HEALTHY POL­I­TICS, HEALTHY NA­TION

PART IV

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Dr. An­dre R. L. Matthew MD Dr. An­dre R. L. Mat­tew is a Saint Lu­cian med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner and an ac­tive mem­ber of the op­po­si­tion United Work­ers Party.

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.”

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