Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Don't snigger yet.

Smugly, some of us are staring down our noses at the congregants at the Salvation Healing Ministry even while we get fleeced at our own houses of sanctuary. This is not a new phenomenon; Kenyans have been paying the price for their absolute faith in their godmen for the past twenty five years. It is not something that will change any time soon, no matter the number of exposes done by news reporters. Victor Kanyari is unpolished, but he is not the only false prophet. He is not the first; he is unlikely to be the last.

Our constitution protects our freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion. That means if one chooses to believe that a man is a prophet and that he has performed miracles, there is little that the State or anyone can do about it. And Eric Mutua's assertion that Victor Kanyari has obtained money by false pretenses will be laughed out of the High Court because even if Mr Kanyari solicits money to perform miracles, how will Mr Mutua and his Law Society prove that the miracles did not occur? All Mr Kanyari has to argue is that faith was lacking!

We are raised to believe that what our parents introduce us to is true. Few of us question what our parents taught us. Those who do tend to simply rebel, slightly, while staying true to much of what they were taught. So a son is likely to abandon his fathers Roman catholic ism for his girlfriend's Anglicanism or his teachers Pentecostalism. It is the rare rebel who will change faiths completely. Therefore, Mr Kanyari is unlikely to lose congregants, he is unlikely to lose his gospel-music-singing wife and he is unlikely to lose the millions he has finagled out of the people who have faith he is a "doctor" and a "prophet".

Those of you who are smug in your derision of Victor Kanyari's "victims" best wipe off those smiles. You are in much the same boat. Many of you have absolute faith that the interpretation of the bible by the men and women who speak to you every Sunday from the pulpit is true and is motivated only by your spiritual well-being. Yet you have done precious little to question how and where your tithes and offerings are spent. Does your congregation run a food kitchen? Does it minister to the sick by paying their hospital bills? Does it spend money in rehabilitating the drug-addled bodies of those living on the streets? Do have any idea how many commercial enterprises your congregation pays for? When it comes down to it, you choose to turn a blind eye to what your faith-leaders do so long as they do not directly ask you for money "like in other churches" you are contempt to live under the delusion that yours is a body of Christ founded on faith.

It is amazing how otherwise rational professional adults suspend rational thought and professionalism when it comes to "matters of faith." They will explain it away by anecdotes of paranormal phenomena which they were unable to explain. They will psychologically justify the smug satisfaction of being among the chosen ones on their way to divine glory. They will determinedly turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to what they see and what they hear about the godmen who hold their spiritual loves in their hands. Your godman is engaged and the wedding is suddenly called off? Blame it on "haters". Your godman is pending hundreds of millions on a luxurious lifestyle? God has been very, very providential. Your godman is caught in a lodging house with a another man's wife? Blame it on the devil. We will live in denial about what we see, what we know and what we hear, because our vacuous empty lives would come crashing down our ears if we were to admit the truth: we are just as gullible as the poor woman who was felt up on camera by Victor Kanyari.

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