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Just prior to our arrival in Kenya (see two previous articles), there had been a national election. National elections and post-election violence often go together in Kenya. So when there was little violence accompanying this one, Kenyans were happy. But there was a large segment of the population that was not happy with the results. Kenyans had gone to the polls to ratify a new Constitution. As I understand it, their old one was a hold-over from British colonial rule. To vote “yes” was to ratify the new Constitution. The Church in Kenya was the leading voice against ratification. Why? Because they had read the “small print” as well as what was “between the lines.” The new Constitution opened the door for abortion on demand, same-sex marriage, land redistribution (the government can now dictate how much land you own), and the establishment of separate Shariah courts for Muslims.
All of that to say this; our government was the leading voice for the vote “yes” movement. In fact, Vice-President Biden visited the country just prior to the election and as it was reported to me by a Kenyan Christian, promised many more dollars from our country if the new Constitution was ratified. President Obama, whose Kenyan heritage provides him rock-star status over there, was a loud voice for passage. Our ambassador to Kenya was also one of the most prominent faces for the”yes” vote. One Kenyan Christian asked me, “Why was your country so involved with this? We aren’t involved in your political life–why were you so involved in ours?” “For whomever else I can speak for,” I told my Kenyan Christian brother, “on behalf of America, I am sorry for the role we played in this.” The new Constitution went into effect one of the last days of the Pastor’s Conference. We were all in the cafeteria eating lunch where in one corner a television was on. The news was covering the event and all the pomp and circumstance politicians are good at on such days. The newsman was speaking Swahili so I don’t know exactly all that was being said but I’m pretty sure it was along the lines of, “What a great day it was for Kenya.” By looking at the faces of the Kenyan pastors in the room, though, I knew they didn’t think so. I was saddened to think that not only were we adversely influencing the Kenyan church through American Christian television (see previous article); our nation was also adversely influencing its politics and culture, too.Pastor Rich Hamlin September 30, 2010