The Thusian Institute for Religious Liberty Inc. (TIRL) extends warm 35th Independence greetings to all Vincentians, at home and abroad. TIRL is a non-governmental Human Rights Education Services Provider with a special emphasis on the Right to Religious Liberty or Liberty of Conscience.
While we in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are in a generally safe environment, enjoying our God-given and constitutionally protected freedom of conscience, persons in places like Iraq and Syria are being threatened and murdered by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), for refusal to submit to Sharia law and to convert to the religion of Islam. Additionally, anti-conscience legislations are on the rise throughout the world giving sodomites/homosexuals special ‘rights’ at the expense of the rights of Christians and other conscientious people. Recently, a baker in Colorado USA was ordered by the court to bake cakes for same-sex couples against his God-given conscience. This arose from his refusal to bake a wedding cake for a sodomite couple in 2012.
Although TIRL is aware that there are some in our country who call for the acceptance of sodomy by law and that there are a few who embrace ISIS ideologies, we are thankful that our constitution still protects Freedom of Conscience. Section 9, subsection 1 of the constitution of St. Vincent and the Grenadines states- “Except with his own consent, a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, including freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”
Present and future governments must ensure that this God-endowed right remains protected. In order for this to be ensured government must not enforce religion by law, they must not prohibit religion by law and they must not protect religion by law. Religion, beliefs, opinions, thoughts are matters of conscience between man and his God alone.
We, the people, must be eternally vigilant to ensure that our rights and freedoms are preserved.
So, as we celebrate our 35th anniversary of independence, what should we celebrate? We ought to celebrate:
- The possession of inalienable rights and freedoms
- Equal protection of all under law
- Securities for majorities and minorities
- Freedom from tyranny
- Freedom of the individual
- The rule of law and
- The Right to Religious Liberty
As we commemorate 35 years as a nation, let us vow to keep our country free, not just from colonial rule but from violations of our rights and freedoms by individuals, governments, special interest groups etc. Let us use our freedoms to glorify our Maker and to bless our fellowmen. We, the members of TIRL love you and we pray that God would add His mercies to you continually. Happy 35th Independence SVG!
Thusian Institute for Religious Liberty Inc