This is in response to the lankanewspaper.com article titled ‘Jeyaraj attacks church hierarchy’ where the current Minister of transportation and so many other things apparently blamed the Catholic Church for it’s apparent support of Ranil.
First of all despite what jeyaraj has to say, majority of the Christian vote did not go for Mahinda, this is quite clear when looking at electorates where there is a Christian majority in the population. Even in his own electorate in Katana, usually a robust clean win for a SLFP backed alliance saw a great narrowing down of the gap between the UNP and the SLFP candidate.
It must be said, that statements near elections are in fact quite a common procedure for the church, where they usually preach about choosing a candidate who can bring peace. This has been the sermon of the church near election times for the past few elections, and if someone actually bothered to read the statement they would notice that even this time around the statement have not deviated from this basic message.
What is true however, is the fact that anyone reading a statement such as that, anything which calls for ‘peace’ over an election period would immediately get the perception that whoever wrote the statement is in support of the UNP. it’s also true that some Christian priests did ask very openly from the public to vote for Ranil, basing their arguments on mahinda’s JHU affiliations among others.
The truth be told, it’s highly unlikely that Christians would face great ‘atrocities’ in the hands of mahinda; after all his wife is a Christian, he sent his kids to a Christian school, and as far as I know, up until now had a pretty healthy relationship with the church.
I, as a Christian and a catholic would personally prefer if the church stayed out of the political process as much as possible, especially in instances where Christians as an entity is not under any sort of great ‘danger’. I strongly believe that religion is a personal thing, and the state and its politics should be separated as much as possible from religion.
However, if a criticism is leveled against the church for influencing the political thinking of its followers then the criticism should also be leveled against all the religious organizations and figures using religion as leverage for political gain, but unfortunately neither Jeyaraj, or anyone else for that matter have the balls enough to say anything against these other, mainly Buddhist religious organizations and figures influencing and participating in mainstream politics.
p.s – this was supposed to be one of my replies to the actual news story in lankanewspapers, but figured it would be better to just blog it.