South Africa’s 2019 National elections are done and dusted and the results tell an interesting tale. As to be expected, the ANC took the lion’s share of the vote and will continue to govern for the next five years.
What stands out for me is something that took place immediately after the elections. Merely four days later the Sunday Times led with a story with the title Grade 4s to learn about masturbation in new life orientation curriculum. This is part of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curriculum that treats masturbation, sexual consent, gender nonconformity and single-parent families as mainstream.
Christians are in uproar even as the Department of Basic Education issued a statement to distance itself from the newspaper’s version of the proposed curriculum.
Is this a precursor of things to come? Well, prior to elections many believers were crying foul about threats to religious freedoms. They bemoaned the militant stance taken by the CRL Commission and its threat to regulate religion.
Concerns also exist that the Children’s Act Amendment Bill — currently before parliament – could end adoptions by 2021. This in a country with over three million orphans.
The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill is another piece of legislation that will restrict Christian beliefs. This bill has a broad definition of what constitutes hates speech and this definition will likely include long-standing Christian tenets, like our position on marriage, human sexuality, etc.
And just last year, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs adopted the Civil Union Amendment Bill which aims to repeal legislation allowing for conscientious objection to solemnising a civil union between people of the same sex.
The country’s legislators are clearly in pursuit of policies and values that are antithetical to Christian values. And yet, in every election, they are assured of a huge mandate and endorsement from the country’s Christian majority.
It is a situation that defies logic and can only be explained by the word “dualism”. Many Christians have a faith that is preeminent only between elections because, come election time, this faith is subordinated to social conditions. They vote for their “persecutors” and then turn around and complain about persecution.
They are trapped in a disconnect between the electoral choice and the resultant consequences. It is an absurdity that is responsible for the deaths of millions of unborn children since the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1996 became law.
The rest of our voters are no different. They elect leaders and then complain of malfeasance from the same leaders. In various commissions some of these leaders have been exposed as corrupt and responsible for the abuse of state power.
As South Africans we have almost adopted an attitude of being masters of our fate.
Trust in democratic instruments and institutions has almost replaced trust in God. We vote for a party because it promises a “better life”. Some promise improved security and infrastructure while others undertake to care for us from the “cradle to the grave”.
I am not sure where trust in God fits in the equation. And bear in mind that some of these promises are built on a bad and faulty foundation. A foundation of ethnic rivalry, violence, intimidation. cultural fascism, etc.
Take a contentious issue such as land. South Africans are discussing this issue as if God — the real owner — does not exist. Divine principles of stewardship are ignored in favour of ownership.
And yet Christians are expected to rise above personal and ethnic interests. They are supposed to be more concerned with the advancement of God’s kingdom.
The freedom to believe and preach the Gospel should rate higher than access to material benefits. Otherwise, we are doomed to a life of legal and social restrictions of which prayer and petitions would not free us.