Sunday, 1 July 2007

Blogging Against Theocracy - Separation of Church and State

Taking part in the second blogswarm against theocracy, as I find this a topic very close to my heart.

I utterly detest those individuals who, whether in taking on a religion or being born into it,seem to believe that their theology is the only way that humankind can, or should be allowed to, live.These theocrats come in various flavours, from Bible-believing Christians to Muslim radicals to hectic Atheists.

No, I'm not calling all Atheists theocrats, but some behave as if the Book of Science should replace the Books of Faith-and that's just silly.

I'm also not a particular fan of governments -any governments, anywhere, as their basic premise appears to be similar to that of the theocrats.

But if we must lumber ourselves with government, let it be as small and non-intrusive as possible.Above all, let it stay the hel out of my spiritual life, or lack of one.

On that note, I perceive that we have a political party in this country who are, in fact, the worst of potential theocrats.

The African Christian Democratic Party want One Book to Rule Us All, and make very few bones about saying so.

Just listen to them:

The ACDP acknowledges God as the Sovereign Creator of the universe, who
has entrusted to humanity the right and responsibility to rule over the affairs of
the world.
The ACDP believes in a constitutional state that promotes Christian moral
values and as such rejects the concept of South Africa as a secular state.
We are committed to raising a new generation of God-fearing leaders of
integrity, dedicated to serving the nation.

As if that's not enough:

The ACDP believes that South Africa must be a nation in submission to
Almighty God.

Here are their takes on

A multi-faith religious instruction programme compiled by the state is now compulsory and examinable in both public and private institutions, regardless of the community, teachers, parents and children. This is an outright attack on diversity and people's right to their beliefs.

OK, you can stop laughing now.
Who defined diversity for these people to mean my way or the highway?

Then there's
The penalty for violating the sanctity of life is stated in Genesis 9:6. "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed". Why? "For in the image of God He made man". God so highly estimates human life that He will not suffer murder to go unavenged. Though justice belongs only to God, He delegates it to institutions He sets up among men.

So - God's delegated it to you, right?

Further, they've pretty much decided that women wanting to exercise control over their own bodies is The Enemy and would do away with it tout suite.

The ACDP calls on all South Africans to recognise the insidious enemy, thriving in our midst, and rally to eradicate it. This enemy, protected by legislation, murders unborn children in broad daylight, pollutes the minds of the youth, and cripples society, all with the approval and encouragement of government and even some churches.

Even some churches? Mercy be upon us! Some churches may be compassionate.Away with them!

A topic that SAPRA has been exercising its voice in is apportioning of public holidays.We still have a surfeit of Christian holidays which we are obliged to take, a legacy of our apartheid past.
The ACDP thinks this is a direct attempt at oppression of Christians:

Public Hoildays:
To demonstrate the party's commitment to celebrating Christian holy days, ACDP Members of Parliament and staff celebrated Ascension Day with their family and churches. While no formal attempt has been made to remove Good Friday and Christmas Day from the holiday calendar, the ACDP has vowed to resist any such attempts and has called for Ascension Day to be returned to the public holiday calendar.

Note, "no formal attempt has been made to remove Good Friday and Christmas Day..".
But you know those crafty Christ-deniers. They'll have our Pagan..err..Christian holidays away from us before you can say "synchretism".

Finally, please note the direct contradiction to logic in their 'policies' statement:

The ACDP believes in the separation between Church (religious institutions) and State. The purpose of the State is not to promote any specific organisation or group.
Nevertheless it is understood that God and State must not be separated. It is not only the right of godly men and women to be involved in State structures and to be employed by the State, but it is their duty to do so, where God has ordained.

Yes, I thought that was pretty good, too.

This bundle of aggrieved sensibilities which calls itself a political party also objected to our constitution, being the only lot to vote against its adoption.

So- lest anyone think that what we have here is the South African equivalent of the Monster Raving Loony Party, please note that the ACDP has actual citizens voting for it.
Between 1994 and 2000, they increased their representation from 7 to 70 councilors.

Says something about the voting public in this country, I suppose.