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Bishop Attacks 'Gutter Politics'

Bishop Laish Boyd

Bishop Laish Boyd

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

REVEREND Laish Boyd, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands, has denounced the “gutter politics and venom” associated with the upcoming general election, charging that the practice could hinder upstanding persons seeking to offer themselves for public office in the future.

Bishop Boyd, in a pastoral letter to his parishioners and the nation over the current election cycle, said he is “personally horrified” at the “terrible practice of denigrating and maligning others” by “unscrupulous opponents” in the political realm, which he said ultimately discourages “some decent people” from wanting to serve.

Bishop Boyd particularly lamented the gutter politics being “spewed around” in both mainstream and social media, further bemoaning how “fake news is propagated as facts” and how “so many of us are gullible to believe whatever we see that is negative or degrading about others”.

Rather than “demonise” political candidates, Bishop Boyd called on voters to “discuss the issues,” adding: “We cannot allow our children to believe that the vast majority of persons serving or desirous of serving in political office do not have integrity or good character.”

Bishop Boyd’s letter, released yesterday, comes amid an election cycle that has already been marred by verbal jousting between political parties, and at least one confirmed physical altercation between supporters of two of the country’s major political parties, the PLP and the FNM.

There has also been name-calling. In March, FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis dubbed Prime Minister Perry Christie “Cotton Candy Christie” while insinuating that Mr Christie’s soft policies have contributed to Grand Bahama’s economic hardships. He has repeated the nickname over the past few weeks.

In January, PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts criticised Dr Minnis’ and the FNM’s new slate of candidates to contest the upcoming election, charging that Dr Minnis’ selection of “hapless, perennial losers and visionless personalities” gave the impression that he rummaged through former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham’s “political junkyard or graveyard” to salvage what he termed a “political scrap gang.”

Despite also calling those FNM candidates “bad and unfit” to run in the impending election, Mr Roberts later called for “peace and calm” during this election season, adding that “we can disagree without being disagreeable or insulting.”

Venom

“I am personally horrified at the level of ‘gutter’ politics and venom that I see and hear being spewed around even in conventional media,” Bishop Boyd said in his letter. “In social media it is even worse, and so often there is little regard for truth. ‘Fake news’ is propagated as fact and so many of us are gullible to believe whatever we see that is negative or degrading about others.

“This must stop. Let us discuss the issues and not demonise the candidates.

“Unfortunately,” Bishop Boyd continued, “this terrible practice of denigrating and maligning others has the result of discouraging some decent people from wanting to serve in public life; too much is at stake, and a good name that one might have built up over the years is suddenly dragged through the mud by unscrupulous opponents.

“We cannot build a country like this, and we definitely cannot allow our children to believe that the vast majority of persons serving or desirous of serving in political office do not have integrity or good character.”

Bishop Boyd also called on voters to “be informed” and “take an interest in the national landscape,” adding that voters should attempt to get “a wide sampling of what is going on” in the country in the lead up to May 10.

“Do not follow conventional media only: read online and read social media where possible,” he said. “We want to get as total a picture as possible. Often, there is one conversation in the conventional media, and another, broader, more representative discussion can be seen in social media. This is the modern reality.”

He added: “Obviously, some persons will have difficulty with reading for a variety of reasons, and we understand their circumstances. However, too many of us who have ability and opportunity do not read because we are lazy or undisciplined. It is far easier for us to look at a screen or to listen to something.

“This is a bad thing. It hurts us. It weakens the country. We have to do better.”

In March, Bishop Simeon Hall, pastor emeritus of New Covenant Baptist Church, renewed calls for “level-headed” political behaviour.

At the time, Bishop Hall cautioned major political parties over the tense nature of ongoing campaigns, insisting that violence of any kind - verbal or physical - would only offset the years of peaceful political process enjoyed in the Bahamas.

Bishop Hall said it is incumbent on all major political parties to set the tone of level-headed political behaviour during their campaigning activities, as their actions would direct their respective bases.

Comments

sealice 1 year, 6 months ago

Rather than “demonise” political candidates, Bishop Boyd called on voters to “discuss the issues,” adding: “We cannot allow our children to believe that the vast majority of persons serving or desirous of serving in political office do not have integrity or good character.

Come on Bishop you can't treat this like the tear drop tattoed youth dem smoking weed and shooting each other all up, these are the real crooks and most of that Fake news ain't so Fake after all. Why not tell the children the truth, we need one massive sweep to get rid of every single current politician and start new, only way to make sure you get rid of the disease is to CULL the whole frucking herd!!

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concernedcitizen 1 year, 6 months ago

I don,t get all our homophobic religion spouting moral less people in our country , it seems to me the god they speak of keeps picking gay people to spread his word lol..I am pro equality for everyone and I admire gay people that come out especially in this society ,,but really all the religious anti gay god nonsense we go on w/ when have had a gay DPM ,and two of the highest ranking members of our government now are gay ,,we even had gay people protesting the gay cruise ,,dam they god blind huh ,,

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TalRussell 1 year, 6 months ago

Comrades! It is time somebody whispered in the ear of the good Bishop Laish, that gutter politics on the side of the government and opposition parties - might just be the peoples only freedom of speech to deliver their election messages. The louder your political opposition squeals - the closer you are to the target in exposing them and their questionable deeds, and actions - and some bad things been going on. Comrade Bishop, were you encouraged by one political side to issue this statement?

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The_Oracle 1 year, 6 months ago

Do you really think, aside a few decent individuals, that the "Incumbents" from either side want anything to change? They have over the course of 50 years "trained the public" to buy into the personal attacks and innuendo of wrong doing. I say innuendo because if the real dirt surfaces they will all be shaking in their boots! What Decent law abiding citizen wants to either be associated with the majority in power or be subjected to the "Allegations of the corrupt" or the complete lack of decorum? These Jokers cannot even abide the principal of "honor amongst thieves" The old saying that Sh*& Floats is the most applicable. I do not see anyone from organized religion able to stand on any higher ground able to speak to the cesspool of moral decay either. It sits in Church every Sunday unfazed without an ounce of guilt. Without shame there is no real pride.

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concernedcitizen 1 year, 6 months ago

You nailed it ...tired of all this religious mumbo jumbo from both our religious leaders and politicians ,,How about some ethics and morals ,they are robbing us blind

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licks2 1 year, 6 months ago

Now that his party is "on the ropes" and getting gut punched from all sides he want to say that the other sides dem are playing too dirty like. . .where was dis man when the PLP (inclusive of BBB) are all over the place talking trash about everybody and they mar? I would only say to the good gentleman to play fair. . .or lee them chirrins dem alone with they dirty fight. . .and let dem PLP take they blows like they gave dem!! Lol!

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TalRussell 1 year, 6 months ago

Comrades, the PLP's not election normal reluctance to take-on Bran and his fringe DNA party, has gone pretty damn quiet. Makes you wonder aloud if there's not something funny going on between the PLP and DNA - makes one wonder if this could have been the reason for Bran's rebuff of returning back to the red party?
The Coup of the Seven Red MP's - could never have occurred without the backroom support of the PM and House Speaker.

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Boydie 1 year, 6 months ago

God's servant misses the point. Corruption and deceiving are very much the "issues" of the day

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MassExodus 1 year, 6 months ago

God and politics don't mix.

Reverend/Bishop, whatever your name is stay out of this.

You obviously support the PLP in this is not in your favor.

I am sure we would be very surprised to know your net worth too.

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jusscool 1 year, 6 months ago

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="REVEREND Boyd, When one's nerves start to take a hold. This does the trick. Placing one in a long relaxing peaceful sleep! Bottoms up!">

http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin...">REVEREND Boyd, When one's nerves start to take a hold. This does the trick. Placing one in a long relaxing peaceful sleep! Bottoms up! by jusscool

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 6 months ago

What is Bishop Boyd calling "gutter politics"?????? .......... does he mean Perry's middle finger ........ or Munroe's ass slap???????? ......... or Omar Archer's revelations?????? ......... or Bradley's Customs receipts??????? ........... or Fweddy's rants about Dionisio & Brent's wealth???????? ......... or Tribune's posts about Shane & Fitzie secret $$$$ dealings??????? ......... Or exposing those candidates who are living double lives?????? ........ Even Jesus said that what you do in the dark will be proclaimed from the mountain top ......... Come on, Bishop ....... Why should we hide corruption under the proverbial bushel???

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 6 months ago

I have the answer ....... He meant those PLP ads on ZNS TV and radio

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banker 1 year, 6 months ago

Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's? For all you Bibliophiles out there, it means separation of Church and State.

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JustSo 1 year, 6 months ago

Bishop Boyd attacks 'gutter politics while remaining totally silent on 'political corruption'! This is exactly the same situation with the equality referendum and is all too common in the Bahamas. The "bishop" and whole clergy class have long lost the peoples respect and trust. Their voices are null and void and will not be heard.

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