I’m Mad As Hell

Wed, 2 Nov 2011 Source: Oduro, E. K.

Religion they say is the opium of the people.

It serves as a way out in times of pain. It gives sense to the most complicated life issues which are difficult to explain. To Ghanaians however, religion has become more than opium. It has become cocaine and we are super high on it including a president who travels to a different nation to seek a miracle or whatever he was searching for. It has totally dissipated our brain cells. After reading a Ghanaweb article about self –imposed archbishop Duncan Williams brandishing his wealth, I could only think of the classic 1976 movie Network. Anyone familiar with this Sidney Lumert’s movie knows of the famous quote, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore”. Yes that is exactly how I felt and feel about the arrogance and disrespect of these cartoon characters as my nephew calls them fake people.

Time and again we’ve witnessed these idiots who call themselves pastors or men of God rub their noses in our faces and constantly giving us the middle fingers and these wonderful church members never seem to get the hint. I honestly believe there are some few honest pastors who are willing to do their job in accordance to the “good book” and go their way to help the underserved in our societies. It really doesn’t take a 4th grade education to discern the helpers from the idiots. God or Allah or whoever blesses those who provide health aides, food, shelter and education to those who can’t afford them. This article is by no means a judgment on religion. I’m not here to affirm or deny the existence of God. I really don’t care what u worship or believe in. It could be Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus or the Virgin Mary. I believe that our religious beliefs should be personal and individualistic. I only care for the golden rule; Do unto others as you want others to do unto you. All the other rituals ; praying in tongues, chanting, burning candles and lining pastors pockets with cash doesn’t mean a thing to me. Ghana is perpetually becoming a nation dependent on some few hacks who claim to be mediums through which a super natural being communicates to us the people. We tend to idolize these people as “God” himself and see them to be so sacred that we shiver at the thought of criticizing them. Well I guess I’m going to be cursed because I’ve had it with this nonsense. It seems like the religious identity of the colonial powers that brought us our most cherished and holy religion only to enslave us left a lasting imprint on our culture. Generations after slavery ended, we see these J.S.S pastors carry out their own form of psychological slavery. Except for the few good ones, most of these loons sleep with our women, tell them false prophecies and pathetically steal from them. It’s just laughable how blatant and open this thievery is and yet we fail to acknowledge it let alone act on it. Ghanaian churches by themselves are a replica of the polarized society in which we live. The haves who owns the Mercedes’, big houses and whose kids go to the fanciest of schools seem to get special treatment even in the house of God. Literally, the size of your anointing oil depends on the size of your pocket.

The mean streets of Accra and Kumasi can devour any one. People are facing hard times. People are desperate and have an everlasting search for utopia. These hustlers or men of God smells these desperations and preys on them. Go to the markets on Friday and tell me how many women are still working at noon. Chances are they are at one of these J.S.S pastors houses receiving “counseling and deliverance”. Lol. What a joke. By the way friends, don’t ask me about your unpaid school fees. Ask your mom. She donated it towards the pastors new BMW. It’s amazing how most of these guys who can barely spell out their names embellish themselves with the most ridiculous titles. Dr. Bishop, apostle, prophet (get the picture?). They amass riches, hire bodyguards and act invincible. In Duncan Williams case, the rarest perfume which cannot be bought in Ghana. Enough blaming these idiots. Let’s take a good portion of the blame. A current trend with Ghanaians in the diaspora is paying pastors in Ghana to fast and pray for them. Are we really that naïve and simplistic? Are we capable of thinking beyond tying our shoe laces? We choose to live a life that rivals the devil. We go to all night clubs, party like rock stars and sleep indiscriminately with whoever is willing to participate. We tend to be so pre occupied with sin that we delegate pastors in Ghana to seek God’s favor on our behalf. We allow our animalistic tendencies to consume us and sin without regret but always ready to invoke the “I’m only human and not perfect” defense. Total hypocrisy.

Folks we can keep funding this extravagant lifestyle of people like Duncan Williams who calls himself “big papa”. We might as well call him biggie. Biggie smalls. These characters will keep sending their kids to the Harvards and Browns of the world whilst their financiers send their kids to the suhum training colleges of the world. As “big papa” puts it, “as Christians, you should wear the best of clothes, drive in expensive cars and live in comfortable houses so that the glory of God be seen in your life because the God you worship is very expensive.” Now folks ask yourselves, do you really believe this guy will go without food to pray for you? Keep dreaming. Wow. Chineke! Well people, I do agree with him though. I advice you keep your monies to yourselves, take your kids to the best schools you can afford and don’t contribute a dime to his undeserved lifestyle. I guess this explains why churches collect multiple collections at a single service. Because God is expensive. It sure isn’t coming from my pocket. Folks its simple. We all know good from wrong. Good is universal. Do good and good will come unto you. Wisen up people. I’m just mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore. Out of the same movie is another quote. “I want you to get mad too”.

E.K. Oduro (Albany New York) ekoduro1@hotmail.com

Columnist: Oduro, E. K.