It is not a surprise that “holy” rice and licking a prophet’s shoes have generated a lot of talk. Yet this is so much focus on the tree and not the forest. These phenomena are neither new nor isolated. Those who buy “holy” rice and others who draw “holy” water from Namugongo Martyrs Shrine subscribe to the same religious conviction. Those kissing a prophet’s shoes and others who kiss the Pope’s ring are informed by the same religious tendencies. Reaction to both camps should be uniform.
Whereas, I hardly find scriptural justification for the above, legal experts need to educate us as to whether they constitute criminal behaviour. If they do, can’t they be addressed within the current legal framework? Do we need radical legislation to tackle this? Some MPs are emotively drumming up for strict regulation of churches. Prostrating before venerated personalities cannot be relegated to primeval times; it is also contemporary. It might be amusing, but it shouldn’t be annoying.
Even women kneeling before men in Uganda could be amusing to some, but should we be angry about it? What is the legislation being advanced with the support of some men of the collar meant to protect or achieve?
The press in our day has ably linked a number of eminent and erudite citizens to witchcraft. It is misleading to think that those licking the prophet’s shoes, kissing the Pope’s ring, buying “holy” rice, drinking “holy” water, etc. are the common wananchi!
Some are rational and educated folks. This is a spiritual issue.
As things might seem, there could be an invisible entity, subtly pushing legislators to curtail the freedom of worship by enacting unnecessary laws. That clandestine hand could be religious establishments who delusively think they are entitled to religious dominance. Please look at the free world!
Rev Peter Wanyama,