Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi left Kenyans scratching their heads after failing to hold up the Bible while taking the oath of office during the swearing-in of cabinet members at the State House on Thursday.
As is customary in the taking of oaths, although optional for denomination, it is necessary to lift the Bible or the Quran as a sign of swearing allegiance to the constitution and serving diligently.
However, Mudavadi did not follow suit, raising questions about why he averted the traditional “abolition of the holy book.”
Citizen Digital has determined that Mudavadi is of the Quaker denomination, which believes that any individual can experience God without needing a priest or the Bible.
The chief CS has confessed himself in the past to being part of the Quaker faith, which he has used as a guide in carrying out his role in government.
“Simplicity, peace, integrity, togetherness and equality are strong Quaker values that I believe can hold us together individually and collectively as a nation,” he once tweeted.
He repeated the same thing at a fundraising event in 2016; “We need a religious nation. And to get this religious nation, we need a religious president. As you know, Quakers are very religious.”
What is the Quaker religion?
Quakers are people belonging to a historically Protestant Christian set of denominations formally known as the Religious Society of Friends.
The religion started in England in the 17th century by George Fox, after the aftermath of the English Civil War.
The main beliefs of Quakers were formed during this time, including the idea that any individual can experience God without needing a priest or the Bible.
They also preached that there was no need for churches, rituals, holy days or sacraments to practice religion and that religion should be something that a person lived and expressed every day.
Members of these movements are generally united by the belief in the ability of every human being to experience the light within or see “that of God in everyone”. They describe themselves as ‘radical, contemporary and free-thinking’.
Although they read and quote the Bible as much as any Protestant, they differ from most Protestants in that they do not see the Bible as the primary source of authority. Instead, they believe that they can have direct access to God through prayer and meditation.
At the beginning of faith, according to Fox, the Bible was not the “Word of God” the ultimate authority, but simply the words of God.
The Word of God was the living, inner Christ that could be experienced directly without the intervention of a priest or book. Once a person received a real religious insight from this Source, he or she usually found it confirmed in the Bible.
Even in the context of taking an oath of office, Quakers believe that an oath to the Bible could add nothing to what they say.
Fox once said when he was arrested and asked to take the oath of allegiance: “Our allegiance is not in oaths, but in truth and faithfulness.”