When Pastors eat their sheep
WHEN you hear someone declaring that “there’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning,” you reflect and nod in agreement. The poor is losing the war of survival. The space is closing in in suffocating aggression.
World’s 2008 richest man, Warren Buffett who made the above statement was right. The monied class is subduing those praying to have enough. And here in Nigeria, the rich in churches and mosques after perfecting the art of selling prayers to the poor, are coming out super rich.
Much of last week was polluted with hisses, sneers and jeers at Pastors who are tired of being human, pastors flying private jets. These are beings who crave wings like Angels and because they are disqualified from escaping from their primal mortal essence, they have designed a way out. They now fly. But their wings are not the type you read in D.O. Fagunwa’s Forest of a Thousand Daemons. No. What are wings for anyway? And how far can those feathered parts take one? Can they do what jets do? For the congregation, the way to heaven is for the sheep to donate supersonic jets to the shepherd. It is the new way of the world and only the poor are complaining. A colleague argued forcefully that there was nothing wrong if the shepherd fed on his sheep, ibi ti a ti nse ni a ti nje (you eat where you toil).
I have no problem with anyone eating where he tills the land. The problem will stick out only when the one eating is actually not the pounder of the yam. A friend said Americans became good Christians when they moved away from religion. That is why they would query bucks not backed with corresponding shops. Here, pastors and Imams receive mega donations and gifts without asking questions. And they would fight back with fire and water if any nosy idiot dares poke his nose into such donations. It does not matter that racking poverty is grinding lives of the majority to a halt. It is not an issue at all that all religions prescribe modesty in consumption. It is rejected by the leaders of the faiths that anyone would ask them to turn down gifts.
And these are expensive gifts. They are gifts that eat money everyday. It does not bother the gift receivers at all that the jets take without giving. The jets consume money whether they are idle or they fly. And who picks the bills for parking, for maintenance and other incidentals? Definitely not the pastors who are like the palace where people drop and don’t pick valuables. The donkey of the gift giver is forever sentenced to a life of unrelieved burden. Many go to the pastors and Mallams because they are looking for ways to fly out of poverty. They tip-toe to them and get stuck in the mire of want and deprivation. Some even end up losing not just their money, wives and peace of mind, they lose their sanity too. That is why a supposedly sane lady of means would get hooked in matrimony with a miserable shepherd in a makeshift worship centre.
But the problem appears to be the blackman’s. Abroad, no such donation goes unqueried. No one collects other people’s sweat in a calabash of hypnotising promise of heavenly earth and escape justice. No one tries to appropriate the universal God in climes of sanity and escapes knocking at the door of the psychiatrist. To the black man, it is part of his destiny to be afflicted with commercial evangelism. Entrepreneurial religiosity predate both Christianity and Islam. The village priest would not cast his divination tools without the cowries whispering some proprietary demands. And the client must obey. He ignores the words of the oracle to his peril. But the same world of divination had redeeming safety belts. The fake almost always ended in perdition. Then the world religions came and promised cleanliness both in content and form. And what happened to the promises?
We now see rot in the soul of the land. We see orthodox roguery blurring the value line between good and evil, white and black. We no longer see stupidity in the foolish things we do. We do not see that the white man who made aeroplanes laughs at us when we rush to buy planes for pastors and Imams as if we want to make of them flying objects. Even Warren Buffet, who makes good money managing jets would laugh at the idiot who parks a jet and accumulates debts in a beggarly third world nation.
When Imams and pastors are not building personal Sainte-Chapelle with funds pooled from poor congregants, they are flaunting their sudden status as jet owners. We have been told that church members are the donors of pastoral jets competing for space above our heads. We have not been told the names of these worshippers of God who so much love their creator that they cushion otherwise bumpy rides of pastors with customised flights in personal jets.
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