A functioning economy is about the economic system. Are the goods and services produced valuable and capable of generating profit for the business, hence, allowing for living wages and salaries for employers? Are people able to live comfortably? Is the cost and standard of living bearable? Are there places of work for everyone who is looking for one, and is the salary from these jobs capable of providing a certain respectable standard of living? Are people able to buy goods and services both produced in the country and imported with their salary without going bankrupt? Is the cost of food bearable, and is this cost just a fraction of their salary? Is the total spend on necessities a fraction of their salary and does not bankrupt them before month end? And many other things, for example, regarding health, pensions etc. Real estate is only a component of an economy and not the most important.
The role of the central or national government in an economy is extremely dynamic. The less developed the economy, the greater the involvement of the national government in the economy. And this is a very important requirement. The government retreats gradually but not completely as the country becomes economically developed. It is the duty or responsibility of the national government of a developing country to create industries which will support the formation of businesses that will provide places of work and employment for the citizens. That is the foremost responsibility or duty of the government of a developing country.
The principle of opportunity cost applies in life or any sphere of human activity so that if a country is a developing economy, then the last thing the government wants to get itself concerned about is religion. So why should and must a government not excite itself with religion? Religion (Christianity, Islam, etc.) is of no value to the economy. Religion provides zero economic utility. What is the premise or basis of religion? Religion makes a human being dependent on a supernatural supreme being. Religion does not challenge a human being to see himself or herself as the ultimate creator – which is exactly what we are as human beings.
The more dependent a people are on religion, the lesser they are going to challenge themselves and come up with innovative and creative solutions to problems in their environment, which then forms the basis for a business; and as business grows, employment and work opportunities increase. It is the reason why as religion has increased in Africa, Africa’s economy has deteriorated.
An individual will make extreme progress if the time spent during the day or night praying in a church is spent asking themselves: “What is the solution to a problem I see around me?” Now, this individual may not come up with an answer on first try but is assured of building on that try the next time, and most likely will come up with an innovative and creative answer or idea or solution the next time. Progress has finally arrived! The individual, his society, his country, his continent and world has become better off. Time extremely well-spent.
For example, let us consider China’s GREAT FIREWALL – this marvellous technology has come about because of a question the Chinese asked themselves about a solution to a threat to their country from outside. I believe it must have taken even their most brilliant scientists and technologists great time, thinking, effort, motivation and creativity to come up with such marvellous solution. That is God in action – human beings are the God, human beings are the creators and have created. Religion would have told the Chinese to depend on another (a God) who will never go to China to build the great firewall for them. And they would have spent an eternity waiting for this other (a God), by which time the full force of the threat would have been greatly felt and experienced.
Religion does not even make an economic agent (individual, households, government) good entity. YES! If it were not so, then a country like Ghana will not even require the services of the police force since we are extremely religious, yet there is corruption in both public and private spheres of economic activity.
And the same people who throw rubbish into gutters are the same people who fill up churches and mosques the next Sunday and Friday, respectively. The same people who engage in economically unproductive and sabotaging behaviours such as witchcraft, sorcery, spiritism, demonism and satanism are the same people who fill up church pews. In fact, religion is instead used as a cover for immoral and economically unproductive behaviours. Religion allows a human being to have good on their lips while they have bad on their body, i.e., behave badly.
As a result, the relationship between a government and religion should and must be like this “What can we do as a government with the power that we have to get our people to become less religious? More so, when the two religions – Christian and Islam – are not indigenous religions so that we do not even lose ourselves or a part of our culture and identity.
Religion is a negative externality to the economy. Why is religion a negative externality to the economy? Most religions offer a heaven where irrespective of how evil, criminal, conspiratorial, violent, satanic or bad a human being is or behaves, all they need to do is say some words (prayer) and they are forgiven. When this is the case, they are not going to do anything good in the economy. But when an economic agent understands, accepts and respects that there is no heaven then they will channel their energies, resources, creativity and time into creating good and doing good – a heaven here on earth which is the truth, fact and reality.
This state of affairs brings economic and social development and progress. In fact, when there are so many economic and social problems all around to be solved, when children sell by the road and there is such idleness around, then you know religion is not government work or department.
We sometimes conduct ourselves as if religion is central or necessary for economic and social development and progress. This is a FALLACY. Countries such as China, Singapore, and Japan are neither Christian nor Moslem; yet, have completely and successfully developed and are leaders in technology.
There are too many churches and mosques in sub-Saharan Africa per capita already. The leaders of these churches have become extremely wealthy off the back of the poor. These church leaders sell the idea of blessings and curses where congregants have either been blessed or been cursed so that a congregant is not made aware or even encouraged that there is a set of economically productive actions that can be taken in the physical to get them out of poverty so they can lead a fulfilling life. The church, therefore, is an inhibitor of economic development and progress because the individual is a microcosm of society and country.
Everybody challenges themselves to build a mosque or church. Just imagine what is possible if those energies, motivation, monies, time and creativity is used in building businesses instead! African governments should focus on building a functioning economy as this is what brings economic and social development and progress to Africa and Africans.
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