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[:en]Namyalo Viola, YouthSpeak February

I grew up in a Christian Orphanage where praying was the most important thing, we couldn’t survive without prayers, every day we were told, it was God who provided for all and we could only be alive because God was on our side. In the morning before doing anything, it was a must to say lots of prayers. We prayed for God’s blessings, protection against accidents, against diseases and against Satan’s temptations. This was because going to heaven was the ultimate thing we all wanted. Thus from morning to evening, God was the main business, we prayed at home, at school and in the church.

I like singing, so I joined the worship team and I was a great worship leader from 2008 to 2010 and my best song was “My miracle is here and I won’t leave without it.” But here was the contradiction, whereas I liked church music so much, at the same time I realized that I was never impressed by the gospel being taught. I found it very boring and had so many questions that I felt went unanswered. Thus whenever the pastor was preaching I found myself sleeping amidst a sermon and to avoid embarrassment, I always walked out and joined other young people outside or went to the children’s church where I would again find myself singing. Being unable to concentrate in church soon put me in trouble. My behavior towards the gospel made my guardians worried and they called me for counseling.

​I defended myself by saying I was always tired since I could sing before the pastor preaches. My other defense was that the pastor allowed no questions to be asked and the absence of free exchange of ideas always made me get bored. Then my guardians argued that the way forward was to put in on the Bible Study Program. The elders promised to put a Bible study group at the Orphanage where I stayed so that I can get a chance to understand the Bible for I would get a chance ask questions.

The Bible study program was there every Monday evening. I religiously attended it and I learnt a lot from it. Through the Bible study I came to know more about the so many stories. One day the teacher taught about the creation story. He went like: “the Bible says, God has extra ordinary powers; he created the whole world by His word. He said let there be light, and the light came, let there be a human being in my image and everything was perfect by only His word”. It was at that point that I got so puzzled and put up my hand. My question to the teacher was, if God can make things by only his word, then why doesn’t he say let Satan die, since he is the main cause of disobedience among His children? I urged that we were always praying in the morning to ensure that Satan does not tempt us. I also said this was tiresome because somehow we always fell into Satan’s traps, yet the all powerful God could tame Satan, why then was God not doing his work properly? The answer was God is so merciful that he forgives and forgets and doesn’t wish death even on his enemies.

My other question was that if he forgives and forgets, then why didn’t he forgive Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit? The whole world would have been in peace without death. My Bible teacher got irritated by my many questions, other students were getting impressed by my questions and the teacher was not amused. He had to cut me short and warned me to stop questioning God for he is wise enough to make a wrong decision. He said God can never be wrong, He makes no mistakes, He is all knowing! He quoted a line in the Bible saying it was wrong to know too much because at death I will be asked too much, and he said it was by only faith that I would be able to go to heaven. He said questions of that nature were from Satan and could not be allowed! From that day on I never asked any question and the Bible Study Program lost all meaning to me as well.

It was 2009 that I came to know about HALEA through school debates. I loved debates and I participated a lot in these debates. My best debate was when we discussed about homosexuality. It was during the time when there was a bill that supported the killing of homosexuals. Winning this particular debate after a great deal of research changed my attitude towards life. I realized that if one had an open mind to everything, better arguments would be developed even to what many think is the wrong thing to do.

From that debate, I learnt to stand my ground even if I was on the side which the majority hated. Being a student in a highly religious school and being a beneficiary of religious scholarship I was always expected to toe the side that was deemed holy, but this was never the case during debates. I was always on the ‘wrong’ side of debates such as the validity of miracles, the need to legalize abortion, prostitution and drugs. HALEA was always good in providing me with books to read, magazines from IHEU, articles from newspapers and they always answered my questions. I was always reading and asking questions and this kind of study sharpened my mind. I learnt to think about everything I heard, and I learnt to speak openly in public. It was a gradual process to embrace humanism and became a freethinker. I developed writing skills and begun writing articles that featured in the Open Talk Magazine. My Christian family was always asking questions and many started to doubt my commitment to God, surely, I was slowly losing the God touch, I was strongly embracing free thought. I become close to HALEA and I become one of the teens that benefited in the teens empowerment project. I recorded songs, learnt keyboard and guitar and I became a proud humanist, I would not fear to mention that indeed I am a humanist who lives in harmony with my religious friends and this is what humanism teaches us to do.

Today I am a membership director of both the Humanist Association for Leadership Equity and Accountability (HALEA) and the Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO) and I am an active member of IHEYO. I am happy and proud to have discovered Humanism, thank you HALEA, the school debates changed my thinking and made my life better.

Viola is a Membership Director of both HALEA and UHASSO, and is a Makerere University Student pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Music.[:de]Namyalo Viola, YouthSpeak February

I grew up in a Christian Orphanage where praying was the most important thing, we couldn’t survive without prayers, every day we were told, it was God who provided for all and we could only be alive because God was on our side. In the morning before doing anything, it was a must to say lots of prayers. We prayed for God’s blessings, protection against accidents, against diseases and against Satan’s temptations. This was because going to heaven was the ultimate thing we all wanted. Thus from morning to evening, God was the main business, we prayed at home, at school and in the church.

I like singing, so I joined the worship team and I was a great worship leader from 2008 to 2010 and my best song was “My miracle is here and I won’t leave without it.” But here was the contradiction, whereas I liked church music so much, at the same time I realized that I was never impressed by the gospel being taught. I found it very boring and had so many questions that I felt went unanswered. Thus whenever the pastor was preaching I found myself sleeping amidst a sermon and to avoid embarrassment, I always walked out and joined other young people outside or went to the children’s church where I would again find myself singing. Being unable to concentrate in church soon put me in trouble. My behavior towards the gospel made my guardians worried and they called me for counseling.

​I defended myself by saying I was always tired since I could sing before the pastor preaches. My other defense was that the pastor allowed no questions to be asked and the absence of free exchange of ideas always made me get bored. Then my guardians argued that the way forward was to put in on the Bible Study Program. The elders promised to put a Bible study group at the Orphanage where I stayed so that I can get a chance to understand the Bible for I would get a chance ask questions.

The Bible study program was there every Monday evening. I religiously attended it and I learnt a lot from it. Through the Bible study I came to know more about the so many stories. One day the teacher taught about the creation story. He went like: “the Bible says, God has extra ordinary powers; he created the whole world by His word. He said let there be light, and the light came, let there be a human being in my image and everything was perfect by only His word”. It was at that point that I got so puzzled and put up my hand. My question to the teacher was, if God can make things by only his word, then why doesn’t he say let Satan die, since he is the main cause of disobedience among His children? I urged that we were always praying in the morning to ensure that Satan does not tempt us. I also said this was tiresome because somehow we always fell into Satan’s traps, yet the all powerful God could tame Satan, why then was God not doing his work properly? The answer was God is so merciful that he forgives and forgets and doesn’t wish death even on his enemies.

My other question was that if he forgives and forgets, then why didn’t he forgive Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit? The whole world would have been in peace without death. My Bible teacher got irritated by my many questions, other students were getting impressed by my questions and the teacher was not amused. He had to cut me short and warned me to stop questioning God for he is wise enough to make a wrong decision. He said God can never be wrong, He makes no mistakes, He is all knowing! He quoted a line in the Bible saying it was wrong to know too much because at death I will be asked too much, and he said it was by only faith that I would be able to go to heaven. He said questions of that nature were from Satan and could not be allowed! From that day on I never asked any question and the Bible Study Program lost all meaning to me as well.

It was 2009 that I came to know about HALEA through school debates. I loved debates and I participated a lot in these debates. My best debate was when we discussed about homosexuality. It was during the time when there was a bill that supported the killing of homosexuals. Winning this particular debate after a great deal of research changed my attitude towards life. I realized that if one had an open mind to everything, better arguments would be developed even to what many think is the wrong thing to do.

From that debate, I learnt to stand my ground even if I was on the side which the majority hated. Being a student in a highly religious school and being a beneficiary of religious scholarship I was always expected to toe the side that was deemed holy, but this was never the case during debates. I was always on the ‘wrong’ side of debates such as the validity of miracles, the need to legalize abortion, prostitution and drugs. HALEA was always good in providing me with books to read, magazines from IHEU, articles from newspapers and they always answered my questions. I was always reading and asking questions and this kind of study sharpened my mind. I learnt to think about everything I heard, and I learnt to speak openly in public. It was a gradual process to embrace humanism and became a freethinker. I developed writing skills and begun writing articles that featured in the Open Talk Magazine. My Christian family was always asking questions and many started to doubt my commitment to God, surely, I was slowly losing the God touch, I was strongly embracing free thought. I become close to HALEA and I become one of the teens that benefited in the teens empowerment project. I recorded songs, learnt keyboard and guitar and I became a proud humanist, I would not fear to mention that indeed I am a humanist who lives in harmony with my religious friends and this is what humanism teaches us to do.

Today I am a membership director of both the Humanist Association for Leadership Equity and Accountability (HALEA) and the Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO) and I am an active member of IHEYO. I am happy and proud to have discovered Humanism, thank you HALEA, the school debates changed my thinking and made my life better.

Viola is a Membership Director of both HALEA and UHASSO, and is a Makerere University Student pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Music.[:zh]Namyalo Viola, YouthSpeak February

I grew up in a Christian Orphanage where praying was the most important thing, we couldn’t survive without prayers, every day we were told, it was God who provided for all and we could only be alive because God was on our side. In the morning before doing anything, it was a must to say lots of prayers. We prayed for God’s blessings, protection against accidents, against diseases and against Satan’s temptations. This was because going to heaven was the ultimate thing we all wanted. Thus from morning to evening, God was the main business, we prayed at home, at school and in the church.

I like singing, so I joined the worship team and I was a great worship leader from 2008 to 2010 and my best song was “My miracle is here and I won’t leave without it.” But here was the contradiction, whereas I liked church music so much, at the same time I realized that I was never impressed by the gospel being taught. I found it very boring and had so many questions that I felt went unanswered. Thus whenever the pastor was preaching I found myself sleeping amidst a sermon and to avoid embarrassment, I always walked out and joined other young people outside or went to the children’s church where I would again find myself singing. Being unable to concentrate in church soon put me in trouble. My behavior towards the gospel made my guardians worried and they called me for counseling.

​I defended myself by saying I was always tired since I could sing before the pastor preaches. My other defense was that the pastor allowed no questions to be asked and the absence of free exchange of ideas always made me get bored. Then my guardians argued that the way forward was to put in on the Bible Study Program. The elders promised to put a Bible study group at the Orphanage where I stayed so that I can get a chance to understand the Bible for I would get a chance ask questions.

The Bible study program was there every Monday evening. I religiously attended it and I learnt a lot from it. Through the Bible study I came to know more about the so many stories. One day the teacher taught about the creation story. He went like: “the Bible says, God has extra ordinary powers; he created the whole world by His word. He said let there be light, and the light came, let there be a human being in my image and everything was perfect by only His word”. It was at that point that I got so puzzled and put up my hand. My question to the teacher was, if God can make things by only his word, then why doesn’t he say let Satan die, since he is the main cause of disobedience among His children? I urged that we were always praying in the morning to ensure that Satan does not tempt us. I also said this was tiresome because somehow we always fell into Satan’s traps, yet the all powerful God could tame Satan, why then was God not doing his work properly? The answer was God is so merciful that he forgives and forgets and doesn’t wish death even on his enemies.

My other question was that if he forgives and forgets, then why didn’t he forgive Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit? The whole world would have been in peace without death. My Bible teacher got irritated by my many questions, other students were getting impressed by my questions and the teacher was not amused. He had to cut me short and warned me to stop questioning God for he is wise enough to make a wrong decision. He said God can never be wrong, He makes no mistakes, He is all knowing! He quoted a line in the Bible saying it was wrong to know too much because at death I will be asked too much, and he said it was by only faith that I would be able to go to heaven. He said questions of that nature were from Satan and could not be allowed! From that day on I never asked any question and the Bible Study Program lost all meaning to me as well.

It was 2009 that I came to know about HALEA through school debates. I loved debates and I participated a lot in these debates. My best debate was when we discussed about homosexuality. It was during the time when there was a bill that supported the killing of homosexuals. Winning this particular debate after a great deal of research changed my attitude towards life. I realized that if one had an open mind to everything, better arguments would be developed even to what many think is the wrong thing to do.

From that debate, I learnt to stand my ground even if I was on the side which the majority hated. Being a student in a highly religious school and being a beneficiary of religious scholarship I was always expected to toe the side that was deemed holy, but this was never the case during debates. I was always on the ‘wrong’ side of debates such as the validity of miracles, the need to legalize abortion, prostitution and drugs. HALEA was always good in providing me with books to read, magazines from IHEU, articles from newspapers and they always answered my questions. I was always reading and asking questions and this kind of study sharpened my mind. I learnt to think about everything I heard, and I learnt to speak openly in public. It was a gradual process to embrace humanism and became a freethinker. I developed writing skills and begun writing articles that featured in the Open Talk Magazine. My Christian family was always asking questions and many started to doubt my commitment to God, surely, I was slowly losing the God touch, I was strongly embracing free thought. I become close to HALEA and I become one of the teens that benefited in the teens empowerment project. I recorded songs, learnt keyboard and guitar and I became a proud humanist, I would not fear to mention that indeed I am a humanist who lives in harmony with my religious friends and this is what humanism teaches us to do.

Today I am a membership director of both the Humanist Association for Leadership Equity and Accountability (HALEA) and the Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO) and I am an active member of IHEYO. I am happy and proud to have discovered Humanism, thank you HALEA, the school debates changed my thinking and made my life better.

Viola is a Membership Director of both HALEA and UHASSO, and is a Makerere University Student pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Music.[:fr]Namyalo Viola, YouthSpeak February

I grew up in a Christian Orphanage where praying was the most important thing, we couldn’t survive without prayers, every day we were told, it was God who provided for all and we could only be alive because God was on our side. In the morning before doing anything, it was a must to say lots of prayers. We prayed for God’s blessings, protection against accidents, against diseases and against Satan’s temptations. This was because going to heaven was the ultimate thing we all wanted. Thus from morning to evening, God was the main business, we prayed at home, at school and in the church.

I like singing, so I joined the worship team and I was a great worship leader from 2008 to 2010 and my best song was “My miracle is here and I won’t leave without it.” But here was the contradiction, whereas I liked church music so much, at the same time I realized that I was never impressed by the gospel being taught. I found it very boring and had so many questions that I felt went unanswered. Thus whenever the pastor was preaching I found myself sleeping amidst a sermon and to avoid embarrassment, I always walked out and joined other young people outside or went to the children’s church where I would again find myself singing. Being unable to concentrate in church soon put me in trouble. My behavior towards the gospel made my guardians worried and they called me for counseling.

​I defended myself by saying I was always tired since I could sing before the pastor preaches. My other defense was that the pastor allowed no questions to be asked and the absence of free exchange of ideas always made me get bored. Then my guardians argued that the way forward was to put in on the Bible Study Program. The elders promised to put a Bible study group at the Orphanage where I stayed so that I can get a chance to understand the Bible for I would get a chance ask questions.

The Bible study program was there every Monday evening. I religiously attended it and I learnt a lot from it. Through the Bible study I came to know more about the so many stories. One day the teacher taught about the creation story. He went like: “the Bible says, God has extra ordinary powers; he created the whole world by His word. He said let there be light, and the light came, let there be a human being in my image and everything was perfect by only His word”. It was at that point that I got so puzzled and put up my hand. My question to the teacher was, if God can make things by only his word, then why doesn’t he say let Satan die, since he is the main cause of disobedience among His children? I urged that we were always praying in the morning to ensure that Satan does not tempt us. I also said this was tiresome because somehow we always fell into Satan’s traps, yet the all powerful God could tame Satan, why then was God not doing his work properly? The answer was God is so merciful that he forgives and forgets and doesn’t wish death even on his enemies.

My other question was that if he forgives and forgets, then why didn’t he forgive Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit? The whole world would have been in peace without death. My Bible teacher got irritated by my many questions, other students were getting impressed by my questions and the teacher was not amused. He had to cut me short and warned me to stop questioning God for he is wise enough to make a wrong decision. He said God can never be wrong, He makes no mistakes, He is all knowing! He quoted a line in the Bible saying it was wrong to know too much because at death I will be asked too much, and he said it was by only faith that I would be able to go to heaven. He said questions of that nature were from Satan and could not be allowed! From that day on I never asked any question and the Bible Study Program lost all meaning to me as well.

It was 2009 that I came to know about HALEA through school debates. I loved debates and I participated a lot in these debates. My best debate was when we discussed about homosexuality. It was during the time when there was a bill that supported the killing of homosexuals. Winning this particular debate after a great deal of research changed my attitude towards life. I realized that if one had an open mind to everything, better arguments would be developed even to what many think is the wrong thing to do.

From that debate, I learnt to stand my ground even if I was on the side which the majority hated. Being a student in a highly religious school and being a beneficiary of religious scholarship I was always expected to toe the side that was deemed holy, but this was never the case during debates. I was always on the ‘wrong’ side of debates such as the validity of miracles, the need to legalize abortion, prostitution and drugs. HALEA was always good in providing me with books to read, magazines from IHEU, articles from newspapers and they always answered my questions. I was always reading and asking questions and this kind of study sharpened my mind. I learnt to think about everything I heard, and I learnt to speak openly in public. It was a gradual process to embrace humanism and became a freethinker. I developed writing skills and begun writing articles that featured in the Open Talk Magazine. My Christian family was always asking questions and many started to doubt my commitment to God, surely, I was slowly losing the God touch, I was strongly embracing free thought. I become close to HALEA and I become one of the teens that benefited in the teens empowerment project. I recorded songs, learnt keyboard and guitar and I became a proud humanist, I would not fear to mention that indeed I am a humanist who lives in harmony with my religious friends and this is what humanism teaches us to do.

Today I am a membership director of both the Humanist Association for Leadership Equity and Accountability (HALEA) and the Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO) and I am an active member of IHEYO. I am happy and proud to have discovered Humanism, thank you HALEA, the school debates changed my thinking and made my life better.

Viola is a Membership Director of both HALEA and UHASSO, and is a Makerere University Student pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Music.[:ru]Namyalo Viola, YouthSpeak February

I grew up in a Christian Orphanage where praying was the most important thing, we couldn’t survive without prayers, every day we were told, it was God who provided for all and we could only be alive because God was on our side. In the morning before doing anything, it was a must to say lots of prayers. We prayed for God’s blessings, protection against accidents, against diseases and against Satan’s temptations. This was because going to heaven was the ultimate thing we all wanted. Thus from morning to evening, God was the main business, we prayed at home, at school and in the church.

I like singing, so I joined the worship team and I was a great worship leader from 2008 to 2010 and my best song was “My miracle is here and I won’t leave without it.” But here was the contradiction, whereas I liked church music so much, at the same time I realized that I was never impressed by the gospel being taught. I found it very boring and had so many questions that I felt went unanswered. Thus whenever the pastor was preaching I found myself sleeping amidst a sermon and to avoid embarrassment, I always walked out and joined other young people outside or went to the children’s church where I would again find myself singing. Being unable to concentrate in church soon put me in trouble. My behavior towards the gospel made my guardians worried and they called me for counseling.

​I defended myself by saying I was always tired since I could sing before the pastor preaches. My other defense was that the pastor allowed no questions to be asked and the absence of free exchange of ideas always made me get bored. Then my guardians argued that the way forward was to put in on the Bible Study Program. The elders promised to put a Bible study group at the Orphanage where I stayed so that I can get a chance to understand the Bible for I would get a chance ask questions.

The Bible study program was there every Monday evening. I religiously attended it and I learnt a lot from it. Through the Bible study I came to know more about the so many stories. One day the teacher taught about the creation story. He went like: “the Bible says, God has extra ordinary powers; he created the whole world by His word. He said let there be light, and the light came, let there be a human being in my image and everything was perfect by only His word”. It was at that point that I got so puzzled and put up my hand. My question to the teacher was, if God can make things by only his word, then why doesn’t he say let Satan die, since he is the main cause of disobedience among His children? I urged that we were always praying in the morning to ensure that Satan does not tempt us. I also said this was tiresome because somehow we always fell into Satan’s traps, yet the all powerful God could tame Satan, why then was God not doing his work properly? The answer was God is so merciful that he forgives and forgets and doesn’t wish death even on his enemies.

My other question was that if he forgives and forgets, then why didn’t he forgive Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit? The whole world would have been in peace without death. My Bible teacher got irritated by my many questions, other students were getting impressed by my questions and the teacher was not amused. He had to cut me short and warned me to stop questioning God for he is wise enough to make a wrong decision. He said God can never be wrong, He makes no mistakes, He is all knowing! He quoted a line in the Bible saying it was wrong to know too much because at death I will be asked too much, and he said it was by only faith that I would be able to go to heaven. He said questions of that nature were from Satan and could not be allowed! From that day on I never asked any question and the Bible Study Program lost all meaning to me as well.

It was 2009 that I came to know about HALEA through school debates. I loved debates and I participated a lot in these debates. My best debate was when we discussed about homosexuality. It was during the time when there was a bill that supported the killing of homosexuals. Winning this particular debate after a great deal of research changed my attitude towards life. I realized that if one had an open mind to everything, better arguments would be developed even to what many think is the wrong thing to do.

From that debate, I learnt to stand my ground even if I was on the side which the majority hated. Being a student in a highly religious school and being a beneficiary of religious scholarship I was always expected to toe the side that was deemed holy, but this was never the case during debates. I was always on the ‘wrong’ side of debates such as the validity of miracles, the need to legalize abortion, prostitution and drugs. HALEA was always good in providing me with books to read, magazines from IHEU, articles from newspapers and they always answered my questions. I was always reading and asking questions and this kind of study sharpened my mind. I learnt to think about everything I heard, and I learnt to speak openly in public. It was a gradual process to embrace humanism and became a freethinker. I developed writing skills and begun writing articles that featured in the Open Talk Magazine. My Christian family was always asking questions and many started to doubt my commitment to God, surely, I was slowly losing the God touch, I was strongly embracing free thought. I become close to HALEA and I become one of the teens that benefited in the teens empowerment project. I recorded songs, learnt keyboard and guitar and I became a proud humanist, I would not fear to mention that indeed I am a humanist who lives in harmony with my religious friends and this is what humanism teaches us to do.

Today I am a membership director of both the Humanist Association for Leadership Equity and Accountability (HALEA) and the Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO) and I am an active member of IHEYO. I am happy and proud to have discovered Humanism, thank you HALEA, the school debates changed my thinking and made my life better.

Viola is a Membership Director of both HALEA and UHASSO, and is a Makerere University Student pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Music.[:pb]Namyalo Viola, YouthSpeak February

I grew up in a Christian Orphanage where praying was the most important thing, we couldn’t survive without prayers, every day we were told, it was God who provided for all and we could only be alive because God was on our side. In the morning before doing anything, it was a must to say lots of prayers. We prayed for God’s blessings, protection against accidents, against diseases and against Satan’s temptations. This was because going to heaven was the ultimate thing we all wanted. Thus from morning to evening, God was the main business, we prayed at home, at school and in the church.

I like singing, so I joined the worship team and I was a great worship leader from 2008 to 2010 and my best song was “My miracle is here and I won’t leave without it.” But here was the contradiction, whereas I liked church music so much, at the same time I realized that I was never impressed by the gospel being taught. I found it very boring and had so many questions that I felt went unanswered. Thus whenever the pastor was preaching I found myself sleeping amidst a sermon and to avoid embarrassment, I always walked out and joined other young people outside or went to the children’s church where I would again find myself singing. Being unable to concentrate in church soon put me in trouble. My behavior towards the gospel made my guardians worried and they called me for counseling.

​I defended myself by saying I was always tired since I could sing before the pastor preaches. My other defense was that the pastor allowed no questions to be asked and the absence of free exchange of ideas always made me get bored. Then my guardians argued that the way forward was to put in on the Bible Study Program. The elders promised to put a Bible study group at the Orphanage where I stayed so that I can get a chance to understand the Bible for I would get a chance ask questions.

The Bible study program was there every Monday evening. I religiously attended it and I learnt a lot from it. Through the Bible study I came to know more about the so many stories. One day the teacher taught about the creation story. He went like: “the Bible says, God has extra ordinary powers; he created the whole world by His word. He said let there be light, and the light came, let there be a human being in my image and everything was perfect by only His word”. It was at that point that I got so puzzled and put up my hand. My question to the teacher was, if God can make things by only his word, then why doesn’t he say let Satan die, since he is the main cause of disobedience among His children? I urged that we were always praying in the morning to ensure that Satan does not tempt us. I also said this was tiresome because somehow we always fell into Satan’s traps, yet the all powerful God could tame Satan, why then was God not doing his work properly? The answer was God is so merciful that he forgives and forgets and doesn’t wish death even on his enemies.

My other question was that if he forgives and forgets, then why didn’t he forgive Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit? The whole world would have been in peace without death. My Bible teacher got irritated by my many questions, other students were getting impressed by my questions and the teacher was not amused. He had to cut me short and warned me to stop questioning God for he is wise enough to make a wrong decision. He said God can never be wrong, He makes no mistakes, He is all knowing! He quoted a line in the Bible saying it was wrong to know too much because at death I will be asked too much, and he said it was by only faith that I would be able to go to heaven. He said questions of that nature were from Satan and could not be allowed! From that day on I never asked any question and the Bible Study Program lost all meaning to me as well.

It was 2009 that I came to know about HALEA through school debates. I loved debates and I participated a lot in these debates. My best debate was when we discussed about homosexuality. It was during the time when there was a bill that supported the killing of homosexuals. Winning this particular debate after a great deal of research changed my attitude towards life. I realized that if one had an open mind to everything, better arguments would be developed even to what many think is the wrong thing to do.

From that debate, I learnt to stand my ground even if I was on the side which the majority hated. Being a student in a highly religious school and being a beneficiary of religious scholarship I was always expected to toe the side that was deemed holy, but this was never the case during debates. I was always on the ‘wrong’ side of debates such as the validity of miracles, the need to legalize abortion, prostitution and drugs. HALEA was always good in providing me with books to read, magazines from IHEU, articles from newspapers and they always answered my questions. I was always reading and asking questions and this kind of study sharpened my mind. I learnt to think about everything I heard, and I learnt to speak openly in public. It was a gradual process to embrace humanism and became a freethinker. I developed writing skills and begun writing articles that featured in the Open Talk Magazine. My Christian family was always asking questions and many started to doubt my commitment to God, surely, I was slowly losing the God touch, I was strongly embracing free thought. I become close to HALEA and I become one of the teens that benefited in the teens empowerment project. I recorded songs, learnt keyboard and guitar and I became a proud humanist, I would not fear to mention that indeed I am a humanist who lives in harmony with my religious friends and this is what humanism teaches us to do.

Today I am a membership director of both the Humanist Association for Leadership Equity and Accountability (HALEA) and the Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO) and I am an active member of IHEYO. I am happy and proud to have discovered Humanism, thank you HALEA, the school debates changed my thinking and made my life better.

Viola is a Membership Director of both HALEA and UHASSO, and is a Makerere University Student pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Music.[:ar]Namyalo Viola, YouthSpeak February

I grew up in a Christian Orphanage where praying was the most important thing, we couldn’t survive without prayers, every day we were told, it was God who provided for all and we could only be alive because God was on our side. In the morning before doing anything, it was a must to say lots of prayers. We prayed for God’s blessings, protection against accidents, against diseases and against Satan’s temptations. This was because going to heaven was the ultimate thing we all wanted. Thus from morning to evening, God was the main business, we prayed at home, at school and in the church.

I like singing, so I joined the worship team and I was a great worship leader from 2008 to 2010 and my best song was “My miracle is here and I won’t leave without it.” But here was the contradiction, whereas I liked church music so much, at the same time I realized that I was never impressed by the gospel being taught. I found it very boring and had so many questions that I felt went unanswered. Thus whenever the pastor was preaching I found myself sleeping amidst a sermon and to avoid embarrassment, I always walked out and joined other young people outside or went to the children’s church where I would again find myself singing. Being unable to concentrate in church soon put me in trouble. My behavior towards the gospel made my guardians worried and they called me for counseling.

​I defended myself by saying I was always tired since I could sing before the pastor preaches. My other defense was that the pastor allowed no questions to be asked and the absence of free exchange of ideas always made me get bored. Then my guardians argued that the way forward was to put in on the Bible Study Program. The elders promised to put a Bible study group at the Orphanage where I stayed so that I can get a chance to understand the Bible for I would get a chance ask questions.

The Bible study program was there every Monday evening. I religiously attended it and I learnt a lot from it. Through the Bible study I came to know more about the so many stories. One day the teacher taught about the creation story. He went like: “the Bible says, God has extra ordinary powers; he created the whole world by His word. He said let there be light, and the light came, let there be a human being in my image and everything was perfect by only His word”. It was at that point that I got so puzzled and put up my hand. My question to the teacher was, if God can make things by only his word, then why doesn’t he say let Satan die, since he is the main cause of disobedience among His children? I urged that we were always praying in the morning to ensure that Satan does not tempt us. I also said this was tiresome because somehow we always fell into Satan’s traps, yet the all powerful God could tame Satan, why then was God not doing his work properly? The answer was God is so merciful that he forgives and forgets and doesn’t wish death even on his enemies.

My other question was that if he forgives and forgets, then why didn’t he forgive Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit? The whole world would have been in peace without death. My Bible teacher got irritated by my many questions, other students were getting impressed by my questions and the teacher was not amused. He had to cut me short and warned me to stop questioning God for he is wise enough to make a wrong decision. He said God can never be wrong, He makes no mistakes, He is all knowing! He quoted a line in the Bible saying it was wrong to know too much because at death I will be asked too much, and he said it was by only faith that I would be able to go to heaven. He said questions of that nature were from Satan and could not be allowed! From that day on I never asked any question and the Bible Study Program lost all meaning to me as well.

It was 2009 that I came to know about HALEA through school debates. I loved debates and I participated a lot in these debates. My best debate was when we discussed about homosexuality. It was during the time when there was a bill that supported the killing of homosexuals. Winning this particular debate after a great deal of research changed my attitude towards life. I realized that if one had an open mind to everything, better arguments would be developed even to what many think is the wrong thing to do.

From that debate, I learnt to stand my ground even if I was on the side which the majority hated. Being a student in a highly religious school and being a beneficiary of religious scholarship I was always expected to toe the side that was deemed holy, but this was never the case during debates. I was always on the ‘wrong’ side of debates such as the validity of miracles, the need to legalize abortion, prostitution and drugs. HALEA was always good in providing me with books to read, magazines from IHEU, articles from newspapers and they always answered my questions. I was always reading and asking questions and this kind of study sharpened my mind. I learnt to think about everything I heard, and I learnt to speak openly in public. It was a gradual process to embrace humanism and became a freethinker. I developed writing skills and begun writing articles that featured in the Open Talk Magazine. My Christian family was always asking questions and many started to doubt my commitment to God, surely, I was slowly losing the God touch, I was strongly embracing free thought. I become close to HALEA and I become one of the teens that benefited in the teens empowerment project. I recorded songs, learnt keyboard and guitar and I became a proud humanist, I would not fear to mention that indeed I am a humanist who lives in harmony with my religious friends and this is what humanism teaches us to do.

Today I am a membership director of both the Humanist Association for Leadership Equity and Accountability (HALEA) and the Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO) and I am an active member of IHEYO. I am happy and proud to have discovered Humanism, thank you HALEA, the school debates changed my thinking and made my life better.

Viola is a Membership Director of both HALEA and UHASSO, and is a Makerere University Student pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Music.[:es]Namyalo Viola, YouthSpeak February

I grew up in a Christian Orphanage where praying was the most important thing, we couldn’t survive without prayers, every day we were told, it was God who provided for all and we could only be alive because God was on our side. In the morning before doing anything, it was a must to say lots of prayers. We prayed for God’s blessings, protection against accidents, against diseases and against Satan’s temptations. This was because going to heaven was the ultimate thing we all wanted. Thus from morning to evening, God was the main business, we prayed at home, at school and in the church.

I like singing, so I joined the worship team and I was a great worship leader from 2008 to 2010 and my best song was “My miracle is here and I won’t leave without it.” But here was the contradiction, whereas I liked church music so much, at the same time I realized that I was never impressed by the gospel being taught. I found it very boring and had so many questions that I felt went unanswered. Thus whenever the pastor was preaching I found myself sleeping amidst a sermon and to avoid embarrassment, I always walked out and joined other young people outside or went to the children’s church where I would again find myself singing. Being unable to concentrate in church soon put me in trouble. My behavior towards the gospel made my guardians worried and they called me for counseling.

​I defended myself by saying I was always tired since I could sing before the pastor preaches. My other defense was that the pastor allowed no questions to be asked and the absence of free exchange of ideas always made me get bored. Then my guardians argued that the way forward was to put in on the Bible Study Program. The elders promised to put a Bible study group at the Orphanage where I stayed so that I can get a chance to understand the Bible for I would get a chance ask questions.

The Bible study program was there every Monday evening. I religiously attended it and I learnt a lot from it. Through the Bible study I came to know more about the so many stories. One day the teacher taught about the creation story. He went like: “the Bible says, God has extra ordinary powers; he created the whole world by His word. He said let there be light, and the light came, let there be a human being in my image and everything was perfect by only His word”. It was at that point that I got so puzzled and put up my hand. My question to the teacher was, if God can make things by only his word, then why doesn’t he say let Satan die, since he is the main cause of disobedience among His children? I urged that we were always praying in the morning to ensure that Satan does not tempt us. I also said this was tiresome because somehow we always fell into Satan’s traps, yet the all powerful God could tame Satan, why then was God not doing his work properly? The answer was God is so merciful that he forgives and forgets and doesn’t wish death even on his enemies.

My other question was that if he forgives and forgets, then why didn’t he forgive Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit? The whole world would have been in peace without death. My Bible teacher got irritated by my many questions, other students were getting impressed by my questions and the teacher was not amused. He had to cut me short and warned me to stop questioning God for he is wise enough to make a wrong decision. He said God can never be wrong, He makes no mistakes, He is all knowing! He quoted a line in the Bible saying it was wrong to know too much because at death I will be asked too much, and he said it was by only faith that I would be able to go to heaven. He said questions of that nature were from Satan and could not be allowed! From that day on I never asked any question and the Bible Study Program lost all meaning to me as well.

It was 2009 that I came to know about HALEA through school debates. I loved debates and I participated a lot in these debates. My best debate was when we discussed about homosexuality. It was during the time when there was a bill that supported the killing of homosexuals. Winning this particular debate after a great deal of research changed my attitude towards life. I realized that if one had an open mind to everything, better arguments would be developed even to what many think is the wrong thing to do.

From that debate, I learnt to stand my ground even if I was on the side which the majority hated. Being a student in a highly religious school and being a beneficiary of religious scholarship I was always expected to toe the side that was deemed holy, but this was never the case during debates. I was always on the ‘wrong’ side of debates such as the validity of miracles, the need to legalize abortion, prostitution and drugs. HALEA was always good in providing me with books to read, magazines from IHEU, articles from newspapers and they always answered my questions. I was always reading and asking questions and this kind of study sharpened my mind. I learnt to think about everything I heard, and I learnt to speak openly in public. It was a gradual process to embrace humanism and became a freethinker. I developed writing skills and begun writing articles that featured in the Open Talk Magazine. My Christian family was always asking questions and many started to doubt my commitment to God, surely, I was slowly losing the God touch, I was strongly embracing free thought. I become close to HALEA and I become one of the teens that benefited in the teens empowerment project. I recorded songs, learnt keyboard and guitar and I became a proud humanist, I would not fear to mention that indeed I am a humanist who lives in harmony with my religious friends and this is what humanism teaches us to do.

Today I am a membership director of both the Humanist Association for Leadership Equity and Accountability (HALEA) and the Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO) and I am an active member of IHEYO. I am happy and proud to have discovered Humanism, thank you HALEA, the school debates changed my thinking and made my life better.

Viola is a Membership Director of both HALEA and UHASSO, and is a Makerere University Student pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Music.[:]

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