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Opinions of Friday, 27 April 2018

Columnist: Dr. Samuel Adjei Sarfo

We must worship the God of goodness and righteousness

One major task that faces the NPP government will be to change the religious mindset of the citizens of this country, otherwise, even under that government, no significant educational transformation can occur. As we speak, the people’s religion is of no use to themselves or to others, and yet there is no effort by anybody to stem this tide. Without any dividends to show for their existence and utility, the religious establishments have become a great source of massive exploitation of the people, while they enjoy their free tax status. This is not right. The churches and mosques must justify their use to the nation before they can continue to enjoy any tax benefits. As of now, we simply don’t know their use.

They simply goad on the devotees to believe in archaic books that were written by barbarian societies and savages thousands of years ago. And in as much as these books may contain a scintilla of human philosophy and moral values, they also contain serious self-destructive ideas like the abandonment of social and civic responsibility in anticipation that some power elsewhere will come down from above to solve all our problems for us. These books urge the hatred and destruction of our enemies and invest in the people prejudices against those who don’t think and believe as they do. They promote a cult of ignorance and indifference which require of us to jettison our thinking and obviate our rationality in order to become easy prey to the religious predators and mountebanks. They make us dependent on a god who will do nothing for us and yet takes everything from us……..For the most part, people have not even read any of the religious books at all, and therefore have no clue of their content except what somebody else has declared to be in there. If they ever get to read these books, they will be appalled!

And I need to repeat my caveat that I am not implying here that there is no God. I have experienced God enough to know that He exists, but I refuse to believe that he exists in the destructive manner in which He is described in any of those sacred books. Besides, I do not believe He exists in the manner being bandied about by either the ancient or modern prophets who now constitute themselves into his deputies. These deputies are just parasites whose main purpose in life is to dominate the people’s psyche in order to take away their wealth.

Indeed, the real God ought to be the God of goodness and righteousness, and goodness and righteousness ought to be the real God. The sum of our obligation to the God of our progress is, therefore, to pursue goodness and righteousness right here on earth. In this view, God simply becomes the totality of all the goodness and righteousness that exist in the world, and we are at one with Him when we perform all the goodness and righteousness we know. Thus, our duty to God, as devotees to him, is to learn of all goodness and righteousness in order to perform them to His glory. We must learn to be kind to others, to eschew corruption both in the body and soul, to be impartial and objective in our judgement of others, to be devoted to the requirements of the job for which we are paid, to be well behaved towards people not of our tribe and social status or even sexual orientation, to refrain from bribery and lies and envy, and to be the very best citizens in the country in which we live.

Apart from goodness and righteousness, anything else we do, or have faith in or believe in is totally useless, and we are wasting our physical, intellectual and economic resources if we follow after these faiths and beliefs. If we do, our fate will not be any different from all those biblical band of robbers who built their nation by following a god that they claimed chose them and told them to go plunder and slaughter others for their lands and wealth; and to enslave others who they considered to be their enemies, and therefore also the enemies of their god.

And how can this God be a good and righteous God if he indeed excluded all others from his grace and even ordered the stoning of others for the flimsy excuse that they worked on the Sabbath day, or that they committed adultery; or that they blasphemed against his name; or that they failed to bring their livestock to be burned for him so He can sniff with pleasure the aroma of their sacrifices while his people fed on toxic quail and died in the wilderness?

No doubt that this nation that was built on self-destructive ideas was wiped off from the surface of the earth, a fact that is still unbeknownst to those who follow the religion and edicts of these people. In the end, their own prophets cursed them out and united with their nation’s enemies to sell them all into captivity in Babylon and elsewhere. They, in turn, slaughtered the prophets even as they were driven out of the land they had stolen from others and were dispersed among the nations. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, among many others, were all brutally killed. Of the eight people that wrote the New Testament, every one of them was martyred and died a horrifying death, except John, who survived the miserable life of being boiled in oil and thrown off the mining island of Patmos.

The point I am making here today is that those who followed the barbarian and savage edicts in the sacred books, together with their prophets, perished from the surface of the earth because the kind of religion they practised naturally led to the consequences they suffered. That religion had nothing to do with being good to others or being righteous in their personal lives. It promoted contrarian habits against the nation and fostered extreme hatred and obnoxious conduct in the lives of the devotees.

So the idea of worshipping that type of revengeful God that demands opulent rituals and empty sacrifices that are inimical to national development ought to be repudiated in our time, and in his place, we must substitute the God of goodness and righteousness. If we don’t, we will surely perish even as all those who followed that ancient god perished.

Samuel Adjei Sarfo, J.D., is a general legal practitioner in Austin, Texas, USA. You can email him at sarfoadjei@yahoo.com