EDITORIAL: Religion and politics should be complementary, not rivals

Famed German philosopher and economist, Karl Marx, widely regarded as the grandfather of Communism, also left quite memorable quotes.

One that has stood the test of time is the famous: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people".

That has proven true among some religions and sects of recent, especially the fundamentalists who justify killing in the name of God. Others prey on the gullibility of their followers handing them a straw of hope when they are at their lowest psychological point and fleece them in the process.

Rwanda has freedom of worship but it will not hesitate to step in when religious organisations go against established societal norms.

Recently we saw the closure of hundreds of places of worship because they did not meet set standards. There was some outcry but that receded when they went ahead and conformed to requirements and were allowed to reopen.

Now it is time for the powerful Catholic Church to enter the fray. Among the many recent laws that were recently amended, abortion was allowed under some strict circumstances; whether due to defilement, rape or incest. The law is even more explicit when the victim is under the age of 14 years.

The Catholic Church will have none of it. It has ordered its numerous health facilities not to perform legally sanctioned abortions, even if the pregnancy poses a danger to the lives of both mother and foetus.

But when it plays on the conscious of all doctors to defy lawful orders, on religious grounds, it is a bit overstretching their limits, it is akin to incitement. The Church is better qualified to interpret Jesus Christ when he said:

“Render unto Caezar the things that are Caezar’s and unto God the things that are God’s”. There should be no mix-up.

 

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