Observations From An Election Year & The Church
I was in a church on Saturday and again on Sunday. It was the last First Sunday of the month, and across the country Ghanaian Christians gave millions of cedis [$$] to various churches to thank god for seeing them through the year.
What you do with your money is up to you but it was shocking to see how convinced most worshipers are about the need to give money to thank god for seeing them through the year, claiming harvest. Y’all ain’t farmers!
My point is The Church has a huge responsibility in this country and I’m not sure if these institutions are aware of their influence. Millionaire pastors who own private jets and yachts are a thing across West Africa. Compelling enough, many churches educated members about positive voting practices. I sat in one such service a few weeks back.
Tomorrow is Election Day in Ghana. School is cancelled. Some businesses have closed through the week and everyone is preaching peaceful elections. I don’t see the outcome being anything other than peaceful; however a good amount of those with foreign visas have forfeited their votes and left the country. Don’t take this last bit too seriously.
But back to the bit on the amount of money given as harvest, I was completely shocked at how convinced people believed in the institution of their church and God. I mean I’ve always known this about Ghanaians but being present here has given me a refreshed understanding of how committed people are to their Pentecosts, Methodists and Assemblies of Gods. Let’s not get started on the charismatic and evangelical religious spaces!!
In that sense, my wish is that Ghanaians would be more active in the lay out and delivery of some of the infrastructure necessary for fruitful nation building, while relying less on the government for all of these deliveries. And due to the unparalleled influence of the church across the country, the church could lead a substantial amount of these processes.
I staunchly believe that if the case had been that Ghanaians should pay a levy to fix the roads that lead to their various businesses or homes, wallets wouldn’t have readily flown open as it did when it came to being a cheerful giver for God. After all, isn’t there something in the Bible about God helping those who help themselves? But you didn’t hear that from me.
My people will happily build churches but not roads, or schools — don’t quote me on the school part; some communities have done it.
It’s just really interesting how this all plays out. The church could have a massive role in organizing and delivering more services across the country, considering the citizen give more money to churches than they pay taxes. Quote me on that.
Plus you know churches and other religious institutions don’t pay taxes, right?
The unfortunate thing is the amount of unskilled jobs and under-the-table compensations highly outweigh formal jobs and salaried payments through banks and other formal financial institutions, which would otherwise ensure tax collection from the masses.
Churches get their own, what about the government from which we demand everything?
Side note: I’m very interested in the idea of testing out something like The New Deal as done in America during the Great Depression. Particularly referring to the projects of the Works Progress Administration in creating jobs to build public infrastructures such as roads, hospitals, post offices and the likes. It would be a way to reduce the massive amounts of unemployment across the nation, in addition to building many of the much needed infrastructure.
I’m probably going on about the roads because my car got stuck in a bump going uphill this Saturday. A taxi driver had to come save me. Imagine my frustration!
Image via Google