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A woman rings a bell amidst jeering as PM Gonsalves is called to give a tribute at the funeral of Elwardo “E.G.” Lynch. (IWN photo)
A woman rings a bell amidst jeering as PM Gonsalves is called to give a tribute at the funeral of Elwardo “E.G.” Lynch. (IWN photo)
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The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

A general sense of disrespect and irreligiousness is prevailing in our country. The recent orchestrated distasteful happenings at E.G. Lynch’s funeral are an example. At a funeral, scriptures concerning death and resurrection are read, the family of the deceased grieves and people show some sober-mindedness. At such solemn occasion, persons should be reflecting on their own lives and their need to live for Jesus Christ for their own salvation. When I consider the misbehaviour displayed at that funeral, I ask, how do the guilty adults instruct their children to behave in church? How do you tell your children to behave on solemn occasions? How do you encourage them to relate to those who have wronged them? Can we blame the children, totally, for their disregard for sacred things and their in-discipline? And then, one who ought to know better, recognising his influence as a political leader describes such disruptive behaviour as exercising “democratic right”. Since when does a person have a democratic right to disrupt a church assembly and to continue even after being told to desist? Such lawlessness must be condemned!

Whether we like it or not, people traditionally have a certain regard for church/church activities such as religious ceremonies. Such regard may have helped to put certain restrains on people from time to time. So for example, a man may drink, curse and be rowdy at the roadside but he would never be like that in a church. Many people also agree that certain behaviours (e.g. booing) could be reserved for political meetings but should never be done in a church or at a solemn occasion. However, it seems like we are fast becoming a society where “anything goes anywhere”. Sadly, this behaviour is fuelled by some influential personalities like politicians and hosts of radio shows.

Believe it or not, the increase in irreligiousness is one of the causes of violence and hostility in our society. When people have no respect for sacred things, you think they would have respect for people’s private property or the state’s property? It is no wonder we have so much vandalism, thefts and general disregard of human rights in our society! This behaviour is not helping us as a society. People have grown so heartless and vindictive that not even good judgment and consideration for each other prevails. The bad-behaving persons at Mr. Lynch’s funeral seemed so revengeful and unforgiving that they could not even care about the grieving family? They seemed only concerned about “getting back” at their political opponent. “Give him (Gonsalves) a taste of his own medicine”, they say. My God, what is wrong with our people?! Why such coldness? I have heard the excuse that “people were emotionally charged, they were fed up, they were sending a strong message…” That is unacceptable! Decisions must never be made on emotions. When we do that we are sure to err. In fact, it is the same uncontrolled passions that lead to crimes like murders! Decisions should be motivated by right thoughts — always thinking about what pleases God and the good of our fellowmen.

I appeal to my fellow Vincentians, let’s join hand to make a better society. Let’s join hands in love, which breeds respect for each other, to build a new St. Vincent. Whether your political choice is red, yellow, green, blue or none, we are all Vincentians. We are all human beings created by God. Let us begin by recognising that we need God. Only His love planted in our hearts through the faith of Jesus Christ that can rid us of the hatred, selfishness and growing divisiveness that exist in our country. The Bible tells us “love worketh no ill to his neighbour…” Let us love one another in deed and in truth!

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Ann-Marie Ballantyne
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The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

10 replies on “Exercise of democratic right OR irreligiousness?”

  1. Sometimes I just have to shake my head. Lady, you must be out of your mind. You are somehow acting like we just got here. This is the same country that held a rape rally, this is the same country where they said that Ralph Gonsalves is better than Jesus Christ. Lady if you are surprised by this then your eyes have been closed. It’s selective vision like yours that only see what you want to see that brought our country to this state.

    You are late, at this point SVG could burst into civil war, that’s how far people have taken this ‘Me nah tun back’ nonsense. Well guess what, SVG is not turning back it’s full steam ahead with more wickedness. We have people that say they are ready to kill for the ULP and Gonsalves We had Mr Francis say that he will whistle to bring the troops out. You put 2 and 2 together, and tell me what it adds up to.

    You are late lady the time for talk has long gone. People have been pleading for years to put an end to this legalize wickedness that is going on in SVG. At this point I am just hoping that SVG doesn’t go into Civil war, because the flames have been fanning for years. And we know a few of them have been obsessed with revolutions, so anything could happen this time.

    Unbelievable. The way this lady is talking it’s like this came out of nowhere. When the ULP lose election tell them to go quietly for me please because at this point I know what they are capable of, and I am not putting anything past them. But if anything happens to any of my family in SVG, I can promise you I will make history when I get home.

  2. Brian Alexander says:

    ANN-MARIE BALLANTYNE is absolutely correct. This type of ridiculous and nonsensical public misbehavior IN A CHURCH, MUST be addressed, and rectified.

    PR CAMPBELL has made the legal argument for the ARREST and conviction of the individuals concerned. …… “I CONCUR.” That’s what the LAW says.

    ULRIC JONES has lost the respect of Anglicans island-wide, and ought to be sanctioned by the Anglican Church. I will no longer attend any church service in which ULRIC JONES is officiating.

    BISHOP FRIDAY MUST NOT be intimidated. He has to stand-up and say that drinking rum and beer in the Church is totally unacceptable. The Bishop must realize that the entire christian community is watching him. He must recognize that any decisions he makes, OR DOES NOT MAKE, when irresponsible individuals pour contempt for all the Church stands for is completely unacceptable.

    How could A BISHOP tolerate obscene language in the Church? How could a Bishop accept the desecration of the Church?

    We look-up to a Bishop who MUST be our spiritual leader, and he must say “NO” to persons who in “protest” would defecate in the Church’s bathroom, and tear the fixtures off the walls.

    BISHOP FRIDAY, GOD is watching you!!! Be a man. Be more than a man. Stand up and say that what we saw recently IN A CHURCH at a funeral in Georgetown will not be accepted!

    BISHOP FRIDAY, if GOD was standing next to you,
    looking on at what happened at EG Lynch’s funeral,
    what do you think HE would say?

    NOW BISHOP, what are YOU going to say?

  3. Peter Binose says:

    Remember Jesus used violence in the temple driving out those who should not of been there. So perhaps there is a precedence in driving out those who others believe should not be there. Jesus never walked into the temple in a kindly way and said “please leave” he raged and ranted and that in its self is a form of violence.

    Different scenario, but similar principles.

  4. Isaac Franklyn says:

    You really just wrote this post to make a political statement. This seems now to be the national hobby. You have made no attempt to assess why the population has become so irreligious.

    What have the religious leaders been doing? Playing politicians for material gain. Please don’t blame the people, blame the religious and political leaders who have severely let the people down in terms of guidance and example.

    This unfortunate situation at Mr. Lynch’s funeral has brought all kinds of people out of the woodwork. But a very religious man, and strong critic of the present government, fondly know as “the servant of the Lord’ disappeared without a trace and these same religious people fell asleep.
    May God help us hypocrites. As Douglas DeFreitas would say, check yourself before you wreck yourself!!

  5. Ann-Marie I am sure you mean well, and being religious and all, but I see a “mass of confusion” in Vincy society on several fronts, but the most appalling to me is the religious front, and you aint helping a bit with all ah’ that.
    Vincentians, like a whole “lot ah” ignorant black folks have to be really stupid or duped, to attend a church where there are all these “white” statues of “saints” and images of “white Mary” holding “white baby Jesus”, and don’t expected to be booed themselves. “I just can’t bring myself to accept all “yo foolishness and hypocrisy”;I thought you all didn’t like Ralph Gonsalves cause he look white, but then you should don’t you think. You worship in a “white church,” you love to quote from the “white Bible”, and you white-wash almost everything you get your hands on, and you see nothing wrong with that…and your favorite excuse is “oh! Color don’t matter” yeah, right! and WHAT THE HELL IS THAT BIG PICTURE OF A WHITE ANGEL AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE ANGLICIAN CHURCH IN KINGSTOWN? Oh I’m sorry, KINGSTOWN IS IT! “Ball ah confusion” is Vincyland! All yo’ need to check all yo’ head!
    In my Temple, Jesus is a Handsome BLACK and so is MARY! And it fits in quite well with the congregation. I have never gone amongst a white congregation, at a predominantly white church and seen my black Jesus and Mary there and never will. “Foolish set ah people aren’t we”? Boo yourselves! Chatoyer must be very uncomfortable in the grave… don’t you think? Lawd! Help us!
    Who vex, vex! It is what it is!

  6. I fully agree with all that was said, however the lawlessness did not start in that church in that funeral, maybe you now saw it because it now hit home to you, but it started with the blocking of the roads by the supporters of this present government, and the statement of making the country UNGOVERNABLE, they have never repented for that statement.
    They opened the flood gate to lawlessness. from that time, SVG changed for the worst, in terms of negative behaviour in society, I heard young people say on the road block day, if them could do that then we could do anything.

    We would of get rid of the then government when the time come, we were fed of James Mitchell and all of them, but it did not have to be like that, people could not go to the hospital to deliver their baby.
    The greed for power is what transform the society of SVG, from 2001, it did not start in the church service, it was a seed that was planted by the present government and it is now bearing fruit.

    do not forget that.

  7. How does this position compare with that of the Muslin country that sentenced a woman to death for changing her religion from Islam to Christian? We need to widen our view points and be more conscious of what’s going on around us. Remember the ridicule to which PR was subjected when he appeared on the front page of the Barbadian newspaper when he was baptised into the Spiritual Baptist faith by the Most Reverend Granville Williams – spiritual leader of the Baptist Church in Barbados? How soon we forget. Our sense of history is limited to the immediate only.

  8. ANN-MARIE you got to be kidding! Most of the issues in your article points to Ralph and his government. Yet you want to blame Arnhim and the frustrated people who attended the funeral. You have said nothing to or about the culprit (Ralph) who caused this ruckus.
    As for all those church leaders; they are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. What have they done or are they doing to help stop the tide of crime in SVG. The churches have become a place of business. They suffer from the Jim Jones syndrome: Their cause is to feed-off the poor people who attend their churches. Now that some people have reacted; you and others like you, want to be critical of the actions. Where were you? Go back to sleep!

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