This is a fascinating article about the relationship between church and state in Namibia.
Churches were major driving forces in getting Namibia’s independence on the formal international agenda through resistive courage, a record that worldwide is, unfortunately, neither consistent nor unblemished; they do support the wrong side sometimes! But in Namibia’s case they did well and the political elements owe a considerable debt.
Now that the “struggle” is over, apartheid has gone and the new order is entrenched, political elements realise a rising tide of criticism is flowing and is being pumped by the engine of religion fuelled by social/ethical conscience, glued together by faith! God, all versions, has a good track record of survival under duress; in a world of increasing unfairness and division, whatever theocratic mantra dominates, religion and other fundamental beliefs are gaining support.
Their allegiances are likely to shift towards the spiritual; congregations (and other civil society groupings) that have power and are beginning to exert it.
On the other hand religion has also entered a rocky road as it forsakes God for mammon; recent criticism of the “world preacher class” buying private jets and excessive lifestyles indicates there are black sheep in the flock.
Locally several cases of the “very religious” being caught with their hands in the till big-time, have emerged! Hypocrisy flavoured with violent intent is also far from new as is the intent to monopolise the truth by imposing ignorance upon their flock.
Kings no longer have the power of Divine Right and through this the right to treat their kingdom as a personal playground! So it was quite interesting to note that a regional leader seems intent on restoring the power of Divine Right; probably in a similar phase of his rule of his predecessor who said “never in a thousand years”.
It was also interesting that one of Namibia’s more youthful politicos is reportedly recommending this separation be negated by having a “Ministry Of Religions Of Namibia” (Moron).
Visions of denomination desks, desks for transubstantiation, virgin birth and reincarnation, a religious electoral commission, praying licences and a levy on donations loomed; and lots of jobs.
However I fear the spiritual society would be literally “up in arms”.