Ministers of faith are some of the most bigoted, hateful, moralistic sadists in the universe. And that too knowing that the gods they tend to represent here on Earth are bigoted, hateful, moralistic sadists of note. Every now and then, ministers of faith remind us why the enormous non-statutory power they wield should be taken away once and for all.
This past weekend, a couple that wished to enter the institution of marriage with their eyes wide open had the wind taken out of their sails by an excrementally, monumentally cruel minister of faith. Now, some have argued that when the couple settled for that particular minister of faith, they should have known that when one licks honey from a rose bush, there will be good parts and there will be bad parts and they should have been prepared for all eventualities, as Kenyans are wont to say. However, by all accounts, the happy-till-then couple had complied with the long list of demands the minister of faith had made before officiating at their happy day. They had no way of knowing that caprice would cast a dark cloud over their union and that the minister of faith's pique would not only make their union memorable for all the wrong reasons, but also because of the enormous time and expense that were wasted to indulge his massive ego.
Of course, as is their wont, Kenyans on Twitter were quick to point out two significant statutory mistakes that the minister of faith made: first, he insisted that the couple must undertake an HIV/AIDS test before he could officiate at their wedding. Second, he insisted that he should be notified when they had complied with his demand. By making both demands, the minister of faith committed an offence as set out in section 13 of the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act, 2006, which not only make it an offence to compel any person to undertake an HIV/AIDS test but also to use an HIV/AIDS test as a precondition for marriage. What I am 99.99% confident of is that the minister of faith will not be arraigned before any court of law any time soon. Moreover, he will also receive the raucously vocal support of fellow men and women of the cloth insisting that faith-based organisations of Kenya shall continue to play their role in preventing and controlling the spread of HIV and AIDS which, in their circles, have retained the moral-stained stigma against HIV and AIDS that made the disease so difficult to deal with in its early years.
We must come to terms with the enormous powers we have granted various social, cultural and statutory institutions because the more powers we grant these institutions, the less free we become, the more oppressed we are. In the dark days of colonial conquest, the colonialist's religion was an excellent tool for the pacification of the indigenous peoples, erasing their cultures and mores, demolishing their social, cultural and political institutions, and imposing the edifices of colonialism that have stood the test of time, with indigenous homeguards being more colonialist than the colonialist himself. None are more colonialist that the colonialist than ministers of faith, who have resisted time and tide as the world around them has evolved beyond their wildest fantasies.
This power must be broken before it succeeds in the never-ended colonial endeavour to break us as humans, as a people, as a community. The minister of faith, with his vindictive paternalism, is an example of the kind of power that we must break, break with and break away from. One of the ways we can do so is to prosecute him for his offences. The HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act, 2006 is one weapon we can wield against this execrable human as a warning to the rest of the bigots on his side that we shall no longer cower before a man who claims friendship with powerful imaginary friends and attempts to order our lives even to the most intimate and personal degree. It is time we said, "BASTA!"