Reading History, I thought the right thing was to separate the State from the Church. However, nothing has changed much in the past hundred or thousand+ years, and God’s word is still freely used to push both political and economic agendas. Here’s why I say this is so.
Flip through the latest GQ magazine an you’ll find the writers pitted Presidents Jacob Zuma
and Barack Obama together. Our Commander-in-Chief being the obvious joke of this thing. One of his quotes reads, “Even God expects us to rule this country because we are the only organisation which was blessed by pastors when it was formed.” That may be well and true, but it is the idea that this God is a bias god. Not only do I believe that this is an insult to the ANC’s non-God believing supporters, I believe it’s an insult to its God-fearing men and women as well, whose Lord has been reduced to one of the variables that make up the “How to Win an Election” equation. And it’s not only the head honcho, but other high ranking members as well. Am I wrong to translate Mcebisi Skwatsha
’s words [from last year in the Northern Cape] that, “God is with the ANC and that is why we will win the 2014 general elections. As the religious leaders have pointed out, we will not fear any weapons formed against us ahead of the 2014 general elections because God is with us. We will crush anyone who contests us at these elections,” as saying that if you vote for the EFF, the DA, etc, whose constituents might or might not believe in the same god as the ANC’s, should live out their lives in fear? Before you accuse me of exaggeration, the fear doesn't have to be physical, because that sort of extremism we will leave to our African and Middle-Eastern counterparts, but the emotional fear – blackmail – that this God who has endowed the ANC with the benevolent right to rule till Jesus comes, will come for you?
I understand it’s just electioneering, and I commend the ANC for doing the same thing the former National Party did using the name of the Dutch Reformed Church. I also commend the other parties who have likened their policies to the Ten Commandments of the Abrahamaic faiths.
Everything is right about separating the State and Church when either one is used to divide, and belittle other groups in the name of God. We should stop it. There are many other more decent ways to state your case.** This article first appeared in News24 Voices.