Features — 27 September 2013 — by Audrey Matura-Shepherd

I do not know how many Belizeans know that Belize is a Christian democracy, and that it is so deemed because it is a church-state system. This means that the Church is an actual partner in governance and more importantly the role of the Church in forming the social conscience of our nation cannot be understated. The truth is that too often the bare eyes and untrained heart see the church as these institutions or buildings and not as the true body of Christ – that is, those people who believe the word of God and truly seek to live by it. Do note there is a difference between “religion” or “church,” and a true relationship with your Creator, Lord God. The Constitution’s preamble states: “WHEREAS the people of Belize-(a) affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God …”

I ask readers to take careful note that it is not so much the role of the “church” that matters, but rather that as a people we accept and affirm that God is supreme, not the “church”. However, because we equate GOD with “church,” we automatically in our mind think “church” when we read such a passage. But that is not necessarily so. However, if a group of people or persons claiming to speak for a “church” truly teach and live by the word of GOD, then they fall within that category of people who affirm the supremacy of God, not because they call themselves church, but because of their affirmation! I hope readers get my point.

The “church” compromised

The distinction is essential, because any group of people can claim to have a “church,” such as the Church of Scientology, which is a church for all intents and purposes, but it does not affirm the supremacy of GOD: rather, it affirms the supremacy of science. Likewise, there may be a “church” but their gods are idols, a founder, some animal, etc… So when our Constitution speaks of God, one needs to note carefully that it uses a capital “G” because it is not referring to a pagan god, and it is referring to a Christian God, which is always denoted with a capital “G”.

Again, I must mention that what makes the “church” an agent or spokesperson of God, is not its nomenclature, but the principles by which it operates, principles that are founded on Biblical truths and not man’s version of what they want to accept. Many “churches” as we know them are COMPROMISED – they have pushed God out the door long ago and practice their own secular version of Christianity. They compromise with governments, leaders, and individuals. Thus once their actions are not aligned with principles which are aligning with the supremacy of God, then they cannot be claiming to speak for the Body of Christ and His Word!

A lot of “church” leaders themselves are involved in homosexual activities, adultery, fornication, and sexual immorality, or are plagued by the seven deadly sins: pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth, which do not align with the Word of God and thus cannot be said to represent principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God, but rather supremacy of self.

When it comes to the word of God there is no compromise, and you do not have to belong to a church to be God-fearing and always seeking the face of God. As a matter of fact, some who call out the name of God for everything and hold high offices in the name of God, are sometimes the most vile, and yet they stand on a pulpit and preach one thing but do otherwise. But again those are not the actions of a person who truly represents the word of either God or His principles.

Church exhorted

Thus the distinction is important. A true man and/or woman of God lives by God’s teachings and knows that no law of man can trump the law of God. So if the Bible says gambling is wrong, no true God-based church can come out and try to defend gambling. If the Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination, no true “church” can seek to defend it because a prime minister asks them to support it. Forgiveness is for those who are truly repentant. Because the emissaries of the Word of God many times waver on many moral issues and on Biblical principles to please the political directorate of their liking, the flock is led astray and many point fingers at the “church” and lose faith.

The “church”, and they know who they are or which leadership sets the pace, over the ages can be condemned for so many evils and ills, but critics need to be reminded that once the “church’s” actions are not aligned with the Word of God, they are not speaking for God, but have allowed their own flesh to take over. God does not speak with the two sides of His mouth!

The Independence Day address by Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow was very telling of how far this worldly and secular administration would go to seek to establish their superiority or supremacy over the “supremacy of God.” In his address he called the church just an “ornamentation,” and he did not accord it the partnership role it was intended to hold under our Constitution. This level of disrespect is only possible because the “church” has acted in such way to be disrespected by the Prime Minister. He of all persons knows the games he plays with certain denominations and church leaders and surely knows where some of their skeletons lie.

His exact words were: “…we cannot afford for Government and the churches to be at odds. The filigreed chain that links the two is a proud part of the national ornamentation, and it cannot be allowed to break.” Sadly, members of the clergy sat right there like ornaments and took their insult, while the gay-agenda proponents clapped loudly. But like I said, “churches” and “church”-leaders know their compromise of God’s word and thus could not find it in their spirit to get up and walk out on the sound of those words.

Beyond the “church”

“Government will therefore fully respect the right of the churches to propagate their understanding of the morality, or immorality, of homosexuality. But what Government cannot do is to shirk its duty to ensure that all citizens, without exception, enjoy the full protection of the law. After all, the Belize Constitution that affirms the supremacy of God also affirms fundamental rights and the dignity of the individual human being.”

It is amazing that with all the nasty attacks on the “church” by the homosexual movement, the PM did not deem it necessary to scold or exhort the homosexual proponents to stop slinging mud and attacking the churches because it is the churches’ right to have their say on moral issues and march and have meetings and hold vigils. There was no condemnation of the hate against “creed” and blasphemy being practiced against God. It is amazing how the heart of a leader is unveiled – for some reason the image that came to mind is that of Pharaoh Ramses played by this baldheaded actor, I think his name was Yul Brynner, in the movie The Ten Commandments, which was about the life of Moses. Ramses hardened his heart and believed in his own god, and readers may know the rest of the story.

For a lawyer who is supposed to know the Constitution and constitutional law, one would expect the PM to know that as the Constitution stands, whether you are homosexual or not, or have any other sexual preference, you are already accorded all the same rights like any of a different sexual orientation. Thus, to accord a special group of people special rights based on whom they chose to have sex with skews this delicate balance, while creating a new category of man-made rights that cannot be implemented equally. For it to truly be “equal rights,” then heterosexuals will need to equally be accorded some special right based on their choice to have sex with someone of the opposite sex, because homosexuals are being treated as special for having sex with persons of the same sex.

Ironically, under his own government’s Gender Policy, true discrimination is practiced because the policy advocates for rights of “men having sex with men,” but accords no such rights to women having sex with women. Lesbian women are discriminated against by this same government whose leader says: “…all persons are equal before the law and entitled to non-discrimination…” I guess women having sex with women are not persons with equal rights! This is discrimination based on sex because the men are treated above the women.

Interestingly, while some churches and church leaders are vocal against the homosexual agenda, what the government, especially its leadership, does not seem to know is that the largest group of opponents to the Prime Minister’s homosexual agenda, is not the “church,” but just the silent majority whose opposition is not based on religion, but on basic common sense and a sense of knowing how far they are prepared to expose our children to government’s new norm.

The outcome of the case

The Chief Justice does not need to hear from those in high office in government on their view or interpretation or government’s new stance. Crown Counsel Nigel Hawke had already presented for government.

I felt the words of the PM were loaded when he stated, “Government will therefore fully respect the right of the churches to propagate their understanding of the morality, or immorality, of homosexuality. But what Government cannot do is to shirk its duty to ensure that all citizens, without exception, enjoy the full protection of the law. … That same Constitution further declares that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to non-discrimination; to freedom from interference with their privacy; and to freedom from unlawful attacks on their honour and reputation.” PM was making crystal clear his government’s view and interpretation on the question of whether or not homosexuals under our law were being discriminated against and thus not afforded the full protection of the law.

From corrupt to corruption

If I had to advise the Honorable PM, I would have reminded him that said occasion was not the right time and place, considering that the ruling is not yet out and the CJ, who must hand down the ruling, was present. But maybe the one “negative” issue he chose to address was this one to distract from the fact that the corruption under his administration is beginning to stink – from the proven instances of bribery at SIF (Social Investment Fund) to the passport scandal that only resulted in the removal of a mere Minister of State! Imagine, political corruption is being revealed and the nation waited for assurance that all heads will roll, but instead the PM decided to defend moral corruption under the guise of equal rights. I am afraid to hear how he would have defended political corruption … hmmm, maybe as a right to eat good!

The corruption in our midst is a national issue needing serious attention, but instead the sexual preferences of a few got the attention. I wish this government would just be honest and tell the nation how many of them in power and office have this personal sexual preference, thus the energy that is expended to advance this agenda, while the rape of our children is not even given half the attention or money. It’s as if sexually abused children do not have equal rights as grown adults sodomizing each other do…. Outrageous! Those in government vehemently fighting the homosexual agenda should just come out the closet and be honest and let us know that for many of them it is their self-interest over national interest that is being served…. That is the other form of corruption taking place!

What was the message within the message? God bless Belize!

(Ed. NOTE: The minimally edited views of the columnist are her own, and not necessarily those of this newspaper.)

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