Being a Christian myself, I am writing this with a heavy heart; yet, it must be said to set the record straight.
By asking government to come up with a dress code and then enforce it, the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) is not only suggesting that we go back to the dark old days, but also treading on dangerous ground.
I am saying this because by adopting this ultra conservative position, the MCC wants the State to do their job which is that of enforcing morality. In other words, MCC is saying, as churches, they have failed in their job of ministering to Malawians on how to be good Christiansâ€”which in their view is wearing clothes that cover you up completelyâ€”and they want the State to help them using legislation.
Yet, this group is paid handsomely from donations of poor people and the tithe that they stash every Sunday to do just that.
But I have got news for them. Once you give the State a yard, it will take a kilometre. I do not think most MCC leaders are so young that they did not live under the MCP government that enforced the so-called dress code. Is that what they want? That we go back to that dark and repugnant era?
Freedom is priceless and the country paid dearly with blood to gain the freedom we are enjoying today. As a father, I want my children to enjoy their youth just like their counterparts in other parts of the world and be free from any shackles that far-right entities such MCC would want to impose on them.
I know later and with my guidance, they will naturally outgrow it, like I did. But I will fight with the last ounce of my energy to stop anybody who tries to take away this right from them and give it to the State. By saying this, I am sure I am speaking on behalf of many parents who would rather retain the right to advise their children on what clothes to wear or not, other than mortgaging that to the State, as the MCC shamelessly suggested last week.
But I am not surprised by MCC. Church leaders in Malawi seem to have this funny feeling that the State will do their job, for which they get paid handsomely. That is why, despite their calling in which they are supposed to preach and practise mercy, they are happy to see the State lock up twoÂ people in the most cruel and violent manner, purely for agreeing to express themselves sexually in a manner that is different from the rest of us, but within the confines of four walls.
If church leaders think the youth are immoral in their dress or homosexuals are the scumbags of the earth, why canâ€™t they preach to them about a loving God who is ready to forgive them other than demanding that the State should legislate against immorality? And why are they choosing which sins to legislate against? Why are they not also demanding that the State should legislate against other moral sins such as adultery? Is it because they take part in quite good measure as the prostitutes testified the other day when they were forming their own association?
I am against a powerful State because I am a child of my history. I grew up under dictatorship and I do not want the youth and teenagers of Malawi to go through the same. I do not want government to take away peopleâ€™s freedoms in the name of caressing the over-inflated egos of some far-right ultra conservatives, trading under the name of MCC.