NAMIBIA – A NATION OF SICK MEN ?

Today’s headlines ( 24/02/2014) in “The Namibian” carried the title, “Nation of sick men” written by Shinovene Immanuel and Nomhle Kangootui.

This headline comes in response to the ninth killing this year, and the sixth in about three weeks of women by their boyfriends. The last killing, on Saturday was said to be a 33 year old Motswana woman who was stabbed nine times and who had her throat slit in her flat at the Paulinium Seminary. It was said that she was studying to become a pastor.

The article reminded us that this gruesome murder came hours after President Pohamba’s call, during a cabinet meeting on Friday, for a day of national prayer. He declared the 6th of March as the National Prayer day. Our church will certainly join this initiative !

What then shall we say?

Clearly, all this deeply troubling. The blood of these nine murdered women cries out from the ground. The heart of the nation is laid bare at such times. Deep anger is expressed and scape goats are sought. The government is blamed, and the church is blamed. Much heat and little light is generally shed on the true causes of such atrocities. The Namibian Newspaper allowed someone in their ranks to vent their (uncontrolled) anger against our President’s call to prayer on the front page. The article (found below for your interest and information ) reflects anger upon anger. We are dealing here with an angry newspaper editor and an angry nation!

Back to the horrible murders. What shall we say about the murderers? Our psychologically conditioned society says: “These are sick men!” Sickness is thus blamed for their actions, and if you take that thought further, you could say , “their sickness made them do it!” That gives them sort of an excuse, doesn’t it ?

Here’s where Christian wisdom comes in. Biblically we would not call them sick men. These are angry men who did this. Anger is a sinful emotion, which when not controlled leads to all sorts of pathological problems. The Bible wisely observes : “Do not let the sun go down on your anger , and give no opportunity to the devil “ (Ephesians 4:27). Well, clearly the devil has had his day! He has found another member of the human race willing to perpetrate a crime which, according to the Scriptures, is worthy of the death penalty!

“Why are these men angry?”

I remind you that we all get angry at times. But we, who come from healthy Christian families learn to control our anger. I can assure you that these men did not do this on the spur of a moment. Their hearts were already filled with so much accumulated anger, that the argument which they had with their so- called girlfriends was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Much more needs to be said as to why there are so many angry men in our nation. Here are a few considerations which contribute to our understanding of the “angry man syndrome” . These considerations are rarely, if ever, discussed in the media:

1. Men, when they were young boys, were not helped by their families to deal with their anger. Absent fathers and mothers are the curse of our nation.

2. Anger is a most destructive emotion. Bottled up anger leads to all sorts of societal problems: suicide , murder , alcoholism , drugs etc.

3. Systematic biblical teaching and application in the home and in the church on the subject of proper relationships and the dealing with the emotions ( including anger) would certainly have helped such men.

4. Men are often provoked by the vicious , uncontrolled tongue of a woman. A woman can drive a man to insanity. When provoked, men tend to be physically violent . The woman by contrast, lacking physical strength provokes with the tongue, and the tongue is a small instrument that has often set the world on fire! Having said this, it does not excuse such a horrible deed, but it must be considered as a factor.

5. The marginalization of men and the constant ridiculing and downplaying of the male figure in our society is beginning to reap bitter consequences. The Ndeshi and Jakes column in the Namibian newspaper bears eloquent testimony to that. Jakes clearly is the ever stupid male!

6. The current ‘gender agenda’ blurs the distinct identity and traditional roles of male and female. It generally favours women. Men grow silently angry and frustrated in the process.

7. The Bible has amazing wisdom to offer concerning the healthy interaction between men and women. Men are called to be Christ-like loving leaders , and women are called to be Christ-like partners . That is the secret ! And it really works . The question I have is this : Are Namibians willing to listen to the wisdom of the Word of God? You may be surprised to find the answers here to your ultimate questions!

Here is the article on the front page of “ The Namibian” (24/02/2014) by an unknown writer. I have expressed my surprise and disgust to the Editor of the Namibian for such poor journalism.

God Save us from Who? IF OUR government is in such a hopeless state that President Hifikepunye Pohamba, his entire cabinet and the Swapo Politburo call for divine intervention to solve a nationwide problem then Namibians should be very worried.

The declaration of 6 March 2014, a Thursday, as a national day of prayers is nothing short of government’s acceptance that the politicians, who we voted into power, are overwhelmed by the challenges and have failed the masses.

Most worryingly, not only has the President, the cabinet and Swapo disregarded the very Constitution they enacted and which they are sworn to defending, but may well have sown the seeds for religious fundamentalism.

In a country founded on the principles of secularism, it is worth posing the questions: What god are we calling on for divine intervention? Whose god do we pray to? Who should people pray for [victims, criminals, would-be victims and would-be criminals we assume]? How far will the state take religion and religious interventionism now that the government brings the country to a standstill in order to pray?

Needless to say, the agnostics and atheists have been cast aside from this equation.

It may not be obvious now, but many moons down the line different religious groups (including the dominant ones such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism in our part of the world) and their different denominations would most likely begin fighting for turf.

Where religion predominates, and different sects start to demand control, views harden, killings and violence become the order of life. Evidence of religion-driven violence abound in the United States of America, China, India, Palestine and Israel, Afghanistan, Nigeria, the Sudans and the Central African Republic.

To the contrary, no proof exist that the absence of religion is the cause for common crimes such as murder and theft.

Our government will be better served by sticking to defending the Constitution in its totality and tackling challenges facing Namibians head-on without having to take a day off for prayers.

Besides, the rot is at the top where several leaders have publicly and privately been implicated in cases of violence against women and children (both domestic and in public).

President Pohamba has listed 13 points, including the day of prayers, as actions his government needs to take. How cynical!

All of those could have been acted upon many years ago – violence against women and children is an old problem in our country. Some, such as the proliferation of alcohol and drug consumption, have been ignored and tacitly encouraged over the years.

A crucial catalyst for despair and lawlessness – poverty in the land of plenty – does not even get a mention.

It is not the political leaders’ place to lead religious activities. And there’s nothing wrong with our Constitution. In the absence of complete capitulation, therefore, they must do to the job [fulfil promises] based on what they convinced Namibians to vote for them.

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