With tears in my eyes, I want to state here that the Christian leaders who have taken a hard line stance against the new constitution are no better than Islamic fundamentalists in the mold of Osama bin Laden; men and women who will never compromise unless one hundred percent of their demands are met. I don't understand where such men and women get their marching orders from. The Bible? It can't be; the Bible is a sober, reasoned book that calls on each of us to exercise tolerance. Indeed, in one of my favourite verses it says, "How wonderful it is when brothers live in harmony." Ever read that verse? If you have, tell me how harmony can be achieved when the dictatorial whims of the pastors must be shoved down our throats for the nation to move forward.
The danger with fundamentalism is that it always degenerates into demagoguery. I have been to various forums where my dear brothers and sisters who wish to see the constitution defeated have behaved in very unique ways. They behave as if listening to the reasoned arguments of those in the YES camp amount to listening to the devil himself. Why are they afraid of reason? Does not the Bible say, "Come let us reason together?" Why then are our church leaders insistent that reason can only take shape on their terms? And while they choose such intolerance, what makes them think the other side won't match intolerance with intolerance?
Of course the NO team will say that the YES team is just an intolerant, and they maybe right. There was absolutely no excuse for the supporters of the constitution to boo the Vice President on Saturday. The VP has been a man that is difficult to understand because of his brand of politics. By now, however, Kenyans should have leanrt to live with his double-speak. At Uhuru Park, we should have let him play the only game he understands best...taking no binding decision. To have booed him only made him subject this nation to whining of the kind we can't afford to entertain at a time we have pressing matters on our mind.
So, what would Jesus do were He a voter?
I know for certain that He would vote. It was Him who said, "Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." Because of this profound statement, I know that Jesus would recognize the fact that Kenya is a diverse nation where a spirit of give and take is absolutely essential. How could Christians want a constitution that accommodates the sensitivities of a Judeo-Christian tradition while denying the Muslims a chance to carry out justice in Kadhis Courts? Where is justice in that? And how could Christians elect to shoot down this document on the basis that it permits abortion? After reading the way that abortion clause is structured, what an open-minded christian must ask is this...would Christ support this?
The answer is YES!
Christ would support this constitution because He would recognize the fact that what we are about to vote on is Caesar's, not Gods. It is my guess that after He would have voted for the document, He would then go to the synagogues and cathedrals and churches across Kenya to urge His followers, who we all are, to live within the confines of the Ten Commandments. If we did, He would say, issues like abortion, land grabbing,sectarian disunity and other divisive elements would either be minimized or not arise at all.
As we approach voting day, fellow Kenyans, let us be tolerant of the worldview of our fellow countrymen whose views we don't share. they are just as patriotic as we all are; just that they have a different vision. Indeed, there may come a time in future when they may persuade some of us to support their vision. I just hope that the vision they have does not come anywhere close to a Theocracy because that would be a recipe for permanent disunity...endless religious war-mongering.
That's not Kenya.
Let's campaign peacefully and urge love, justice and peace wherever we are.
God bless Kenya!