In defence of Christian nation declaration

Making laws without a spiritual basis for the moral code is promoting lawlessness itself.

A Godless society is no option as lawlessness always has a spiritual root. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). Any law is driven by a spirit. Either the Holy Spirit or the spirit of sin and death which is demonic! Ephesians 2: 2, in part says; “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”

God gave the Ten Commandments to Israel after slavery in Egypt. The very first of them, deals with acknowledgement of God as the cornerstone upon which the nation of Israel was built and a spiritual rock upon which the law was established. And that nation has stood the test of time.

Compare this with of Communist USSR who through Karl Max and Lenin discarded the existence of God as utopian and the liberal philosophies of modern day USA. With these two modern examples one does not need to go very far to find what a collapsing, degenerating and stagnating nation can be without God.

The honourable members of the National Constitution Commission of Zambia, basing their action from the Willa Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission recommendations by the people of Zambia simply put it this way; WE THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA, IN EXERCISE OF OUR CONSTITUENT POWER; ACKNOWLEDGE the supremacy of God Almighty, DECLARE the republic a Christian Nation, but uphold the right of every person to enjoy that person’s freedom of conscience or religion. At this stage the Zambian people are endorsing a declaration that was made fifteen years earlier.

In this state the declaration creates a firm spiritual foundation for the Zambian law. It sits in the preamble. It defines our value as society. It holds all things together. In that spirit all individuals are endowed with religious freedom, yet without diluting the foundation upon which the nation stands. Even in Israel men and women became corrupt and erred to date. This is and has always been because of sin and the fall of man. But what keeps that nation, Israel, sound and intact to this date regardless of the flaws of human beings is their spiritual foundation.

Prior to 1991, the national leadership at that time experimented with various kinds of beliefs and religious practices. This was seen to have a negative impact on our social, political and religious set up as a nation. There was a loud outcry from the Zambian people about the direction taken by the national leadership to embrace all kinds of gods as one.

It was during this time of the wind of change, when the MMD, being the only political party of that time, was lobbied by the people of this nation to reposition the roots of this nation back to Christianity. It was therefore not a surprise that then republican President Dr FTJ Chiluba declared Zambia a Christian Nation on 29th December 1991. It is also not a surprise that the MMD embraces Christianity in their party constitution – it was all because the people said so.

The Catholic Church was quick to voice out their opposition to this issue just after this declaration to this date. In their current approach, one is left to wonder whether their intention has been genuinely in the interest of the Zambian people or their own. Allow me to remind the Reverend Bishops of their own Pastoral Letter of 23rd July 1990. This pastoral letter also quotes Vatican II, “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in Modern Times”   among other quotes used. The Pastoral letter of that time reads, and I quote;

 “It is clear that there is no one ‘ideal’ political system. No system has ever succeeded in fully protecting and promoting the rights of all of its people and in completely realising the goal of a just and equitable society.” The Christian Nation Declaration cannot even be viewed in this light because it is a harmless clause as regards oppression or segregation. But a godless society is worse because it has no support from the majority. On the Catholic Church’s position on politics the same pastoral letter of old reads and I quote; “Although our reflections will necessarily bear upon political debate, we wish to make it clear at the onset that we speak as religious pastors and not as politicians, as preachers of the Gospel and not proponents of political systems. It is not the role of the church to make decisions concerning the type of political system to be adopted by the nation.”

Therefore, I wish to remind the reverend bishops that the Zambian people on their own have overwhelmingly decided to uphold and endorsed the Christian Nation Declaration. This matter, in its current form is now beyond one man Dr FTJ Chiluba (MHSRIEP), as the people themselves have overwhelmingly endorsed it. Is it not only fair that the Catholic Bishops leave this matter as it stands since it is the will of the people? Stretching this debate any further simply means we should restart the whole process all over if the final decision will be made in the interest of the people and representative of the people’s wish. The people themselves have decided what constitution they want. Needless to mention that restarting this debate, will be very costly.

Ironically, the Catholic Church leaders of today are actively involved in political activism. Examples of this are Father Bwalya and Father Viateur Banyangadora though the two find themselves on opposite ends. One is embraced the other is neglected. Does the silence of the Bishops on the issue of the deportation of Father Banyangadora not betray which side of the political divide the Catholics Bishops are?   This sharp contrast and departure from the pastoral position of yester year is amazing or has the Vatican Constitution?

It is important to emphasise that it is undemocratic to manipulate a process that is in its final stage to champion such a sectionist agenda of a minority group which will not stand the vote of the majority of the Zambians. Where were these Bishops when Willa Mung’omba Commission went round the country? This late ambush on the constitution making process amounts nothing but an assault to democracy. I wish to urge every responsible citizen to defend the Christian Nation Declaration against the whims of the wolves that have invaded our society and whose disposition does not represent the soul and spirit of the Zambian society.

Author wishes to remain anonymous

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