The “Christian Community” in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) says they “reject any attempt to change or modify the Godly values upon which the laws of our nation was founded and the laws that adequately reflect those fundamental values, since to do so will cause further and significant harm to our individual and collective wellbeing”.
The position comes as a legal challenge has been filed against the constitutionality of the nation’s buggery and gross indecency laws, which criminalise same-sex intimacy, even in private places among consenting adults.
Gay Vincentians Sean Macleish, 53, who is based in the United States, and Javin Johnson, 22, who successfully claimed asylum in the United Kingdom in 2017 have brought the legal challenges against SVG’s buggery laws.
The men are arguing that the laws, leftovers from British colonial rule, are discriminatory, inhumane and against the basic tenets of the Constitution of SVG that protect the rights and freedoms of every citizen, and that they were removed from the UK some time ago.
The next hearing in the matter is slated for Nov. 13.
The Association of Evangelical Churches, the Catholic Churches, the Methodist Churches, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mission of Seventh-day Adventist, and the Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese, which say they are representatives of the Christian Community in SVG, or about 85% of the population, said they have collaborated “to express concern and offer clarification with respect to the need to preserve Godly values and wholesome family life in St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.
The statement said that “guided by God’s revelation through His Son Jesus Christ and His Word, the Holy Bible, we are confident that God, Father and Creator of all life, was deliberate in His design of and will for all human beings.
“God, in His wisdom created us as social beings and made family the principal agency of our society,” the statement said.
It said human community, therefore, “requires neighbourliness and adherence to Godly values in order to maximise and fulfil its potential and as such, achieve virtues such as peace, order, harmony and righteous living, the absence of which perpetuates discord, violence, crime, war and chaos. We are aware that much of ‘modern values and principles’ are based on individualism, selfishness, a diminished regard for the other and a growing disregard for God as our Creator and Guide”.
The statement said that in light of “modern challenges to the values which once pervaded our global society and held by the vast majority of Vincentians, and specifically in light of the challenge to our buggery and gross indecency laws” in SVG, the Christian community affirms that the Bible, the inspired Word of God, is the authentic guide for holy and righteous living, for societal wellbeing and the wellbeing of humanity.
The statement further says that all human beings are created in God’s image and likeness and are to be treated with respect and love which encourages living righteously.
Another affirmation was that God made human beings male and female from creation.
“He intended for them to live their lives as biological male and biological female which is determined from conception,” the statement said, adding that the foundation of the family is marriage between a biological male and a biological female.
“The Bible clearly outlines that all sexual activity outside the confines of marriage between a biological male and a biological female are forbidden. Human beings share various experiences of brokenness, abuse and dysfunction on account of the problem of sin. Human brokenness, abuse and dysfunction when met by the transforming grace of God can bring healing and wholeness. The individual right of choice and preference is not autonomous of the collective wellbeing of society and godly values,” the statement said.
At a press conference in Kingstown on Wednesday, Minister of National Mobilisation, Frederick Stephenson, who also has ministerial responsibility for gender affairs, declined to comment on the lawsuit the two gay Vincentians have filed against his government.
“I wouldn’t comment at this time. I worked at the Magistrate’s Court for 14 years. I consider the matter to be sub judice and I don’t think as a minister I would want to comment here, there or anywhere on that matter.”
He was asked about an occurrence over the past year where “cross-dressers” were subjected to violence, Stephenson said:
“Well, I believe people have a right to do what they want to do. I don’t think anybody should perpetrate violence against anybody for their lifestyle… If you feel that you want to wear a dress and come to town, I don’t think anybody should beat you up for that. That’s my take on it.”
Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference in Kingstown last week, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said the church and civil society organisations in SVG are welcome to join the government as it responds to the legal challenge to the nation’s anti-same-sex laws.
“But I have already seen since the filing of this that several churches have emphasised that this is a matter that if they were dormant they must realise that an acute spiritual warfare is ahead,” said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Legal Affairs.
As a majority Christian society, our values here in SVG, are increasing becoming under attack, from individuals and groups, who would prefer a value free society or a society in which modern Northern Western European and North American Godless Values predominates. To quote Friedrich Nietzsche
“God is dead”! There eliminating the possibility of the existence of a God!
In a recent post here on this site, https://www.iwnsvg.com/2019/09/18/govt-resists-legal-challenge-to-svgs-gay-laws/ one by the name of JIMMY, would have us believe that the man Jesus was not at all of a Jewish heritage. That assertion of his highlights one of the problem that Christianity faces world-wide. Poor knowledge of the Christian faith and its origins.
Many here in SVG have no idea whatsoever as to how we come to be a Christian society and they too questions its validity and its very value system. The “Ten Commandments” that the Bible gives us, could never be superseded by any human system of Laws, no matter how hard we try.
Nevertheless, for those here like JIMMY who have difficulty in understanding, a reading of EUSEBIUS’s Ecclesiastical History, may help in providing an understanding of the Church in History.
Yet understanding the Church, its values and its growth in history as a God given institution, may not convince those who wish to introduce ways of life that we thought were long past done away with, as they promotes immorality and destroy society’s cohesion.
It is not wrong for Christians and so-called Christians” to want to maintain the law as it stands. Even non-Christians or those of other religions can see it as a question of morality or decency. On the other hand there is the question of tolerance freedom of choice or Human Dignity regardless of anyone’s thoughts on the matter. Even criminals are supposed to be treated with decency.
We always seek to do what is right rather than what is wrong. Something is not right just because it “feels good”.
We also have to see this issue according to Global Consciousness. i would think we have to either make a slight change to the current law or have another CONSTITUTIONALLY APPROVED law that allows enough tolerance to .avoid for example the recently VERY RADICAL USA from putting Global Sanctions upon us: in effect forcing thier norms onto us, whether right or wrong. We go the risk of being forced to make gay laws far beyond what most anyone will want. In the USA they have already passed rules in places where it is illegal to tell your child they are a boy or a girl, but instead allow the child to decide what gender they want to be regardless of how they were born.
Our intolerance and inflexibility just may cause us more pain in this area than if we make a globally semi-acceptable decision on our own, that the general population will not want but we avoid getting a backlash from global radicals based in Europe and the USA. A small DEPENDENT country like ours getting sanctions for Human Rights violations may bring results far worse than if we make a prudent decision on our own and they will leave us alone.
Maybe we should instead pass a “freedom” law allowing people to do as they wish in thier own homes as long as no one comes to harm, loss of property or loss of dignity.
Forget what it says about this issue in the Old Testament, the book of the Pharisees that Jesus warned us about!. Instead consider what would the most tolerant being that ever lived do…Jesus? He would find a solution. Does anyone think they will stop gays from being gay by keeping this law. Has it worked in that respect so far. These two individuals have left the country. Others have not. A slight change in policy may make thier complaints totally innoculate. We do not have to allow Gay Marriage but should such people be subject to arrest for whatever else they do in private? Should all the youth that practices sex before marriage also be jailed, to include pregnant young girls that are not married, because they obviously also violated the law, unless…immaculate conception is occuring….Hallelujah!
your last paragraph I have said already…….why not just change the penalty and make it civil rather than criminal or to that sort . Among other amendments of the law . because you are right as we all know this behavior or way of life will never stop or go away . ….until judgment according to the faithful .
Sounds like a wonderful, tolerant country to visit…NOT!
( laws, leftovers from British colonial rule ) what about the bible, these kind of people will never know the face of god these are gods laws given to us since the begin of time not laws of man know what may as well change the law about murder one to .Every storm has past st vincent no problem look at everywhere else we are not the purest island but …
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