Don’t use a false religion to attack VPs

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IN December last year after the two Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko had been appointed, the so-called private media went out of its way to attack the good names of these newly appointed Vice-Presidents, especially VP Mnangagwa or his perceived supporters.
The goal was to undermine VP Mnangagwa’s integrity.
One of these malicious attacks which was directed at VP Mnangagwa’s perceived supporter, Minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education and Vocational Training, Josiah Hungwe centred on the expression ‘son of God/man’.
Hungwe was accused of committing the sin of blasphemy when he is alleged to have referred to VP Mnangagwa as ‘son of God/man’ at the VP’s family function in Zvishavane soon after he had been appointed.
It is the aim of this article to show that one, to say that the expression ‘son of God/man’ was first used to refer to Jesus Christ is absolutely wrong.
Two, the The Standard and others who claim to be national newspapers should not appear to push a Christian agenda at the expense of other religions which are protected by the country’s Constitution.
Three, if the truth be told, the attack on Hungwe had other agendas and were never meant to protect the good name of Jesus Christ.
Let us start with the expression ‘son of God/man’ whose utterance by Hungwe was considered blasphemous.
To refer to anyone as ‘son of God/man’ is not blasphemous because the very person who was referred to as such was a mere mortal.
Here is the brief history of how the expression ‘son of God/man’ was born.
The First Roman Emperor, Augustus Caesar was born Gaius Octavius.
When Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44BC, in his will the late Julius Caesar named Gaius Octavius as his adopted son and heir.
Gaius Octavius and one Mark Antony defeated Julius Caesar’s assassins and ruled together for a while.
Later Gaius Octavius defeated Mark Antony in a civil war and became the sole ruler.
Gauis Octavius became the First Roman Emperor in history.
He then dropped the names Gauis Octavius and became Augustus Caesar.
Now at some point, it is said a huge star lit the heavens and that event was accepted as signifying that the late Julius Caesar had been deified meaning he had now become a god.
This was in 44BC, the very year Julius Caesar had been killed.
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Now because Augustus Caesar was by adoption the son of the late Julius Caesar who had now become a god, a new praise name was added to his many praise names.
And the new praise name was ‘Divi Filius’- (the son of God).
And this was as we have said because he was the son of a god – Julius Caesar.
And so Augustus Caesar ended up with the following praise names or titles Imperator Augustus Caesar Pontifiex Maximus, Pater Patriae DiviFilius.
Let us translate these titles. Imperatier (Emperor), Augstus Caesar (Augustus Caesar), Pontifix Maximus (The Chef priest of high priests), Pater Patriae (father of the nation), Divi Filius (son of God).
And so the full name reads, ‘Emperor Augustus Caesar, the Chief priest of high priests, Father of the nation, son of God’.
Jesus Christ was born when August Caesar was referred to as ‘son of God’. Jesus Christ was crucified by Romans when Augustus Caesar was still being referred as ‘son of God’.
And so it is totally wrong to say the expression ‘son of God/man’ was first used to refer to Jesus Christ.
It was one of Emperor Augustus Caesar’s praise names used before Jesus Christ time.
And so to talk of blasphemy when one uses the expression ‘son of God’ here is displaying one’s ignorance about these issues.
Now let us come to the second point which is to do with our country’s Constitution.
Here is what our constitution says regarding religion in this country in its founding values and principles.
“Zimbabwe is founded on respect for the following values and principles – the nation’s diverse cultural, religious and traditional values.”
In this country there is a variety of religions, Judaism, Islam, African traditional religion, Hinduism, Buddhisin, etc.
The Constitution expects us to respect the above religions.
Now who is the Standard newspaper to force the Zimbabwe Jews in Harare – yes, vanaSam Levy and company to refer to Jesus Christ as ‘son of God’ when from their religious perspective he is not a son of God.
As a matter of fact, they consider it an act of blasphemy itself to refer to Jesus Christ as son of God.
The same goes for the numerous Moslems you find in our country.
They consider Jesus Christ one of the great prophets and not ‘son of God’. When you come to Buddhists, and Hindus they don’t even know what the hell you are talking about.
With African traditionalists they only believe in God the Almighty – Musikavanhu.
Therefore it is misplaced to talk about blasphemy when talking about Jesus Christ because outside Christianity, the many diverse religions in this country which our constitution recognises do not consider Jesus Christ ‘son of God’. The Standard must stop being intolerant religious bigots!
Then there is something very interesting on the attack on Hungwe accusing him of blasphemy.
Why did The Standard and its fellow travellers single out the Psychomotor Minister for allegedly committing an act of blasphemy by using the expression ‘son of God/man’ when referring to humans when every day that passes these newspapers meet people who in our opinion are committing real blasphemy, but they choose not to attack these individuals.
We are talking here about what is going on in churches such as the Methodist Church, Roman Catholic Church, etc.
From a religious perspective and in Shona Bibles in particular, the only person who is referred to as ‘Mufudzi’ is God himself.
We thus find, for example God being referred to as ‘Mufudzi’ in the following passages from the Bible:
“Jehova ndiye mufudzi wangu, hapana chandinoshaiwa.
“Anondisesedza pamafuro manyoro.”
Now does The Standard want its readers to believe that they as a ‘paper’ are not aware that pastors in the Methodist Church are referred to as ‘mufudzi’?
And that the congregations in the Methodist Church refer to their pastor or superintendent as ‘mufudzi’.
Now is this not the real blasphemy where the pastor a mere mortal is referred to as God.
Then we have the Roman Catholics also.
We all know that from a religious and biblical perspective, the only person who is referred to as ‘father’ in the ‘holy Bible’ is God.
Jesus always talked about ‘my Father’ referring to God.
One of the most well known Christian prayers is the ‘Our Father’.
Yes, “Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, etc.”
The ‘Our Father’ who is being referred to here is ‘God’.
But all the Roman Catholic priests in Zimbabwe call themselves ‘father’ a title from a religious perspective only reserved for God.
Now can anyone beat this kind of blasphemy?
Since the answer is a definite ‘No’ why then is The Standard mum on this outrageous blasphemy?
This brings us back to the malicious attack on Hungwe.
The attack was not some Zimbabwe version of a Christian crusade aimed at protecting the good name of Jesus Christ.
After all, our arguments in this article have shown beyond doubt that Hungwe never committed any act of blasphemy.
The truth of the matter, however, is that the attack on Hungwe was in fact a cowardly, malicious and veiled attack on Vice President Mnangagwa by malcontents masquerading as Christian religious zealots out to protect the good name of Jesus Christ when in fact these malcontents’ aim is to undermine VP Mnangagwa’s political integrity.

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