The President of South Africa is nothing if not ambitious on political campaign promises. Could anything be more so than to tell voters that to vote for your party (African National Congress in this case) was a vote for heaven, and one for any other party was a vote for hell, as he has just done in the Eastern Cape?
Of course, this simply follows the successful formula used by religious leaders throughout the ages, and now such leaders are furious that their copyright is being infringed.
The separation of church and state never really gives the government a keen and fanatical enough following. Adding the wellbeing of immortal souls to the ante is certainly a far more persuasive measure than anything else one may devise. Politicians might as well do it – the promise is hardly more extravagant than the ones they make on more mundane matters. Surely USA and Britain are watching with interest to see how well it works.
However, President Jacob Zuma must be hoping that an event eagerly awaited by all Christians doesn’t take place too soon – in 2009 campaigning he boasted that the ANC would rule ‘until Jesus comes’. In reality, like Mugabe of Zimbabwe, he would probably be reluctant to stand down even if that happened.
© Colonialist February 2011 (WordPress)