“And, let me assure that this Government has no plans to change the law on same-sex marriage. We have no authority, and we will not seek any authority to do so.”
These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, 9th August, 2018, at the 2018 Synod of the Global Evangelical Church, in response to an appeal made by Rev. Dr. S.K. Ofori, Moderator of the Church, for Government not to bow to pressure, internal or external, to legalise same-sex marriage.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s Synod, “Effective Discipleship – the Cross and Our Commitment”, the President stated that Government and the Church, two institutions who both hold out promises for a better tomorrow, have a duty and responsibility to work together to improve the condition of the people.
According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghana has a young population that is no longer willing to wait for the long-promised improvements in their lives, and, thus, believes that Government and the Church can work to raise the pace of development to meet the needs of the people.
Whilst not against the building of magnificent cathedrals or mosques, President Akufo-Addo stated that “I believe also very much that the towns and cities should have paved roads, good sanitation and beautiful homes for the people to live in, when they go to worship.”
Whilst encouraging the youth to hear the call of the Lord to become priests, prophets, preachers, President Akufo-Addo noted further that “we should also spur them on to become engineers, scientists, carpenters, masons, plumbers, mathematics teachers, tailors, etc., because we must have a properly functioning society to be able to worship in peace.”
Recounting the contribution of the Church to the development of the nation, he noted that the churches were seen as leading the drive for development, as they built and ran schools and hospitals, led the campaign for good sanitation, and preached and practiced.
With the public looking on as priests compete to show who is the more powerful and who is the richer, and with the public looking on as some of the churches appear to forget about the poor and the vulnerable in society, and concentrate on being outrageous, President Akufo-Addo stated that “it is not surprising that there are calls for taxes to be imposed on church incomes.”
He added that “When you step out of the charity sphere, out of education and out of healthcare, you are putting yourself in the line of the taxman.”
Education and hard work, the President said, have been shown to be the surest path to success for both individuals and nations, “and our country would not make any progress if the Church should contradict and undermine this principle, by preaching miracles as the answer to our needs.”
It is, thus, in the interest of the country that its resources are pulled together to build a happy and prosperous nation.
“I know that the Church can be very influential, and make a dramatic difference in education, health and sanitation. The same enthusiasm that you are able to marshal to grow and increase your numbers, that same enthusiasm can help to build Ghana. Let us join hands together and build the happy and prosperous Ghana we all want. It is well within our reach,” President Akufo-Addo concluded.