When you act wrongly against the will of a deity or God, it becomes a sinful act. What is sinful is a demand on the dogmatic principles that one adheres to in his religion. A Christian will count prostitution as a sin, however the reasons the Christian sees prostitution as a sin is because the fellow is a Christian and lives by the Christian principles. What will prostitution be for one who is not guided by any Christian or other religion principles? The fact that you practice a certain faith does not mean you can judge people according to your faith. You are free to practice your faith and persuade other to believe in your faith in your quest of spreading your faithful practices. If we all practice the good principles of our faith then there should be no evil among men in our society. However, the opposite is what is seen in our society.
Faithful religious men and women have been involved in every crime in Ghana. The people you enter the churches on Sunday or Saturday or the mosque with also occupy our public offices. Yet corruption in Ghana travels with the speed of light. When men of faith looted funds from AIDS Patients, Pensioners’ and among other entities, didn't know they served a deity? More recent, the deliberate action of a doctor that caused a baby to lose his life by removing oxygen supports not a religious man? Our government can owe us, but we cannot as people owe the government. What kind of relationship is this? If the child was allowed to owe the state, he would have been alive by now. Indeed, God alone is a Christian!
Let's not have the thinking that sin and crime are the same. Not all sin is a crime but all crime is a sin. Sin according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is an offense against religious or a moral law. If one does not practice a certain faith, what is deem as sin will be meaningless to such a person. As a society, is important to view crime as crime and not sin.
Society evolve with time, we have come to accept some changes which has even lead to the abolishment of some custom practice like Female Genital Mutilation and Trokosi system. Gone were the days family consult to choose a spouse for the Male child. Now, we are at liberty to choose who we want to marry. Some people even cancel some of the items on the tall list given to the will be husband. Our society has grown to realize how personal choice is important in our daily activities. We don't need any imposition from anyone to accept what is right or wrong.
I must admit that certain issues like homosexual and the right of LGBT group are not pressing issues within our society. There are very socioeconomically pressing issues leading to the detriment of the people. However, it also important that certain stereotypical mindsets are dissolve when it come to the matters of the right of these individuals. I do not write to support them. Rather, I have a problem when people are ready to throw stone at homosexuals.
You have a right to choose but your choice is guided by your own religious principles. Homosexuals like humans have the same choice to make. As to what moral values guide their choice it between them and their God or astronomically black hole. If the choice of LGBT groups does not favor your religious principles does not mean, you have right to murder them because of their choice. When you kill someone for sinning against your God, it is a MURDER and not sanctification. Let's understand that it’s not all instances that make sin a crime. Ghana criminal offenses Act of 1960 defines crime as an act that is punishable by death, or imprisonment or fine. However, in my stay in Ghana, i am yet to see someone to be imprisoned, fined or received a death penalty for fornicating. Although to fornicate is sin in Christianity.
In the book of Galatians 5:19-21, a list of sinful acts which includes drunkenness, jealousy, sorcery, hatred, adultery and others are all sin but not a crime to be convicted. My question is how many have been jailed for involving in such a sinful act. Clearly, sin is to religion as crime is to the state. I do not recall that the state as a religious body.
One is recognized to make rational decision about his own life after his eighteenth birthday. Amazingly, the choice this fellow make is not binding on others but his own life. In a free world one is responsible for choices made and the consequences or benefits that comes with it. It becomes problems when force or fraud is applied. For instance, when one is robbed, the arm robber had a choice to take someone else's property but had to use force to take such a property. This cannot be described as a free choice, hence making it a crime. When someone’s choice is to become part of the LGBT group, does not mean everyone should become part of the group or the choice is compelling everyone to become homosexuals. Accepting someone's choice does not change your personal free choice too. Be free to do what you want and let your own religious or moral values guide you as far as you do not infringe on the right of another.
I prefer that suasion is use to inculcating moral values in others rather than forcing others to buy into our religious or moral principles. What is moral varies and very relative from one person to another. The fact that most Ghanaian are religiously incline doesn’t mean everyone is mandated to conform solely to some form of religious principles. If there exist 0.5 percent group of non-religiously inclined group, the majority should be able to respect their right and the choices they make.
Nathaniel Dwamena is the Programs Manager Young Africans for Opportunities and Researcher at Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation
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