Opinions Fri, 18 Jun 2010

The Analogy of JJ’s cleaning of Ghana to Jesus’ cleaning of the Temple

The analogy of JJ’s cleaning of Ghana to Jesus’ cleaning of the temple is one that is absolutely ridiculous and fallacious and should be condemned by people of faith and Christians in particular. This analogy is baselessly employed to justify the coup and killing of the “wrong-doers” by the “holy man” and may serve as a very bad precedent to some illogical minds.

The biblical story as told in John 2: 13 – 16 is very simple and clear. As Passover was nearing, Jesus was in Jerusalem and in the temple found men selling animals and trading money. Jesus was displeased with the behavior of the men. He made a whip of cords and forced the men and the animals out of the temple. The teaching herein is that the temple was a place of worship and not a marketplace.

One may question the appropriateness of Jesus’ actions in the temple but I doubt that very young minds in Sunday schools will struggle for an interpretation of this biblical story. Remember that Jesus was God’s son, and the temple was the house of God so Jesus had authority over his father’s house. Therefore if Jesus goes to his father’s house and observes men with unbecoming conduct he has every authority to eject them. Jesus did not kill them; he did not cause any permanent damage; he did not destroy families; he did not steal from others. Jesus had a lesson: That the temple is a holy place for prayers and worship.

The stupidity of the analogy is self-evident. JJ broke the law and overthrew a government via a coup-de-tat. The behavior of JJ and his crew were inexcusable. They did not have any authority and their conduct was inappropriate. In the process blood was shed; many people were abused, tortured and killed; families were destroyed; businesses were terminated; confiscation of assets and property theft were very common. The untold suffering of many will live permament scars for generations to come. So no, “JJ is no Jesus”.

What lesson is there to be learnt? That, if you are unhappy with your government or leadership you rise up in arms and overthrow the government? Is that the precedent for the youth of today who overtake public facilities at any moment of displeasure with the government or leadership? Are we telling our people to take up to the streets and demonstrate at any feeling of dissatisfaction?

It is about time people grow up and think for themselves and not fall to the silly ploys of the politicians. Remember that the politicians will always come to the poorest amongst us, to the underprivileged, to the deserted ones, and give false promises of hope. Unlike Jesus, the politicians will not tell the truth. They will not tell you to get an education, and that with hard work and determination there is the potential for a brighter future. Look at the “big men” and their children. They are businessmen, lawyers, doctors, accountants, engineers, to name a few. Whilst their kids go to the best schools within and outside the country, they live “you and yours” in the hands of the failing public schools.

So tell me why the analogy of JJ’s cleaning of Ghana to Jesus’ cleaning of the temple is not nonsensical. Jesus did not own any property? Can we say same for JJ? Jesus led an ordinary and simple life. Can we say same about JJ? I have no problem with ownership of property and I don’t think the anger of Jesus in the temple was more about the trading of goods than the venue for the trade. What I detest is the “Holier Than Thou” attitude of JJ.

Jesus led an exemplary life. He showed his followers the way and the truth. What good does JJ do the youth of Ghana when he preaches about probity and accountability without adhering to his own principles? People have questioned the source of JJ’s wealth for years but yet JJ’s preference is for nondisclosure. People are curious to know how JJ is able to finance his children’s education abroad and the lifestyle of his family. But for years the “big man” has remained silent while trashing others of corruption and embezzlement. Do we know of the business dealings of JJ and his wife? Are there any? And if there are any and they are not disclosed, won’t it amass to hypocrisy? What standards is JJ setting for probity and accountability? Good talk and speeches alone are not enough. Jesus talked, Jesus practiced. My belief is that good exemplary life wins the hearts and respect of many!

Listen to JJ: “It is the criminals, the murderers, the killers, the cocaine dealers who are not qualified to be where they are who should be afraid of June 4….”.I find this piece very interesting and disheartening. Is JJ saying that none of the perpetrators or sympathizers of June 4 fit such profile: criminals, murderers, killers and cocaine dealers? Remember that coup-de-tats were illegal and against the law and therefore a crime? Remember people stole from others and raped young girls and women? Remember the era of kidnappings, firing squads and murders? Remember alcohol use and marijuana smoking if not cocaine? Remember the days when free speech and freedom of the press were nonexistent? If you want what is right, then do what is right.

Another JJ line: “…the beauty of justice is that it cleanses the soul of the nation….”. I reflected over this line and I think I agree with JJ. Very true. My question: Did JJ and his boys provide justice to his peers and Ghanaians during the revolutionary days? Has the actions of JJ cleansed the soul of Ghanaians? If the response is no then JJ did not provide the justice he now preaches to Ghanaians and so the soul of the nation remain uncleansed. In an attempt to avoid any investigation of the criminal activities and prosecution of JJ and his boys, the partisan framers succeeded in enshrining in the laws of the nations clauses that immuned JJ and his men from any prosecution. Yet, JJ wants others to be held accountable for their actions. This is sheer hyprocrisy.

JJ is “No Jesus”. It is an undeniable truth that JJ has a very large following. There is no doubt in my mind that the followers of JJ believe every word that he says. To most, his words are GOSPEL TRUTH. JJ should therefore be truthful and honest to his followers. If Ghanaians and the world will take JJ serious as a very fair minded individual, then it behooves JJ to lead a good exemplary life. Be mindful of your choice of words; disclose your assets and the source of your assets; own up to your past wrong doings and apologize for your misdeeds. People will accept your apologies because you are not GOD or Jesus and like all of US, you “screw up”.

Kofi Akoto Yankey, New York


Columnist: Yankey, Kofi Akoto