Shingai Rukwata Ndoro
Cde President, I greet you. I wish you good health and prudence in your public office. I write to you as an active citizen in respect to your usual “voice of God” statement during your activities to do with public affairs.
When you say “God,” are you aware that God as a term is a category of being? God can be any of the following deities: Mwari, Mlimo, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Mithra, Zoroaster, El, YHVH, Jupiter, Apollo, Zeus, Saturn, Asir, Heru, Aset, Allah, Odin, Janus, Venus, the Sun, Moon or Earth, etc.
An affinity to a God among these many Gods is a personal or individual choice through socialisation or colonisation. Each individual citizen’s choice for a God isn’t the same choice for every citizen.
God is ordinarily considered an assumption because there is no evidence of his existence.
As an assumption, God is mentally imagined anthropologically, that is, a being of human attributes whose physical location is somewhere in the universe craving for human attention and validation.
Theists believe that a God benevolently rewards or harshly punishes, unless there is an unquestioning submission and fervent supplication.
As a result of the colonial history, may it be assumed that your God is the Abrahamic God who chose Abraham (whose name resembles that of Brahman, a deity of India) that he was to form a great nation (Genesis 12:2-3) that will plunder and destroy others (Deuteronomy 13:13-19).
The descendants of Abraham were chosen to be a “blessing to all the nations of the world” (Genesis 12:2-3) yet they were under serving and stubborn people (Deuteronomy 9:6).
A supposedly historical Hebrew figure, Jesus is reported to have said, “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”? As an African, do you consider yourself as belonging to the same lost house of Israel?
What had the alleged descendants of Abraham done to merit being “chosen people” by the Abrahamic God (Deuteronomy 7:6, Ezekiel 36:24-28)? What had Abraham done to deserve preferential treatment and what had other human beings done to be dehumanised and discriminated against?
Did the same Abrahamic God not kill persons of African origin (2 Chronicles 14:9,12)? Do you agree that the Abrahamic God is a wicked and monstrous character who inspired and manifested itself among its followers (Psalm 58:10)?
Zimbabwe is a secular republic (Section 1 of the Constitution) and a constitutional democracy (Section3(1)(a)based on:
Human rights and freedoms (Sections3(1)(c) and Section 49);
Recognition of the inherent dignity of all human beings (Section3(1)(e), Section 48 and 51); and ;
Recognition of the equality of all (Section3(1)(f) and Section 56).
Religious affinity is for private and voluntary associations recognised under the freedom of assembly and association in terms of Section 58. The freedom to associate necessarily includes the freedom to disassociate.
Under Section 60, there is freedom of thought and conscience.
Every citizen has the right to choose freely a position towards religion, has the right to profess a desired religious view or not to profess any religious view, and to engage in religious ceremonies individually or collectively with other citizens.
For pluralism to function and to be successful in defining the common good, all groups have to agree to a minimal consensus that shared values are at least worth pursuing. The most important baseline value is thus that of mutual respect.
The invocation of “God” is a violation of the human diversity and plurality of the people of Zimbabwe.
The minimal consensus in the relationship among citizens, and between citizens and their public officers is the supreme law of the land, the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Religious affinity, affiliation and practices belong to the private and personal domain.
The good office of the President of Zimbabwe should represent the pluralist and diverse nature of the nation for peaceful co-existence of different interests, convictions and lifestyles.
Cde President, it is my humble appeal that you do not have to invoke the name of any God because no God is of a shared affinity by all the people of Zimbabwe and that any God is one among many thousands of different Gods.
The author is a humanist and recognises no God to be in existence.
Feedback: [email protected] and Twitter, @shingaiRndoro. A gallery of previous articles can be found at www.sundaymail.co.zw/author/shingairukwata
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