Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Should Ghanaian Politicians Keep Religion Out Of The Business Of Governing Ghana?

Truly religious people, whatever their faith, are marvellous human beings. They are such a delight to be with.

They are invariably honest, considerate, kind and gentle people, who clearly treat their fellow humans as they themselves want to be treated, by others. Always.

Any country that has a significant number of such truly religious individuals making up a large proportion of its total population, is bound to be one in which crime is not so widespread - and the most disadvantaged do not suffer unduly: once their plight comes to the  notice of their fellow citizens.

There is, however, a sound reason why the most successful and enduring democracies insist on the seperation of the religious sphere from the difficult and often contentious business of governing nation-states.

The question is: In a world in which there are many religious faiths, which particular one should we choose, as the official state religion for our homeland Ghana - without other religions feeling discriminated against: and being deeply resentful of it?

That is the conundrum we avoid by not choosing any particular faith or religion as the official state religion of the Republic of Ghana - but rather have a Constitution that guarantees freedom of worship for the adherants of all religious faiths in our country. It makes for peaceful coexistence.

One has no objection to one's nation's political leaders being deeply religious people, since most deeply religious people, whatever their faith, are often very good human beings - and good human beings are seldom corrupt individuals.

However, it is important that those who lead our nation do not come under the influence of mad, bad and dangerous 'prophets' - who seek wealth, power and influence in society by  manipulating otherwise sound-minded politicians: who then come to see them as spiritual guides.

I was deeply offended to hear our current President being slandered and maligned on Peace FM by a clearly unhinged 'prophet' who - amongst many bizzare utterances - claimed  that he was 'spiritually' cleansing the seat of our government, the Flagstaff House (which an obviously 'evil' President Mahama had 'tied up spiritually'), in readiness for its takeover by the President-elect. Imagine that. Pure nonsense on bamboo stilts.

I did not quite catch his name (Kwame or Kofi Tawiah if I remember correctly), but he was on a religious programme aired on Peace FM at dawn today, where his scandalous early morning religious programme full of inanities and vitroil was mercifully followed immediately by that of the Ghanaian global head of the worldwide Church of Pentecost, Pastor Dr. Opoku Onyinah - a refreshingly sane pastor and logical thinker whose words of wisdom always inspire one.

Our nation's leaders, like ordinary people all over Ghana, are free to consult religious leaders of their choice - and to believe in the 'prophesies' they make. That is their constitutional right.

In the same vein, we must also agree that the Bishop Owusu-Bempahs in our midst may genuinely think that God actually speaks directly to them about coming events, and are free to publicise what they claim God tells them - even though there are many who regard such 'prophets' as delusional.

Still, publicising the voices they hear is their constitutional right too - just as it is the constitutional right of some us to WhatsApp God  Almighty directly ourselves (or send Him/Her text messages and emails for that matter) to have conversations  with Him/Her whenever we feel the need to do so.

That way some of us can cut out the fruit-and-nutcake-control-freaks parading as 'bishops' and 'prophets' - and thereby prevent them from interfering in our most intimate interactions with The Almighty God. Hallelujah.

However, it is vital that those  who lead our country stick to the concept of seperation of Church and State, when taking decisions that affect the destiny of our nation and all its people.

They must never forget that Ghanaians did not cast votes for 'mallams' and  'prophets' to rule the Republic of Ghana through backdoor channels.

That is why some of us resent the fact that in 21st century Ghana sundry dubious characters - be they 'mallams' or 'prophets' - who are clearly schizophrenic can determine how our nation is governed because  they have a hold on some politicians. That is simply intolerable.

Who can possibly verify all the endless nonsense that some 'prophets' tell us about their interpretations of dreams and the goings-on in their so-called  'sumsumu spiritual realm'?

Those who have just been elected to govern our country must understand clearly that voters did not cast votes for them to enable unhinged Gregoire Rasputin-type 'prophets' rule the Republic of Ghana through the backdoor.

Our nation's elected leaders are free to venerate 'mallams' and 'prophets'  if they so desire, but let them keep  'mallams' and prophesying nutcake 'bishops' out of the business of governing the Republic of Ghana. This is a democracy, not a theocracy. Period.

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