Kenya

All churches should throw politicians out of the pulpit

All churches should throw politicians out of the pulpit

ODM party leader Raila Odinga speaks at St Stephen's Lwanya Catholic Church in Mundika, Busia County, on February 28, 2021 .

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

Interestingly, Kenya has insisted on the description of a Christian country with a relatively secular constitution, which in actuality, is not the case.

First of all, we can never seem to separate the two. Second, there’s almost nothing Christian about Kenya, or its dealings with its people – or rather, let me say, there’s nothing loving or Christlike about Kenyan politicians.  Just look at our fuel prices and the people who could have chosen not to raise them, who did.

And yet, even in the midst of this lack of Christ-likeness, not only do we insist that we are Christian – we look down on people who are not, and expect these very same politicians who don’t care about us at all, to show up in church and perform religiosity.

This is why everyone was very shocked (and I was pleasantly surprised) when a church threw out politicians the other day. Whether it is for show or for sure, I don’t know, but it was so sweet to watch and to read about.

The indignation! The offended miens! It was a delight.

This speaks to many things for me. That the politicians were so surprised when they were kicked out, means it isn’t happening a lot.

Which is unfortunate. That people are so appalled that this happened, also points to the same thing. That I am so starved of real and genuine actions by the Kenyan church (and their association).

That to see something pure shocks me, startles me, delights me; too many times have we seen churches washing away the red blood on these politicians’ hands, simply because the tithe basket was fatter than usual.

Then, it tells me that we still operate in this archaic form of campaigning: you have to do the rounds. You have to hand out the money.

You have to be seen in a pew. You have to defer to the long-standing unofficial head of your party and grease his palm. Is this a break in the cycle?

I should hope so. In my perhaps idealistic opinion, churches are supposed to stand for something. Anything. I don’t even care which churches support what, as long as they are consistent.

You worship on Saturday? Great, don’t change that because all of a sudden it’s inconvenient. You think politicians should not take the podium? Good, then never let them. You think that vaccines are a lie?

Okay, stick to your rejection of medicine in all ways, and not just one. Even if the only person you worship is yourself, be consistent with yourself.

I hope churches who specifically stand for truth and honour, and reject corruption in the church and in the country regardless of the separation of church and state, whip out these politicians a la Jesus in the temple.

Because in this day and age, the church really is just beginning to look like a marketplace for fools.