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“God gave us this land” – yeah about that…

According to The Pretoria East Rekord, It’s Time Pretoria, a prayer rally, attracted thousands rather than the expected millions of South Africans.

The Rekord reports that Christian speaker Angus Buchan spoke at the event about droughts, crime and land, and how people shouldn’t leave their country unless God tells them to.

“This land belongs to God. God gave us this land,” he said.

My Take

I’m heartened by the fact that this rally was not well attended. We have had people praying for our country for decades, and we haven’t seen any positive results coming of it.

That line about God and the land though, that particularly disgusted me. Lets not mince words here, our colonial history is one of slavery, murder, rape and just outright theft. To say “God gave us this land”, is to say that God gave that house robber your TV.

We shouldn’t be consumed by our history, acting out of resentment over it hasn’t particularly benefited us any more than prayer did, but lets not lie about it.

There is nothing to learn from “God did it”. We cannot examine the motivations of a being that doesn’t exist, and if such a being existed being unable to acknowledge error on its part due to its perfection would leave us in a similarly fruitless position.

Take slavery – it came to the Cape with colonialism. If that was the result of a perfect being, does that render that horror morally okay?

It just doesn’t work, we have to look at our history not as a product of divine plan, but human beings doing human things. We have to own it.

And if we’re going to get better, it going to have to be down to us to get better. We cannot defer responsibility to something else, if we want results it is up to us to achieve them.

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