Wednesday, 24 June 2009

De Lille: Jacob is no Jesus

2008-12-01 22:31

Cape Town - Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille called on the ANC on Monday to stop using Biblical references in its election campaign after a regional party leader likened Jacob Zuma to Jesus.

"The ANC must be condemned in the strongest possible terms for its selective use of Christianity to further its political goals," De Lille said.

She accused the ANC of trying to portray itself and its leader as "god-like" and urged it to "stop using Jesus Christ, the Bible and Christianity in general to garner votes from the poor and the vulnerable".

The fierce critic of the multi-billion rand arms deal said it was blasphemous to compare a politician facing corruption allegations with Jesus.

"We in the Independent Democrats would like to draw the ANC's attention to the fact that Jesus was never charged with corruption.

"Adultery, the machine gun song and Zuma's failure to condemn war talk and hate speech by the ANC rank and file are examples of why it is insulting to compare Zuma with Christ," she said.

The ID's call comes after the ruling party's Free State leader, Ace Magashule, said the ANC president was suffering just like Jesus Christ did, in an interview published on Monday.

"Jesus was persecuted. He was called names and betrayed. It's the same kind of suffering Mr Zuma has had to bear recently, but he's still standing strong. He's not giving up," Magashule said.

De Lille said it was one of several examples of religious rhetoric used by the ANC in the run-up to the national election.



SACC doesn't own Jesus

2009-06-23 22:27

Johannesburg - The SA Council of Churches (SACC) is trying to "privatise" Jesus and turn the Christian religion into a cult, the Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust claimed on Wednesday.
"As the friends of Jacob Zuma Trust in Gauteng province we are not happy or impressed by the attempt on the part of the SACC to want to private (sic) the Christian religion and Jesus Christ in particular," it said in a statement.

"We refuse like many other South African Christians to allow the SACC to conduct itself as if they own Jesus Christ. It has become clear that this religious body wants to turn the Christian religion into some sort of a cult belonging to a particular grouping."
The trust was responding to statements made by the SACC that President Jacob Zuma was "confusing matters of the secular world with matters that are considered to be sacred".
The SACC in turn was reacting to Zuma's telling a rally in Mpumalanga at the weekend that the ANC "will rule until Jesus comes". He has previously made the same remark.

Zuma’s rights as a Christian

The trust said: "We wish the SACC will in future consult with other Christian bodies before thinking that they are the only Christians in this country. It must further desist from embarrassing the Christian community by claiming to be the only body that should give us permission to pray."
The trust's Gauteng chairperson Gaya Mlangeni said Zuma, like SACC members, was a Christian and had "a right to invoke any element of that religion".

"Indeed we agree with the president that the ANC will rule this country until Jesus comes."

SACC secretary general Eddie Makue said the ANC leadership should be mindful that South Africa was a democratic country whose residents determined who should be in power.
"The ANC must be mindful of the mortality of human beings and the immortality of God... mindful that Jesus Christ is one in the tri-une God that we worship.

"We want to remind political leaders that we are living in democracy and in democracy choices of the people are determining factors, and therefore no leader can pre-empt what the decision of the electorate will be."

Divisive comments
Also, he said Zuma should be aware that there were other religions in the country and guard against making divisive statements.
"Finally, we trust that the leadership within the ANC will be sensitive to how their messages are received. They must guard against alienating other religions by statements that they make.
"One must be mindful that although the Christian religion is a majority, there are other religions like Muslim and the Bahai in the country."

Understood in context

Reacting to the SACC's statements on Tuesday afternoon, the ANC said the party had no intention to undermine Christian teachings, values and principles, as the party was founded on those.
"During the 2009 elections campaign, the ANC president visited places of worship in all the nine provinces to seek blessings," the party said in a statement.
The Mpumalanga remark should be understood in the context of Zuma's confidence in South Africans who had, in the last four elections, voted overwhelmingly for the ANC, it added.