By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
A ROW broke out on a radio talk show between two pastors over their differences in opinion on the upcoming vote on gambling.
For more than 30 minutes, Pastor Mario Moxey of the Bahamas Harvest Church and former New Covenant Baptist Church Pastor Simeon Hall faced off over comments that Hall found offensive.
Moxey told listeners early on during the Darold Miller Live Show that those pastors who had recently come to the fore in support of the ‘vote yes’ campaign were by his books ‘renegades.’
Both Bishop Hall and Pastor Philip McPhee are among several other influential pastors who have lauded the government for its efforts to regulate the numbers industry.
Pastor Moxey said: “My comment was because there has been so much of a departure from the norm and the man of God that I know him [Simeon Hall] to be a man of God that has led so many charges in this country that
has always stood for righteousness.
“When I heard his position, unlike many others, I was not angry, I was disappointed and I was hurt. I was hurt because I have always seen him as a mentor.”
However, Bishop Hall, not long after the comments hit the airwaves called the show to defend himself against Moxey’s comments.
The Bishop said: “It really doesn’t matter what you say because I know who I am. I have done about 5,000 public utterances over 45 years and if you had felt that way about me you could have called me and we could have talked.
“I’ve said I don’t gamble. I don’t play numbers. I don’t invite anyone to do so. I wish it were not a part of our culture, but people are referencing this referendum as if it will begin gambling. But gambling has been here from back in the 60s.
“All I am saying is I believe that the government has a right to put it to the people and every Bahamaian has a right to say yes or no. My position is I believe that a yes vote will correct what has been going on for 70 or 80 years.
“Either we eliminate it all together or we regulate it.”
McPhee later called the show to chastise Moxey who he said had led a campaign demonising pastors who were proponents of legalised gambling.
Pastor McPhee said: “I think it’s time for us to realise that this fight is not about pastors or churches. I hope that we could take the upper road and stop degrading pastors and leaders on public radio. If you notice the ‘yes’ campaign has never at one time degraded any pastor or leader of the church or anyone.
“I don’t start fights but I certainly know how to end them please let’s keep this above board because we don’t need this to get to the valley gutter thing. He is no more saved than I am. He’s no more morally right than I am.”
Voter registration for the January 28 gambling referendum has officially closed. As of Wednesday, there were 172,895 Bahamians on the register.