Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ezekiel Mutua strikes again

This is from Ezekiel Mutua, the sermonising moral crusader who is the CEO of the Kenya Film Classification Board, KFCB.
When an atheist appears on a national TV and says he won't bring up his children ". . .the way Ezekiel Mutua wants..." for me it's an acknowledgement that the crusade on moral values is gathering momentum. This is an important national conversation.
Our Constitution acknowledges the supremacy of "the Almighty God of all creation." Our sense of right and wrong is premised on the fundamental faith in God. That's the foundation of our moral compass.
Atheists championing the... campaign on "Raising Children without God" are actually in breach of the Constitution. For as long as it's within my power to enforce the Film and Stage Plays Act there will be no such meetings meant to brainwash people to defy the Constitution and the law. To allow such is akin to approving radicalization.
Let these Godless fellows go and practise their "godlessness" elsewhere. Kenya is a God fearing nation and most citizens want to raise their children in a Godly manner.
I am drawing a line on this one!
The preamble states, "We, the people of Kenya...ACKNOWLEDGING the supremacy of Almighty God of all creation" but is maddeningly silent on "right and wrong". Indeed, read through all eighty six thousand or so words of the Constitution of Kenya and if the rightness or wrongness of a thing is declared among any of those words, I will forever restrain myself from needling Mr Mutua to the point he hides his ridiculous posts from me or those who deign to question the extent of his official remit.

There is no law that decrees parents to raise their children to not just believe in Almighty God of all creation but to also base their morality on that belief. Mr Mutua accuses atheistic parents who propose to raise their children without [a belief in] God as akin to defying the Constitution and the law. What provision of the Constitution has been defied? What Act of Parliament or regulations made under an Act of Parliament have been defied? And no, it is not the Films and Stage Plays Act, chapter 222 of the Laws of Kenya, or section 46I of the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998.

There are one or two provisions of the Constitution that Mr Mutua must pay attention to. First is Article 260 which is used to interpret key words of the Constitution. Mr Mutua will not find a definition of "almighty god of all creation', "Almighty God", "God", or "God of all creation". Second is Article 8. It states that there shall be no state religion. That one remains self-eplanataory though I fear Mr Mutua may require an explanation. It means, simply, that even if Kenya were a "God-fearing nation", as Mr Mutua would have you believe, neither the State nor the Government can proseletyse about which God to believe in and fear.

Third is Article 32 on freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion. Article 32 (2) and (3) limits the enjoyment of the freedom of expression; but that of belief, religion or opinion remains unfettered, subject only to the limitations in Article 24 which include reasonableness and justifiable-ness based on human dignity, equality and freedom. Fourth, Mr Mutua will come up against the strictures in Article 31 on privacy which decrees that the everyone has the right not to have information relating to their family affairs unnecessarily required or infringed.

In another of his disquisitions, Mr Mutua rightly quotes Article 45 family and the obligations of the State to both protect and recognise he family as the basis of social order. He would argue, I believe, that atheism threatens social order but so far he has advanced no proof that this is true. He also forgets that the context of Article 45 eschews religion and promotes, however ambivalently, heterosexual marriage and protects and recognises the rights inherent in such a marriage. If his intention, in the context of the family, was the protection of the children in that family, he would have had better luck relying on Article 53, especially Article 53(1)(d) and 53(2), which protect children from abuse and harmful cultural practices (if he could prove that atheism is either a form of abuse or a harmful cultural practice) and declare that on every matter concerning children, their best interests are paramount (by demonstrating that theism is in the best interests of the child).

At the end of the day, though, Mr Mutua must be prepared to face heightened scrutiny from civil libertarians. If he is speaking in his private capacity, then he is free to promote his ultra-conservative agenda. However, if he intends to use his public office to perform a duty that should be performed by another public officer (if the duty could be performed at all) by overstepping the bounds of his official mandate, he shall face the implacable constitutional hostility of all right-thinking libertarians. The choice of what he intends to do is entirely his but the outcomes of that choice may not be his to control. I hope he is prepared.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for this enlightening blog post. Totally appreciated.

President, Atheists In Kenya (AIK)