The country’s new constitution, overwhelmingly voted for by 94, 5% of voters on March 16 this year, is an affront to the Christian faith. At face value, it would appear this “negotiated” governance charter was probably the best under the circumstances.
Reading the fine print, however, reveals a more disturbing reality.
While we purport that Zimbabwe is, to a greater extent, a Christian nation, a look at the new charter shows that, for all its “democratic value”, it opens up this nation to the proliferation of evil. Although most of those who spearheaded the “Yes Vote” campaign took a rather parochial view of the draft, the more subtle spiritual undertones were ignored.
It is quite unfortunate that for the majority of Christians in this country, political matters are often dismissed as “worldly”. Contentious issues in the new supreme law — such as abortion, homosexuality and freedom of expression — are so loosely crafted that they are open to manipulation.
Section 48 (3) provides for permissive abortion. It reads: “An Act of Parliament must protect the lives of unborn children, and that Act must provide that pregnancy may be terminated only in accordance with the law.” It does not, however, proffer a constitutional framework within which such pregnancy could be terminated.
Legislators of the day, under this law, can, therefore, give a nod to abortion. The Church has over the passage of time contended that abortion should only be allowed if the pregnancy is an outcome of rape or threatens the life either of the mother or the unborn child. This, sadly, has not been captured in the new charter.
Section 60 (1) (a) and (b) guarantee every citizen’s right to freedom of conscience, thought, opinion, religion and belief. This provision is too wide, so wide that it can accommodate ungodly practices such as satanism, or anything that a “democratic” society can possibly recognise. It implies that one has a right to any kind of religion or belief. Sub section (b), in particular, promotes “freedom to practice and propagate and give expression to their thought, opinion, religion or belief, whether in public or in private and whether alone or together with others.”
While the Constitution’s preamble acknowledges the “Almighty God” this is merely symbolic as the God is undefined and there is no other such reference throughout the supreme law.
But perhaps the most contentious provisions are those on same sex unions and relationships. Although the new constitution prohibits same-sex marriages in Section 78 (3), it does not outlaw same-sex unions and partnerships. And in a democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom, same-sex unions are regarded as marriage and are protected under the Constitution. The right of every person who has attained the age of eighteen (18) years to found a family as contained in section 78(1) of the Constitution accommodates people of the same sex to found a family as consistent with their sexual orientation.
The Biblical positions regarding the so-called same-sex marriages and relationships are too loud to repeat here (Genesis 18 and 19, Romans 1:26-27 and Jude 7) suffice to say that the Christian faith is increasingly under threat from this dragon before which one nation after another is bowing.
France recently became the latest in a raft of countries, starting off with the Netherlands in 2001, to give the nod to gay marriages. There are about 19 countries worldwide were gay marriages are recognised.
What is very clear is that there are rigorous efforts across the globe for every nation to succumb to homosexuality and embrace it as a normal and acceptable practice. The frightening reality is that governments will not be able to stop the relentless march of this dragon.
It is quite unfortunate that for too long, Christians have been caught napping, distancing themselves from political processes that ultimately have a bearing on their faith as is the case with this Constitution. The draft was overwhelmingly voted for by Zimbabweans, including Christians. What is heartbreaking is that the majority of these people did not study the draft, but gave politicians the opportunity to decide for them.
Although the Church could have fought for the preservation of the Christian faith Zimbabwe during the time when the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference was held, it was denied the opportunity. Out of the 240 delegates meant to represent the interests of the Church, only seven were allowed in. This was too little a number to coalesce the push for such fundamental issues.
There is a drive across the world, especially in Europe, to stop the preaching of the Gospel which is being classified as “hate speech”. What this implies is that you can not preach Romans Chapter 1, which describes same sex unions as “vile” and “unseemly”, because you risk contravening the law against hate speech.
In an attack on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai after he had spoken against homosexuality at a rally in Glen View on March 8, the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (Galz), stood on the new Constitution and rapped the Premier. They “rightly” argued that he had violated the constitutional provision which says: “United in our diversity by our desire for freedom, justice and equality, and our heroic resistance to colonialism, racism and all forms of domination . . .”
It is important to note that the fight for ‘human rights’ in its advent — especially with regards to minorities — was primarily a question of race. It then moved to women, then paedophiles etc. Today’s fight for minorities has embraced homosexuals.
On May 7 this year, a group calling itself Concerned Christians, will lobby Parliament to make “technical changes” to some of the provisions they feel make the new Constitution too secular and liberal, thereby a perversion of values they hold most dear.