Is Religion The Bane Of Our Development?

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Let’s keep this really simple – our continent has adopted two foreign religions, which are diametrically opposed to each other. Their gods are mutually exclusive and hating of each other, the inevitable consequence being that we are engaged in perpetual ethno-religious conflicts in the name of these gods.

The West tried religion and abandoned it after centuries of religious conflicts, diseases and stagnation. It embraced science and has since landed man on the moon.

By its nature, religion is reliant on superstitions and does not encourage critical thinking. Thanks to science, Man is now exploring other planets for signs of life, whiles the Blackman is engaged in narrow-mindedness.

We Africans love these foreign religions and are not about to let go anytime soon. Heck, we even nearly produced the pope in the person of Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson.

We have a global reputation for religious zealousness and now proudly export religion to the rest of the world; never mind science, technology, philosophy, innovations or any of the ideals of progressive societies.

Some of us vehemently oppose the separation of state and religion and will die to defend theocracy. Some have gone farther and have imposed this expansionist system of government on secular states without a referendum.

Now our men of God have taking on a new assignment. They are the vessel through which God reveal bad news to his people. Their counterparts in other part of the world unfortunately do not receive these news. When the world is thinking and engaged in moving forward, our men of God have become doomsday Sayers.

We know very well that the modus operandi of expansionism is ‘give us an inch and we’ll demand a mile’. Needless to say, any form of resistance to this expansionist ideology leads inexorably to conflicts.

The black race is like the biblical ‘house divided against itself’, which cannot stand. This is why development has eluded us and the mention of ‘Africa’ conjures up images of darkness, wars, hunger and diseases, just tune into CNN, BBC and Aljazeera, all you see is pictures of backward people, surrounded by under-development. After all is that not what our Pastors see, as signs from God.

Some have even started feeling heaviness in their hearts. I will advice they see their doctor before things get out hand.

I am tempted to agree with the Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt, when he said that “People see visions when they have high fever and it is difficult to tell if these prophecies are due to high fever or real. I have personally had pastor prophecy doom about me and nothing happened so I have doubt about some of these prophecies”.

We continue to plod along, praying and fasting to God for a miraculous solution, simply because we have failed to think.

I can see the appeal of religion; it gives people hope, which in itself is not a bad thing, especially when one considers the hopelessness of leadership on our continent. But religion is not innocuous. It engenders mental laziness and divisions and, is a potent tool for mental enslavement.

How can our society thrive when our universities have seemingly become places where our bright future leaders graduate as religious zealots?

How will we advance if the bond of religious fraternity supersedes natural kinship? In what way does it advance us when we wish this country burn to ashes in the name of religion? How are we supposed to have the favour of God when our so-called men of God have also become politicians?
And now visions are also seen in political colours.

To conclude, I believe that religion is a besetting problem for Ghanaians and that it’s negative influences are not fully appreciated or grasped. We have become a bunch of lazy people, who depends on God for everything, to the extent that we can’t think. If we really do think, some men in ropes today will be better off doing something.

Our men of God depend on our ignorance for their survival. Just scream you have a vision and people will start following you, without asking the simple question Kwesi Pratt asked, “Is the person experiencing high fever”

Africa will remain the Dark Continent until its people can unite, rise above all forms of self-inflicted bigotry and learn to put the interest of their countries over and beyond those of their political paymasters.

Until then, it seems to me that the debate on why Africa is backward will go on for a long time and not many will disagree with former South African President, P.W Botha or the statements credited to him to the effect that Africans cannot rule themselves.

”By now every one of us has seen it practically that the Blacks cannot rule themselves. Give them guns and they will kill each other. They are good in nothing else but making noise, dancing, marrying many wives and indulging in sex. Let us all accept that the Black man is the symbol of poverty, mental inferiority, laziness and emotional incompetence.

Indeed we have been given the Bible, and we are now confusing ourselves and leading each other asray.

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