A rare thing happened this week when different religions took to the streets together in a nationwide march to protest against a proposed Pregnancy Termination Bill which government may prepare at the behest of the special law commission that looked into the matter.
It was a well organized march that must have left the Billy Mayayas of this world green with envy. It was advocacy at its best as the protest was well organized and well coordinated with masses coming out in large numbers to support the cause.
For the avoidance of any doubt, this was proof enough that religion in Malawi still has clout about it and that Malawians still listen to it. The DPP government can only ignore churches on issues at its own peril.
Make no mistake about it, the issues at stake need a national conversation. But the question that the churches must ponder is: Are these urgent enough that warranted the serious mobilization that we saw?
As a way forward, shouldn’t the churches consider using their new strength in unity to fight for Malawians on bread and butters issues that matter today?
Imagine all churches standing up and demanding action to end corruption that President Peter Mutharika and his DPP government seem to tolerate.
Consider the churches giving the President an ultimatum to pay attention to the economy by firing Goodall Gondwe or without which they will tell the people to pour into the streets.
Think for a moment the churches making it very clear that unless government puts its priorities right and ensures that the masses have food, hospitals have drugs and roads are maintained, it would ask the people to camp at State House.
I will tell you what the results would be. Mutharika and his government would be shaken to the very core of their being and they would stop taking Malawians for fools like they are doing at present and for once begin to behave like elected officials and be held to account.
As regards abortion, I am never one to sit on the fence when it comes to discussion of hot issues of our time and my views are largely liberal driven by the principle to defend an individual against the marauding power of the state.
I believe the state has no business and agenda to regulate purely personal business such as how two people should have sex because when that happens they are usurping the business of religion.
That is why when it comes to homosexuality, for example, I believe that the rest of us have no business in getting involved how two consenting adults decide to conduct themselves in the confines of the four walls how much repugnant and offensive we might imagine it.
After all, only two so called straight consenting heterosexual people know what they do in the same confines of the four walls.
For all I care, the so called straight people might be in for worse nefarious sexual activities than the homosexuals.
The bottom line is that none of us outside the four walls have a right to prescribe how two consenting adults should have sex whether they are homosexual or heterosexual because we will never know and at the end it is a useless venture to engage in.
Homosexuality to me is pretty a settled matter. My position is at variance with my Catholic church and it is understandable. In fact I would be surprised if the church condoned homosexuality because in matters of faith it is a sin just like adultery.
My church therefore must preach against it as much as it does on adultery.
What I am against is the State getting involving in personal matters that do not hurt anybody and criminalizing them. If we say homosexuality should continue to be criminalized, why don’t we extend to adultery?
We would not because it would not make sense even in the eyes of religion.
But abortion is pure murder and its proponents can come up with all sorts of argument about the right of women and other gibberish to convince us.
The bottom line is that abortion is murder and it has got nothing to do with rights of women or rapists who are sent to jail when convicted.
It is good that the churches spoke against this murder of unborn babies but they can do more to use the clout to make this government accountable to Malawians by taking on issues that land in the lives of Malawians.
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