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Guest Editorial: Speaking Truth To Power

  • Written by  Joan Purcell

The first paragraph in the Preamble of the Grenada Constitution (1974) establishes its moral authority as follows: “Whereas the people of Grenada - (A) have affirmed that their nation is founded upon principles that acknowledge the fatherhood and supremacy of God and man’s duties toward his fellow man;

(B) recognize that, inasmuch as spiritual development is of supreme importance to human existence, and the highest expression thereof, it is their aspiration to serve that end with all their strength and resources; (C) firmly believe in the dignity of human values and that all men are endowed by the Creator with equal and inalienable rights, reason and conscience...” Therefore, when a Presiding Officer or Deputy Presiding Officer is appointed who does not believe in God, who is an openly avowed atheist, the moral authority of the said Constitution is compromised and undermined; and sets a dangerous precedent for further erosion of the biblical and Christian foundation of our nation. This is why I feel compelled to speak out and to sound a belated warning as to the treacherous reefs toward which our ship of state is now headed.

I speak the truth in love for God and country. I speak as a former Member of Parliament for eight and a half years, (1990 - 1999), when I participated in and witnessed some of the most soul and hope destroying debates and attempts at dialogue, all in the name of the people and often in the name of God. I have written much on the anti-community and uncreative spirit, and I would dare say, ungodly and deceitful nature, of our debates and discourses in three of my publications (2008, 2011, and 2014).

I speak as a former Presiding Officer, having served in this capacity for five years (2008 - 2013), and having actively participated in the first stage of this erosion, when without protest, I accepted the appointment of an avowed atheist as the Deputy President. I do not for one moment question the legitimacy of the Honourable Member as ably representing the workers of the nation, or his well-known and respected professional competence. Indeed, he is by far one of the most capable and experienced parliamentary practitioners and upholders of parliamentary procedures, and my relationship with him throughout my term in office was one of respect, cordiality and cooperation. But I do now question the wisdom of his appointment to the third highest position in a parliamentary democracy founded on belief in a Supreme God. The framers of the Constitution were clearly committed to a worldview which saw God as Supreme Creator, as the very source of our principles and values, and as endower of our inalienable rights, reflecting, of course, the predominant belief system of the nation’s people. When this legitimacy is openly flouted, it leaves the institution and the nation wide open to other moral compromises and the rise of a galloping secularism and humanism (man replacing God at the center of the universe).

Lastly and most importantly, I speak as a woman of faith who, recognizing the danger of moral compromises and the tragic consequences of a drift from truth cannot remain silent. I may be late in trumpeting this warning but my maturing faith forces me to override all fear and self-interest and calls me to act for love of God and nation. As I study the contemporary history of nations, many very close to us, where the truth of the Godhead is denied; where spiritual realities are debunked; where moral life is unraveling; where “The God Delusion” is hailed and celebrated; where the godly foundations are consistently destroyed, the nation of Grenada would do well to learn from the experiences of others. We know well the maxim, ‘when our neighbours’ house on fire we had better wet ours.’

As we look around the Western world, we see more and more of a world built on atheistic assumptions. God is declared dead. When God dies, ultimate meaning disappears and is replaced by our own man-made meaning. No more absolutes, all is relative. If it feels good, ‘just do it!’ When God dies a lot of people and principles die with Him When God dies or is declared unnecessary, humans become gods, or at least a small group of gods rule over the majority of far lesser beings.

When God dies, humans also become nothing but “highly evolved animals,” and without the divine dignity and value that only God can confer, we swiftly move to legalized abortion, euthanasia, forced sterilization, genocide, assisted and scheduled suicide and all manner of unspeakable evils.

Lest I be labeled an alarmist or a fundamentalist bigot, I encourage readers to do the research and check out the impact of Biblical Christianity on nations that upheld the Creator God as Supreme and Sovereign and Jesus, as Lord and Saviour, and the impact of this worldview on civilization, and see what happens when secularism (man without God) takes over. Indeed, it is well documented that Christianity, for all its distortions and debacles, has done more for the development of Western societies than any other ideology or philosophy. And while Grenada, or any nation for that matter, has yet to fully act out its claim of being a Christian nation, its greatest blessing has been its adherence to Biblical Christianity, and conversely, it’s greatest threat is its slow drift to atheism - living, for the most part, as if God does not exist, or if acknowledged, God plays a minimal or peripheral role in one’s life, including one’s politics.

With each generation of our post-modern world, the knowledge and worship of God is less and less. So, in concluding, I speak for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Let us preserve our godly heritage; let us teach our young that God is alive. He is not dead and He is not silent. Indeed, He is even now working out His redemption plan for His beloved world of nations and peoples. May Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique be found faithful!

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