THOSE who believe in religion have been taught that it is a belief in a higher being or a set of principles which guide a person through life.
As Christians, as well as members of other religious sects, we have been taught to love God and everyone else.
Besides, religious groupings teach how to love God, help others, especially the sick and disabled.
Indeed to sum it up, religion is love, peace, charity and living in harmony.
But is that the case in Ghana? No, it is not always the case. Today, some religions or religious people have entirely different concepts about religion than we have always thought.
Their concept is that religion is one of peace, love, charity and harmony only if everyone believes as they do.
These religious people harbour different beliefs or cultures and even lifestyles that are against the Christian faith.
Much more, they have been the source of conflicts, bigotry and hatred in many societies across the world.
Indeed, anyone who has studied religious history would learn that the multitude of wars were fought over religious ideologies, politics and lands.
Some even hold the view that more people have been killed in religious conflicts than any other war in any part of the world.
That is why the Ghanaian Times is of the view that religious people in the country should not be allowed to foist on us their religious beliefs that do not conform with what the Bible teaches us.
Indeed, the religion that we all believe in teaches us equality, respect for one another and the true word of God.
Unfortunately, there are few religious leaders who are ignorant, arrogant and bigoted; and that is leading some people astray.
In fact, in a recent sermon, a religious leader, who we do not want to name, sought to denigrate women of some tribes in Ghana by describing them in most derogatory terms.
This has attracted wide condemnation from a cross section of Ghanaians with some embarking on a demonstration to demand an apology from ‘the man of God.’
It is not in our place to judge such religious leaders but we dare say that it is unchristian for a religious leader to publicly preach hatred and exhibit bigotry and revulsion against women or our society.
We are appalled by the utterances of such church leaders who disregard public decency, decorum and respect but rather espouse their own brand of religion that they tell their members they have been told by God.
We have far too many such religious leaders who have subjected us to hatred, fear, and prejudice; leading many astray in the process.
Often, these church leaders also indulge in many vices but the followers believe they are following the will of God, but in reality, they are following mentally ill perverts who are living their fantasies and acting with impunity.
It is time to stop the religious bigotry and prevent such leaders from using religion and the pulpit as haven to degenerate people.
We urge religious bodies, chiefs, opinion leaders and the citizenry to kick against the negative behaviours of such preachers so as not to allow it to flourish anymore.
It is in our collective interest do so!