|The clergy missing the point so publicly|
The purported morbidly virulent spread of homosexuality(and lesbianism) in contemporary Ghana seems to have generated so much tension under the cassock and the clerical collar that needed an outlet if our ecclesiastical class was to maintain their sanity and sanctimoniousness. A press confab helmed by the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) last week provided the very welcome escape vent. In a rather terse almost coarsely worded statement read by Rev. Dr. Deegbe(a nice gentleman on any day it must be said) our clergy excoriated homosexuality and painted in vivid strokes the hell fire the Christian God will visit on our already burning Republic if this sexual aberration(by their lights) was allowed protection under Ghana’s laws. As if to underscore their seriousness and flaunt their power our prelates then left their sacerdotal enclaves and ventured into the very choppy political waters: “Christians reject any presidential candidate who shows any tolerance for gays.”
It is proper that Ghana’s clergy and the CCG for that matter show concern for the weighty challenges confronting our Republic. And to be sure it has an enviable record of doing so. On this matter however I argue that the CCG went on an emotional rollercoaster and vacated its long storied very cerebral approaches to national questions. The first victim of all this was the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. In its letter and spirit our constitution guarantees the running of a secular (not a theocratic) state in which the rights of saints, buffoons, shysters, drifters, punks and even Lucifer are protected so long as the legitimate interests of others are not interfered with by the exercise of these rights. And such rights include the choice (or not) of one’s preferred sexual orientation. Of course this position collides with Section 104(1) (b) of the Criminal Code and its criminalization of unnatural carnal knowledge which itself raises a plethora of definitional and constitutional issues. The reality however is clear: Ghana is a secular state in which citizens have their legitimate rights (including sexual rights) protected by law. At a deeper level what the CCG may be grappling with is Ghana’s choice of Western liberal democracy as a system of government and its implications and tensions vis-à-vis Africa’s cosmogony and ontology. If this is the case then it is fair to say that CCG created a straw man and bayoneted it.
The second point for me is that as it engaged in this pontification the CCG exposed metaphorically the rear of the church itself. What can be more worrying lately than the rise of charlatans in sacerdotal vestments who: prey gleefully on the pudenda of married women and minors; engage in open adultery; manufacture miracles that exist in their minds only and which they conjure by sleight of hand; preach day and night a materialist dogma that has come to supplant the Gospel and luxuriate in wealth and splendor from money extorted from their emaciated and captive flock; have morphed into an untouchable caste with a phalanx of body guards who are making claims on our elected officials and those who are aspiring to be elected? The CCG must find the unity and intensity (and publicly so and with clear sanctions as it has done with the homosexuality issue) to show its ire on these issues and indeed deal decisively with these contradictions within her fold if it is to be taken seriously. To my mind God’s wrath may rain down quicker on Ghana in copious doses of hot, sulphuric bursts of hell fire if such Bible wielding mountebanks are not dealt with quickly as opposed to the CCG losing hair over what two consenting adults do with their lower extremities in their private quarters. As the Nazrene will say : those who have ears let them hear. In the long run it is about choice is it not?