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Saturday, 25 July 2015

Your Money And Your Life

I could not help but share this post since I talked a lot about the Catholic church in my last post. The interference, and intrusion, of religion into our lives is not only no longer acceptable, it has become abusive - physically and emotionally. Religion is a form of control. It is like the government, the only difference being that, like a dictatorship, we have no say in how we are governed; it is not a democracy. Our lives are left to the whims of the head of the regime.
It is not different in Nigeria. The new generation megachurches do not deviate much from the Catholic script. They encourage marriage within the fold, and they usually have a children's section during Sunday service where the children are conscientiously brainwashed, and their young minds infused with the dogma of the denomination. A number of these churches now have schools, I mean the whole gamut; from crèche to universities. So they basically own the lives of their congregants. I shall make no attempts to justify the decision of these megachurches to delve into the provision of, especially, university education. It is not a service they are providing because they care about the education and future of the Nigerian child. They are established purely out of the capitalistic nature of the churches. It is all about the money, and the deeper control it will allow them to wield in the lives of their congregants.
The attraction to these sinfully expensive (private) universities lies in the fact that the federal and state government owned universities have been plagued by incessant protracted strikes, poor or no funding, cultism (campus gangs), mediocre teaching and research, antiquated library services and examination malpractices. It is also borne out of a sense of loyalty to the church, although not every member is able to afford to send their children to these schools, even though they contributed to the building of these schools via special collections usually organised apart from the normal Sunday offerings, and by also offering to work, usually in a volunteer capacity, at the construction sites of these schools. The churches saw an avenue to to enrich themselves even more by taking over another aspect of the lives of Nigerians where the government had failed, just like they did with the promise of miracle cures since healthcare in Nigeria is unfit even for animals.
With the provision of educational services, they have the perfect mechanism to lock down every family and ensure they continue to extort money from them for at least as long as the children are in the church's school system. This is some guaranteed income with no taxes. Pure genius.
Will it be safe to assume, then, that the churches in some way undermine the government? One of the ways they could do this is to encourage the government to systematically dismantle a particular service, as exemplified by what has happened to healthcare and tertiary education. The churches then step in and take over. Could this be why the churches have stopped beaming their focus on irresponsible governments? While this may sound absurd, it may not be beyond the churches; they are a desperate bunch, and I do not put it past them to be capable of going to any lengths to continue to keep the offering plates full and running over.
This 'cooperation' between the Nigerian state and the church has to be severed. Pastor Ayo Oristejafor's lucrative relationship with the Jonathan administration is well documented and is an example of how such a partnership is destructive to the Nigerian state. It is time to stand up and be counted in this fight to take back our country, not only from the corrupt and heartless politicians who have paralyzed our country, but also from the rapacious and morally bankrupt mega pastors.