CHURCH AND STATE, PART II

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best viagra search times;”>brian_seymoreCHURCH AND STATE, PART II

Three weeks ago, Hurricane Joaquim struck the Central and some of the Southern Islands of the Bahamas.  The response to this catastrophe that left infrastructure and personal property damages was immediate and overwhelming by our people.  The collective spirit of compassion was brought to bear on the affected islands.  It was a phenomenal display of the Bahamian spirit.  Using the words of Jeffrey Osbourne’s song, “if my brother is in trouble, so am I” was displayed in a tangible way.    Amazingly, on the affected islands not one life was lost, only personal property (just things). 

On the tiny island of New Providence for at least the past decade something more powerful and more destructive than a category 5 hurricane has bedeviled the government and residents of the island.  That is, a hurricane called MURDER.  In its path of destruction are its victims, young men under the age of 30, from the inner city streets of East Street, Hospital Lane, Fleming Street, Peter Street, Lewis Street, Kemp Road, Fox Hill and Nassau Village.  This tiny island’s streets have become its victims.  The public response to the bloodshed has been met with indifference and pointing the finger of blame at the government of the day.  The other response is it is not in my area so we should avoid the areas and all will be well with me and my family.  The only problem with this thinking is whenever an island the size of New Providence is so small all of New Providence is in your area.  When will the people of this island take ownership of their individual areas and push back against these young men who are disturbing the peace.  The solution to our murder problem relies on each citizen becoming intolerant of the young law breakers that live amongst us.

The government has instituted several preventative initiatives targeting at-risk adolescence:  marching bands, after school centers through Urban Renewal, computer clubs, bike riding clubs, give every child a father, Defence Force Rangers and shock treatment; these measures will no doubt bear fruit in years to come.  The police have further strengthened their numbers through recruitment, incorporated CCTV, and beefed up patrols.  Nevertheless, the body count among youth continues to rise.

The courts have been overwhelmed and the complement of judges, although recently increased, still seems inadequate for the task at hand.  Hence, the release of violent accused finding their way back on the streets.  There are some young men among us who have no conscience and the State will have to separate them from the rest of the community.  Fox Hill prison will not cut it for these vile offenders.  As a matter of urgency, the government should develop a holding facility on the Island of Andros to break the cycle of criminal’s environment. 

The church headed by Roman Catholics in the Bahamas pioneered and led the way in its mission of Christian education in the Bahamas.  It was them who laid the foundation we now stand on.  They would ask the question of the little children, lambs of the flock, “who made you?   Who died for you?  And, who lives in you.”  These were the precepts that set the moral compass that steered the young people of this generation.  Even this institution has now become weary in well doing.  They have turned some of their ministries (schools) over to the government.  What a tragedy? 

The Protestant Evangelical church in the Bahamas for the most part has become a marketing bonanza for the Pastors and First Ladies of these houses of worship.  The peddling of books and CD’s teaching all manner of philosophies everything other than the simple gospel of Christ, and the selling of confusion now reigns, instead of the simple gospel.  This is now being replaced with pastoral anniversary services while blood freely flows on the streets of our capital, one hundred and twenty-three (123) dead and counting.  What would Jesus do with some of these ministers if he came back today and entered some of these places of worship where the message of salvation has not been preached in years?  What has happened to foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head?

In conclusion, the answer to our murder problem lies with us.  We, the people, of our various communities, have the power in us to bring an end to this insanity.

Brian Seymour