In the coming years, the role of the religious bodies will continue to be the progressive attrition of the people’s mental faculties, and the appropriation of their sense of logic and rationality. The country should therefore to entertain the illusion that it will benefit from its religious disposition.
I know this because a couple months ago some Baptist religious leaders approached me here in Austin (U.S.A) to help them set up a church. I set out clear conditions for them: I said that should the church focus on messages that would transform the lives of its members into responsible citizens whereby they would become honest, patriotic and decent people, I would happily help them to plant their church.
However, if they were going to preach abstractions about how the blood of Jesus washed away our sins and cleansed us of all evil; or how he was coming back to take us to the heavens, then I was not going to be part of their religious movement. I short, I requested for a commitment to practical Christianity as a pre-condition for helping them plant their Baptist Church here in Austin.
The leader of the group who had a Phd in Theology, replied that the church was rooted in the tradition of faith and belief in Christ and that they could not refuse to preach about the forgiveness of their sins or the return of God’s Kingdom. He also emphasized that social work was not part of their priority and that the salvation of the soul was their essential work on earth.
The foregoing reflects the general attitude of all religious bodies and is enough testimony that they will not be part of any positive social transformation of the society. At first they will continue to be parasites that bleed the society for their sole advantage and profit while preaching empty messages in which they themselves are too smart to believe.
But the churches, mosques and traditional shrines were exempted from taxation because governments found compelling reasons to conclude that these bodies helped in imbibing morality in the citizens and improving the lives of people. But when viewed using the standards, these religious institutions have miserable failed.
In Ghana for example, religious shenanigans, coupled with the desecration of the social fabric, make it obvious that religious organizations have positive impact on the character of the people. If anything at all, they are at the cornerstone of the rot in the social fabric, prompting corruption, laziness, superstition and rogue behavior among the population. Most Ghanaians involved in corrupt dealings pay huge tithes to churches which in turn shields them from exposure. Citizens spend vast amounts of time in religious worship centres where they hallucinate that their prayers and fasting will turn around their lives in which they have invested nothing. Within the religious bodies themselves, a huge blanket of superstition has been imposed on the minds of the citizens wherefore they are made to believe in the dreams and hallucinations of people that died thousands of years ago.
As a matter of facts, the churches and religious organizations condone rogue behavior in families and communities by failing to educate their members on the natural consequences of their bad behavior. Rather, they are in the habit of ascribing all the misfortunes that happen to their members to the spiritual activities of their relatives: their mothers, sisters, aunts or stepchildren.
The religious bodies have also abolished independent thinking and logical reasoning and substituted them with beliefs and faith which have ensured that our people do not ask any questions. As a matter of fact, the people have been made to believe that the fewer questions they ask, the more devoted they are in their worship of God.
So, we have a situation where the religious bodies have inflicted irreversible psychological damage on the generality of the people, making their minds too soft. The result is that most of the citizens give a huge part of their moneys to these churches in the mistaken belief that they are donating their monies to God. Meanwhile, the leaders of these churches have been very lavish in their ostentations living as a result of the money they fleeced from their members. They are building their multi-million mansions and buying their expensive jets and luxury cars without doing anything else or the society
Under these circumstances, it is obvious that the religious bodies no longer functions within the terms of operation that motivated governments to exempt them from taxation. They are strictly engaged in for profit businesses wherein they are selling mere vapor to the population. In a very strict sense, the Ghanaian people will be better off without these religious bodies that have deprived them of their capacity to think, turning them into mummified goons and lobotomized idiots that are always looking up into skies for their salvation.
Religion is at the foundation of the ossification of the peoples’ minds, making it conceivable that our citizen’s if allowed to exist for another thousand years, will not be able to become creative or innovative, as long as the reference point for their lifestyles are that of those who lived thousands of years ago in a foreign land far away from ours. Therefore those who are promoting religions in this country are simply not helping to improve lives or advocating the national progressive agenda. They are just advancing their own selfish interest which is the mere exploitation of the masses for gargantuan profits.
But one could also argue that as long as these religious leaders are there for free, there is not much that the government can do to stop them. After all, ours is a free, secular nation with prophylactic remedies for the free exercise of the manner of religions, or for the non-exercise of any religion.
But what we are arguing is that the churches and religious bodies must pay their share of taxes. Whatever was the initial reason for exempting religious bodies from taxation has attenuated over time, and as we speak, they are aggressively engaged in money-making. They are engaged in the rapacious corralling of the masses for their moneys which they in turn spend in opulent lifestyles. That is why they must be taxed as everybody else that does business for profit. After all, the wages of sin are not exempted from taxation.
Moreover, those who are not preaching to transform lives right here on earth have no faith in what they are preaching to others; and their real intent is to mislead others in order to take a large chunk of their incomes. I know this because I studied religion at the advanced levels, and those who study religion at advanced levels are always made to understand that there is nobody coming from anywhere to change anything. Thus, all that are being preached in those religious gatherings are mere lies, designed to give a degree of comfort to those who need the clutches of religions, or those who profit thereby.
Our government should therefore not hesitate to take its share of this money, if only to reserve the deleterious effects of religion on the minds of the government could enter into a quid pro quo arrangement wherefore these religious bodies will show clear and convincing evidence of their social work in their communities for reciprocal tax exemption.