Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Church and State


Public policy is supposed to reflect democratic opinion, and public opinion is shaped by a wide variety of influences including personal philosophy, economic and social background, life experience and religious beliefs. It is perfectly legitimate for citizens and legislators to take into account their own deeply held faith convictions in developing public policy,*provided that people remain open to the faith and philosophical perspectives of others

In recent years, some politicians and commentators(ODM-Liberals and their media) have asserted that in order to maintain the separation of church and state, legislators should not be influenced by religious belief. Leaving aside the fact that the separation of church and state is an American constitutional doctrine, not part of Kenya's legal or political tradition, the notion of separation refers to the state not interfering in religious practice and treating all faith communities impartially. It does not mean that faith has no place in public life or the public square.

Religious institutions—churches, synagogues, temples and mosques, as well as parachurch organizations like faith-based charities—play a vital role in society. Churches and religious charities are active in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, welcoming strangers and visiting prisoners. In Kenya Church and faith-based schools educate hundreds of thousands of children. As a result government and Kenyans in general should recognize the vital work done by religious institutions and ensure that religious groups are eligible to participate in government programs.

Though these endeavours in the name of faith benefit all of society, churches and other faith-based organizations are more than charities. They are animated by deep convictions about the nature of God and our moral obligations towards God and each other. I am glad that the Kenyan Government has continued respect these convictions and has not attempted to interfere in the free public expression of religious belief both in private and in the political sphere.

2 comments:

coldtusker said...

I would rather an atheist humanist than a religious fundamentalist! moi is a bible thumping Christian. I recall the VoK & KBC all showed him in Church on Sunday!

I ask you
- Did moi stop stealing from babies' mouth on Monday?
- Did he stop the looting of the Kenyan economy by now "saved" pattni?

kibaki could have prevented the violence on the Standard. At least he should have punished those who committed those crimes. So what if kibaki goes to Church & Raila doesn't?

I don't want a religious nut but a sensible person who does the best for Kenya NOT for themselves!

Joseph Walking said...

Coldtusker i dont know what beef! you have with MO1 but i do know that people are not perfect.

Having said that i would hate to imagine the Nyayo era if Moi wasnt a christian.Just think about it if you think it was bad it could have been worse.Secular humanist like pol pot,Stalin,hitler and bokassa killed millions more than the nyayo era did!Maybe as bad as moi was it was actually the fact that he went to church every sunday that spared millions of kenyans