ANC 'holy trinity' remark worries church
Johannesburg - The Dutch Reformed Church on Wednesday expressed concern over comments by a pastor who said the ANC, Cosatu and SA Communist Party were the holy trinity and that Jesus was a communist.
"While acknowledging our own history in this regard, as well as the same errors we have committed in the past, it is with a growing sense of concern that we as the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) take note of the public remarks clergy as well as political figures have recently made, claiming God's support for their political party," church spokesperson Ben du Toit said in a statement.
"The latest incident in this regard, in which a pastor ceremoniously anointed President Zuma and misused Rom 13 in an irresponsible way to forcefully compel voters to support the ANC, really oversteps the boundaries of responsible theology, the responsible use of the Bible, as well as the responsible lobbying of support for the political party in question."
Die Burger newspaper on Monday reported that a pastor, speaking at a Workers' Day rally in Athlone, Cape Town, said “Jesus was ’n kommunis” [Jesus was a communist], “God het Pres Jacob Zuma as staatshoof gesalf” [God anointed President Jacob Zuma] and the ANC, Cosatu and the SACP were the “heilige Drie-eenheid” [Holy Trinity].
Zuma was present at the rally.
The church appealed to Zuma and other political leaders to "discourage the opportunistic misuse of religion" and to distance themselves from these practices.
"Should political leaders fail to publicly announce their opposition of these practices in the build-up towards the municipal elections, the DRC will have no choice but to use its communication structures as effectively as possible to advise voters to rather support political parties that do not misuse religion to further their own cause."
Du Toit said to "appropriate God for a political purpose and agenda" impaired the integrity of the Christian faith and of God himself.
"We appeal to President Zuma to show true leadership by joining hands with us in guarding against the misuse of the name of God in this way."
Zuma has in the past come under fire for using religion in his political speeches, most recently for saying a vote for the ANC was to choose heaven, while a vote for the opposition amounted to choosing "hell".
This drew rebukes from opposition parties, church groups and other bodies. Some described the remarks as "blasphemous".