When the pot calls the kettle black

Historically religion and politics played a major role in how the world evolved.

The word apartheid remains part of the SA political narrative. It’s a useful weapon in the ANC’s incapacitated armoury.

That the system under the Nationalist Party was diabolical and inhuman remains a given, but to use it out of context, as our president often does, is disingenuous.

I’ve just finished reading a novel based on the religious tiff between the Catholics and Protestants during the 1600s. When the former were in charge, they decapitated the latter, and vice versa. Cruelty and intolerance at its worse. A king was beheaded and his head and entrails put on public display. When it was Oliver Cromwell’s turn, he had already died. This didn’t stop the king’s supporters from digging him up and doing the beheading. It goes without saying the two religions worshipped very much apart.

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A paradox for sure. Both guaranteeing a place for their followers in the afterlife. Both swearing to “love their neighbour”. The plot in the novel had me thinking about apartheid.


“Segregation” in English. Living apart. The same can be said of religion. Worshipping apart. If I had dared associate the word with religion at the time of Charles I and Oliver, you would’ve seen my head and piggy-backed heart hanging from Riviersonderend’s town hall flagpole.

At last count over 4 000 religions exist. This figure doesn’t take into account the number of offshoots, called sects by mainline adherents, who claim exclusive rights to the only “true belief” guaranteeing a heavenly afterlife.

To add to the mix, there are the radical fringe, who kill the infidels who disagree with their ludicrous tenets. Historically religion and politics played a major role in how the world evolved. Both were responsible for horrendous atrocities.

I can appreciate the reason many folk consider the two anathema and stay clear of ballot and collection boxes. I reckon my mom-in-law had it right when she separated her personal belief from religion.

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In other words, no matter what church you belong to, or what religion is tagged to it, it’s your belief that’s important to you and others. And her life showed it. She loved her “saviour”, loved her neighbours and didn’t believe in “church apartheid”. She felt at home in any denomination – an exception to the rule. That’s my girl.

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