Fund politicizes church

| 24/02/2013

IMG00324-20110808-1416.jpg(CNS): The significant donations given to a select few churches via the controversial Nation Building Fund established by the former premier have ensured the politicization of the church in this election campaign. With millions of dollars going to the churches since the fund was created in 2010, the nation building initiative is being associated with vote buying  — an accusation that was reinforced by the PPM’s George Town candidate, Marco Archer, on Wednesday when he pointed to the discriminatory nature of the donations. Meanwhile, UDP Leader McKeeva Bush accused opponents of the fund as critics of the church, implying those not supporting his nation building efforts were not good Christian people.

Speaking at the opening of the UDP’s new George Town headquarters last week, Bush defended money given to religious institutions and said that assisting churches was one of the UDP’s campaign promises in 2009. He said many churches were heavily damaged in Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and were struggling to rebuild. The Nation Building Fund was being used to help churches turn the buildings into hurricane shelters, Bush said.

“It is high time people stopped castigating our churches,” Bush added, as he described them as the country’s moral compass. Speaking to an audience boosted by congregations from George Town churches where the former premier has been worshiping recently, Bush spoke about the importance of the church in nation building and accused those who were criticising the fund of attacking religion.

With the powerful influence of pastors on their congregations, combined with the significant disparity in the public cash that has been given to the various church groups, concerns among Christians on all sides of the political debate have been raised about the fund and how cash is allocated. Donations have varied from millions given to a few churches (see related stories below) and a couple of thousand to others, while many have received nothing at all.

At the UCCI political debate on corruption on Wednesday evening, the issue of pastors and church leaders openly telling their congregations to vote for a politician after receiving a donation was described by the candidates as corrupt, especially when that funding came from the public purse.

Mac church (400x265).jpgWhen a member of the audience asked the panellists how they felt about church leaders who endorsed candidates who gave them money, they all agreed it was corruption. The question came after the former premier’s guest appearance on the stage at the first Sabbath Celebration of the Impact West Bay Campaign at the Adventist Church in the district, which had received money from the Nation Building Fund. 

Wayne Panton, a PPM candidate in Bodden Town, pointed to the need to separate religion from politics as it harmed the entire country when churches were manipulated. “It’s unacceptable, it’s wrong and a very bad idea,” Panton added.

His party colleague who will be running in the capital, Marco Archer, illustrated the problem that many people appear to have with the NBF. He pointed out that certain churches in West Bay had received hefty donations over the last three years under the guise of building hurricane shelters, while others received nothing. Despite this, one church in West Bay, which has the highest location in the district and the most suitable site for a shelter, did not receive a single cent. Archer implied it was more than a coincidence that several of the former premier’s political opponents belonged to that congregation.

“Only a select few churches received money,” he said, adding this was “unequivocally nothing more than corruption.” Agreeing withBush that the church has an obligation to be a moral compass, to take money and then endorse the person who gave that money was wrong.

Coalition candidate Jackee Haynes, who is also running in the capital, called on the congregations themselves to condemn such behaviour where their church leaders were endorsing candidates, and she said the silence of the people only facilitated it.

Her C4C colleague Roy McTaggart, who has been a member of the Commission for Standards in Public life for the last three years, in which it has struggled to make any inroads into addressing what is perceived as a significant problem, said it was “ terribly wrong” for churches to be asking government for money for their coffers. He said preachers encouraging their congregation to vote for a person that then gave money was vote buying. McTaggart said candidates should not be asking their pastors to endorse them but to campaign among the parishioners of their own church themselves as they would in the community at large.

While all of the would-be political candidates were uncomfortable with the controversial nation building, the deputy premier, whose government had allocated several million dollars in the last three budgets, including to his own church, defended the donations to religious institutions. He said if government wasn’t going to give money to assist churches it would have to stop its assistance to a whole raft of other non-governmental organisations, from sports clubs to scouts.

Rolston Anglin said that pastors should not be promoting candidates if the church had received money from them or government. But to stop giving money to the country’s churches would represent a paradigm shift in policy. However, he raised concerns about transparency, saying where government was partnering with a church to build a shelter, which “was a smart move”, it had to be clear about the rules of engagement and how money was given.

It is the perception of the political control and manipulation of the Nation Building Fund that has caused concern in the community. The money is being managed and allocated via the finance ministry, which has now been taken over by Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, the new premier, but was originally created and managed by Bush when he was in that role, an issue which has caused concern for the auditor general as well. Alastair Swarbrick has indicated that his office plans to examine the fund as part of a value for money audit across government, looking at how money has been allocated because without transparent criteria for giving money there are risks to the public purse, the audit office has said.

Related articles:

Churches get 400k fund

AG to probe nation building

Churches get half the cash

familyenrichment.caymanadventist.org/mr-mckeeva-bush-joins-first-sabbath-celebration

Category: Politics

Comments (113)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The church has its tentacles up in everybodies business, not just with stealing funds from the public purse, but look at how "leaders"  force thier employees to "submit"  and listen to thier pious bible scripture quoting at  faculty meetings or in public forums. If you dont submit,  you can kiss your promotion or bonus work goodbye….economic discrimination based on religous grounds.

    Its show a real lack of an ability  to communicate to your employees  when your boss's solution to real 21st century problems is to quote parables from the bible in a work environment. What a waste of peoples time and an infringment on free thinking.

    Its this type of vain christianity which leads your church going boss/department head/president/supervisor  to think stealing peoples MONEY and TIME is perfectly acceptable in 2013. These leaders are shameless manipulators hiding behind the church for all thier lazy inaction to solve real problems in the community.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is no need to audit the funds given to the churches.

     

    Peopleof god run churches; therefore, they can be trusted to do the right thing.

    • Anonymous says:

      True. My preacher takes the money from the collection plate and throws it into the air so God can have as much as he wants. My preacher only keeps the money that falls to the floor.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right. Lets just keep it all under the carpet where it belongs.

  3. Anonymous says:

    That money would have done far more good for the community if it was distributed amongst the schools and organizations like the Pines and Cayman Hospice care.  These institutions have far more value to our community than churches.  

  4. Anonymous says:

    The wonderful thing is that all the darkness everywhere in this world, not just in Cayman, is coming to the light. God Almighty will not have his people suffer forever at the hands of one worthless, self serving, self professed God fearing mad man. Cayman WILL have a decent government in spite of it all. THAT is God's will for this country and our people. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Then please have your God guide the voters in the right direction, as I cannot see His name on the electoral role.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is just like Jamaica corruption, corruption, corruption. Now ,it came here as paying people to vote , giving contracts to special friends or family, getting  no value for money on projects. While school children can't get a decent education. More corruption from people who have corruption certificates and diplomas.  Ridculous money spent on schools instead of using money for education and the elderly and infirmed.

    Now no money for veterans or seamen ? What's next ? No money for people without jobs? Tax? UDP has done nothing for the Caymanian people. Sad so sad they should loose their pensions and see and feel what its like to live on this  island with a small salary to just pay rent.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There is not room in a church for both God and loud mouth politicians.   The pastors should decide which they supporting and get rid of the other.  It appears that some have chosen the politicians.  A sad sad choice.

  7. Anonymous says:

    A simple quote from the Master should suffice here.

    “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matt 6:24

  8. ex member says:

    I noticed in these churches I hear more people begging to God for wealth than I do hear them giving thanks to God for life and basic necessities. Pastors shouldn't be teaching that money makes you happy – only God makes you happy, and hence you should be content, not praying your brains out for having more. That is so wrong and has cause me to leave the church never to return. Also if God is so powerful like these Pastors claim, why do they need to rely on government to grow the church?  Sounds like ecclesiastical corruption to me, the same type that Jesus had to deal with in his days.

    • R.. says:

      How many times I go to church and see the offering plate push in my face more than once?  Its a money thing that what. Donations should be at the door so people are not manipulated to give.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing you hear in a church makes sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree! I have been to almost every church on this island trying to find one where I felt at peace but the constant prayer for money, the constant need for funds and the pressure put on people attending to suddenly become tithing members and be baptised didn’t sit well with me – I stop going completely and I feel free as a bird !!! I don’t need to be affiliated with any religion to know what’s morally right from wrong so rather than giving my money to a church, I help support two families who are less fortunate and the gratification I get from that feels a whole lot better than paying for the pastor’s lifestyle! That’s just another money making enterprise.

      • Anonymous says:

        So true!!  I went near by a church one Sunday, and I was puzzled to see the cocktail dresses, most of them movie star styles, and the shoes, I swear came from Frederick's of Hollywood.  The Pastor had on a Pinstripe suit and a pair of the sharpest toe shoes, where you could substitute as a mirror.  I had to wonder, is this where the church's money going?? A few carried an "On Her Majesty's Service" envelope, everyone has a guess of what that meant, oh! we found a place where we would want to stay for sometime. I'am looking for a signature and a small donation to help me on my way.

    • Anonymous says:

      If prayer works, why to church steeples have lightning rods?

  9. Michel says:

    I agrree that ALL churches should account for the improuvement needled and return they are not using. Wesleyen for one and Bodden town as well. What you don’t have to spend , please give it back to say ” Feed the hungry, support meals on wheels etc. I attend the Chapel of God and proud of it. I hane never heard my Pastor discuss politics to me nor anyone. Actually he won’t get in the subject. What we do is we pray for our whole Government to make the right decision. So thet they may be guided in the right direction and do their best for We the People and our Beloved Islands. No vote influencing at Our Church . To respond to the persons that think our collection is to help missions. Call Church for list and you will see that the money that is collected is put to good use. God Blessn Michel Lemay

  10. Bart Simpson says:

    All I have is one question for any pastor/chuch on this island, and would love to get a full honest answer.

    Would you accept money from a liquor company on island, knowing you accept money from government. This money is being donated FROM the liquor company, from THEIR Nation Building Fund. 

     

    Would love to see a Pastor replyt to this one.

     

    "Don't have a cow man"

  11. Anonymous says:

    Did any of the churches ask for money?

    Possible for some special project or need, in which case they should account for it.

    Or was it given as an unsolicited donation, in which case they should refuse it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What about the majority of churches here that got nothing?  I guess our former premier is considering them as "not good Christian people."  I am surprised that he would take it upon himself to determine who the good and bad people are.  We have apparently had a leader who considers him a "higher power" if he feels that he has the right to make that determination.

     

    I think sometimes people talk without thinking about what they are saying.  But if you are going to have taxpayer money help the churches, they make it across the board.

  13. Ebnks says:

    A hell with Rolston Anglin!  Let's go with the PARADIGMN SHIFT – no money no honey for all non-governmental organisations!  If it is coming from the purse, it belongs to the People and the People only – not a selected few! 

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Rolo is like the circus trick riders who galloped around the Ring standing with one foot on each of the backs of two horses.Unfortunately for him, the two horses are now going in different directions, and he suddenly has to decide whether to move both feet to just one horse, and importantly, which one – or risk ending up falling on his arse between both of them.

  14. Slowpoke says:

    The problem with the "Moral Compass" is that it always and only points at the owner's mouth.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Any audit of what happened shouldn't take very long.  There is only one actor in this drama – not a committee for dispersion of the "Nation Building Fund" –  it was one man!  Acting as if it were funds from his own wallet, in some mad plea for redemption.  How can this man be allowed to run for office again?  

  16. St Peter says:

    Dont worry folks…

    I know who they are and I will be looking out for them at the Pearly Gates…

  17. Anonymous says:

    I am not Christian.  I feel discriminated against by this sort of cash handout limited to Christian groups.  The grant process should be formalised, transparent and treat everyone equally.

  18. BT Bracca says:

    Any politician who is desperate to throw their religious beliefs in your face all the time like Big Mac, Ms Julianna, Rolston, Foolio should never be the Premier or Deputy Premier or MLA they cannot be trusted it is as simple as that!

  19. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva Bush can try to justify all he wants. just exactly like he tried to justify the Cohen deal and the GLF deal and the CHEC deal and the status grant deal and the For Cayman deal, it is very simply and clearly and plainly and blatantly WRONG to be giving 'his' churches millions of dollars to splurge as they see fit while taxing the backsides off the general public to do so. I is WRONG. And Mckeeva Bush will answer to God Almighty himself for doing so.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Will they stop the process and close down the fund if they are elected? NO it guarantees votes

  21. Anonymous says:

    The churches need to release their records to show spend of public money.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if the churches realize that some of that money came from the duty collected on ALCOHOL…lol

      • Anonymous says:

        Jesus's first miricle was to turn water into wine. No problem.

        • Anonymous says:

          And the UDP's first miracle was to turn christianity into politics. Help us Dear Lord.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does anyone know what's happening with the Home Repairs Program started last year by the former Premier???

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes he spent all the money on improving his home and his lifestyle…. nothing new here.

    • Anonymous says:

      This man is really desperate!!! – He was at my church on Sunday giving an speech on integrity and how God will see him through this election…Shame on him! no wonder sinners staying far and away from Church doors, it's simply a mockery and he gave away all that money to churches hoping to secure votes in return, now he is going around to all those Churches that accepted his favors to c"collect" – you can see the reason why he was so generous! Always a double standard with this looser!

       

      • Anonymous says:

        The only 'god' interested in the outcome of politics is Lucifer.

      • Anonymous says:

        So – did you walk out in disgust?

        • Anonymous says:

          I did walked out in disgust! – I was expecting to hear the word on  Sunday morning not a bunch of clowns talking politics and trying to get pity from people.

  22. Amazing says:

    There is no money to pay civil servants (request a loan), the pension in underfunded, fees are increasing which lead to business closing or leaving causing unemployment. But there is money to give to churches and otherswith no accountability?

  23. Anonymous says:

    With absolutely no transparency in the NBF as to exactly what the funds are to be used for, and accountability of the Churches zero, and Mac not saying what the money is for exactly (only in general terms), then of course he is vote buying. If other reports are true that Pastors are telling their flocks to vote for him, that is an appalling abuse of power, Church and State should not be mixed.

     

    As for him calling others "Un-Christian", he has made most of the very un-Christian remarks I have heard on this island, is subject to the most investigations and has suddenly found religion again. XXXXX

     

    Pastors, look to your consciences. If you took the money to rebuild, it was not Mac's to give, it was the peoples of Cayman. Therefore the people must choose in the election and the best advice you can give would be to vote for someone who is going to move Cayman forward with intelligence, integrity and honesty.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree.

      Sad that politicians feel inclined having to hide behind churches and using them to fullfill their lust for power.

      That said – someone can only buy votes from someone who is for sale.

      It just shows, churches are a business and don't seem to care much where the money is coming from that is given to them. That (and for numerous other reasons) is why in my humble opinion and experiences, churches are the most hypocritical places on earth!

      • Anonymous says:

        Regretfully I have to agree, and it does not matter if it is Catholic, C of E, a mosque or whatever..most Pastors or Churches (but not all, lets be fair) are trying to prove their own agendas rather than the Lords or Allahs that they should be serving..

      • Anonymous says:

        Here, here!! Can't dispute this premiss!

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey, you can't paint everyone with the same brush. Not all of them play ball with politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      One of the best parts is the "scholarships" given to those who did not qualify for one through the ministry. By qualify I mean, have an acceptance to a college.Very interesting when you consider that some universities and colleges will let you in, even tho' you don't qualify academically, if you pay a certain rate. The ministry scholarships are a flat $20,000 or less per annum and some of theNBF students got $46,000. I'm sure if their names are released, you will find that their families are PROMINENT UDP supporters. I imagine they are all panicking now as they may not get the money for the next academic year and beyond.

  24. Anonymous says:

    What is the formal position of ppm on Nation Building fund?

    • Anonymous says:

      who knows their position on anything?….they have been as bad an opposition as the udp have been a government…..

      • Anonymous says:

        You use the same wording every time you post on CNS. You obviously cannot spell corruption, or perhaps you have no idea what it is.

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM was the first to criticise the NBF as a political slush fund when it was first introduced and has consistently condemned it ever since. Try reading the news.  

      • Anonymous says:

        If PPM had said anything of substance the public would know their position but do you really think they will say anything to offend potential voters? They do what they always do play games and do nothing. Just like the position taken in 2003 against the Status Lottery grants. Same $hit different day!

        • Anonymous says:

          It was reported quite clearly here on CNS so you either don't read well or your comments are malicious:

          http://centos6-httpd22-php56-mysql55.installer.magneticone.com/o_belozerov/31115drupal622/headline-news/2009/10/09/%E2%80%98slush%E2%80%99-fund-queried-mla

           

            

        • Anonymous says:

          Crap, the problem with suing the (then UDP) government over the status grants would have meant that the PPM would be suing themselves and the country once it came to court. The law society said it did not make sense. Individual grants of status could have been contested (eg: to those not eligible under the new law such as Dart, Ryan, Kaweski etc…). The PPM have never given out status so your post just doesn't make any sense. The many people who were lumped in by the UDP who would have received it when the new law came in were used as a smokescreen for those who should never have been given status. Check how many of the latter are now registered to vote, that is why they were given status by the UDP. Irrevocable status, no matter what they do. 

    • Anonymous says:

      But since then, Tony Eden supported additional funding to NBF provided he could access the funds also

  25. Anonymous says:

    Mr Bush, it isnt the churches that are being "castigated". Its You!

    First for setting up an arbitrary system of distributing large sums without ANY oversight, and then for doing so in a discriminatory manner. It is, in my view, open to misuse and many might say, open to simple vote buying which by any standards is corrupt.

    How can you explain why your chosen churches were principal recipients? How can you justify the distribution being done without any oversight or control as though it was your personal money? I do hope it is too late for you to have another opportunity, and I hope you get your just "rewards" for your actions, but if you dop get another chance the lesson you need to understand is that the Islands money isnt yours, it has to be used transparently, and your activities must be seen to be in the Islands interests anmd not your own.

    Some chance!

  26. Voter in GT says:

    Churches are private period.  The vote buying at church goes against all of Jesus' teachings

    MATHEW 21:12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.

    Sorry Big Mac, Julianna, and all of the UDP & PPM, ….cronyism party politics must go away.  I pray that this election brings new honest blood and every single former politician will be held up in shame.

    Please elect the new businessmen and women running that have business sense, legal and accounting backgrounds, and do not elect any career politicians!

  27. St. Baldric says:

    Oh ye stiff necked sinners!  Know ye not that the Lord sent forth a hurricane to destroy certain churches as a sign and a warning. And that which the Lord hath laid low shall not be restored by dipping into the till which is called public funds.  BewareFor that which walks like unto a duck and quacks like unto a duck shall surely be a duck and verily shall, one day, become a dead duck and a jailbird.

    • BTer says:

      What I don't get is how Bush can say:

      "many churches were heavily damaged in Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and were struggling to rebuild. The Nation Building Fund was being used to help churches turn the buildings into hurricane shelters"

      We should easily be able to establish if that actually was (factually) the case.  It certainly isn't for the brand new church-come-hurricane shelter they are building in BT.  The money would have been better spent restoring our Civic Centre into a proper hurricane shelter – not spent on creating yet another church in a district which already seems to have far too many churches already.

      I for one, am all for the division of church and state – can't happen soon enough in Cayman for me.  I'd rather see the people's money being spent on the people, not on churches who have their own collection system in place, along with their many raffles and god knows what else, to collect their own money.

      And to say that the churches who have received  money from the NBF are not influencing their congregations' votes, is an absolute blatant lie.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, that's not true. That is probably the only project that it can be said of. Partnering with a church which is already in the process of building, as happened with the BT COG, makes a great deal of sense for the govt for the following reasons:

        1. Govt. will not need to purchase land or use existing crown land for the purpose.

        2. It is less expensive contribute the costs to make a structure into a hurricane shelter than to build your own hurricane shelter.

        3. A single-purpose hurricane shelter will be woefully underused relative to its cost.

        4. The Church will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep.

        5. Govt. will not have the liability to insure the bldg, but the church will have a higher insurance premiums because of the added cost of the structure.      

        The only question is value for money and as I understand it the amount contributed was according to the Q.S. estimate of what was required to turn the bldg into a hurricane shelter. 

        It would have made no sense to try to restore the civic centre into a hurricane shelter. You should have learned from Ivan that it is poorly sited for a hurricane shelter being located in the swamp, on low lying land and a short distance from the beach.

        Govt. did not pay to create a church. It paid to turn a church into a hurricane shelter from the community at large can benefit.   

  28. Anonymous says:

    I hope that the 'moral compass' is not found in Casinos.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Well we always knew that separation of church and state never existed in Cayman. Now we have proof.

    • Humpty Dumpty Pajamas says:

      Separation of church and state exists in other constitutions like in the USA however this is not the case in Cayman. In the end this is not the issue. The real issue is the lack of transparency and lack of accountability surrounds the nation building fund.

      • Anonymous says:

        Separation of Church and state exists in England, whom we supposedly follow too.  But this is Caymankind politics – a different breed entirely!

        • Anonymous says:

          Quite to the contrary it does not. The Bishops of the Church of England have a seat in the House of Lords automatically by virtue of their office. The Queen, the head of state, is the supreme governor of the Church of England. The Church of England is the state church.     

    • Anonymous says:

      You just have to look at the fact that you can't buy alcohol on a Sunday on island, most businesses are closed, the fact that most of the politicians tout some affiliation with a church as one of their selling points, the fact that gambling and purchasing pornography are illegal to see that its the church that runs our island, not the government. While I don't disagree with certain things (such as selling pornography) I do believe that people should have the choice. If you want to gamble, then gamble. If you want the opportunity to work on a Sunday, then work on a Sunday. Sometimes I want to be able to buy that bottle of rum before the beach on Sunday, too. But no, there are all of these arbitrary rules put in places for no other reason than the fact that they go against 'god's' rules. Its silly; someone needs to catapult our island into the 21st century.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Too bad those millions of dollars couldn't have gone towards education, after school programs for our youth, improving the health care system, improving the island's infrastructure. Just another reason we need to make sure that someone like McKeeva never gets in power again. As far as I'm concerned, it's high time he'd in prison.

    • Mom in GT says:

      Wow, what a GOOD point!  

      Just think….the if these same millions were actually spent directly on getter BETTER teachers and school education programs instead of churches, we could have hired a tutor for every child in Cayman and wiped out the appalling illiteracy and numeracy rates.

      Time to throw the career politicians OUT.

      Children not churches will change our land.

  31. SSM345 says:

    Can our "leaders" explain to me whatthe sunday collection is for? Forgive me for bein naive but I have also been under the impression that the sunday collection maintains the church, the pastor and any other bills associated? Can they also explain why if I am Muslim they are giving my money to a Christian church? Can they also explain why they see no wrong? Can they also explain why millions of our dollars are not being funneled towards something with results that benefit all and not just their congregation? Listenimg to juju at the Heroes Day celebration say that there is nothing wrong with mixing politics and religion was scary as XXXX. She clearly missed her first year at law school. Religion is a choice. So why are others abusing it and shoving it down our throats especially when they themselves are accused and guilty of going against the very words they preach?

    • Harrow says:

      @ssm345 When was the last time you heard of a christian group hijacking a plane and flew it into a high rise building or a christian suicide bomber or a christian group declaring holy war on the "heathen" or jihad? Or yet indeed when last did you hear of a christian driving a truck or bus loaded with explosive into a building and killing scores of souls?

      It must be clear that Christianity is the dominant religion of Cayman Islands, Not Muslim, Buddism, Zionism,  Rastafarian, Shintoism etc. That is the reasons why only the Christian Churches get the assistance.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ever heard of the Oklahoma bombing? Or the civil war in the Lebanon (Look up the Phalange aka Maronite Christians)? Or for that matter the Nazi party, that exterminated 6 million jews in the name of German Catholicism (with the tacit approval of the papacy)? As for "Holy War" – ever heard of the  CRUSADES – no bombs and aeroplanes, but plenty of dead bodies. Many unpleasant things have been done in the name of Christianity – at different times it has been used to justify wholesale slaughter, slavery and oppression (and I'm talking about a thousand years before europeans discovered the African slave trade). Like all organised religions, the Christian Church, in all its guises, is just another tool of the ruling elite for keeping the "flock" under control and to ensure that they are grateful for the crumbs that fall from table of the high and mighty.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh you poor thing you just don't understand do you and clearly don't know your history.  Ever heard of the IRA? The National Liberation Front? The Orange Volunteers of Ireland? The Spanish Inquisition? Did you know that Anders Behring Breivik killed over 150 people and injured 77 in the name of christianity? The The Ku Klux Klan is composed entirely of white, Anglo-saxon, Christian American citizens, and I am sure I don't need to go into details of the atrocities they committed. There are many historical examples of Christian terrorism dating back to at least the year 345AD. 

        Its one thing to claim to be christian and religious, but another thing entirely to understand the history of christianity and the atrocities committed over time in the name of 'christianity'.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          These are not examples of Christians living out the Christian ethic but of evil men using religion as a cloak for their evil deeds. They are not following the teachings of Christ who even when he was in mortal danger told his lead disciple "put away your sword for those who live by the sword will die by the sword". It is obviously ridiculous to claim that the Ku Klux Klan are Christian. 

          However, Islamic terrorists are a different matter altogether. They are following the examples and teaching of their founder Mohammed who himself taught Jihad and to kill the infidel, and robbed caravans to finance his religion.  

          Quran 2: 191-193: "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah."

      • Anonymous says:

        Ever hear of the KKK, they believe they are Christians and have had no problem bombing, killing, lynching etc., ever hear of the Mafia they go to the Holy Roman Church and have been known to decimate people, ever hear of several US Presidents who attended Christian Churches while ordering air raids and napalm bombings on “peacekeeping missions”. Ever hear of the Spanish Inquisition or the Crusades? All religions have committed atrocities in the name of their religion. You cannot blame a religion only the individuals who use it to get what they want such as our former Premier.

        In our own country we discriminate against Christians and yet claim to be a Christian country if we didnot then shops would be open on Sundays so that those Christians who observe their Sabbath on Saturday could shop and we would allow them to have Saturday off so they could observe their Christian choice of Church and those who choose a church that observes it on Sunday would not penalize those who choose to observe it on Saturday.

        And when a Christian Church hits me up during Christmas by forcing its youth out on to public locations to sell”raffle” tickets they are simply proving their hypocrisy because that is using a child to promote gambling.

        For the record I am a Christian and I am in favor of shops being open on Sundays and Saturdays and for casinos. I am not in favor of any government being involved in any church at all it is up to me and the ministry and church that I follow to ensure that the church remains vital not the government! And it is up to me to abide by the faith I choose to follow no one else.

  32. Anonymous says:

    This gets him reelected in his district, that's all it is. Sad.

  33. Say Wha? says:

    Churches, a place for self-annointed community, political leaders, and higher-ranking civil servants (also known as the sanctimonious, hypocrites, sharlatans and thieves) to backslap each other, tell one another how righteouss they are, and brag of their proximity to God. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Yea and that is why more and more of the younger generation fail to attend or even be bothered with the churches on this Island.  I for one, do not attend any church anymore because of my experiences I realise the churches are continuing to pop up all over these islands simply because every member of the church including the Pastors want full control of the collection pan, its all about how much money they can con the attending public to pour out every Sunday or Saturday and we never see or hear of anything they have to offer to the public except for when they are having their usual fund raisers – yep gimme gimme, donate, donate and who benefits? The Pastor and his wife – check out the Mercedes and two story homes.  I am a born Caymanian, a working class with a decent job making a decent salary and lived here all my life and the bank refuses to give me a mortgage to own a decent home with a private yard but they can just stoll in here and say "im a Pastor" and BOOM!  this place is a damn joke really !!! how much more in the name of religion can we tolerate?

  34. Anonymous says:

    UDP Gowerment politicizes church.

  35. J Salasi I. -111? says:

    WhoGod Bless let no one curse. Those who find that funds for churches is wrong, let them all start to to tell de people how much they contribute if its even a dollar they ate the same as those who they criticize. Accountability and Transpatency , Jaj Jah will judge them all. So Jah say.

    • Cheese Face says:

      Sorry?

    • Anonymous says:

      The funding of churches is not the issue. The issue is when a politician decides who gets public money without going through the proper legal process. Marco hit the nail on the head at the forum when he pointed out that the Bosun Bay church is on the highest land in WB but they received no funds to use to make their church or hall a hurricane shelter. 

  36. SKEPTICAL says:

    This is a very dangerous road down which to travel in the context of Cayman politics. Bush is understandably confident that he and his cronies will take at least three seats in WB. George Town therefore becomes the principal battleground – with the “Dump” issue, UDP candidates will have a tough fight in BT. If the reports are accurate that bush is attending several GT churches the question is – WHY ? Is he looking for the smoothest route to Heaven, or is he using them as a forum where he is allowed to speak from thepulpit, as a “quasi” Lay Preacher and persuade the congregation to vote for his candidates in GT. When these sort of parishioners see bush endorsed by their respective Pastors, they are very easily swayed, and on the “old” principal of “degrees of connection” – one person talks to twelve, and each of those speaks to….and so on. Get two or three congregations on your side, and in an election with Independents splitting the vote – it could be very material.
    Meanwhile mr bush – what happened to the CI $1 MILLION + given to your church in WB to build a two storey structure, for which purportedly they have not even broken ground. You do seem to have some problems with the definition of the word – ” ACCOUNTABILITY ” – maybe they hadn’t got up to words with that many letters when you left school ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point! If $1million was handed over for a specific purpose, which has not been progressed, then the Church must have the money , or they have to explain where it has gone!

      This is a basic matter of honesty, and whilst you may believe Bush is not being straight, you must surely believe the Church will be!

      Time to tell all Pastor, or descend to the level of Bush.

  37. Dred says:

    Here is my take on this and this is being open and honest.

    All Churches should move to distance themselves from Mr. Bush especially seeing that he has been arrested for criminal activity. Not saying he is guilty but no church should want their church associated with someone who is under numerous investigations and if found guilty would place a bad light on their church.

    That's me saying after the fact…

    Now churches that have taken money. SHAME ON YOU!!!

    You are religating yourselves to political pawns. I say this and with no remorse. Each and everyone of you that have taken money. You are why people become non believers because you are the biggest form of hypocrits and heaven will have to place for you.

  38. peter milburn says:

    We will probably never know the true impact of these Church donations made by our former Premier.It seems that no matter where one looks in Cayman today nothing is what it seems anymore.Was this a form of vote buying?I guess the Cayman public will have to be the judge of that and whatever the outcome of these next elections questions will always be asked.I thought that there had always been a seperation between Church and State but I guess I was wrong.Time will tell but like so many other things these days the truth may never come out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Find someone who attended the Sunday service right before Election Day in 2009. Ask them to truthfully tell you what was said about the money they had just been given and who had given it to them. 

  39. Anonymous says:

    How hard is it to keep state and church separate?

     

    If it was good enough for Thomas Jefferson, it should be good enough for McKeeva Bush.

  40. Anonymous says:

    There is a washed up politician who was discarded by the voters on more than one occasion putting up all sorts of questions trying to trick the new independent canditates into a mud slinging war with him. Last night things appeared on my facebook page that was nothing short of disgraceful. If this person continues this type of behaviour, many voters will likely stay home on election day or they will simply not vote for either of the Party candidates.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn't even refer to him as a washed up politician, he was never a politician in my opinion.  He is surely what the Cayman does not need or want as a representative nor is he any example for the rest to follow.  At least we have a few who have declared their candidacy and who we feel have morals and integrity.  As for him, well with his fine display of arrogance, stupidity, immaturity and the lack of respect for other people's opinion, then he can step aside and shut the hell up and hope he still has a job when the election is all over. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Who are you referring to? A certain North Sider?

  41. Anonymous says:

    Seperation of church and state.

     

    It's fair, logical, and safer.

     

    Try it Cayman

     

  42. Anonymous says:

    Churches collect money from the congragation and insurance for hurricanes should be covered first.  Pastors shouldn't be padding their wallets.  Expenses for the church should be paid and one expense is insurance.

  43. Anonymous says:

    There is a big difference between organizations, clubs, and churches.  Church and government should always be separate.  Jesus himself said that in "Render on to Caesar what is Caesar's."

  44. Anonymous says:

    Nothing but vote buying – what else?

    Discretionary spending by any government official for anything, should be outlawed

    In the case of the churches, the spending should have required the formal approval of parliament

    The number ofl official members of each church in the Cayman Islands should have been totalled, and the amount of money given to each church should have been calculated using the fraction of its members to that total.

    .

  45. Anonymous says:

    I fear that Rolston is beginning to believe some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth.

     

    First of all, churches are not "non-profit" organizations. They are religious institutions which exist to serve the spiritual needs of the community. Pastors, Ministers and Priests are formally trained in matters pertaining to religion and religious education. They are not formally trained in politics or community social welfare systems. For you to equate churches with the scouts is outrageous.

     

    When Ivan struck, I had insurance on my home and my business and was able to rebuild both with my insurance money. Since you are lumping churches into the same barrel as scouts, then shouldn't they likewise have adequate insurance on their buildings like the rest of us? Churches should be inspected annually and not be allowed to operate if they have no insurance.

     

    It is not and cannot be the responsibility of the general public to support churches to which they do not belong.

     

    Vote buying never has a happy ending as you will eventually find out.

     

  46. Anonymous says:

    I for one am waiting for all of the recently declared new candidates to state their position on the gambling issue. It’s time for the separation of church and government. Gambling will accomplish what’s needed in these islands: plenty of work and plenty of tourists. As long as it’s controlled properly, there will be plenty of money flowing into our economy. The rich still have their money so why aren’t we taking advantage of capturing their money?

    Get the church out of the government now.

    • B. Onneste says:

      I'm sorry, Mr. (or Mrs.) Anonymous, but gambling will NOT accomplish what is needed in these islands.  It will enrich certain people, like the casino owners and some politicians, but gambling brings crime and a lower standard of living to the average citizen.  As for "capturing" the rich people's money, Just how will that be accomplished?  Most people get rich using their intelligence, and are smart enough not to gamble.  You are asking for crime and violence and poverty for a lot of Caymanians.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Pure corruption!

    Trouble is the money done gone! Why aren't there laws and enforcement of such laws that nip this sort of corruption in the bud?

    All of us, and the Police, Governor / FCO should have stepped in long ago and done something!

    Still, better late than never…that is if the "police investigations" of Mac connect the many dots and charge those responsible…including the receivers! To continue to turn a blind eye to corruption will NOT serve us nor our children.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know what these churches actually do with the money? If this money comes

    from the public purse then the churches should have to provide an accounting to the public of

    what they have done with these funds…The money would have been better spent to go into

    proper education for the young so they will be able to grow up with the skills to acquire good

    jobs.

    • Freemoneyforvotes says:

      The "nation building fund" was given away to anyone that supports Mac to keep him elected. Just look at today's Caymanian Compass (Monday 25 February 2013), page 18, article heading "Killa considers his future" and it says, inter alia, "And spend some time at my house here in Winter Haven, Florida." if you want to know where some of the nation building funds went. When the UDP Government came to power in May 2009, all taxes were increased, some doubled, import duty, fuel, vehicle licencing, work permits etc., and most of the extra money collected was spent on travelling, given away to churches, supporters etc. When I want to give my money to the church I will attend and drop it in the colection plate.

      What amazes me is that he is running again hoping to get re-elected to continue the pillaging and plundering of the Cayman Islands Government treasury, and we have people stupid enough to vote for him, can't he get enough? Please sir, I am begging you, do us all a big favor,disappear from sight, stay home in West Bay, watch TV and enjoy.

       

  49. Anonymous says:

    time to boycott any church that recieved the PEOPLES money

  50. Anonymous says:

    you are right mac….. the greedy corrupt local churches are the real moral compass for many in cayman…….

  51. Anonymous says:

    the many caymanian scam churches know nothing of true christianity……

    • Anonymous says:

      No but they sure know how to collect money.  How many churches we have on these Islands again? can I get a true count please. 

  52. Anonymous says:

    As a non-Christian Caymanian, I find Mac's crass generalisation that Caymanians should be good Christians offensive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, if we were all genuine Christians it surely would be a much better place.