‘They’re not special!’ Provost says politicians should not be allowed to speak in church


'They're not special!' Provost says politicians should not be allowed to speak in church
All Saints Cathedral Provost Rev. Canon Sammy Wainaina during an interview on Citizen TV on January 25, 2020.

Vocal All Saints Cathedral Provost Rev. Canon Sammy Wainaina has come out to say politicians should not be given a chance to speak in places of worship arguing that it amounts to adulteration of the gospel.

Rev. Wainaina, speaking on Citizen TV’s Monday Report show on January 25, 2021, slammed politicians for always demanding to address the church congregation telling them they are not special hence do not deserve any higher kind of treatment.

According to the man of the cloth, political leaders should stop viewing themselves as bosses when they are – matter of factly – the servants of the people.

“I have people at All Saints Cathedral who have worshipped there for over 30 years, maybe they have never had a chance to come and speak in the church, yet one politician comes with a demand. I get calls that mheshimiwa so and so will be worshipping with you on Sunday and therefore I should give them a chance to speak, on what basis?” He posed.

“The religious space that we have only belongs to the clergy to preach the gospel that affects the entire lives of the people. Politicians should only come to our religious institutions to worship like any other people. We have overrated our politicians, they’re not special, they should simply come and worship.”

He further added: “At All Saints Cathedral, we have maintained a strong policy where we don’t discuss politics there, nobody has ever done it, we don’t allow that. And that is how I would urge every church…and I know the pressure, I know it’s not easy…but I think it’s time for us to say to politicians ‘look, you’re not special, you’re not actually our bosses, you’re our servants, sit down.’ And that’s why to me it is an adulteration of the alter when one person comes and they want to take 30 minutes to speak, that Christians leave their religious institutions without the word of God and take the politicking. Especially where we allow them to use our alters to attack one another.”

Rev. Wainaina also sought to address the perceived hypocrisy in his ban of politicians from the pulpit yet he himself has been known to make political statements in his preaching, the most recent one being his now viral rubbishing of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) saying it will not solve Kenya’s problems.

He argued that politics and religion intersect and that the work of religious leaders is not only to drive people towards God but also towards making morally upright decisions.

“Politics and religion intersect, they meet. While politics mostly talks about governance of a nation and a people, religion talks about the control of that governance. As a human being, as a leader, I’m a politician. And, in fact, it is high time we don’t give politics to political leaders, Kenyans should politic about their lives, it is an empowerment, it is a constitutional right,” he stated.

“The gospel of Jesus is never neutral, Jesus never preached a single neutral sermon. He preached revolutionary, transformational gospel. And so we, as clergy, if we have a neutral gospel, that is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. We’re not just in the business of taking people to heaven, we’re in the business of changing people’s lives here on earth.”

Rev. Wainaina reiterated his viral sentiments downplaying the BBI process saying he is against how the initiative was introduced to Kenyans.

“One of the reasons why BBI has not been popular is the way it was crafted; it was crafted by two principals. After the release of the BBI report late last year, there was no room for discussion, and that’s where we lose it, it was said openly that BBI can only be changed by the two principals,” he stated.

“The BBI proposals affect me and you, so we should be able to have a voice on it. And me, as a religious leader, as well as others, should be able to speak, but you realize many people became fearful about talking about BBI, and that’s why I felt we needed to enter into a discourse of issues that affect Kenyans.”

Reve. Wainaina is fully aware that it is remarks like these that have led to him being associated with a particular political wing, but his response is:

“I’m not paid by anyone, I don’t speak for anyone, I am the Provost of All Saints Cathedral, I am a servant of the same. And so, while politicians would be paid to say certain things, I’m a free and I will speak my mind, whether I’m branded or not. Even Jesus Christ was branded. I don’t belong to any divide, I will continue to address the ills of society whenever I have an opportunity. And, by the way, I didn’t speak that way to become popular.”

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Story By Ian Omondi
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