People blaming Christianity for the drawbacks of society is like law breakers blaming the law for their crime and sentence. I am writing in response to the editorial titled, “Bitter vibes of the post-modern Pascua,” in which Christianity and the church-state system of education are blamed for Belize City’s lagging behind Chetumal in development and national pride. It is important to pinpoint the right cause of a problem to devise a right solution. We will see that pointing fingers at Christianity or the church school system is unfortunate, at the least.
Mexico became Independent from Spain in 1821, 45 years after America. Belize became independent in 1981, 160 years after Mexico. Belize’s tender age is one of the major reasons for her underdevelopment. Mexico also fought for independence for 10 years in the “Mexican War of Independence”. Belize’s Independence came relatively easy. People more readily value and take pride in what was fought to gain.
The fact that Belize has suffered from a corrupt government system is another contributing factor to our underdevelopment. Look at it from an individual level. At election time large numbers of Belizeans won’t vote unless paid. People sell votes for anything from $20 to loads of sand. Some wealthier families pool their family members votes together and sell to politicians for properties or a few thousand dollars. So even if a noble individual runs for office, he or she may feel compelled to exercise corrupt practices to win. Then when in power, would need to be corrupt to get finances to buy votes for reelection. Money and effort that should go into implementing developmental policies is stolen and wasted to buy votes. After politicians cross the line, then personal greed kicks in. Buying of votes, which is patently wrong and probably illegal, has become so institutionalized that even when caught on national TV, nothing happens. We force our political leaders to be corrupt and then complain. So, collectively, a people get the government they deserve.
Another reason why the atmosphere is so much better in Chetumal is that people are afraid to shop and socialize in Belize City, because the murder statistics in Belize City are so high and gruesome. This is a direct result of a couple generations of children growing up without fathers. When boys do not have a father figure in the home, they look outside for it and find the gang leaders who put a gun in their hands and send them to do their dirty work. Then we hear of teenagers committing heinous crimes. Nothing is sweet about “sweetheart” in Belize. They mash up homes. Many husbands have outside children whom they cannot maintain financially or socially, and others leave their legitimate children behind to live with sweethearts. To make it worse, local TV programmes and commercials promote greed and selfishness and teach young children that premarital sex is normal. So the very fornication and adultery which we know are morally wrong have been openly encouraged, and the result is a miserable situation which has everyone living in fear and a state of moral and spiritual bankruptcy. Now we see the lawbreakers are blaming the law for their crime and sentence. Christianity is being blamed for the consequences of violating Biblical wisdom. Reaping and sowing is natural and real, even for a nation.
Just about all Belizeans say they are Christians, and just about all Mexicans say they are Christians too. The Christian Church is not comprised of any single denomination. Chetumal is a heavily Catholicized society, more so than Belize. So if the role of the Catholic Church is analyzed, then it can only be deduced that it is good for Chetumal. The school system there is pretty much the same as in Belize.
The continual media attacks on the Catholic denomination in Belize and, by extension, the Church in Belize, are influencing people in our nation to abandon Biblical teachings. Morality is not subjective. There is absolute truth, and when a people abandon that truth the automatic result is social and moral decay and impoverishment. “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” DEUTERONOMY 30:19.
The nation of Belize, particularly the young people, encouraged by opinion leaders in the media and others, have consistently rejected God’s word and standards of justice, righteousness and holiness, and then we wonder why we have so many problems in our society, our homes and our personal lives.
To whom much is given much is required. Those in the primary media have great responsibility because they have great influence which should not be used in a loose and careless manner. In this day of knowledge, Christianity is a peaceful religion, as it should be. It is easy and tempting to blame Christianity for the wrongs we see around us, but it is also very dangerous. It can be likened to the 13-year-old girl blaming her father for destroying her life because he will not send her to the dance at Palm Island. If she continues her young life in rebellion it will lead to sorrow and a wasted life. The father understands the cause and effect, but she does not. He loves her, but her eyes are blind to that love. How good it will be for another other 13-year-old who recognizes the love and wisdom of the father and obeys. It would be nice for her to speak to her angry 13-year-old friend and tell her to submit to the father because it would lead to a future of true freedom and prosperity. Belize is a teenage nation with citizens of the mindset of the rebellious 13-year-old. While we do not understand everything we should recognize Him who does – God. It is not wise for us to rebel against God. To whom much is given much is required.
Mr. Leslie Lamb
Wk: 223-8477, Cell: 610-2303