There is a problem with hypocrisy deeply embedded within the fabric of most religions, which starts from the process of ‘cherry-picking’ – by which the religious go through their holy books and adhere to some laws and ignore others.
A great example is the Christian attitude to divorce and homo-s*xuality. Jesus ranted and raved about divorce and never mentioned the gays – but Christians, who claim we now live under the ‘grace’ of Jesus, hate gays with a passion yet get divorced themselves all the time with no compunction.
That first, great sin of cherry-picking leads to other, less pronounced little sins of hypocrisy sprinkled all through the religion. And whether preachers or followers, none are immune to it.
Dr Mensa Otabil is one of the most respected preachers in the country. And he speaks a lot of sense, all things considered – but the fact he’s a massive hypocrite makes him lose all credibility when he makes such sensible pronouncements.
Stay with me.
The founder and head pastor of the International Central Gospel Church, Otabil has been quoted complaining about the attitude of Ghanaians concerning change.
Speaking at the annual National convocation of the Springboard Roadshow; 2017 edition – Otabil said whilst the world moves forward in its thinking and innovation, Ghanaians have decided to hold onto the past in the name of ‘culture’ and ‘tradition’.
According to him, that greatly hampers our growth as a nation.
“…We want the rules to always be the same, and when the rules change we complain……20 years, 50 years ago, the rules were like this, they have to bring it back …..when the rules change, and the configuration changes, we spend the rest of our time complaining about the change which has happened, and never studying how to play the new game,” he said.
“…We always want to go backwards into what we comfortably call “culture”, this is our culture, this is how we were before the white man messed us up, this is how we used to dress before they messed us up, this is how we used to manage our lives….this is the biggest reason why we are not able to play the game with the rest of the world.
“When the game changes, you need to change along, until you are able to do that, you will always be behind and if we do that, I guarantee you, Ghana can change in the next 10 years. For us as Africans, we have to learn to quickly learn, quickly move, quickly adapt, when the rules of the world changes, the economic rules change, the global rules change, the trade rules change, we still play it the same…so policy makers can’t even think”
The massive hypocrisy embedded into the statement is so obvious I’m amazed anybody is praising Otabil for uttering these words.
Otabil, in the past, has instructed his congregation to disregard scientific findings if they aren’t compatible with what the bible teaches. Science,and the massive leaps in technology it brings – is the reason why the world has made such magnificent progress in the past two centuries.
The change Otabil is claiming we don’t embrace is simply scientific, fact based thinking.
So when the good preacher wants to bash gays, he instructs his congregation to disregard research and the scientific method – then he turns around and berates Ghanaians for holding onto the old ways and not being willing to embrace changes in the world. What shows someone clinging to old ways than you, Otabil, holding up a book from millennia ago and claiming it contains more sense than empirical, demonstrable truths unearthed via the scientific method in this century.
Otabil is a dinosaur, and a hypocrite – if he wants Ghana to progress he should teach his congregation to respect science from his hugely influential pulpit and help build a literate citizenry who do not believe any nonsense someone tells them. No country is going anywhere without science, enlightened education and innovation – he got that right – but he can’t call for Ghanains to disregard science and cling to the old ways in one breathe and then complain about Ghanaians disregarding science and clinging to the old ways in another.