Why I won’t barb with Ochieng

May 31, 2006 at 1:43 pm 8 comments

I have received petitions from some Christian buddies over the past few days asking me to respond to Philip Ochieng's commentary as published in the Sunday Nation early this month.

The petition does recommend a number of drastic steps against both Ochieng and the media stable he works for (nothing terrorist – thank God many Christians allow for so much – but I know of only a few countries in the world where some of the suggested proposals would apply as Kenya is light years from a society that would accomodate them).   

One of my correspondents said:  "Jesse, I think Ochieng has gone overboard this time.  Does he understand what he writes?  A guy reads one or two critiques of Judaism and Christianity and believes he has seen the light.  I believe his great mind has gone blank of ideas to write (sic).  Advise him as a fellow scribe."  

I told the guy:  "Let's talk about this when you return from X (the country he is in at the moment).  But be careful not to come when I'm watching a World Cup match…(because not even one Ochieng will draw me away from the telly at that time)."   

In the said article, Ochieng does attempt to give what he believes would have been a divine response to the Njoki Bill on sexual offenses, but ends up making a series of what the petition before me characterizes as blasphemous and misinformed statements in the process.

I had not expected anything different from him on that – seeing as I do that he has been rather consistent in barbing at Christendom for as long as I have read him (which I do rather judiciously).   

I have read the veteran journalist since I was a little boy desirous to join the Fourth Estate myself; his published works (including the gripping book I Accuse the Press) were a must-read for me in my days as a journalism student in and outside the country.  

As Editor-in-Chief of my university newspaper, which also happened to be a client of the Nation Media Group's Imaging and Printing divisions in my student days, I sometimes found myself bumping into Ochieng; he came across as an exceptionally good conversationalist in the few times we talked.  

My understanding is that he's a man who knows what he's about and while I disagree fundamentally with his views in the said piece – as indeed several of his other articles on Christ and Christianity – I'll let him sort it out with the Christian God, who is my God.  

I know of some Western journalists and other secular friends who, in their previous quests to "demystify" the myths of Christ and Christianity, have themselves ended up becoming some of the faith's most ardent adherents and proponents.   

There is something profound about God and eternity, – finding Him is finding oneself and as St. Augustine put it, our souls are restless till we find rest in Him.

There is a hunger for eternity within us which no one or anything can satisfy (Acts 17:16-34).

I'm under no illusions that Ochieng will immediately see the light and join me in singing "Halleluyah," but I rest easy whenever he opines on matters spiritual, knowing as I do that he knows that he knows what he should know 🙂 (thank God for President Kibaki).  

So friends, let Ochieng keep writing. 


Entry filed under: Kenya, Media, Religion, Society, Uncategorized.


8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bebegrabo  |  June 2, 2006 at 10:42 am

    Surely it is obvious. The guy is searching. Ochieng’ needs your prayers. Or ask him to read the whole bible, without a commentary or any supporting document, starting with the Book of John. You will be amazed.

  • 2. Kenyan Analyst  |  June 10, 2006 at 10:19 am


  • 3. baldilocks  |  March 3, 2007 at 1:24 am

    Thank you for praying for my father. ” When two (or more) are in agreement…”

  • […] 11th, 2007 Philip Ochieng, about whom I once blogged, finally appears to be having some kinds to write about Jesus Christ of Nazareth (*registration […]

  • 5. muthamia baithambu  |  November 28, 2009 at 1:14 am

    indeed ochieng may be making serious onslaughts on our beliefs.but this should not make us afraid or weaken our faith.diin’t apostle peter write in one of his epistles ‘…be always ready to explain to anybody who asks the cause of the hope that you have’

  • 6. Agik Philip  |  May 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Philip Ochieng the fith columnist does not believe in the existence of God. He makes it plain so. If someone is commenting about something which does not exist, of course he can say anything. The day he encounters the Almighty, the talk will change. Let Ochieng talk when he still can.

  • 7. James Mundu  |  July 26, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Self righteous people make me laugh. Tough I haven’t read the article Phillip wrote (the link provided here is broken), I am amused at the feedback. One doesnt use emotions to respond, one uses reason. If PO has stated reasons as to why he doesnt believe in God (and to be honest, many people are becoming increasingly wary about the idea of a god) yours should be a well reasoned response as to why it makes sense to believe. I suppose the blogger’s reticence to engage PO is because he/she knows he lacks the wherewithal to do so more than anything else.

  • 8. Kafti  |  November 12, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Interesting debate, Bible critical analysis is so rarely met with sobriety by believers. My theory is that it boils down to fear. Christians have been brainwashed into believing in a malevolent, retributive God who is happy to torture people who disagree with him on intellectual grounds for eternity. I wonder how the doctrine of hell sits well with the very same people who profess belief in an all loving God. The wierdest part is the kind of shadenfreude or wanton lust for the impending punishment they think Ochieng’ is going to get, how so very christian and loving of you people. Sickening actually.


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