HEALTHY POLITICS, HEALTHY NATION
One afternoon, on our way home from school at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, a sociology lecturer challenged a group of us self-proclaimed believers by saying, “I’m an atheist, on the following basis . . . the bible says God is perfect, but how could this be? How can a perfect creator have creations as imperfect as you and me?” Imperfection, he insisted, cannot be derived from a perfect source. I must say, at the time this question paralyzed me mentally and emotionally. He might have a point I conceded sadly, although I was not entirely convinced.
Almost two decades later I had found the response. My explanation after twenty years of spiritual distress and uncertainty: there is a higher wisdom that is only known to God, simply because only He knows it all. Sometimes He enlightens us, and this is what He whispered to me: “There is perfection in imperfection, imperfect is exactly how I want you and every other human being to be.” I am writing this article and shaking my head at this point because, after so many years of study, work, discussions and neurotic anxiety, it finally makes sense.
Ok, please don’t get carried away; Dr. Andre Matthew is no prophet. ‘No, I am not a prophet,’ I will emphatically proclaim! I am only delighting in this new found enlightenment. It has made social interactions lighter, better, more enjoyable. I now find it easier to look past shortcomings, mine and those of others. And it all makes sense. Now I understand why a bus driver, a doctor and the prime minister are all equal in God’s eyes; why he wants us to see each other as brothers and sisters whose father is the only perfect being, aka the Creator.
That said, my spirit is still troubled. Not all is well in our land. In the last decade and a half, I’ve seen how politicians have managed to weaken our churches, how priests and pastors have been outsmarted and silenced by learned intelligence. I remember the abortion debates - in November 2003, thirteen “law makers” (aka parliamentarians) voted to allow abortions in cases of rape, incest or when needed to protect the health of the mother. Weeks before the law was debated, then Archbishop Felix, presented nine thousand signatures as a caution to our prime minister.
Today we see the consequences of this disease that is our current politics and its accepted policies. The abortion industry is booming; and no one is investigating why so many women are choosing to end the lives of their unborn. How many of these terminations of pregnancy are conducted as a consequence of sexual assault or incest? How many of these babies are killed because their mother’s life is at risk? But even if her doctor won’t do it, women have another option: they may find the pill on the black market and maybe her cousin can teach her how to insert it.
Fellow Saint Lucians, Christians, Muslims, Rastafarians and non-believers too, when we choose not to be judgmental, it cannot mean that we are to sit by and condone what we know in our hearts is wrong.
Sadly, church leaders no longer have any influence. Gone are the days when people listened to what they had to say. Moreover, the church hierarchy can’t seem to find a response to this new reality. As a consequence, they seem to prefer to say less and less, especially on sensitive issues which may end up being discussed by Timothy Poleon after the midday news. Still our youth need them so badly. Have you seen our young ladies? Some are like lost chicks roaming the streets, seeming to have no home, no family.
To our established and budding politicians, please grant me a listening ear. We need our church leaders to speak without intimidation, and to do so clearly. To Pastor Ben, Canon Evelyn, Archbishop Robert Rivas and Cardinal Felix, I say help us shape a new era. Your strength and wisdom can help engender a new kind of politics, so start talking again. Give the nation some spiritual guidance. Young boys and girls are listening. Yes, they’re waiting to hear you talk out loud about homosexuality, abortion and marijuana. They are waiting with bated breath to shout out a resounding “Amen and Amen.”