Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Is Femi Fani-Kayode a Christian Right-winger? - Mohammed Shomo Sodangi

If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing
-Malcolm X

After taking my time to read Femi Fani-Kayode’s article titled ‘Is Obama the Anti-Christ?’ on a Nigerian national newspaper, I felt compelled to write a rejoinder against it because it is filled with Christian far-right rhetoric, propaganda and agenda devoid of objectivity and rationality, views imported into Nigerian media that can mislead the public in a harmful way. It’s like Mr. Fani-Kayode has been watching Fox News channel on his satellite dish too much and swallowed the conservative ideals hook, line and sinker. He has obviously been brainwashed and also lacks knowledge of American politics.

I believe Mr. Fani-Kayode is a Christian right-winger based on the religious political group views and stances that has reflected in his article, I do not intend to write this article to draw a debate with him seeing that it will be futile but I would like to enlighten the Nigerians on this right-wing group who has hijacked the Republican Party and influence their toxic policies in US that affects the rest of the world negatively for decades but before I start, allow me the chance to explain the American political system that I will use to debunk his implied statements that US is founded as a Christian nation with Christian values seeing that he is criticizing President Barrack Obama for violating the so called ‘Christian values’ and 'faith values’ which I find it silly.

One of the erroneous statements that the Christian right-wingers are fond of asserting or implying is that US is a Christian nation. Contrary to that, USA is founded as a secular country that separates Religion from the state by the founding fathers whom most of them are not orthodox Christians; Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (who was critical of organized religions), were known as deist. What is Deism? Deism is a belief system that rejects religious knowledge based on revelations such as holy scriptures and supernatural events such as miracles but depends on reason and observation of natural world to determine the existence of a creator, also they don’t believe that God intervenes with the functioning of the natural world but rather allow it to run in accordance with the laws of nature.

Was USA founded as a Christian nation? NO, the first amendment has made it clear that ‘Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion’. Thomas Jefferson (3rd President of the United States) has wrote to say the 1st amendment made ‘a wall of separation between the church and state’. One of the founding fathers who was the 4th President, James Madison was quoted as saying ‘Strongly guarded…is the separation between religion and government in the constitution of United States’ Not convincing enough? Ok, here is another quote from an International treaty, the treaty of Tripoli drafted in the 1700s that states;

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion, as it has in itself no character against the laws, religion or tranquility of Mussulmen (Muslims) and as the said state never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan Nation (Islamic nation) it is declared by both parties that no pretext arising from religion opinions shall ever produce an interpretation of harmony existing between the two countries”

This disproves the implied statements made by Mr. Fani-Kayode that US was founded as Christian nation.

Classical Liberalism has always been the dominant ideology of US ever since it was founded, which Mr. Fani-Kayode is blindly opposing an ideology that espouses Freedom of religion that has been the cornerstone of every secular country that separates religion from the state. It is inane of Mr. Fani-Kayode to criticize President Obama for violating the so called ‘Christian values” which is the subject of criticism that Christian right-wingers love to indulge in, so it’s no surprise that the Former Federal Minister of Aviation is jumping on the bandwagon.

Which brings me to another topic of discussion. Democratic Party which Obama belongs to, position itself as Left-of-center in American politics and supports Modern liberalism while the Republican Party which Governor Romney-the candidate that Mr. Fani-Kayode is endorsing- belongs to, generally positions itself as right-of-center and supports neo-conservative platform.

It is essential for me to shed more light on the Republican Party, a party that has been hijacked by Christian right group whose coattail Mr. Fani-Kayode is hanging on to. 

Who are the Christian right-wingers? Christian right wingers are part of a group that support conservative policies and seek to apply Christianity to politics and public policy. Ironic isn’t it? Seeing that the group is violating the first amendment of the United States constitution which Mr. Fani-Kayode fails to understand.

The root of the movement has been dated to back to 1940s and has been influential since 1970s as reactionaries to Sexual and Cultural Revolution that took place as at that time, it started right from the grassroots before it spread over on a national level. Most of the adherents are white conservative evangelical Protestants and they were significant for advancing socially conservative positions on issues (which Mr. Fani Kayode shares and wants to import the values over here via media) as follows;

1. Economics
Christian rights are often in support of laissez-faire economy which they have been parroting and making vogue statements in favour of it, they believe that economy should be left to run on its own without government intervention, history has proved that this theory has never and would never work in practical.This is something that the founding fathers have fought against for fear that they may be dependent on the European monarchs and it has been proven to fail again when the Great Depression occur in the late 1920s and early 1930s, as a result of that Keynesian economics was introduced. Despite all that, the republican Christian right-wingers remained stubborn and try to implement it back during the Bush regime in the 2000s hence the recession and Bush left a huge mess for Obama to clean up.Mr. Fani-Kayode accuses Obama of turning US into “quasi welfarist state where big government reigns and in which the tradition engine room of growth that is known as the American middle class is being systematically weakened and destroyed”.  I don’t know how he came to that conclusion but it’s no surprising that he is following the line of the Christian right group dogmatic views and also forgot that Romney is responsible for the Auto-industry crisis in Detroit which lead to rising unemployment, not to mention that he is outsourcing jobs to China whom he accuses of being a currency manipulator.

2.Middle East and Foreign Policy
It is well known that Israel has a strong support from the group encouraging U.S. government to support and even help them wage war against Iran for possessing nuclear weapon, and also refuse the right of Palestinian state to exist because they are “terrorists”. This is what caused the resentment of America by the Muslim world that birthed extremism and jihadists as reactionaries.

The paradox of the whole issue is that the hatred of Muslims that Christian right winger’s exhibit which Mr. Fani-kayode never fails to do so in public causes the Muslims to be reactive, it has become a ping pong match between the right-wingers and Muslim extremists reacting against each other in hatred. Also Mr. Fani-Kayode, Obama is not responsible for the emergence of Boko Haram in the North.

Also this policy explains the reason why he was being critical of Obama for bowing down to the King of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, which has been the subject of criticism among the Christian rights in the Republican Party during the first year of Obama’s administration which is weak 

Finally this explains why he is trying to allude that Obama is a closet Muslim, also a subject of criticism from the group within the party.

3.Bioethics and Sexuality
 Christian rights have opposes abortion, believing that life begins at conception and that abortion is murder, they also opposes the use of contraception based on their religious beliefs which they are trying to impose on American women which also violates their reproductive rights, it’s ridiculous how these clowns are trying to take control of women's womb but can’t take control of the country’s economy. Recently a republican congressman contesting for US senate seat, Todd Akin, who opposes abortion was asked about women who get pregnant due to rape, to the horror of the viewers he claims that "from what he understand from the doctors, it’s really rare and if it’s a legitimate rape, a female body has a way to try to shut things down and avoid a pregnancy!"

It’s no surprising that Mr. Fani-Kayode is critizing President Obama for endorsing women’s right to abortion but he was wrong to accuse him of denouncing ‘right to life’ of unborn babies because he never did so but rather he sees it as a choice left for the women to decide.

These are the positions that Romney/Ryan advocates and are willing to implement those policies should they get elected which explains why Mr. Fani-Kayode is endorsing them because he shares the same principles with them and the group. It’s ironic that he is supporting closet racists and the group who were once against the civil rights movement in the 60s.

It was comical of him to blame President Obama for the occurrence of natural disaster in US which reminds us of Pat Robertson, an American televangelist, also a renowned Christian right-winger who claimed that Hurricane Katrina was “God’s Punishment” in response to America’s abortion policy and he also claim that Haiti’s founders had sworn a “pact with the devil” in order to liberate themselves from the French slave owners and attributed the 2010 Haiti’s earthquake as a consequence of Haitian being cursed for rebelling against their masters in the 19th century. Obviously Mr. Fani-Kayode is taking a leaf from him.

It’s quite alarming how the former minister compare Obama with Hitler who massacred the Jews in a concentration and almost eliminated the whole ethnic group and it’s also unfortunate that he is endorsing Romney/Ryan whom intends to cut social benefits for the American masses, cut taxes for the wealthy class and corporations just to increase military expenditure to launch more wars in the future.

This is enough for me to believe that Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode is a Christian right-winger who intends to mislead the public with falsehood and defamations on President Barrack Obama with a typical rhetoric borrowed from the group and also a pathological attention seeker who will do anything irrational to seek relevance.

Mohammed Shomo Sodangi

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A good name is (much) better than riches (cos, twill eventually create wealth). We need to guard jealously our names.

Didn't read Fani-Kayode's article cos the topic was/is not a pressing world issue. More importantly, his name does not make me want to necessarily indulge in what he has to say. (Just bought "There was once a Country" curiosity)

Mohammed Shomo's response was quite researched.

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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