It’s Sunday morning and yet again the local church, Action Chapel, has turned its speakers up full blast and are terrorising the neighbourhood with its noise. There is no escape in any room in my house as it sounds as if the church is taking place inside it! I have to wonder if the health and safety of the participants ears is ever considered.
They are not, of course, trying to convert people to Christianity; everyone in the area is almost certainly Christian. They want to market their own church and compete with the others. It shows a form of desperation. A sect that believes it has the Truth yet feels powerless. The loudness is supposed to suggest a large gathering of happy people – often something far from the truth.
I am told that if a complaint is made one’s motives will be suspect. The Church’s defence is to attack – Is the complainant anti-Christian? Satanic? Pagan? – and this has seeped into Ghanaian culture to create fear of criticism. “Touch not God’s anointed”. “Judge Not”. Phrases misused to silence those developing independent thought.
It’s a familiar story. Early Christianity, a powerless sect, often established itself through terror. Once they achieved their aims – power and a voice – it was then easy to preach tolerance, love and peace.
The brutality of early Christianity is common knowledge and old news. Christianity, now a bigger group, is able to be generous to non-Christians yet there are still groups within it who believe murder and violence is acceptable (the Christian anti-abortion groups in the USA for example).
It’s useful to look at behaviour while organisations are still in their infancy and to analysis their strategies for gaining power. Are they ethical?
Looking at the behaviour of Action Chapel I struggle to manage my feelings of hostility. I’m not hostile to their existence but am hostile to the noise terrorism they inflict upon me, not just on Sundays, but now on Saturdays as well.
Lack of thought, common sense and courtesy to others are values sadly lacking in their self-indulgence. A friend recently said he thought masturbation was a form of self-indulgence possibly at odds with his Christian beliefs. But at least this is a quiet, private self-indulgence and must therefore be more virtuous that this appalling public display of self-gratification.
So my request to Action Chapel is to turn the noise down and please have a wank instead!