I am currently reading the, now deceased, Catholic writer and monk, Thomas Merton, who makes some fascinating observations.

One of the things I’m trying to get to grips with in Ghana, is the way its people are prepared to dismiss scientific facts and to accept superstitious or biblical explanations.

In some senses the USA can afford not to give its youth a scientific education as it is already a technologically developed culture. But Ghana, which has given up its traditional way of life to become a modern economy, is now stuck in a halfway house. If it is to move to a modern economy it needs to develop scientific and critical thinking.

Merton (in his Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander) talks of a “sense of guilt over the church’s former resistance to science”. He believes the church was struggling to keep its power over secular society in which independent thinkers were developing new ideas outside of the influence of the Church.

I wonder how much of that applies in a country like Ghana, where individual pastors can hold great power and wealth. I also wonder whether fear of the truth is really a fear of a godless world?

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