The church and state are birds of a feather
To ask the State to regulate the Church in Kenya is an attempt at sending thieves to oversee the progress of robbers. Two rotten institutions cannot help each other stand. In fact, Jesus asked; ‘how can the blind lead the blind?’ A Government that cannot feed its people while it collects taxes, cannot regulate a church that collects tithe while its members suffer hunger and poverty.
Our ISO certified churches are obviously a blight on our society. Kenyan churches have expansion plans that follow the middle class, never the impoverished. You will not see a ‘harvest’ church Kibera or a ‘city’ chapel Mukuru kwa Njenga.
The target for many a church is to cater to the rich of Kenyan society and avoid the doldrums of the poor as much as possible.
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Many a pastor surround themselves with only the richest in society, for indeed it is the piety of the pocket that matters. The deeper your pockets are the more anointed you can be and if you buy a luxury car, expect a call from the pastor appointing you an elder or, in Owuor’s case a bishop.
The obvious emphasis on material wealth in church is an indication that the teachings of Jesus were abandoned long ago and the preachers of today attend to the itching ears of the masses.
Ears which itch to be told that God is like a Kenyan politician requiring a ten per cent finder’s fee to facilitate your miracle. Similarly, our political leadership is filled with those who know nothing of the pain of poverty. Their challenges in life include over eating, over drinking and over spending. They are immune to the problems they solve.
The minister for health isn’t treated in the hospitals she oversees, the minister for transport isn’t caught in the traffic he is meant to fix and clearly the minister for special programs is not affected by a little thing called hunger.
These are the bishops of greed, the overseers of largesse and the deacons of corruption.
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Under their watch, Kenyans lose trillions, but they are always innocent and are now angrily shouting that the DCI be fired for the high crime of investigating corruption.
While Kenyans are dying of hunger they would much rather argue about a female MP at the coast, while the real problems are in Turkana and Baringo.
Still, every week the bishops of the church and government meet in an unholy union where one declares the politician holy and the politician leaves the proceeds of corruption in the church as his purchase of prime real estate within the pearly gates. One wonders whether the streets of gold are paved with the tears of the poor, and its walls erected by ignoring the hungry.
Kenyan heaven, it seems, is just as corrupt as Kenya and the Kenyan clergy just as greedy as the Kenyan politicians. They are birds of a feather.
You see, my dear friends, democracy guarantees every person the right to be foolish and the right to be tricked out of his birthright.
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Every Kenyan has the right to join Owuoristan and be part of the photoshop theology and give up life and limb to follow the ‘mightiest’ two-in-one prophet everywhere.
It is their undeniable right to give up reasoning and focus on the return of Jesus who has been coming back soon for 2000 plus years. You can’t legislate ignorance and we shouldn’t bother to. Unless a crime is committed and there is someone from the church willing to complain, then there is no crime.
When people go to mommy-daddy churches or churches where the reverend requires bodyguards from her own flock, they are happy to hand over car keys and title deeds - not because they are being robbed but because they abandoned thinking a long time ago in the belief that faith is foolish and thus, of necessity, the most foolish acts are definitely the holiest.
Mind you, this same car giving believer rode past many poor people on his way to church, ignored his broke relatives’ phone calls and also has no idea what the name of the church watchman is; for his main focus is the man of God - no one else.
It is these same people we expect to vote, and they vote with the same intelligence they use in church: Foolish faith. They believe that leaders who are known for corruption will become president and governor and somehow help this country.
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They are at the forefront of defending ‘their son’ who art in Nairobi, while their neighbour is dying of hunger because ‘their son’ allowed NCPB to play Russian roulette with their lives.
They count debts in terms of votes and not in terms of promises their son made when he was campaigning. They would kill you if the ballot boxes didn’t get to the voting station, but they tolerate you if food doesn’t get to the hungry and they die.
Kenyan politics and religion are a mirror of each other, a pot and kettle. They are both filthy and guilty. It isn’t regulation we need; we need thinking voters and believers. For as long as blind and foolish faith persists, be sure both sets of con men are going nowhere.
Mr Bichachi is a communication consultant. [email protected]
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Bichachithe Church in Kenyadeacons of corruption