Lenten elections fine
With Prime Minister Freundel Stuart yet to disclose the election date it seems very possible that elections will roll over into the Lenten season.
However, some religious leaders Barbados TODAY spoke with said they personally saw nothing wrong with elections taking place during the season of Lent.
Former Anglican Bishop, Dr. Rufus Brome, said for a long time Barbadians have been doing all kinds of things during the season and he did not believe to hold one more event would be a desecration. He added that in the end Barbadians would have to decide where their loyalty lay.
“I don’t think we need to make too much fuss about it,” said Brome.
“For me I would prefer there be no clash but what we have got to do is leave room for the Christians to make a choice and a season used for repentance and further reflection on their relationship with God. I think that persons will make a choice, Barbadians are intelligent and they take religion very seriously and I think they also take their politics very seriously, so maybe most people have already made up their minds to vote anyway.
“It doesn’t mean that if there is a clash that the season is being desecrated. What it means is it is really putting people in the position to make choices which they would probably prefer not to have to make. I think that most people know where their first loyalty is and if their first loyalty is to God, they will go to church – throughout life we have to make choices.
“It is not disrespectful because cricket is being played. I remember on one occasion there was a test match scheduled for Ash Wednesday and a number of people called and quarrelled about it, but I saw nothing wrong with it. I went to church and I personally went to cricket because I like cricket. Ash Wednesday is an ordinary working day. If, for example, it was in Holy Week then certainly that would be different. I would prefer it not to be called at Lent but I have no problem. If it is so I would hope that it be over by the first week in Lent, and not throughout the Lenten season,” he said.
Reverend Davidson Bowen of St. Philip-The-Less echoed similar sentiments. However he added that he thought it would be “perfectly placed” if elections were held during Lent.
Stating that at such times Barbadians tend to be more introspective, solemn, religious and sober thinking. This, he said, led him to believe that the season could lead to a clean campaign “where rather than cussing and dragging down each other and spreading propaganda you do what you have to do responsibly”.
“We like to get holy when it suits us. There are lots of parties that happen during Lent so I don’t see why all of a sudden we’re getting so holier than thou. It is strange that we want elections but we want them when we want them. So if they are called during Lent go and vote,” he advised. (KC)