What you need to know:
- In these hard economic and inflationary times, offertories are effectively shrinking. And sensible people are privately questioning the 10 per cent tithe...
As God’s dog, I must always be on the watch, even if it means sleeping with only one eye closed. When God is quiescent, as He is now, I am duty-bound to assure those who care to listen, that God is completely inert.
They must not be reckless. But they must not fear or hope that God is about to do anything crazy to punish, correct, improve or in any way upset or upgrade man’s world.
The rumour that Jesus is coming back has no basis in fact.
God cannot be behind it. As the Jewish people know, the story of Jesus is long and complicated. If he somehow wandered into outer space, he could have been sucked into a black hole. God is not a graveyard dancer.
He does not deal in resurrections. However, just as that rumour has persisted over the last two thousand years, it will survive the next two thousand in some limited form.
Biblical fables and myths notwithstanding, God has no use for human souls any more than for dogs’ souls.
What quanta would they add to the substance or nobility of the universe? A God who wanted human souls would have created autonomous souls.
Even I, God’s own dog, must be content to end in mineral insignificance.
Constantly watching, my instincts tell me that our pastors are in overdrive to lure new followers who want to go to heaven because their old clients are quietly leaving, or growing more stingy with their money.
Predictably, the savagery of Covid-19, the disease itself, and the pervasiveness of the effects of the pandemic lockdown, clipped the wings of many supposed miracle workers. In France, Italy, South Korea, Tanzania and elsewhere, religious fanatics who refused to respect the virus were cut down with the same ruthlessness as Godless people anywhere else.
You have to be specially gifted in faith and handicapped in reason to keep believing that the men who mere so powerless in the face of Covid-19 would come from hiding behind their masks with the power to scatter all the earth’s demons and bring you miraculous health, great wealth and happy marriages by smearing you with oils, incantations and waving their arms skyward.
In these hard economic and inflationary times, offertories are effectively shrinking. And sensible people are privately questioning the ten per cent tithe.
Are the social responsibilities of priests in modern states commensurate with those of the priesthood in the biblical states of three thousand years ago? Is ten per cent an inviolable sacred number or an arbitrary extortionist tax used by our pastors to build their personal grandiosity?
In and around Kampala Capital City, where most of the commercially successful pastors jostle for followers, money and influence, and where new ones are always setting up shop with dreams of making it into the big league, the money collected may no longer be enough to sustain their lavish life styles.
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More city people are realising that they were being conned. So they are giving less because they are now ‘sharp’.
And others are giving less because they have less in their pockets.
These developments may explain why the pastors are taking their turf battles upcountry. Crusades led by different Kampala pastors are scheduled to invade Fort Portal, Hoima, Mbarara, Jinja, and so on, this year.
Targeting deeper levels of ignorance ‘out there’, they may find more people who readily believe that pastors are true agents of divine power and can command miraculous events to happen now. Or tomorrow.
Mr Tacca is a novelist, socio-political commentator.