Church Wedding, Chief’s Wedding , Bush, DC’s Place, Come we Stay: He cannot decide! Can you?
In this modern world with modern ideas, philosophies, theories and definitions, it is hard when a family member calls to ask for help to decide which way to say “I do” . Does the conventional marriage proposal where a man kneels on one knee and asks a girl or lady, for that matter, to marry him play any part in the whole longevity of marriage, love, or relationship with in laws? In fact, does it matter whether one goes to church or does what many have opted nowadays . . . . come we stay? Is come we stay a marriage? With all the problems facing people we know who got married in the church, or who opted for a traditional wedding, or whatever, I don’t know whether I can help this young buddy of mine.
Weddings and marriage and families and this whole sexual relations stuff has become so foggy that I would rather navigate through Nairobi – Mombasa road at Mariakani in a rainy and miserable Wednesday evening than to try to decide what to tell my young buddy.
But he thinks because I have a PhD, and my grandparents and parents were good examples of marriage, in fact since I have spent time studying everything from David Humes’ empiricism to Plato’s rationalism and as he says, “You know the Bible man…..” he thinks this qualifies me on marriage matters. “Sorry son, it does not.” However since he insisted that I should tell him something, I did.
My take on weddings is different from my take on marriage. These two issues have no relationship whatsoever in my estimation. Marriage to me is the object, while a wedding is the subject. In other words Marriage is the end result of a wedding which is the method through which one arrives at being married. Therefore marriage to me stands alone and is more important than weddings. Modern concepts of weddings, especially in modern East Africa is a conception of the west: European, American philosophies and cultural practices. But even before the colonization of East Africa, my great grand father got himself wives and was declared by his community married to them. This was after the methodology of paying the dowry. No other man could come to his boma and disqualify those women who claimed to be his wives and who took care of him and the children.
The modern concept of marriage however seems to me a construction of the Judeo – Christian tradition. The Christian message that is dominant in Kenya and my faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the father of the Lord Jesus Christ, has shaped my understanding of marriage to mean a divine institution. My Christianity however does not finalize my understanding but my appeal to nature also guides me in my conclusion. That is why I disagree with 49% of Americans, with British PM David Cameron, and others who believe that marriage should be extended to include men marrying men and women marrying women. First, the only way humanity can survive extinction is through man and woman relationship. The Biblical Narrative informs me that God’s plan even before the fall was to have a man and a woman determine the extent of population. There is no way a child can be born by two men, or two women. Even those who claim to be parents within this orientation adopt or have children out of the divine man and woman decree. St. Paul has the best argument in this case, “. ..Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the penalty for their perversion”.( Read. Rom: 1:18-32) The argument is that men were not meant by God to sleep or even marry other men. And that the act itself is a perversion: Not a sin! Sin is doing wrong within the state of being human. Perversion is the state of having withdrawn from the state of humanity and stooping to a state lower than that of humanity: Even the male dogs in my neighborhood do not chase other male dogs.
Marriage is therefore the foundation of human preservation and societal consistency. Man and woman give birth to Hitler whose political theory seeks to eliminate certain category of humanity, but then the same men and women give birth to a Martin Luther King Junior who awakens the mind of American society to racism: One seeks to destroy the other to build! Adopting the idea of two men marrying and two women marrying is a consistent degradation and an outright elimination of the human species with no hope for redemption. But as to the issue of wedding . . . I have no opinion . . . my hope however is that once this young buddy of mine decides to declare himself married, he will do so to the best of women. That his life within marriage will be full of more peace than war. And that those children who are born from his wife’s womb will continue the divine idea for which God Said, “Be fruitful and multiply and cultivate the earth.” All I can tell him is, “Go speak to your pastor, or your friends, or lets hear what the villagers have to say, buddy.” My father preached, “A good wife comes from the Lord.”
Teddy Njoroge Kamau, PhD, SYR/Radio/TV/ Director: International Desk. Diaspora messenger Contributor