In Defence of Ese Walters: Memo to Religious Addicts By Ogunjimi James Taiwo
“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” – Malcolm X
“Let hundreds like me perish, but let truth prevail. Let us not reduce the standards of truth even by a hair’s breadth for judging erring mortals like myself.” – Mahatma Gandhi
At the risk of being labelled a heretic and apostate by die-hard religious people who refused to believe that human beings are fallible regardless of their ‘spiritual’ stature, I have decided to give my opinion on this burning issue.
You see, like so many issues that we have in Nigeria, the issue of religion has perhaps shown over time that we are still immature when it comes to handling issues. We tend to neglect so many rules and embrace deliberate lies. The first rule every human must understand is: Trust no one. The Bible itself gave us that rule in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
The Ese Walters issue has brought into light what many young women that have trudged into some of these new generation churches have been passing through in silence. The reactions that trailed Ese’s revelations are perhaps part of the reasons why these ladies have elected to keep quiet rather that face ridicule and open themselves up to scorn in the society.
I put it forward that some of the statements that Ese attributed to the COZA pastor are statements that cannot be denied by people who have spent their lives in churches and close to church leaders. I grew up in a pentecostal church where you get to listen to some of these statements; whether jokingly or not.
Most of those attacking Ese know this is the truth. Come to most of the churches on campus that have only student pastors without adult supervision and you’ll see and hear more than that. Some of the things that happen are too raw to even utter.
Over time, when pastors commit adultery and have affairs, their church members have always been quick to term the lady involved as an ‘agent’ of darkness sent to pull down the pastor. The pastor hides under that garb and gets away with sin while the lady involved is stigmatised forever.
These issues of sexual abuse are issues that bodies such as CAN and PFN must begin to address instead of concerning themselves with political issues. Recently, the Cameroon government ordered the closure of all pentecostal churches there because of their excesses and unacceptable acts. If these acts continue, Nigerian pentecostal churches must get ready to be shut down too and woe betide anyone who claims its persecution because even God must be disgusted with the way we practice religion.
As for Ese, my sympathies are with her and with the myriad of ladies who have suffered similar things and have had to keep quiet because of societal responses. As for the COZA pastor, let’s see you respond to the latest revelation by Franca. Thank God Franca has audio and pictorial evidences.
Ogunjimi James Taiwo
Ogun State, Nigeria
@hellerj on twitter
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