What moral ground do Christians stand on?


THERE appears to be a spirited attempt to reduce content of the National School Pledge to a religious passage meant to intrude into the religious domain of some faiths.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The National School Pledge, recited by pupils at school assemblies every morning, is meant to inculcate a sense of patriotism from an early age.
As the Zimbabwean Constitution allows freedom of worship, the need for one to love one’s country cuts across all religious and even political divides.
In fact, citizens united by sharing the same devotion to their country, be they African Traditionalists, Moslems, Christians, Hindus, Zionists or Buddhists, to mention a few, should share the same determination to see the sovereignty of their country preserved.
Thus promotion of unity in diversity and the concept of loyalty to one’s country and not exclusively to one’s religion are key components of the National School Pledge.
National pledges are not unique to Zimbabwe.
In many countries, including Britain and the US, the national pledge is used as an instrument to instill a sense of national belonging.
What is unique to Zimbabwe, however, is the visible hostility to anything seen as exclusively beneficial to Zimbabweans.
The National School Pledge being the latest example.
From the outset, let’s dismiss the feeble argument that there were no consultations over the wording of the school pledge.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Dr Lazarus Dokora points out that the pledge was derived from the preamble to Zimbabwe’s Constitution, a document arrived at after widespread consultations, which culminated in a referendum.
However, as expected, the MDC- T and opposition press, in the name of Christianity, have come out guns blazing, savaging the pledge as an outrageous ‘pagan’ practice.
They argue the inclusion of the National Flag and the deceased national war heroes is recognition of idolatry and ancestral worship.
Paradoxically, this is the very flag they have been saluting since 1980.
And the preamble to the National Constitution is very eloquent about the need to ‘respect the brave fathers and mothers who lost lives in the Chimurenga/Umvukela’.
But wait a minute!
Isn’t this the same Christian leadership that had missionaries like Robert Moffat sent ahead to soften blacks by introducing Christianity as a prelude to mental colonisation?
Isn’t this the same leadership whose chaplains blessed the Pioneer Column as it plundered and impoverished the blacks?
The same leadership that baptised Sekuru Kaguvi ‘Dismas’ before brutally hanging him.
Indeed isn’t this the same Christian leadership that blessed Rhodesians before they committed massacres at Chibondo, Butcher Farm, Nyadzonia, Chimoio, Freedom Camp, among other camps.
It is absurd that racists with such a devilish recent past would now like to take leadership in opposing the National School Pledge on religious grounds.
Let’s not be fooled by thinking that people like MDC-T’s Obert Gutu and some of our local dailies are the real opponents of the pledge.
These are mere quislings and collaborators.
It is imperialists in London and New York who fear that with the introduction of the pledge in schools, their strategic weapon is now in danger.
As director of Royal Africa Society (RAS) Richard Dowden, quoted in one of our stories, observes after ZANU PF’s landslide victory of July 2013: “Education is the one window that remains open for the British to exercise influence in Zimbabwe.”
With Christianity dominating the education system, mental colonisation had been self-perpetuating.
The National School Pledge does not give preference to any religion, with Christianity a key instrument in transferring soft power now disabled.
Let’s not blindly follow those who want us to abandon our efforts to create a common denominator that binds our people together from an early age through the National School Pledge.


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