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Opinions of Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Columnist: Mensah, Kent

Is God a footballer?

Ghanaians are naturally religious. And on a normal Sunday like this you see neatly dressed people holding their Holy Bibles and other Bible-based books either in their hands or under their armpits heading for Church.

However, today is different. It looks like a Friday or Saturday when people are preparing for league matches. Yet the Bibles are still present. People are massively going to church but in a different style. The priests and church members are draped in the national colours of red, yellow and green.

The church buildings even look like political rally grounds. Billboard size flags of Ghana are flying high with church members even carrying miniature flags of Ghana whiles others tie their necks with theirs.

Discussions from home into the church auditorium have been dominated by tonight?s Ghana ? Nigeria quarter-final duel. Ghanaians are very hopeful and optimistic that God is going to listen to their plea.

Even those who have not stepped foot in the church auditorium for months are the first to reach the church premises before the gates are opened. Sadly, they are not going for repentance but to ask God for victory.

That?s a positive mindset and attitude. But for once I think my fellow Ghanaians are getting it wrong. Even the so called religious leaders have failed to acknowledge what I am trying to point out.

God is not partial. God is not a father of one nation or person. For this reason God does not listen to such prayers to favour a team, country or a group or race in a football match. It is sheer ignorance and hypocrisy to dress in national colours like going to a political rally to outwit God to favour the Black Stars.

Though it is my believe and conviction that the Black Stars will shine tonight, my understanding of the Bible does not teach me to pray for God?s favour during football matches. It?s a game and it could go either side. The Nigerians too believe in God and are also praying. Whose prayer do we expect God to listen? What happens if the Black Stars lose? Would such Christians blame God or Satan the devil?

Please let?s celebrate but take religion out of football for God does not discriminate.

?For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him,? Acts 10: 34, 35.

I wish the Black Stars success.

Kent Mensah, Accra.

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