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How far religious leader can go in politics

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Added 20th February 2018 10:53 AM

Politicians trot places of worship which become catchment areas only for some afterward to accrue their victories to evil spirits and failures to cowardice of religious leaders against injustice.

How far religious leader can go in politics

Politicians trot places of worship which become catchment areas only for some afterward to accrue their victories to evil spirits and failures to cowardice of religious leaders against injustice.

By Charles Okecha

To what extent should religious leaders get involved in politics?

The US Trump administration was preceded by the nastiest election in America's history. Vulgar barbs were exchanged by candidates like "Hillary Clinton cannot bring fulfillment to America, having lost her spouse to an intern" Her obsession with political correctness restrained her from painting grim caricature of Trump and she lost!

Thanks to elite professors like Dr Michael Brown, Don Mountain and others for teaching me the most crucial issues in America's politics at the hour.  Namely economy, national security and relationship with Israel that had turned controversial after Barak Obama's signing of nuclear deal with Iran. Trump echoed shortcomings like Benghazi, Libya Consulate tragedy, while Hillary was secretary of state and to win the support of the evangelicals appointed Mike Pence as running mate to play the thermostat/regulator and won!

When ugly parameters like defamation surface in politics, a god-fearing candidate risks breaking the commandment to love. Believers come under jeopardy of division and conflict when they openly support a given candidate.

Uganda's pre and post-independence politics faced religious sectarianism between UPC and DP. The impasse was only broken when UPC formed an alliance with Kabaka Yekka Party. To promote nationalism after ensuing conflicts, the UPC government nationalised faith-based schools/institutions and abolished traditional kingdoms.

After Idi Amin ousted UPC and slew the DP leader, Ben Kiwanuka, a fragile coalition was formed against the common enemy. Otherwise, divisions had split even families apart.

The 1980 elections held after Amin ouster revived animosity, which ended up in a guerilla civil war. We are still waiting for satisfactory explanation how UPC rigged the elections, where the winner needed majority seats in Parliament rather than popular vote.

The guerillas triumphed and formed a broad-based government to enhance peace and unity. But pressure from the international community, especially donors caused restoration of multiparty politics again.

For a long time, the public has discussed regime change. But religious leaders or the Inter Religious Council are never consulted to vet candidates for elective positions. Those with fake qualifications and criminals get elected only to cause costly bye-elections. 

Whoever falls out with government for unknown causes ordains himself a 'redeemer' and sways crowds. The masses expect religious leaders to sprinkle dust and ashes and rally behind them even when political activities turn violent.

Politicians trot places of worship which become catchment areas only for some afterward to accrue their victories to evil spirits and failures to cowardice of religious leaders against injustice.

The ideal thing is that religious leaders should first of all rebuke politicians for seeking first votes instead of the kingdom of God and for practicing idolatry. But like prophet Balaam, the gifts offered, ethnicity and faith semblance just gag them.

Tribalism reigns in many places. Except multi-ethnic Tororo where the majority Jopadhola have accepted the successive appointments of an Itesot and Samia as Anglican bishops.

I guess there are hidden murmurings why westerners dominate both the presidency and the Anglican Archbishopric! How can such leaders lecture President Museveni and like Jesuit priest Fidel Mukonori did with Robert Mugabe, convince him to relinquish power?

Besides the integrity of the religious leaders is paramount. People read preachers more than they read Bibles. When a preacher lacks discipline relative to food, finances, fame, females, family, fashions, failure etc, his rants fall on deaf ears.

King Herod listened to John the Baptism clad in camel skins rather than the Pharisees because he converted tax collectors and taught soldiers contentment with their pay, thus checking public riots and mutiny by soldiers over little pay. Didn't Mother Tereza and Desmond Tutu win the Nobel peace prize?

Finally, politicians will never listen to preachers without supernatural wisdom and prophecy, but some turn to fortunetellers instead. Jesus commissioned his followers to be witnesses of his resurrection with accompanying signs and wonders.

The pulpit has been enhanced with cameras and turned into an arena of oratory and verbal exchange. So much so that even politicians quote the scriptures out of context.  God's people must head to the closet!

Hopefully we will get a trustworthy Moses Samuel to appoint leaders without question and dispute and  save us from yoke of the white man's costly, divisive democratic elections.

Nevertheless, humans have insatiable wants and naturally resist the will of God. Ultimately, there might again be a Natural Resistance Movement (NRM) against God as the Israelites did and crucified Jesus!

The writer is a graduate of ELI Inc, ISOM Inc. International Leadership Institutes -US.

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