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Nomination Day supersedes the ‘Sabbath’ (commentary)

By Melanius Alphonse

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2016-05-30 07_30_47-Nomination Day supersedes the ‘Sabbath’.docx - Google DocsCOMMENTARY – It has become indisputable that hypocrisy and ignorance is commonplace in both the United Workers Party (UWP) and the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), who make substantial decisions for the wide population. Collectively, neither looks certain on what they communicate, and as such there’s no tenacity of conviction.

Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Hon. Dr Kenny D. Anthony, previously announced during a national address on Thursday, May 19, that nomination day would be on Friday, May 27, 2016.

Six days later, Wednesday, May 25, 2016 and a second national address (in contrast to four and a half years and no real press conference, other than soft-talk and lightweight questions from selective media) Nomination Day was rescheduled for Saturday, May 28, 2016.

Prime Minister Anthony proceeded to explain his interpretation of the law governing Nomination Day and even, in a rare oddity, apologized for his flip flop. “In any event I wish to place on record my apologies for any difficulties or any inconvenience that this unavoidable change may cause and trust that all will go well on Nomination Day so that we can proceed to elect the new Government of Saint Lucia on the 6th June 2016.”

But that was not sufficient to quell the subliminal messaging of shibboleths on the left and the right, thirsty for sex, religion and voodoo that dominate Saint Lucia’s election campaign.

The UWP sought to question the nomination day flip flop as best they could to the effect that “the procedure relating to the fixing of the date for the nomination of candidates for the General Election and blasted Prime Minister Kenny Anthony as arrogant, insensitive and uncaring. To hold nominations on a Saturday, which is the Sabbath for over 35,000 Christians of various denominations in Saint Lucia, the bulk of whom are Seventh Day Adventists.”

I have to submit that this is an expression of hypocrisy and ignorance at its best. A dual appendage that has over time benefited both parties to dumbfound the misinformed. It is likewise a charade to the custom that Saturday, the “Sabbath”, is a “nonworking day”.

On the meaning of what is really the “Sabbath”, “work”, Symbolism and St Lucian imagination, I opt for the capable hands of my comrade theologian.

However, this does not prevent the question of whether taxpayers of Saint Lucia should ask for a refund from Friday and Saturday worshipers who do not perform “work” on the “Sabbath” and benefit from dual civic holiday observance. The most recent is Corpus Christi, May 26 – the liturgical solemnity celebrating the body and blood of Jesus Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist.

Perhaps it is “the usual religious hypocrisy on the part of modern day Pharisees, who only raise issues that suit them and in this case ignore the relevant bible teaching regarding the relationship between Christianity, secular government and society, in which Christians are expected to conform to all earthly authorities [Romans 13].”

Matthew 22:21 says: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Guy Joseph has expressed profoundly that, as a practicing Adventist, he is “especially offended” by Nomination Day on a Saturday. Perhaps convenient to forget, the Elections Act provides authority for him and others (likewise) to be represented by a duly authorized representative or agent. 

Here’s the important thing. The process is not restricted in any way so he should decide to use what suits his fancy. Except, this may not be sufficient to preserve his religious beliefs, sensitivities, convictions and interpretation, and that of his newly ordained monsignor.

On another note, if Joseph is so offended by nomination day on a Saturday, his “Sabbath” then permit me to ask, what about the Sabbath and holy day(s) of others? 

Can there be clarity on the annual Cricket-O-Ramma on Good Friday and the elaborate celebrations that follow? This sure sounds horrible! 

 

And the worst part: is such behaviour in keeping with “the arrogance and lack of respect for people’s religious rights and freedoms?”

On Saturday, June 4, the UWP is scheduled to host a grand rally. What does that mean for Saturday worshippers? Perhaps, Jimmy Henry should help “lament on his plans”. Yikes! 

Makes sense right! And while at it, is there relevance to the thoughts espoused and that, beneath the glass in this general election campaign, is the power trick to impersonate church and state colonial disloyalty?

As Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr, put it in: The hearts and habits of men: MLK on Law and Morality:

“So while the law may not change the hearts of men, it does change the habits of men. And when you change the habits of men, pretty soon the attitudes and the hearts will be changed. And so there is a need for strong legislation constantly to grapple with the problems we face.” 

The Pharisees had tried to trick Jesus by asking him if the Jews ought to pay taxes to Caesar. As power throughout history has always tried to dupe and subvert those it felt threatened by.

 

Did Allen Chastanet make a mockery of the Catholic Church and to seemingly disrespect the clergy?

This placed a question mark against his judgment. 

But more frontal, as of publication, Archbishop Robert Rivas is absent in the theory, philosophy and Canon Law, to reflect and refresh Catholic teachings. Not a word, not a word, not a word ~ (tee shirts available at the Star publishing) in contrast to the hasty defrock of his fellow priest, Fr Stephen Quinlan in 2014.
What good is this then? What I do know is if you turned back the irony, it curdled into sarcasm.

That’s why on the heels of power tricks to circumvent the gullible and take control of the country it is fundamental to know the laws of Saint Lucia. 

The problem is that simply but reading from sections of the Elections Act and the constitution of Saint Lucia is one aspect. To understand and apply the law requires a higher level of adjudication that is devoid of an impoverished mind, let alone political virgins. 

Here’s what’s important. Were the laws of Saint Lucia contravened in relation to Nomination Day flip flop and the “Sabbath”? The answer is no!

If anything, the UWP missed an opportunity to double down on the political and to call out Prime Minister Anthony’s common flip flops. Strategist and aides blew an opportunity to argue procedural glitches and the hasty judgment to an early election. 

And surrogates were unable to draw from the keg, and nail him for dragging his feet to fix the economic mess and inability to take charge to catastrophe security concerns that plague the country.

However, while flip flops have become the norm for the SLP over the last four-and-half years, the UWP has been under constant restructuring – as such they are not ready to govern. This is based on most observers’ analysis to only “disappointments and dreadful happenings.”

Thus, how will the UWP provide Chin, Chin, Chin (change) in the pockets of Saint Lucians? Does the smugness to irony that is consistent with exceptional weakness and bewilderment matter anymore? 

For instance, when Jesus’ reply to the Pharisee who showed him Caesar’s golden image was in fact usefully ambiguous – he did not specify what exactly belongs to God and what to Caesar.

And so, in this current reality, personal responsibility will be required to render what belongs to God, the Sabbath, religious beliefs and what to Caesar.

Until then, the final voters list for General Elections is expected to be published on Monday, May 30. Advance polling will take place on June 3, and General Elections will be held on June 6, 2016.

There can’t be any flip flop with that… “the die is cast”! Here’s hoping, the art of the “die” belongs to the people.
Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant, a long-standing senior correspondent and a contributing columnist to Caribbean News Now. His areas of focus include political, economic and global security developments, and on the latest news and opinion. His philanthropic interests include advocating for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality. He contributes to special programming on Radio Free Iyanola, RFI 102.1FM and NewsNow Global analysis. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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3 comments

  1. All day keeper, sunday worshipper

    Dem pharisees like to blow their horns when you touch them on their religious convictions however they don’t have any respect for the beliefs of others. They are strongly convinced by their religious beliefs, and can’t be swayed. On Sundays they can stand on platforms and lambast their brother of their same faith and are totally convinced that they can’t do so on a Saturday. They won’t even answer if an outsider asks them what their name is on that day since they have respect for Saturday. Many of their brothers and sisters who are now blowing their horns on what was disclosed above don’t blow their horns when their members disrespects or badmouth others on Sundays on platforms. Those who do, I am fully convinced are usually not supporters of the party of the accused. God has only stated that we should always respect ourselves and others i.e. We should always love God and man and not days. This love should be expressed on all days and not only on certain days. Why are dem so called called christains involved in politics? Should not the primary goal of a Christain be: to win souls for Christ? Why are these so called political christian candidates, who are so convinced that their beliefs (especially Sabbath keeping) is a prerequisite to enter God’s kingdom never tries to convince the other members of their party especially their leader but when seemed convenient they do follow their leader e.g on a Sunday sees it fit to engage in bad mouthing and dancing on stage in the midst of thousands of non- believers even using christains songs trying to persuade even nonbelievers that they are on the way to heaven. Nothing wrong wid that, to all those who are now shouting remember Saturday is holy. I think it should be the other way round, their leaders should be the ones following them. Christ and his disciples never followed non christains but the very first they said to any non christains when they encountered them was : repent and be baptized for the kingdom of god is at hand. Also, why their church members do not see it fit to try to convince the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition of their beliefs (i.e. their belief of convenience when it suits them where they are blinded to see the real truth) but only tries to persuade others they think they will be able to. My stance: this says a lot when we see persons calling themselves christains being involved in politics and their religion sees nothing wrong with such. It is not all about religion. There are followers of Christ and followers of denominations. Denomination only brings about strong conviction of doctrines, division, arguments etc. Therefore, let us all let only Christ reigns within, where love from within will flow outwards every day. By this, our conduct will determine whether we are christains or not and not whether we do not watch Tv on Friday nights or is afraid to sign our name on a paper on a Saturday. Christains are from all denominations that believe in Christ and are not only those who try to fool themselves they are the only ones. Sometimes we who are convinced by such are not near there and those we rebuke are better than us/ let us not judge others based on days. Who want to blow their trumpet louder can right now.

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  2. I am NOT a 7th day Adventist. However, this group 'religion' has been around for a while now, and the PM is quite aware of their belief system. A tiny bit more consideration for them on nomination day is just a civil act. They are not at all demanding.
    Muslims are more demanding and the Canadian government has changed laws just to accommodate them.

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  3. I don't want Ching Ching Ching I want dollar bills switch switch swich!

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