The Sumo
The Sumo

The God-Fearing People’s Party

I was watching the news yesterday for some reason, I must have been either really bored, comatose or my housemate was forcing “current affairs” (aka what the media is punting for their mates that day) on me and I saw a report on some of the commentary that was presented on the State of the Nation address delivered by President JG Zuma last Thursday evening.

I am sure there was some positive commentary that was presented, but the SABC only broadcast snippets of the negative commentary, go figure and one of the rants that I heard was from an oke they said is leader of the ACDP. I do not for the life of me remember his name, which is part of my point here, but he is typical pastorish/politicianish looking, you know the type — stylishly greying with a bald patch, divine beard, wearing a pinstripe grey suit, ranting with index finger.

I am forced to make the above elaborate though completely useless description of this gentleman precisely because I do not know his name, but from the abbreviation of the party name I figured it was the Christian crowd which finally lands me at the beginning of my point. WTF? I don’t know the leader of the African Christian Democratic Party?! What’s up with that? These dudes seriously need me to do some PR work for them and get them out the doldrums and increase their membership. They are sitting on a gold mine here but not even trying to scrape the surface to get to said gold which I imagine is bountiful and is just lying there waiting to be tapped.

You do realise that when I say “gold mine” I mean the hordes of religious zealots just waiting there, cheque books at the ready and God knows what else, waiting to be tapped — literally!

I really do not get the ACDP’s lack of penetration in the political market when they have so much raw material just waiting to be converted into results at the polling stations. These dudes should be cleaning up at voting time and all in the name of the good Lord, however wrong that may be.

I do not judge, what with the Good Book reserving such for Higher Beings so I will not judge the creation of a political party grounded in religion. Of course we have to disregard any prior use of religion by people like, say, the NP government to claim that God actually gave them the right to segregate and govern ruthlessly, oppressing less deserving creations of that same God.

I guess the party was created probably to provide a helping of such good Christian values in our government as honesty (director-general reports would never reveal any fraud), loving your neighbour (the president would actually be liked by the media), not stealing (government officials would not be emptying the coffers at every given opportunity), not coveting another’s wife (that Max dude from the DA would not be in the pot of stew he is in now), not wishing ill on your neighbour (Helen Zille would not have a job but would probably be a mean school headmistress where I think her unique talents would be greatly appreciated by the governing body of some private school in Cape Town) etc.

But it has not quite worked out that way, has it? I doubt many voters even know about the ACDP. They are generally a very forgettable bunch who most probably sit in some corner whining and pretending to pray while sponging off what they can from their benefactors, the gullible religious public, but that’s if they engage in such deplorably immoral activities of course, but surely not, not a religious institution, they never do that …

I really do not get how the ACDP can accept the very low levels of membership they have and the results at the polling stations at every occasion when like 70% of all South Africans, I would imagine, are Christian or Christianish. Why have they not taken themselves seriously and engaged in a structured, strategic set of actions to turn the lines to the pulpit for Holy Communion in Churches all over South Africa to lines at polling stations to vote for them? It is disappointing to see such potential going to waste no matter what I think of the New Age system of prosperity preaching based religion.

The message is exactly the same in politics and religion, isn’t it? There are promises made, if you believe in the promises, not question the word of the ones delivering the message on behalf of thee one who loves and cares about every single one of you and knows you specifically and is concerned with addressing your particular need, then you shall be delivered, but first either tithe or vote, then wait for the delivery — have faith and yea shall hopefully, at some point, receive.

You ask how the ACDP does not see this obvious correlation here? Well, the explanation is easy, the ACDP does not have me developing strategy and running campaigns for them … yet. If they would just shave the beards, take off the flowy white robes and keep off the communion wine for a bit they would in deed see the gold mine that lies just beneath the surface. The beards, the robes and the wine are obviously impairing their vision.

I will briefly share with you what my strategy would be to scratch the surface and start extracting political gold from religious zealotry, the type that Julius is literally gunning for. But what Julius doesn’t know is that actual mining is hard work and the easy gold lies inside the extravagant domes of worship which have mushroomed all over the country and are filled with people just ready to give you timeshare in their personal accounts, tax free and the going rate is 10%, I believe. Poor mine-nationalising Julius, but I’ll help him too, once I have put the ACDP at the helm of the country and they are leading with morality and the tax on everything has come down to 10%, and they have given me a nice ambassadorship in Brazil for my troubles. Here is a brief description of my turn-around strategy for the ACDP aimed at tapping into the born-again Christian movement:

First of all, they need to change the name of their party (fellowship); it is a real drag as it is. What we would need to do is very simple; just remove the “A” from ACDP leaving it as CDP, the Christian Democratic Party in full. Now does that not have a sweeter ring to it already? Trust me, your target market is not too keen on anything African or traditional and the word “African” is probably the single biggest hurdle when they even remotely consider joining your party. Africanism is not en vogue any more, ask Thabo Mbeki, anything African in this day and age and particularly to the New Age churches is seen as backward, you don’t want to be burdened by such matters as association with African culture and ancestor (demon) worship. It is just not on.

Second, and further to the point above of distancing yourself from anything that defines who you are as Africans, which is so necessary, you need to quite ironically follow your future followers and always, without fail, speak in English when delivering any note to the masses. You should note how the New Age happy-clappy church sermons are always exclusively done in English even in townships where an interpreter is used in places where those slow natives haven’t caught on yet. It is the way of the new Christian, the missionary thread has been revitalised and is gaining momentum — denounce your tradition, condemn all your ancestors to hell and take up the Western ideal and the language is critical here my CDP friends.

Third in line of matters to tackle is a slogan. I don’t know what their slogan is, which means it is either not punchy enough or lacks enough direction for your target masses. I suggest something biblical like “If God is with us, no GodZille can stand against us”. You may change that last bit to Jacob or Buddha, but you get my drift. A catchy slogan is the cornerstone of any progressive party. The songs will be addressed nearing electioneering time because if you release a hit now, in this fickle South African music market, it will have fizzled out by elections. A well-timed hit like Mshini Wami will be the best weapon, I suggest that timeless classic Amazing Grace performed by Chomi, that should get the right bits moving for the entire party during rallies/gospel concerts.

Fourth — make a claim, just break off and claim God is on your side and wants you okes to lead the country. Say that this came to your leader in a dream just like how God is supposed to speak to individuals at born-again Christian churches in dreams and let them know which among their fellowship sisters is a suitable wife for them and that they should move on her right away. I have always been sceptical of this, but hey, it seems to work for those okes when they wish to get married. I mean who would question “His” will?

Fifth — unite the different congregations under a national association. This may prove difficult as there is loads of dosh at stake here and you may need to use enforcers to get everyone to fall in line, but it should put the various pastors at ease if you present a structure where resources are shared for the common goal and profit from each church is increased through exploiting route to market synergies and more focused marketing spend to increase the various flocks. This will allow you a greater pool of sitting ducks to sponge off of and convert them all easier into voters if you are presenting a united, nationalised message.

Sixth — put a formidable team together to take the message to the masses. I suggest Pastor Creflo Dollar (what a fitting surname), the perpetually sweat-drenched Pastor TD Jakes and Ray McCauley, although the latter may need to up his dress code game if he is to keep up with the likes of Dollar and Sweaty Jakes. You need these okes to go in there before your leader and sufficiently move the masses, but budget carefully, I doubt these guys leave their couches for a pittance, but you can make your money back off the gate takings and the tithing, all you need is to hire a sound system and a tent and you’re set to go.

Finally — threaten hell, I don’t think you’ve explored the use of this enormous stick enough. Hell, dude, that’s right — if the masses don’t want to vote you into power, God will punish them. I know this works because my sister used it on me when I was a lightie and it worked. Whenever I wanted to do something foul, she would just say “If you do that, God will punish you and send you to internal damnation without relief”. That always stopped me in my tracks for about a second, then I’d proceed, but these are believers you are dealing with here, its like preaching to the converted, well actually it is exactly like preaching to the converted — a piece of cake really!

To conclude my analysis and turnaround strategy, the (A)CDP is too African, does not exploit its resources and does not threaten hell enough so they are nobodies and shall remain that way if they do not heed my warning. I have personally seen very poor people give 10% of their household earnings, after tax, to the church in return for hope. Hope is all that they get in return. And what have I seen these born-again Churches do with that revenue? Well, they buy pastors mansions in the suburbs, fancy SUVs — a lavish life for a humble servant of the Lord, if you ask me. Scripture like Matthew where Jesus affirms “It is easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle then for a rich man to see the Kingdom of God” (or something like that) are never quoted, not that I’ve heard anyway but to tithe is always reinforced. And all this while the tithing masses mostly live in poverty but come each service for their weekly hit of hope in religion which is truly the opium of the poor.

Government and those “non-profit” organisations/churches are much the same, you see. People are indoctrinated into believing, made promises and kept going until the next time they are bled by more indoctrination and all the while the top layer is rolling around in luxury vehicles, living in mansions, having fancy meals and bleeding the coffers dry while the followers are made even more promises or simply disregarded.

So being a Christian political organisation, you are already there. Just accept what you are and go over the edge — you will not be any worse than most self-ordained pastors out there.

I rest,
The Sumo
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If you were wondering, Sumo is a Roman Catholic, the biggest mafia of them all.