Why do we separate Church and State?

| 04/03/2009

After over 40 years of existence as a Caymanian, and now with children of my own, I’m perplexed at the narrow sightedness of some of my fellow Caymanian people on the Human Rights Issue regarding the Constitution and the continuous injection of out dated, religious views, especially in the area of homosexuality.

I attended the debate at the Family Life Centre and felt physically ill from the hate coming from the so called ‘church people’ at that meeting.

There is a good reason why in modern society there is a ‘wall of separation’ between the church and state. The Hon. Kurt Tibbetts said something at the debate that really resonated with me: “The constitution is only as good as the people we have in power or in charge.” How very true, and it’s concerning that it seems as if our country is being run by a few church leaders that have their own religious agenda and whom are being given the floor to preach this agenda to the population in the name of God. This is not being fair to all and is more the way that Afghanistan is indoctrinated by regimes such as the Taliban.

Please allow me to quote a scripture from the same Bible that gives us the foundation for our moral standing:

Deuteronomy 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
21:19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
21:20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
21:21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

If we were to follow the Bible literally, we all know that as parents existing in an intelligent society that we would have to kill most of our sons and daughters if we were to follow this quote from the Bible. We therefore should not be cherry picking the passages that we want to live by and need to understand that we can no longer abide literally by these archaic rules from a different time and culture. This is same reasonthat we cannot abide by the scriptures that say we should also execute gays (Leviticus 20:13) or put to death all those who work on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2) The scripture of Leviticus also states that it is prohibited to get tattoos, eat pork or shellfish, get your fortune told or play with the skin of a pig (there goes jerk pork and playing football!)

It really scares me that there are fellow Caymanians that live thinking that the only thing that will seriously erode the moral fabric of our society and culture is to give gays and lesbians any rights to exist. I commend the lady who quoted all the issues that are never discussed by the religious institutions during the course of our every day existence, yet which are crimes classed as abominations in the Bible and happen daily in our society, such as adultery, child abuse, domestic abuse and our ever increasing crime rate. Why don’t we look at how many of the gays in our community commit these acts? I can tell you without a doubt that these acts are being committed every day by some of our so called Christian members of society.

Do we really believe that acknowledging that some people in our society are gay will destroy the institution of marriage or corrupt our children? I ask you, how many couples are there that each of us knows that have been married more than once or twice. Or know of any child that has seen gay relationships on TV and decided that because of that they will ‘become’ gay. Yet we concentrate on taking the rights away from two people who only want to love each other, because it is not within the guide lines of what you as an individual see as ‘proper’. That is a sad society indeed.

The Hon. Mr. McLaughlin has started his fear-mongering campaign, trying to convince the Caymanian people that if we give rights to all we will have to pay for housing and medical care to ex-pats. Well, I know that if I went to America to work and couldn’t afford proper health care or housing, it would NOT be provided for me free of charge, so why would that be true of Cayman? It’s a ruse to try to steer you away from the real concerns the Church has regarding giving rights to all as that would include gays. The bottom line is if the person is not a citizen and doesn’t have health care then he/she has to pay the bill. Just like my family is now paying a CI$175,000 health bill incurred after my half brother (a born Caymanian) was killed by a hit and run driver here. Life is hard for some Mr. McLaughlin, and no one expects a Government hand out, but what we all want as human beings is the ability to live like human beings and have the same rights for all Caymanians whatever ‘differences’ they might have.
 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Church and State are to be separate.

    Church is not to be a Department of Government.

    The only thing the New Testament says on Government is that we are to pay our taxes due to the Government we live under (no tax-evasion), and to pray for our Government Leaders, and to submit to Government Authorities and their Laws. 

    Of course if their Laws do not oppose God’s Laws, but if that be the case, then we are to go to prison or martyred or whatever persecution is put upon us in whatever Country for keeping God’s Law and opposing the Government’s Law for not submitting to their Laws that opposes our God’s Law.   The whole New Testament, Jesus and all of his Disciples were persecuted and martyred for the sake of Christianity.  That is the Truth of the New Testament and the Truth of being a Christian. 

    Being a True Christian is not to charm the Government Leaders and go behind the Public’s back to get Laws done up the way they want, no, it is to NOT be involved with Government and to stand and face persecution for upholding God’s Laws at all costs, even if it opposes the Government’s Laws.  The Bible says it is impossible to please God without faith and that our warfare is not in the flesh, it is in the spiritual realm against evil and we fight with faith, prayer to God, etc in the spiritual realm. 

    What Bible is all of these Pastors reading from???  Why do they ignore so much of what the New Testament says???  Maybe they should not be a Christian, for they don’t want to suffer for the sake of Christ, and Christ says that any who are not willing to suffer for him are not worthy of following him.   So they persecuted the Master, so they persecute the servants also, because no servant is greater than their Master. 

     That is the True Bible and True Christianity.  The New Testament is filled with the message of persecution for following the Lord Jesus Christ.  Maybe those who find this message too hard need to walk away from Christianity, for this is the real and true Christianity, sometimes facing persecution and martyrdom for following our Lord.  Maybe the Real and True Christianity of the New Testament of following Jesus is too much for them to bear???  But it is not fair to leave the Truth of what the Bible says out just to tickle people’s ears and make them think it’s easy to be a Christian when in fact the whole New Testament declares otherwise!  The New Testament of the Lord Jesus Christ clearly indicates it is not an easy road, that you will face great suffering and persecution for following Jesus.

    Here is some of the Bible’s Scriptures on sufferingand persecution for following Christ and some other Scriptures, this doesn’t even include all of the times Jesus had to slip away from the crowds because some religious leaders and others wanted to stone and kill him, and all of the imprisonments of others in the New Testaments, and all of the persecution Jesus went through that is recorded in the New Testament of which all was never recorded in the first place.  Suffering and persecution as recorded in the New Testament is too much to note in one little letter.  It’s the whole New Testament!  Even one as great as John the Baptist who Jesus said was the greatest born of women lost faith at one time when he was in prison for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; even he questioned whether Jesus was the True Saviour and Messiah who was promised, or was there another to come???  True Christianity can be very hard to endure at times.  Oh, But the Reward up ahead and God’s Love in our hearts and lives, is what keeps we the True Christians going, Amen.

    Matthew 4:12,  5:10-12,  5:43-48, 7:13-14,  9:32-34,  10:1-42,  11:1-19,  14:1-12,  24:9-14

    Luke 11:49,  Luke 21:10-19       John 8:59, 10:31-32,  15:18-27,  16:1-4,  16:33

    Acts 7:54-60           Romans 8:35-39     1 Corinthians 4:9-18     2 Corinthians 1:5-7,  4:7-18

    Ephesians 6:10-20           Philippians 1:27-30      1 Thessalonians 1:4-8    2 Timothy 3:10-17

    Hebrews 10:32-39, 11:1-40,  13,3    1 Peter 1:1-12,  2:13-25,  3:8-17,  4:12-19, 

    Revelation 1:9,  2:8-11,  7:14

     

     

  2. Nicky Watson says:

    Thisthread appears to be descending into who is or isn’t Christian enough and who is or isn’t a hypocrite, which considering that almost everyone is submitting comments anonymously or under a pseudonym seems a bit pointless and not really the right discussion for a news site. I’ve deleted a few comments. The original question is, why do we separate church and state? Or we could ask, should we separate church and state? Or, is there an overlap between theology and politics?

  3. Anonymous says:

    To: Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 03/06/2009 – 14:06.

    What do you understand by "do not judge?"   

     

  4. Love is the Greatest of All says:

    To Anonymous who is in the debate with whodatis. It is clear to see whodatis has alot of love in his heart that flows freely, and it is clear to see that you are cold and rigid, and if you are an example of what Christians are, then I wouldn’t want to be a Christian.  I thought somewhere in your Bible it says that "without love you sound like a resounding cymbal; love covereth a multitude of sins; love is the greatest of all; all knowledge will pass away, all prophecies will cease, but faith, hope and love remain forever, and of these love is the greatest of all, etc…" ?

    And where in the New Testament of your Bible does it say to petition Governments for help and protection of the Churches?  I would like to see the part or parts of the New Testament where it says that about the Churches and the Government?

    Also, tell me why would a Church get in legal trouble if they refuse to conduct a homosexual wedding which seems to be the highlight of your debate?  Churches cannot authorize the Legal Register of where the marriage union gets registered in the Government Legal Records?  A wedding ceremony in a Church is just spiritual.  No Church has the power to authorize the Marriage Certificate?  That part of it belongs to the authority of the Government, not the Church?  That is something that has to be legally authorized and registered in the Government.  Why is the Church trying to act like a department of the Government? 

    There truly needs to be total seperation of Church and State!  Does not the God of your Bible require faith to please him?  Physically dabbling secretively in the drafting of the Constitution blocking the Public input, is not the place for the Church to be.  I do not see any faith being displayed in that.  If they had even been open to the Public about it each step along the way and given the Public their votes along the way then I could somewhat accept that.  But what I see is a deliberate physical attempt of the Church to make the drafting secretive with no Public input or opinion so as to get the discrimination bill against homosexuals done their way because of their simple fear and scorn towards homosexuals.   That is not faith as your Bible describes faith to be?  What does your Bible describe faith to be?  Doesn’t the Church teach wonderful elaborate sermons about fear being the opposite of faith?    

     

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous, you still don’t get it………….It is you, not whodatis, who pretends to be Christian. He sets himself no standards of humility and love.

    • Anonymous says:
  6. Anonymous says:

    To the person arguing with whodatis, I have no idea who you are but you don’t sound like a very nice person. Christians are supposed to be humble but you are making every attempt to sound superior to whodatis, so I can only assume that you are not a very good Christian. You are like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.  Go back to your Bible. Jesus mixed freely with tax collectors and sinners. He broke their Sabbath laws by healing people (I won’t pretend to know what he would have thought of the 7DA not letting their children play healthy sports on Saturday but I’ve always thought it silly), and forgave people’s sins, which to the Pharisees was blasphemy. He also freely criticised the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and self righteousness (Luke 11:37-52). Are you feeling very self-righteous? You certainly sound it. The point is, Jesus’ life and teachings clearly showed that he cared more about what was in people’s hearts than how slavishly they followed religious teachings. Whodatis seems to me like the Good Samaritan. He may not go to church (or may, I don’t know) but I think he would help someone who is hurt without asking if they are gay first. Too many churchgoers talk about love but don’t seem to show very much, or quote passages from the Bible for hours but are just not very nice. I’m really disgusted by your attitude.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whodatis was of course being completely humble:

      "Interesting how you seem to be unaware of that little tidbit of info huh? I mean…after all, they didn’t mention it on the politically corrupted and influenced media powerhouses that make up the US news networks?!

      Furthermore, I do not require anyone to form or influence my political opinions – I seek unbiased knowledge in the right places.)".

  7. Anonymous says:

    So, pray tell, where does all this leave gay and lesbian Caymanians. Those born of in the Cayman Islands of Caymanian parents?

    Will they have less rights than ‘straight’ Caymanians?

    This itself may well invalidate the entire constitution!

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    "Any one who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job" Douglas Adams.

     

     

  8. David Wolfe says:

     What’s up with Anonymous?  I find it interesting that so many people are unwilling to take credit for their own views.  Why is that?  signed -David Wolfe

  9. All of the New Testament or none at all! says:

    Yes Paul Aiken, i agree with you on the hatred that spews out of some Christians against a person who is homosexual.  Wow, isn’t that just a brilliant way for Christians to encourage them to repent and follow the way of Christ – to spew hatred at them?  What, a Christ who hates them?  Why would they want to follow a Christ who hates them?  We the Christians are representatives of Christ, what we do is what they see Christ to be.  What would Jesus do?

    You know what i love and adore and cherish about God?  That he can see in a person’s heart (ie: The Pastors and church leaders) and see whatever evil they may secretly have in their thoughts and heart, or see what sins they do in open or in secret, and see if they follow and hold up his commands and instructions in the Bible.  God searches the motives of the heart.  No one can hide their motives from God.  No one can hide anything they think, say or do from God.  No one can trick God.   If Pastors think that they can avoid certain things in the New Testament because their congregation doesn’t know what’s in the New Testament, then the Pastors better think again.  God is watching and listening.  God loves and cherishes His Written Word.  So to all who claim they are Christians, let me say this:  i find it is so reassuring and refreshing toknow that God knows if you are being true or being a hypocrite.  Wow!!  What an Awesome God we serve!!   Halleluyah!!  You can fool people, but you can’t fool the Living Lord God Almighty and you know it!  God will deal with hypocrites accordingly! 

  10. Hope says:

    I don’t know Mr. Aiken, but on reading his article – and the posted comments – I just want to quote one of his statements:  "We therefore should not be cherry picking the passages that we want to live by".  Here, here or Amen or whatever is Biblically, politically or sociably ‘correct’ to say!!

    I am tired of having scripture quoted to me by these cherry pickers.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Whodatis…well said.

    As for this article being written to impress expats…seriously think about what you are saying, having a global outlook does not mean you are out to impress non-Caymanians. Making a statement like that is being a crab in a bucket holding  down others from progressing with the rest of this world..the way we should. Just because you don’t want to change your ways and live in the 21st centuary doesn’t mean we don’t.

    If Caymanians want to brag that Cayman is a global financial center and wants to set a good example for tourism..which are the only reasons Cayman is economically stable, being as isolated as it is with the beach being our only natural resource, then its time to GROW UP and modernise your thinking. Know who butters your bread and allows you to live in a concrete home with imported food on your table. Expats do contribute to this country, without the knowledge and labour they invest into this country, lets be honest it would not be what it is and it would not have come this far, they bring $$ into this island and all Caymanians benefit from their contributions. The Caymnaians that complain that expats take their $$ and jobs need to stop being in denial – if you don’t have a good job, its because either you aren’t educated enough, open-minded enough to deal with the foreign market and/or have a bad attitude.  

    It is refreshing to know there are Caymanians out there who are open minded and not afraid to be individuals in their thinking.

    And religion….well to each his own, don’t use Gods name to make your views sound important and claim to represent God because all his children are equal, God doesn’t have favourites like petty humans, who discriminate out of fear of change.

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Paul Aiken touches on several areas of vital concern to these islands; we can all identify with at least some of the issues.  My comment concerns the following item from his post:

     ”…the hate coming from the so called ‘church people’ at that meeting…”

     

    Though probably not Paul’s intention, it is regrettable that his statement carries a heavy indictment of Christians in general.  However, the crucial aspect to consider here lies in his use of the adjective “so called”–which by definition means “falsely or improperly so named”.  Therefore, to conclude:  Christians are called to love God above all things, and to love all men as they love themselves.  And how much is included in all?

  13. Paul Reynolds says:

    1.) The separation of church and state as envisioned by the founding fathers in America was never intended to separate God and state, but the institution of church and state –  to avoid ministers of religion serving as political leaders because of their religious ‘status’. The Ministers Association, for all its clout, is a long way short of that.

    Secularists would like to say that all opinions on policy are valid as long as the people giving the opinions are not religious, which is of course no more valid than for me to suggest that I welcome all opinions on policy except those coming from people who are NOT Christians. Please Mr Aiken, do not allow yourself to think that your opinions are somehow ‘neutral’ where a religious person’s are biased. We all have our assumptions/worldviews/faith/non-faith positions from which our opinions come and by which they are shaped.

    2.) "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). i.e. me, you and everyone else. There is no agenda of God singling out gays – regrettably it HAS become an agenda of a number of other people (this is not a comment on the whole cruise ship incident – I wasn’t here at the time, I don’t know what went on). I also wasn’t at the debate (I’m an expat of a year and a half residence – my opinions are not required in that arena). However, much anti-gay talk I see in the global media flies in the face of the tolerance that Jesus showed and is truly shameful, despicable and spectacularly arrogant. I regard myself as different from all non-Christians not because I am morally superior in any way, but because I have been given something – eternal life with God – that I would dearly love them to have also. Christ’s tolerance was not to say that sin doesn’t matter – quite the reverse, it matters eternally – but rather that he will accept anyone who turns to him seeking his forgiveness, no matter what they’ve done.

    We are not to mistake tolerance for moral acceptance. God declares the practising of homosexuality as sin and he defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. For me to contradict God is not relevant. I may as well contradict Newton on the law of gravity – it is what it is and whether or not I accept it makes not one iota of difference to its reality. How that plays out in the political arena is of course a complex issue but this is (or should be ) the issue at the root of objections to "recognising" gay marriage for a Christian.

    3.) Sin is so incredibly awfully that the only thing that could remove it was the death of the Son of God on the cross – the once for all time perfect sacrifice. Whatever punishment God laid down in the Old Testament is as NOTHING compared to what it will be like in Hell. The whole point of those punishments was to show the people their sin SO THAT they would return to God. i.e. God did that so that people would see how serious sin was, ask him for forgiveness and turn to him, and thereby receive his free gift of forgiveness. There is no pleasure for God in punishment, he’s not working off some pent up frustration – those punishments are his showing us how much we need him.

    4.) Space does not permit to explain fully how Christ’s and Paul the Apostle’s teachings show that Old Testament punishments Paul mentions are not for the time after Jesus came to earth. But neither will I apologise for or seek to rationalise what God laid down all those years ago. Those punishments showed the true awfulness of sin at a time when what was right and wrong was being laid down by God for his people for the first time.

    I thank God for his awesome gift of grace thatmeans that I, a sinner in rebellion against him, have been forgiven through the death of Jesus to live with him now and for ever.

    Respectfully yours, Paul Reynolds

  14. whodatis says:

    What?!

    Anonymous, you said;

    "To the poster about under 35 Caymanians who have lived abroad. The mere fact that one imbibes the culture and values of an industrialised country, in preference to his own, does not mean that he is enlightened or advanced in his outlook. This is what happens when you have no solid grounding."

    So, in your eyes I have no "solid grounding"?! Ok, what would you say to a young adult who was raised in say, Alabama by a hateful racist parent/grandparent? If that individual goes out into the world and is forced to mix with others from various backgrounds should that person hold onto the racist teachings and principles instilled in him by his ancestors? Should he too hang on to his "solid grounding"?!

    I am not one to reject my culture altogther but I will ADMIT when certain aspects of my national "culture" are ridiculous and prejudicial.

    Mind you, this is coming from a man who at the age of 14 was, along with his friends, beaten off a basketball court by an old gray-haired Savannah woman, who at the time was screaming "Go back where unna come from…unna effin’ Black Jamaiciyans!!" (Meanwhile her grown adult son pulled up, double-parked his big black truck, rolled down the window half-way to point a shotgun at us – just in case we got the bright idea to defend ourselves from "psycho granny"!)

    So please tell me…how should my "solid grounding" apply in this instance? Do you consider this a part of rich Caymanian "culture" as well?

    You also went on to state your support for someone’s belief that 9/11 happened because "God" has been taken out of American culture and way of life. This implies that America was a completely innocent and righteous bystander in global political events and some mean evil terrorists came along and decided to attack them for no reason.

    Please pick up a book and educate yourself to the true history and reality of US foreign policy all throughout the world – Middle East included. Learn of the havoc and assassinations that they committed in regions such as Latin America, Africa, and Asia….and NO – you will not learn of these things via CNN or MSNBC!

    America has by far been the greatest global terrorist of the last 2 centuries! The problem is that their people do not understand this FACT as America preaches "Godliness" and "values" within the homeland as they simultaneously slaughter millions of innocent people all over the world.

    Yet, when 9/11 comes around – everyone wants to ask "How could GOD let this happen!?"

    Ever heard the saying – "God don’t like ugly?"

    This world we live in is round – nothing falls away into a great abyss…everything comes back around.

    Good day.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whodatis, I really do not know how you could twist what I am saying as a defence of racism. It obviously is not. Christian principles and morality do not approve of racism or any other form of hatred. I have simply said that merely becomes something comes from ‘foreign’ does not mean it is better. Surely you understand that concept.  

      You have also distorted the point about 9-11.  Nothing in what I have said implied that America was an innocent bystander.  Quite to the contrary, I have said that it was caused by America forsaking godliness. Contrary to your contention, "America" is not preaching godliness but is endorsing ungodliness and we now have some that have picked up the chorus here suggesting that we emulate them.  We need to adhere to moral principles in all our dealings, both foreign and domestic.  

      Good impression of Jeremiah Wright, by the way. 

      • whodatis says:

        My Dearest Anonymous,

        Be it in the form of racism or homophobia – prejudice is prejudice.

        Throughout history there are countless examples where various groups, sub-groups, communities, sects etc. of humans have suffered great injustices due to the simple but crucial foundation of "prejudice". Bottom line.

        The year is now 2009 and I consider it unacceptable for any progressive nation to consciously seek to exclude anyone from rights granted to everyone else within the text of its most important legal document – the Constitution.

        Whereas I believe in equal legal rights for everyone, I still expect a certain degree of respect for local cultures, no matter how absurd or unreasonable one may consider them to be.

        Do I agree with every possible aspect of homosexual relationships? No.

        However, a marriage between a 60 year old Caymanian man and a 20 year old "immigrant" young woman causes me an equal amount of concern…but here’s the stumper…it is NONE OF MY BUSINESS!!

        Genuine homosexuality (as opposed to the experimental craze that many now seem to enjoy), is not a selected or chosen "lifestyle". The decaying murdered gay human remains in places such as Jamaica and Saudi Arabia has thoroughly convinced me of this.

        From a biblical perspective, I find it unacceptable for us to cherry-pick the "rules" we wish to hold to the highest standard yet turn a blind eye to so many others.

        You say everything from "foreign" is not necessarily better – in regards to some issues I couldn’t agree with you more. However, homosexuals are everywhere at any given time. They existed in Cayman yesterday, today and more will be popping up with the sunrise tomorrow morning. People are people, Anonymous. Who am I to condemn a person to a miserable or unequal existence for something over which he or she has absolutely no control?

        They live amongst us, many incognito, every given day. I truly doubt the propsed constitutional changes will result in an over-run of "gayness" in the Caymanian society.

        We have a peculiar culture here in these islands and everyone understands the flow of things – that my friend is a far stronger force than any piece of paper.

        (P.S. Remember my lil’ recommendation for you to switch off CNN / MSNBC and to properly educate yourself in political issues? You may wanna’ research the Jeremiah Wright issue one more time. He was in fact quoting the sentiments of U.S. Ambassador Ed Peck – made during a FOX NEWS interview ironically – when he made those now "controversial" remarks during his sermon.

        Interesting how you seem to be unaware of that little tidbit of info huh? I mean…after all, they didn’t mention it on the politically corrupted and influenced media powerhouses that make up the US news networks?!

        Furthermore, I do not require anyone to form or influence my political opinions – I seek unbiased knowledge in the right places.)

        • Anonymous says:

          Whodatis,

          You clearly need an education on what Christians believe and why. It isn’t about cherry picking verses.  There is a reason certain books of the Bible are called the New Testament. Perhaps that is something on which you should seek some knowledge and understanding.

          "Be it in the form of racism or homophobia – prejudice is prejudice".

          Ironically, your statements show a great deal of prejudice, only against Christians. Let me help you out. "Homophobia" is defined as an intense fear or hatred of homosexuals. You have deduced that Christians hate or fear homosexuals because they hold homosexuality to be immoral, and they object to any official blessing of homosexual unions. However, this is a complete non-sequitur. I would hope that you would object to any legalization or blessing of the practice of incest. How would you respond if persons who commit incest managed to secure for themselves a group of activist supporters and demanded special constitutional protections for their unions? Does this mean that you have an intense fear or hatred of the individuals who commit incest? Obviously not. I use the example of incest for a number of reasons (1) it is another form of sexual deviance and is therefore comparable; and (2) it is practised by heterosexuals, so that you can be clear that the issue is not about some fixation on homosexuals; (3) it may be practised by consenting adults and using the logic employed by you one could argue that it is nobody’s business except those involved; and (4) itis matter on which there is an overwhelmingly clear consensus. So you see the issue is not that we can never have any say upon what anyone else does, but instead the issue is where do we draw that line. You have simply determined that you will draw it a different place than Christians.  

          The Pastors have been slandered that they do not speak out against child abuse, domestic violence etc. This is completely false of course, but it is a convenient ‘red herring’. Yet, no child abuser activists are demanding that their practise of child abuse be given an official blessing. So why is there a comparison to be made in the first place?     

          No doubt it gives you an emotional charge to feel that you have staked out the moral high ground when you use pejorative terms as "hateful" and "prejudiced" against others who disagree with you, but these tend only to obscure clear thinking and to polarize us further.  The irony is that the very thing that you accuse Christians of – self-righteousnes – is what you are guilty of. Others opinions are held up to the golden standard, not of revealed truth, but of your own opinion. "I consider it unacceptable…". You are wise in your own eyes. But for you that is all that matters.  For us there is a higher authority we must answer to.                

          • whodatis says:

            Anonymous,

            I am not one to debate the merits of Christian or religious perspectives and beliefs because in my short time on this earth I have learned that to do so is a complete waste of time. I say this because it is clear for everyone to see that the Bible, or any other religious text for that matter, can easily be interpreted in an infinite number of ways by an infinite number of individuals.

            This is perhaps the reason why we are at such loggerheads on this issue.

            My concerns are simply fair and equal rights or everyone and for every person to have the same pathway to justice as the laws of the land provide. Period.

            Your concerns are within the context of, as you say, a "higher authority", however, there is no defining line as to the expectations of that "higher authority"! This, Anonymous, poses a very big problem! Within Christianity itself the boundaries of the higher authority is undefined – as evidenced in the appointing of Rev. Gene Robinson. The global Christian society as a whole is split on the issue of homosexuality – should we allow such a contentious issue to permeate our Constitution as well?

            You raised the issue of incest and went on to describe it as "another form of sexual deviance". In my opinion you are grabbing at straws at this point. Of course I am against incest, mainly because it is scientifically dangerous and it carries a huge risk of severely affecting a non-participant third party – the conceived child.

            Can you list any similar risks in the case of two consenting homosexual adults?!

            Returning to the issue of the bible; that book has been used at so many points and periods in time to justify some of the most atrocious, despicable, racist, and genocidal acts against mankind that any rational thinking person should see the merits in gauging its influence over an issue as fundamental as the Constitution.

            However, interestingly, within your perspective I can identify bits and pieces of myself from an earlier time. I too used to draw parallels between homosexuality and other "deviant", and obscene sexual behaviour. I would see a same-sex couple and immediately think of the sexual aspect of that couple’s relationship – something that I didn’t do when it came to heterosexual couples.

            I am a heterosexual man and there is nothing in this world that could convince me that the "right" way to be is as a homosexual! Be it a pastor or a Constitution,therefore, how could anyone expect to "convert" or "counsel" them toward "straightness"?!

            Anonymous, homosexuals are more than walking, breathing sex machines. They are peoplewho also form lasting relationships, care deeply for their partners and are bound by the senseless power of "love" that afflicts all of us.

            Tell me, could someone else’s opinion steer your heart away from your dearest and nearest?! I think not.

            All I want is to create a society in Cayman where every person regardless of race, color, affliction, disability, sexual orientation, sex or age can feel confident that they have as much an opportunity to fullfill their dreams of a happy life as the other person. Am I wrong for this?

            It is for these reasons that I refuse to accept that particular version of the draft Constitution and I trust others will look beyond their own prejudices and misunderstandings and do the same.

            All the best,

            Whodatis

            • Anonymous says:

              Whodatis, your answer re incest is hilarious!. What if they promised to take contraceptives, or the woman was past child bearing age? Would it be OK then?   There are also scientific arguments to be made against the practise of homosexuality, but I do not wish to be graphic. 

              I will leave aside your diatribe against the bible because because again it will involve niceties of Christian theology that you do not understand and there simply isn’t the space here to address them all. 

              However, there is one point which I cannot leave unchallenged: "The global Christian society as a whole is split on the issue of homosexuality". The Global Christian Community as a whole is not split on the issue of homosexuality. In fact, there is an overwhelming consensus. The existence of a gay  American Epispolian bishop does not a split in the whole of Christendom make. There is but a relatively tiny minority of persons who contend that such a lifestyle is compatible with Christianity. 

              • whodatis says:

                Anonymous,

                I am sorry to be the one to inform you of this but "Christians" of your sort are currently an endangered species.

                This is the only thing that keeps the wrinkles out of my brow as I read your replies to my entries.

                I am assuming you are older than I am, I certainly hope so because for you to have to live in this rapidly changing world for much longer will guarantee a very uncomfortable existence for you – and I wouldn’t wish for such a horrible thing.

                It is clear that you are hell-bent on hanging onto your convictions and scriptures at all costs regardless of how it affects the lives of others. That to me is a very selfish attitude to have.

                The main difference between you and I is that I believe in the right for everyone to live a content life – you on the other hand…not so much. This was actually evident from the very beginning of our little debate when you passed the remark of a person with a mindset similar to mine was lacking "solid grounding".

                Interesting you sould say this as the very 9/11 "Islamic terrorists" that you proceeded to discuss surely possessed very "solid grounding". Can you see the potential stalemate and danger that can arise via "solid grounding" Anonymous?

                Anyway, I am through with this debate. Many thanks to everyone that supported me in this battle and please ensure to express your feelings come May 2009.

                (Readers, please excuse the many spelling and grammatical errors throughout my entries – I am sneaking these minutes from their rightful owner!)

                 

                Happy Friday to everyone…even you, "Anonymous"!

                :o)

                • Anonymous says:

                  "Interesting you sould say this as the very 9/11 "Islamic terrorists" that you proceeded to discuss surely possessed very "solid grounding". Can you see the potential stalemate and danger that can arise via "solid grounding" Anonymous?"

                  Come on, whodatis, you know that is taking what I said out context. I am referring to a person’s whose christian values are compromised as he is seduced by more morally decadent values.

                  "for you to have to live in this rapidly changing world for much longer will guarantee a very uncomfortable existence for you – and I wouldn’t wish for such a horrible thing".

                  You are right of course. The world will become increasingly intolerant of Christians. Christ said:

                  "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also".( John 15:18-20)

                  "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you". (Matt. 5:11-12)

                  • whodatis says:

                    "Anonymous", I honestly believe that you love YOURSELF more than anything else – God included.

                    Hold firm to your position as tightly as you desire, for it is of course your right to do so.

                    However, somehow I feel that my point of view in this matter will fill me with far greater joy and satisfaction than yours ever could.

                    You my friend are not working through the true spirit of God – a godly spirit is easily identified. It is obvious that not many witnesses to this debate can see "God" in you. 

                    I’m sure even that doesn’t bother you though.

                    Hence I am curious to know  – what then is the point?!

                    (That is a rhetorical question by the way – hopefully it will awaken something obviously dormant deep inside of you.)

                    To the rest of you – again I say…please let your honest voice be heard on this very important matter when the time comes.

                    All the best Cayman,

                    Whodatis

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Never mind Anonymous, Whodatis is clearly an expert on God. You simply have no chance.

  15. whodatis says:

    Caymanistan 2010!!

    My fellow Caymanistanis…please, lend me your ears!!

    Good article Paul. You raised very valid points.

    One thing that depresses me however, is the silence of YOUNG Caymanians (35 years and below especially) on the "gay issue". Those that have recenlty travelled to other countries, studied, worked and been exposed to other ways of life and who genuinely recognize the ridiculous attitude that this country has towards homosexuals. Its depressing!

    (Although part of the reason may be because many Caymanians refuse to integrate with other people and tend to clan together regardless of the relocation.)

    The issue is actually a compounded one. There is of course the religious element and perhaps even greater than that there is the stigma element as well.

    It is a known fact within Caymanian society that if one refuses to join in the stamping out of the "queers" then it simply means that you are one as well! Heaven forbid one attempts to defend a "battyman’s" human right for equal treatment – you may as well sign your name on the local "gay list"!

    How can we be so morally superior when half of our vast wealth is generated by an indutry that is the playground of the greatest committers of corruption, greed, crime, tax evasion, drug traficking…should I go on?!

    Absolutely ridiculous!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Dear Paul,

    Your contribution has given some food for thought.  Let me try to dispell some misconceptions:

    1) I have never attended a Church in the Cayman Islands or anywhere else that advocates any harm to homosexuals.  So those quoting the old testament passages are clutching at straws, and usually aren’t followers of Christ.  Christians view homosexuality as a deviation from God’s ideal intention for sexual relationships, just as pornography, adultery or fornication are also deviations.  We are encouraged to love the sinner but not the sin.  Those old testament texts are taken from a time when the ‘law’ governed the relationship between God and His People.  We believe that Christ’s coming completes that law, and extends grace where punishment (even death) was once mandated…for ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

    2)  Whoever stated that the Churches say nothing about adultery,  child abuse, spousal abuse, increasing crime rate, again was sadly incorrect.  It actually says more about the biases towards Christians/the Chruch by those who find such statements even remotely credible!  The Church has always advocated in this country for all groups of disadvantaged people, ministering to broken families, sheltering women who have been abused, and of course preaching and teaching God’s word which speaks to the importance of the wholeness of families.  Pastors put their own freedom and safety at risk to accept guns during firearm amnesties!  What I believe people mix-up is the fact that the stance may not be as controversial as the response given to Gay Cruises etc, but my simple point is that to the best of my knowledge there has been no public celebrations or cruises for adulterers, child abusers, or wife beaters.  These are all considered equally immoral, because it is not compatible with what the Bible (both old and new testament) teaches about our relationship between God and our fellow human beings.

    3) I do believe that the HRC has used alot of compelling and emotional arguments to focus our attention on a few issues that are genuine concerns…such as the rights of homosexuals to lead unharrassed private lives (which I have no fundamental  problem with), the rights of the disabled, and the rights of women and children.  But there is nothing now in the constitution that PREVENTS or HINDERS any of this. 

    However the freestanding right of equality as the HRC wants it worded will (not could but will) have serious practical impacts that no one is discussing outside of what the HRC says it ‘could do’ to a very limited group of individuals.  I have a funny feeling that the lawyers aren’t telling us everything.  It is quite a shame that the way the HRC has fashioned their position using compelling and genuine concerns is obscurring a broader discussion on the implications of this clause and the constitution in general.

    So I encourage you and others (including my Christian brethren) to not get all hot and bothered and take time to truly consider all sides of the deeper meaning of what the HRC is seeking.  Let us be independent thinkers.  Everyone is so quick to think it’s the Church tring to pull the wool over people’s eyes, but those who make such a judgement might do so at our own peril. 

    God Bless,

     

    • Anonymous says:

      To: Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/05/2009 – 02:29.

      Thank you for a thoughtful, reasoned response rather than the emotionally-charged rhetoric. You make some excellent points; it is a good testament against those who would vilify us.  The gay rights activists have purposely set up ‘straw men’ so that the debate can be distorted. Anyone who does not agree with them is automatically a ‘hater’ and a hypocrite and is advocating harm to homosexuals. It is thoroughly disingenuous.

      To the poster about under 35 Caymanians who have lived abroad. The mere fact that one imbibes the culture and values of an industrialised country, in preference to his own, does not mean that he is enlightened or advanced in his outlook. This is what happens when you have no solid grounding. Societies can advance as well as decline over time. As spiritual and moral foundations have been eroded violence and social breakdown have increased. That is the lesson to be learned from the United States and others. 

      In closing, allow me to share with you the profound response of Anne Graham, the daughter of the Rev. Bill Graham, when she was asked on a talk show how God could let something like the 9-11 attack happen in the U.S.:

      "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"
       

            

  17. Anonymous says:

    But c’mon folks.  Whipping up fear among the sheep of his flock and telling us who god currently wants to enslave, behead, blow up, rape, economically ruin, and discriminate in all sorts of hateful ways is what the leaders of organized religions are paid to do!

    But seriously, it is refreshing to hear someone over 25 with the courage to stand up to this bigotry.

    Hell is the state of sereration.  Who among us are dividing our families and community and nation?  Who is creating hell?  Those paid to do harm from their bully pulpits or people as Paul with such courage to, without pay, and against the popular prejudices, to help those who need help?

    There are truly angels among us.  Thank you!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think there is a typo….separate is correct whereas seperate is wrong.

    Ziggy Bee

  19. Anonymous says:

     

    Well said Paul,
     
    It heartens me that we can have someone like you come out and write things like this on our behalf. Imagine the hate and the constant threat that we gay people face each day in our jobs and lives each day.
    While I am becoming more spiritual each day I will not walk through the doors on any church in these Islands.  Why? because most of the preachers here do not represent the same God that I worship – my God is a God of love not of hate. He is a God of possibilities not limitations.
     
    The other repugnant aspect of our local churches is that most of the preachers here will allow adulators  and child abusers to walk freely in their churches without reprimand – as far as I can recollect and I went to Triple C so reglion was stuff down our throats – a sin is a sin. The bible does not say hell is going to be a little hotter for me (because I am gay) than it is going to be for the heterosexual committing adultery does it?!
    I have been in a committed relationship for 13 years – no cheating, no abuse. Tell me what’s so wrong with our relationship? Go head I dare you.
    • Anonymous says:

      "The bottom line is if the person is not a citizen and doesn’t have health care then he/she has to pay the bill. Just like my family is now paying a CI$175,000 health bill incurred after my half brother (a born Caymanian) was killed by a hit and run driver here. Life is hard for some Mr. McLaughlin, and no one expects a Government hand out, but what we all want as human beings is the ability to live like human beings and have the same rights for all Caymanians whatever ‘differences’ they might have".
       

      Paul,  you seem to be missing the fact that there are many posters on here who are arguing that that non-citizens who don’t have health insurance should not have to foot the bill, and that the Cayman Islands govt. should be responsible. They do expect a govt. handout, and – get this – they are demanding on the basis that they pay work permit fees! 

      Don’t let anyone fool you, a vertical right in favour of residents (not Caymanians) imposes a collateral vertical obligation on government towards them, otherwise the right is meaningless. 

      You are arguing for equal rights for all Caymanians but they are not. However, they are using you as a Caymanian mouthpiece to support the HRC’s agenda, the full content of which you clearly do not grasp. Before denouncing Minister McLaughlin as hate-mongering, ask a person versed in these matters with no agenda to explain it to you.  Let the articles wait until then.         

       

        

  20. Anonymous says:

    "And please stop pandering so that you can feel accepted by expats"..especially when you can’t spell "SEPERATE"

    They are only laughing at you (and us) behind your back.  Do you think you will be accepted by any of the home countries of any of these expats that you are so trying to impress?  You are sorely mistaken.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      "..especially when you can’t spell "SEPERATE"

      and conflate "narrow-mindedness" and "short-sightedness" to get narrow sightedness. 

      Mr. Aiken will feel good now. Hear all that praise he’s getting from the expats! They even say it is well-written.  What a hoot!

       

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ar last a sensible debate on homosexuality. It is the heterosexuals who practice adultery, child abuse, domestic abuse and the ever increasing crime rate but there is no witch hunt against them. I come from England and there is bigotry there too but I am shocked at the hatred of the Caymanians towards homosexuals in the name of the bible. In Ireland the Catholic priests also preach such hatred from their pulpits to brain wash their congregation and then go and sexually abuse the choirbiys after the service! Doesn’t God say we should preach love and love one another as equals? All homosexials want is to love one another and receive equal rights. They want to live peacefully and perhaps worship God if they were allowed to feel welcome by the churches. They also do many charitable things and good works for the sake of their comminities. They do not have two heads, nor do they wish to abuse your children. They are just ordinary folk going about their business but are frightened to express their love for one another in case they are targeted by hatred. There is a saying that those who shout the loudest to condemn others are the ones who have something to hide – think about it before you judge. Anonymous (unfortunatelu)

  22. Anonymous says:

    "Europe once let the church run governments. Today we call that period The Dark Ages"

    and those buggering Heathen Greeks brought forth Democracy and the Classical Enlightened Period, where art, architechture, science. law and philosophy flurished

  23. Anonymous says:

    please explain why  just because Mr Aitken has an intelligent and well written argument  that he is ‘pandering to expats’.??   are caymanians not supposed be intellgent and well written?  or should they only ‘pander ‘to the religious dictators?

     These ministers are not elected officials – they were not chosen to represent the country.  And believe me when I say that this issue will highlight the huge disconnect between them and a large proportion of these islands residents.  Expats and Caymanian’s alike.

    • Anonymous says:

      "please explain why  just because Mr Aitken has an intelligent and well written argument  that he is ‘pandering to expats’.??   are caymanians not supposed be intellgent and well written?  or should they only ‘pander ‘to the religious dictators?"

      Mr. Aiken’s article is neither intelligent nor well-written as has already been demonstrated by a number of other posts which, on the other hand, are intelligent and well-written.  Mr. Aiken clearly does not understand the draft Constitution if he believes the rights apply only to Caymanians. His article is riddled with non-sequiturs, inappropriate comparisons between the U.S. Constitution and our draft Constitution, unsubstantiated charges against the pastors, prejudice against Christians and a thorough lack of understanding of Christian theology. However, it is no doubt emotionally satisfying to thosewho agree with his point of view, so ill-deserved superlatives in praise of article abound.

      Mr. Aiken, and those Caymanians who know Mr. Aiken know what I mean by "pandering to expats".  

  24. frank rizzo says:

    "The constitutionis only as good as the people we have in power or in charge."

     

    The constitution must afford protection of its citizens despite the people in charge or in power. It should not matter who the leaders are if aconstitution is properly founded.

  25. anonymous says:

    Why would any government leader with any sense listen to these ministers about something so important as the constitution in the first place?

    They can’t even figure out among themselves if they are supposed to worship on Sunday or Saturday. They can’t agree if the Pope is God’s right hand man or the anti-Christ. They can’t determine if sprinkling water on a baby’s head is crucial to salvation or just a cute ritual. Who in their right mind would award these people the power to steer a nation’s course into the future?

    I don’t understand why fundamentalist Christians can’t be content to believe what they want to believe and practice their religion among themselves. No one wants to take away their right to do that. Why do they have this overwhelming need to push their ways on everyone else? is their religion just a front for bullies and bigots?

    Europe once let the church run governments. Today we call that period The Dark Ages.

    Thank you Mr. Aiken for this powerful piece that is right on target. I would love to see a response from a minister. But what could they possibly say?

     

     

  26. Anonymous says:

    This author is completely correct in my opinion. Control of the people by those who make their living as purveyors of religion is the basis of this hatred to which the author speaks. Where is the love that is contained in the message of Jesus?

    Separation of church and state is the solution. The Ministers Association did not need to be a part of the constitution modernization process. Of course their excuse was that they were invited…they could have showed the maturity and wisdom to decline the invitation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Aiken, the position of Christians on the gay issue is not derived merely from the Old Testament. It is solidly based in the New Testament. Try reading the bible earnestly and prayerfully for its true meaning rather than looking for texts to debunk it. 

      Further, no world religion holds homosexuality to be moral and exemplary.

      It is plainly silly to say that one "hates" the doer because one disapproves of his immoral conduct. Do we "hate" the individuals who molest small children when we call for them to be publicly named and shamed?  No, we are appalled at their actions and wish to prevent its recurrence. 

      And please don’t get confused with the separation of church and state issue. We are not the United United States. It has nothing to do with our constitutional/legal context.   As I have pointed out elswhere there is no separation of church and state in the UK where the Queen is the  Head of the Church of England and the House of Lords includes the Bishops of the Church of England. 

      And please stop pandering so that you can feel accepted by expats.      

  27. Anonymous says:

    Well said!  The leadership of this "Christian" country is acting in a manner which is inconsistent with the very essence of what Jesus Christ sought to teach us.  The Christian way is to live and work together as a community with love and compassion, and thereby worship the Lord by our acts not our words. 

  28. Anonymous says:

    You are absolutely right – we must put Scripture first.  This equal rights for women issue flies in the face of 1 Timothy 2:12 "Suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence".  My son is being taught by a female school teacher – it is a disgrace.

    We must be allowed to treat non-Christians, gays and women badly – the Bible tells us so.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is this person who is advocating the treatment of non-christians, gays and women for real?  The viewpoint by Aiken was mature and well thought out – not sure how it is pandering to expats?  Those expats might be muslims who have an equally illogical hatred of homosexuals.  The viewpoint that expats are laughing behind the backs of caymanians might well be true but examine why they are laughing – it has nothing to do with the gay issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that you must put Scripture first, however, you are taking the meaning of that particular Scripture entirely out of context.  Although it states in 1 Timothy 2:12 as you quoted, it does not mean that women cannot or should not teach in schools. The Apostle Paul was speaking about women not being allowed to teach in the synagogues and in the churches of Asia Minor after Christ ascended into Heaven. Therefore, biblically speaking, women should not hold the office of Preachers, Pastors or Ministers.  It clearly states in 1 Timothy 3:1-2 "…If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop must then be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt toteach;"  It says in verse 2 , "the husband of one wife" – now tell me, how can a woman be the husband of one wife?? I’m not being feminist, for I am a woman myself, but I am merely stating what the Bible says.

       

       

  29. Anonymous says:

    Well said, I am glad to see there are resonable people in Cayman like yourself.  Please don’t stay quiet and please keep making the logical arguements, as they will resonate eventually with learned people.