Wole Soyinka, Nigerian Nobel Laureate.

And now, our Sermonette:

[Solarin] paints an interesting analogy from a childhood memory.He made a long journey with his mother once, who gave him a "bicycle" to help him finish the journey--which was really just a wheel he had to hit with a stick to keep it going. He says that without the "bicycle" he would never have made the forty mile walk, but upon reflection he realized that he had really carried himself and the bicycle all along. Religion is like that bicycle, Tai says. We only need it when we lack the confidence and determination to face the world alone.

Richard Carrier, Tai Solarin: His Life, Ideas, and Accomplishments, 1995.

Please allow me to pass the collection plate among you. Jesse and Amanda of Pandagon just wrapped up their 24-hour blog drive for Amnesty International, with a little help from their friends. It's not too late to make your donation. So far they've raised over $2000 to help fight gulags and create a world where anyone is free to believe whatever the hell they want.

Way to go, brothers and sisters!


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Thanks for all your support. It's actually been fun, even when I was really wondering if I was crazy for staying up all night like that.

thanks for this post, the man lives on, he was among the greatest ten nigerian ever!, his ideas were simply out of our world, check nigerian village square to see the article i sent in his honour!
once again, thanks

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