According to a local daily, the House of Representatives’ Joint Committee on Good Governance, Judiciary and Election and Inauguration over the weekend approved several propositions for referendum, including Proposition 24, which states that “Liberia should be a Christian Nation,” at the 5-day Retreat on the Proposition of the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) in the Nimba County commercial city of Ganta.
The minutes were deliberated on by the 35-person Executive Committee Members of the House of Representatives. The propositions were compiled by the Constitutional Review Committee.
“The Constitution has always allowed freedom of religion and of worship without seeking to describe or prescribe one religion as the State’s official religion,” commented Speaker J. Alex Tyler and supported by the Senate Pro Tempore Armah Z. Jallah.
“To do so now, could foment division amongst our people based on religious beliefs.”
Some lawmakers, who asked not to be identified, also argued that if there can be several Islamic Republics in the world, why can’t there be one ‘Christian Republic or Christian Nation.’
The lawmakers told the Daily Observer that they are under obligation to adhere to the voice of the people, who suggested that the country be Christianized, and have resolved to carry it, and let it be tested through a referendum.
They further said though the founding fathers created a secular government, that did not mean they disliked religion and did not ask the people through any consultation as it was done in all the 73 Electoral Districts.
Besides the approval of Proposition 24, the lawmakers also approved Propositions 1 to 3, but reduced the tenure of Senators from nine to six years to be on par with six years of all elected officials in both the Executive and the Legislature.
The House’s Joint Committee further agreed to put forth for referendum Propositions six and seven, which say persons of non-negro descent should not become citizens and dual citizenship should not be accepted in Liberia.
Proposition 18 has also been endorsed, which calls for women participation in governance and national affairs, and would have an affirmative clause or quota.
Proposition 20, which says “Age of Marriage for Girls should be at least 18 years,” has also been approved for referendum.
Meanwhile, according to report, Proposition 19, which states, “The Constitution and all Legal Documents should carry the pronouns he/she,” has been considered, but would go for a referendum. The remaining propositions are on Statutes and Policies.