In the last election, Kenya witnessed in real time how Religious undercurrent and symbology permeated our politics and now, civil rights of Kenyans in the LGBTQ following an entry of the ‘Church’s candidate’ into State House.
The term Christian Nationalism has its origins in the US since the country’s founding and was prominently used by members of the Ku Klux Klan. However, in Kenya, it is a new phenomenon the country first witnessed under late President Moi in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, and now, while in the hands of his protege, Dr. William Ruto.
In Kenya, there are people who believe the country is a Christian nation and that Christianity is the most important Religion of all – something that flies in the face of Muslims, Hindus, African Spiritualists, and other deities.
The founding fathers and the framers of our Constitution did not at any point elevate any religious group above the other. And have affirmed Kenya is a Secular State.
In an effort to galvanize an anti-Luo and anti-Raila movement in the last election, UDA leader William Ruto aligned with the Kenyan Clergy, tribal politicians (led by his deputy Gachagua), and Christian voters and positioned himself as ‘Candidate of the Church’.
Mr. Odinga had long been labeled as anti-Christ by his competitors with the Kenyan church personifying him as the devil incarnate.
Sunday services across the Mt Kenya region during the campaigns were pervasive with anti-Raila rhetoric, and ethnic galvanization an indication that being a Christian in Kenya has become more of an identity than a Religion. An identity that carries with it tribal stereotypical political views, authoritarianism, and patriarchy.
The Kenyan Clergy, before the stain of politics, used to spread the gospel and the good news of Jesus Christ and condemn evil. However today, the Christian Clergy in Kenya are equated to political mouthpieces and puppets of leaders in Power.
After Moi retired in 2002 and Kenya started witnessing a wave of liberalism under Kibaki, and Uhuru, members of the clergy, Christian men and women of cloth to be exact started to have a feeling that the country was slipping away from its core Christian beliefs to embrace evils like abortion and LQBTQ rights and that they had to fight to restore the Religious values that had been lost. So they needed power and William Ruto perfectly fit the shoe of a ‘True Christian leader’. He has been an ally since 2010 when opposing Katiba 2010.
The Kenyan Christian Clergy is the single biggest threat to our national unity. It goes against our core foundational idea that our belonging in the Kenyan society should never be defined by how we worship or who we politically identify with.
Members of the Clergy know declaring Kenya a religious nation with a national Altar at State House is unconstitutional. Do they genuinely believe in supporting the government and its leader for the benefit of all Kenyans or just a system of government that will privilege their Faith?