Sometimes I wonder why we all seem to be focusing on the wrong things, even when, on the outside, we seem to focus on the right things. The controversial Marriage Bill has seen tongues wagging all over Kenya in the recent past. Yet nothing seems to go to the core of the issue: Is it right in the first place for a person to have more than one spouse?
By his very nature, man is a rational being. This implies that his knowledge increases with the times, through thinking and interactions, from generation to generation. This leads him on a path towards perfection, where the truth is revealed to him in a step-by-step process. While African customs allowed men to have more than one wife, this shouldn’t be used as an excuse to justify the same in the twenty-first century, when we have met such things as Christianity and philosophy.
The quest for man’s perfection, when it ceases to move forward, or starts going backwards, ceases to be a process of enlightenment and becomes a quagmire of corruption, where we revert to lies that have been discarded and elevate them as truths. African customs should only influence modern laws only where they are just, and that is why such things as FGM have been outlawed.
Intimacy, which is one of the more important aspects of marriage, is a very personal thing, meant to be enjoyed by two people in love, a fact the legislation recognizes without intending (by not allowing women multiple husbands). Trying to bring in third parties onto this, as the bill tries by allowing more than one wife and also in its attempt to protect conjugal rights, is wrong.
Let us not lose sight of the fact that we are humans. We need are laws which are just and are influenced by natural law, not those that espouse immorality.