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Of morality and the next general election

At a recent meeting of the Christ Church constituency branches of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler gave notice of his party’s intention to make morality a key issue of the next general election.

Interestingly, Sinckler’s address was delivered 24 hours after Opposition Leader Mia Mottley had addressed the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) annual conference and had identified revitalization of the ailing economy and modernizing governance as priority issues for action by a BLP government.

A conclusion, which can be drawn from the timing of Sinckler’s statement is that the intent was to divert attention from Mottley’s policy statement in the hope of dampening any favourable consideration and discussion of it.

However, not surprisingly, Sinckler’s remarks have generated considerable debate in both traditional and new (social) media since morality happens to be one of those topics, which triggers strong emotions.

Weighing in on the issue on Facebook, senior Anglican cleric, Canon Wayne Isaacs, made what arguably has been one of the most sober contributions thus far. It was informed by sound theological reasoning and devoid of the emotionalism which others seemingly have brought to bear on this controversial issue.

Canon Isaacs said while morality is important, its use by Sinckler was in a very limited context, leading one to assume it was used as a distraction to shift public attention away from the main issues which need to be addressed. “It would appear to refer to sexual issues surrounding homosexuality,” the clergyman said, calling on Sinckler to say precisely what he meant.

“For many persons, homosexuality is a rights issue and not a moral problem. I venture to say that the Barbadian society is more interested in other problems that affect their lives and daily living and would not allow gender and homosexual discussions to be a distraction,” the Canon Missioner reasoned.

He went on: “If morality is going to be at the centre of the next election campaign, it has to be broadened to include bribery, kick-backs, victimization, squandering of taxpayers’ money, intentionally misleading the public and many other issues that are dishonest.

“If morality is going to be the focus in the upcoming poll, the main item should be vote buying which is a form of bribery. It is also a threat to democracy and the breeding ground for corruption,” he said, adding that “If homosexuality is a moral issue in this poll, it is the least of all moral issues.”

In sharp contrast with the hardline stance adopted by right-wing conservative Evangelicals in particular, Rev. Isaacs contended that one’s sexual preference should not be used to discriminate against anyone. Further, he reasoned: “One’s sexual orientation does not prevent one from excelling in any capacity and fulfilling the obligations of any office in which one serves.”

Calling on the Christian community not to allow itself to be used by either political party and to refrain from taking positions that cannot be biblically justified or stand up to sound reasoning, Canon Isaacs cautioned: “We must not allow our thinking on moral issues to be influenced by a ‘right-wing’ form of Christianity coming out of North America that is not in our interest politically, socially nor morally.”

“Using morality in a limited and narrow sense to create fear among the people is in itself an immoral act,” he argued.

Food for thought indeed!

It will be interesting to know where our Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and her BLP stands in this moral debate surrounding the next general election.

6 Responses to Of morality and the next general election

  1. Roger Manning
    Roger Manning November 8, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Politicians and morality is like oil and water.

    Reply
  2. KEITH MURPHY November 8, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    We have officials living in adulterous relationships and many are on the payroll of big business.Be careful in going down that road because me may hear some things that are better left unsaid.

    Reply
  3. Tony Webster November 9, 2016 at 6:41 am

    @Roger…..”Roger that”!
    Also to be borne in mind, is what exactly constitutes “normal”, or “acceptable” behavior….always a moving- and a tempting- target!

    Reply
  4. Kathie Daniel November 10, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Thank you, sir! The Government has no business in the bedrooms of consenting adults. But the voters and their families must hold elected officials and all public servants accountable for their actions.
    I would prefer an honest homosexual government minister than a corrupt heterosexual any day.
    True Christianity will not harass or condemn someone because they sin differently from another. We all sin. We all do or say something wrong. The only sinless being is Jesus Christ, and we would all be better off following His example and His teachings to love each other instead of instigating hate.
    So do not allow distractions to take center stage when we have water supply issues, drainage issues, health care issues, economic issues, environmental issues etc to deal with.

    Reply
    • Rudolph Boyce November 18, 2016 at 11:48 am

      I can think of dozens of reasons to not vote for many so called moralists.. thank you Kathie Daniel.. you have verbalised what thousands in this country are afraid to say openly. oh -the stories that are untold!!!

      Reply
  5. Sean Major-Campbell November 10, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Great to see honest, open reflection informed by critical thinking. The church is sadly lacking in vocal affirmations for truth concerning the LGBTQI+ community, a significant section of which sits in our pews every week!

    Reply

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