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Pastors' Plea To Us On Gay Rights

Lyall Bethel

Lyall Bethel

Reader poll

Do you agree with the pastors who petitioned President Trump over same-sex marriage promotion?

  • Yes, I agree with the pastors. 27%
  • No, I do NOT agree with the pastors. 73%

81 total votes.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

SEVERAL local pastors have petitioned United States President Donald Trump to revoke any US executive orders and policies that enable the promotion of same-sex marriages in the Caribbean region as part of its foreign policy.

The clergymen, which include Grace Community Church Pastor Lyall Bethell and Pastor Allen R Lee, president of Teleios Theological Training Institute, in a letter to President Trump claim that in recent years the policies of the US State Department and other government agencies involved in foreign policy have attempted to “coerce” countries in the Caribbean region into accepting a “mistaken version of marriage.”

Pointing to former US President Barack Obama’s threat last year to pull federal funding from American states over entry to bathroom and locker room access based on gender identity, the pastors claimed this same kind of “coercion” was being used against Caribbean countries to fall in line with the same-sex marriage agenda.

Pastors Bethel, Lee and other Bahamian clergymen are signatories to the petition dated January 31, 2017, which also bears the names of 289 clergymen from around the region, including those from Trinidad and Tobago.

In response, local, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activist Alexus D’Marco said it was with “horror” and “disgust” that the LGBTI community learned of the actions of these Christian ministers.

The basis of pastors’ arguments for the criminalisation of homosexuality and opposition to gay marriage has been dispelled and put to rest by the courts in the United States, she said.

“We signed on with pastors throughout the Caribbean, writing a letter to the president asking that he would look into the ambassadors and other people who are sent to the Caribbean representing the USA, that they don’t engage in trying to force the people like in the Bahamas to adopt certain policies that are contrary to what we believe,” Pastor Lee, who is also retired pastor of Calvary Bible Church, told The Tribune yesterday when he was contacted.

“They have had situations throughout the Caribbean where for instance, this is just an illustration, I’m not stating this as any kind of criticism, this is just a statement of fact, there have been other places in the Caribbean where an ambassador or representative who was in favour of the LGBT agenda and was encouraging the people in the country that he went to, to favour the homosexual laws and try to do away with any laws that would seem to be contrary to the LGBT agenda or the beliefs of homosexuals and so on. That’s only one illustration,” Pastor Lee said. “There have been others as well.

“So we are just asking for that especially in the Caribbean because it appears as though the Caribbean has been a special focus for UN officials and so on this past year and this coming year. So we had a meeting with Caribbean pastors first in Barbados (and) then we had one here with our own people. (Then) we came up with a letter that was sent to them and we’re waiting for a response now,” he added.

Asked if there was evidence that incidents of “coercion” from US officials had occurred in the Bahamas, Pastor Lee said “no,” but his and other Bahamians’ participation in the drafting of the petition was somewhat of a “precautionary” measure.

“No, that’s what we are trying to avoid,” he told The Tribune. “We are trying to say we don’t want that to happen here and all the countries were saying the same thing. We are just speaking generally. We don’t want a representative to try to force us to go against our morality (or) standards. We are not choosing or singling out anyone in particular, but just based on the problems that we’ve seen in other places we don’t want it to happen anywhere and the other Caribbean pastors are on board.

“So hundreds of pastors have actually signed up. We had representatives from here and the names were just added to hundreds of other people who represent churches throughout the Caribbean,” he said.

Anger

Pastor Lee’s position and that of many others in the region as communicated in the letter to the president have angered Ms D’Marco. In a statement to The Tribune, she said the positions of the pastors carried “vitriolic” tones.

“Firstly, the Bahamas is not a theocracy, it is supposed to be a democracy,” Ms D’Marco said. “And, (US presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton is correct, ‘(LGBTI) rights are human rights.’

“Furthermore, the Constitution of our great archipelago nation guarantees all of its citizens basic human rights, and, contrary to the vitriolic tone of these Christian men of God again, our marginalised minority community (and) our human rights are also protected under the provisions of the Constitution.

“Unfortunately, the Bahamas and most of the Caribbean remains extremely homophobic, despite the modern trend of more progressive nations of the world, coupled with a greater understanding of the physiological and psychological nature of LGBT persons, to make their society more inclusive of these individuals.”

She continued: “Obviously, President Obama and Hillary Clinton, as his former secretary of state, were succinctly aware of the oppression of LGBT minorities in our region. Thus, the creation of special envoys to monitor the atrocities suffered by LGBT in the region.

“It is inconceivable that these Christian reverend gentlemen and women could not find the love of Christ in the hearts, Christ who never rejected any man, but, challenged the men who wanted to stone the woman at the well, that ‘he without sin cast the first stone.’ Moreover, marriage is a legal contract, sanctioned by the state, and not (exclusive) to the Christian community.”

Letter

The pastors’ letter to President Trump read: “We write to you as concerned Christian ministers and churches from the Caribbean region (including the Bahamas) who hope and pray that the Unites States, under your leadership, will once again cast light from ‘The City upon a Hill’ for which your American forefathers and President Ronald Reagan so frequently spoke.

“Sadly, during recent years, the city has too often cast shadows instead of light. We refer specifically to the policies of the US State Department and other government agencies involved in foreign policy that have undertaken to coerce our countries into accepting a mistaken version of marriage,” the pastors’ letter noted.

“It is not only the view of our Christian churches, but the testimony of the recorded history of millennia of civilisation, that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. This was certainly the truth embraced by the founders of your country, who pledged their dedication to ‘the laws of nature and of nature’s God.’ Why should we be forced to believe otherwise?

“The problem should be self evident. We have our rights by virtue of being human beings and not by anything else – not our ethnicity, not our religion, not our race, not our tribe and certainly not our sexual orientation. The promotion of gay rights must come at the expense of human rights, because the two are immiscible. One is founded on the ‘laws of nature and of nature’s God’ and the other on moral relativism, which eviscerates the very idea of natural rights. If you have one, you cannot have the other. As it turns out, the Obama administration, among others, has shown this to be so, as so-called ‘gay rights’ are pre-empting human rights, such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of conscience,” the letter also noted.

The letter came to a close by urging President Trump to urgently review the matter to revoke the relevant executive orders and policies and restore to “The City upon a Hill” the bright moral beam that once shone from it.

Ms D’Marco has also sent a letter to the White House on behalf of the local LGBTI community in response to the petition of the pastors.

Comments

banker 3 years, 6 months ago

I wish that these so-called ministers would emulate Jesus. He hung out with tax collectors, sinners and prostitutes. He welcomed the poor and marginalised. He accepted everyone. These ministers are charlatans who skew the old covenant words of an inexact book to raise their own profiles. They have no right leading people, leeching off them by collecting money and preaching hate against a group of people who cannot help the fact that they are gay. The ministers are despicable human beings who preach hate under the guise of religion. They should be banned.

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Chucky 3 years, 6 months ago

I would like to suggest an alternative:

Pass laws banning the practice of any religion, in every country in the world.

Here are some good reasons:

Religion is man mad, and has nothing to do with any god. If we came from Adam and Eve, and they had two children- Cain & Able, how did they reproduce...... so many lies in all the " good books"

Pastors and Preachers etc, quite often take the church money to buy big houses and fancy cars.

Religion is the cause of many wars and much violence. While its true their have been wars caused by the non religious, if we ban religion we can eventually grow out of religious wars and violence.

Many in the church are the most despicable people on this earth, take the Catholic church for instance, how many members have been caught up in paedophilia , the whole church including the pope supports transferring these criminals to other jurisdictions to avoid prosecution.

Christians burned " witches at the stake" for 500 years Christians used to burry children in foundations and post holes to appease the weather gods. Exodus verse 21 21 clearly states that you can beat your slaves (just another religious verse supporting slavery and the slaves torcher)

Need I go on? The church is last place on earth we will ever find the "moral high ground"!

Anything good that is done in the name of god, would be better done just because a person thought it should be. Do you really need God to tell you to help others, you'd be a better person if you help others because you believe you should, not needing "god" to tell you to.

Religions collect billions yearly, pay no taxes and for the most part, don't spend the money on people in need. What good is this? Ie the Catholic church is one of the richest institutions in the world. If there was a god, and one worthy of praying to, he'd never want any of these scumbag organizations who purport to do his work. Also, if a god created the earth, he'd easily create money for those in need......

I'm not a fan of, nor someone who can dislike someone because they're gay or lesbian. I can only like or dislike those who I've met. The few I've met are no worse than anyone else, and likely a lot better than the religious freak pastors and preachers who speak all these "good words" and meanwhile take all the church money for themselves..

I know, god works in mysterious ways- Lets stop this foolishness and move on with life.

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

Here's a good one. If anyone or anything preaches hate against non-believers or non-practitioners of their own beliefs, then it is not a religion. It shouldn't have the protections of freedom of religion, and it should be a felony crime to incite hate against others. True religions preach good news and love for all.

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licks2 3 years, 6 months ago

So now you don't think all religions are mythical figment of persons imaginations? And if their "rant" are tenents of their religion . . .the Bible, then who are you to deny them freedom to their religion. . .who an I to deny anyone from his/her religious beliefs no matter how reprehensible I find them to be. . .the freedom of religion is the freedom to think for one self! So now a religion is true only if it agrees with you? It should be a felony crime to censor the free thinking of one's fellow citizen just because it does not agree with you!

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Caligulalives 3 years, 6 months ago

you can believe in whatever fake gods you want, but we must not allow gods into law-primitive cultures like these are still learning that

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Chucky 3 years, 6 months ago

While I'm not going to actually advocate that we remove freedom of religion. But what I would suggest is that voicing one's religious views needs to have some limitations set. Clearly you can see from this article these "religious leaders" are spewing hate speech in the hopes of suppressing the rights of others, in a manner that could easily be likened to how the Nazi's acted. It is very dangerous to let these "religious leaders" get away with this hate oriented dogma. Society needs to be protected from these types of people, especially because they are so called "leaders", albeit , and thankfully just of their religion or more precisely their church. Notice, that these same people are the ones who want you threaten your children with the "be good or burn in hell forever" scenario, a story with no proof, but the threat could easily be considered child abuse. How is that any different than threatening to kill someone. But also notice, in the next breath, the religious leader will say, please put money on the plate, all the while thinking to himself "I need a new car/house etc". These dogmas are dangerous, and not supportable by any facts. As far as letting people think what they like, that is fine to a degree; but clearly one's beliefs manifest themselves in one's actions. In this case the backward thinking religious leader's beliefs have led him to spew hate speech in hopes of triggering actions that infringe on the rights and safety of the gay/lesbian people of the region. This is very dangerous activity, and should be followed with criminal charges. So it seems , that free thought, in some cases can lead to very bad things. Religion is just one of many dogmas that causes great pain and suffering in this world, and it's one that's easy to identify , and could, and likely should be banned.

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242613 3 years, 6 months ago

Why is it they only come out regarding anything gay/LGBT? Crime, poverty, dead beat fathers, adutry, fornication, courrption, sex abuse scandals, etc, these men say not a word. Their obsessed with this! Something's fishy!

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

Many ministers who preach against homosexuality think that a laptop, is an altar boy.

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licks2 3 years, 6 months ago

They hate gays/LGBT and you spew venom against preachers, dead beats, adultery etc., . . ????????????????????????????????????????

They spew venom against gays and you against preachers them. . .you are all venom spewers!

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 6 months ago

I really hate these ignorant religious morons.

A complete embarrassment to our country.

These "pastors" prove beyond doubt there is no god....

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licks2 3 years, 6 months ago

You want to remove hate by responding in hate. . .so both of you are ignorant religious morons? So help me here. . .a religious moron says there is no god because another religious moron says something he/she did not like????????? Lol!!

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Craig 3 years, 6 months ago

Dear Good Pastors, Please don't pass these Evangelical dogmatic views of homosexuality off as representing the views of the entire Bahamas. I am not gay, I don't believe in the gay lifestyle or maybe even gay marriage, but that does not give me the right to condemn a whole community of people. On what basis does these pastors believe they right to do this? What, their understanding of ‘laws of nature and of nature’s God’. This strikes me as using laws "nature" justify to discrimination. It also strikes me of being a doctrine of exclusivism . Exclusivism as defined by Wikipedia, is characterized by the disregard for opinions and ideas other than one's own, or the practice of organizing entities into groups by excluding those entities which possess certain traits. Nazism was born out of exclusivism.

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UserOne 3 years, 6 months ago

The cannot use "nature" because homosexuality exists in many forms of nature, not just human.

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licks2 3 years, 6 months ago

Thank you very much. . .very well put. . .makes much sense! In fact you are saying the same thing that most persons here are saying. . .but you are presenting in such a balanced and fair manner that it does not become oxymoron and slam back into your very own arguments! And yes good Sir, I do accept and share your premise that the primal underpinning of the pastor's requests is exclusions. . .as do the responses of the defenders! For example, "exclusion is the disregard for opinions and ideas other than their own". . . but you took everybody's opinion into your arguments. . .the deduced/extrapolated logical conclusion (without personal interpolations) suggested a lack of inclusion on the behalf of all. . . the pastors and these around here who responded against the pastors with the same intolerance and hate as they accused the preachers are accused of having!

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Chucky 3 years, 6 months ago

What you are missing is the fact, as mentioned above, beliefs are not something of no consequence.

These religious leaders are the prime example of how one's beliefs manifest themselves into actions. The action, calling for laws to be changed to suppress the rights of a particular group.

Freedom of religion, was not intended to extend to the point of freedom of action. When one has extreme views, it's a problem And daily we here about problematic expression of religious views; sometimes measurable in body bags, and other times just basic persecution.

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bandit 3 years, 6 months ago

I don't see these Pastors coming out on anything so forcefully than homosexuality. Theses Pastors are so obsese with this issue. There are so many other things that they can put more time into such as crime and the lost of the young men of this country, But no they are only concern about who F ing who. SMFH

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pad242 3 years, 6 months ago

Romans 1:26-32American Standard Version (ASV)

26 For this cause God gave them up unto [a]vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.

28 And even as they [b]refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 backbiters, [c]hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful: 32 who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practice them.

STOP hating God's Word and those that preach it...

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

When one guy sees an invisible man he’s a nut case; ten people see him it’s a cult; ten million people see him it’s a respected religion.

Here is the irony behind these preachers: These ministers have an interesting view of sex; it is disgusting, amoral and filthy and you should save it just for a woman. The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible.

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licks2 3 years, 6 months ago

Reading Bible texts require an historical context, the audience and context within the idea or teaching! So. . .I am glade that you wrote the whole section and just not the section that condemned sex between man and man. . . the passage you wrote is within the context of man's fall from the beginning of God's creation and the historical social/behavioral picture to where they are now after turning their backs on the physical and ethereal laws of their creator God. . . so to disregard verses 1 to 26 (setting the meaning stage for vs 26 and beyond) and highlight homosexuality as context is kind of cheating with the meaning there! Context from vs 1 shows how from the beginning all men have become disobedient and hardened against God and his ways and therefore God gave them over to themselves to do as they wish with and among themselves. . .hence the lists of behaviour (sins) men have adapted. . . homosexuality is one among many. . .including envy, deceptive etc. Why homosexuality sticks out in your mind as "primo" sin in this list is a little unfair to me. . .

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Caligulalives 3 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Cobalt 3 years, 6 months ago

I think a lot of you are missing the gist of pastor Lyall's message.

It has nothing to do with religion. It simply boils down to the fact that there are certain practices that God himself has deemed sacred. Marriage happens to be one of them. Marriage is a holy practice that was ordained by God to be shared between a man and a woman. Marriage is a holy union because it represents the union between Christ and the church (true disciples of Christ Jesus). That's why in the book of Revalations he calls the church his "bride".

Homosexuals are attempting to hijack a ritualistic practice deemed sacred by God and use it to gratify their own sinfully practices. If someone wants to be a homosexual, then let them (that's between them and their creator). But don't attempt to use a holy practice to bless a faggot union. It doesn't work. Oil and water will never mix.

When the forefathers of North America were building their country, they built their laws and their country upon biblical and scriptural principle. That's why to this very day they use the Bible in the courtrooms. The reason that our laws state that robbing, stealing and killing are wrong, is because the laws of the Bible state that they are wrong. We made our laws based upon biblical laws and principles.

If our State legislature wants to move away from scripture and the laws of our creator, then make it known and do so! But don't contradict things by claiming to be a country under God only to endorse homosexuality.

Homosexuality is morally wrong and has no place in the sanctity of marriage. Period.

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

Homosexuality is morally wrong and has no place in the sanctity of marriage. Period.

You are on the wrong side of history and enlightenment.

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

Homosexuality is not a choice. There are biological reasons for it. And if you believe that god made you, then he made you gay. Someday the exact science behind it will be discovered. It's just like they once said that mental illness was because of the Oedipus complex where you want to kill your parents. We know now, that it is brain chemistry and dopamines and serotonin. The same thing will happen with homosexuality. It is a biochemical response to something.

And as for religion and Christianity, the bible is a collection of folk tales, made up to control the masses. Everything in it is wrong. It has unicorns. It has all of the animals in the world fitting in a small boat. If we were made in god's image and likeness, then why aren’t humans invisible too? And oh yeah, what day did god make the fossils? And praying is hilarious. The omnipotent god already knows what you want, and how bad you want it.

Genesis 1:11-12 and 1:26-27 says that trees came before Adam. Genesis 2:4-9 says that trees came after Adam. And then 8 people of middle-eastern descent practiced incest to produce over 5,000 of today’s ethnic groups in only a few hundred generations?

Much of the biblical flood story was actually plagiarized from "The Epic of Gilgamesh," the mythical Sumerian account of Ut-Napishtim written on stone tablets around 2000 BC. In "The Epic of Gilgamesh, one righteous man was spared from a worldwide flood by building a large boat with a single door and one window. The ark contained a few other human beings plus plant and animal specimens. Rains covered the mountains with water. Birds were sent to find land. The boat landed on a mountain in the middle east. Ut-Napshtim sacrificed an animal as an offering, and the Babylonian gods expressed regret for flooding the earth. Sound familiar?

And that is some of the reason why you will be on the wrong side of history and enlightenment.

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concernedcitizen 3 years, 6 months ago

Actually marriage under the law is a contract and can be done by a judge ,justice of the peace , or a boat captain .That is why a conservative supreme court had to uphold gay marriage .It would have been discrimination to say one group of people can enter a legal contract and another can not . A non religious person and a religious can get married , just like two agnostics .The bible also says if a bride is not a virgin she should be returned to her family and stoned to death ,,you want to do that too..we have been here at least 4 million years , so according to you, god waiting million of years to create us, you guys think 10,000 years ago , to have sex , watch us have sex and punish us for who and how we have sex

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Cobalt 3 years, 6 months ago

All of you readers who have posted messages criticizing pastor Lyall and other men that continue to speak out in the name of righteousness, had better be careful. Mind the words of your tongue and the dictates of your hearts.

The disciples once asked Jesus how they would know when his return would be near. He looked at them and responded that in the days of the second coming of Man, it will be like the days of Noah where men shall become lovers of men. Jesus was talking to the disciples, but he was addressing us!

The heathens laughed and mocked Noah for building a boat on dry land. And even if you don't believe that a senior citizen can build a boat the size of a cruiseliner, the message that God is sending is still very clear.

Many of you all who have made wisecracks at pastor Lyall will be among them banging on the doors of the Ark (heaven) pleading to get in. But it will be too late.

Choose now, today who you will serve.

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

The bible says that Noah was 600 years old when he built the Ark. Did he sail it to Australia to get the kangaroos? It doesn't matter how many cubits the ark was. Once the elephants, hippos, rhinos and giraffes got in, there wouldn't be room for the rest of animals. Would have loved to seen the lions and tigers eat the chickens. Most animals came in pairs, but the worms came in apples. Seriously, doesn't your mind work well enough see a bullshit story when it is preached to you?

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TalRussell 3 years, 6 months ago

Comrade Banker, seems you're okay with the flood but not the animals?

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TalRussell 3 years, 6 months ago

Comrade Banker, Noah was 600 years old when he was instructed by God that the time had arrived flood the earth and to enter the Ark - not Noah's age when he first received news to build da Ark.

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

People who don't want their beliefs laughed at, shouldn't have such funny, irrational beliefs.

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licks2 3 years, 6 months ago

How is this one Baker. . .billions of years ago. . .in an ethereal nothingness. . .a dense singularity(ball of energy) the size of a pin head appeared . . . some unknown laws of gravity acted on the pinhead singularity and caused a tremendous explosion that expanded and creating the universe with all its laws and functions . . .out of which came our solar system. . .perfectly suited for human existence (Goldilocks principle). . . then life with genomes (genetics), forms, laws, processes, and species. . .all developed and evolved out of nothing. . .to this perfection we call earth and life! I have just told you about the big bang theory. . .how the scientific community says we/earth/solar system got here. You think it takes a open mind to believe the Noah story. . .try looking at the type of mind needed to believe that big bang thing!

Guess what. . .its either big bang or the Noah story (Bible creation). . .THERE IS NO OTHER WAY THERE FELLA!!! Still think that person's mind don't work because he/she believes the Noah story? Try yours. . .phew!

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

Actually, let me bend your mind. Stephen Hawking was pondering why black holes ain't so black. They emit radiation. He wondered how, if a black hole sucks up everything.

Quantum mechanics calls for imaginary or virtual particles the way that mathematics calls for imaginary numbers (the first imaginary number is the square root of -1). These virtual particles usually do not have a physical manifestation. One of the reasons that they don't is that they have infinite energy (god dividing by zero if you will). However, being in a quantum state, some of them pop into what we know as physical existence. It is for the briefest period of time. Not only does that particle self-materialize out of nothing, but its own anti-particle appears as well in a case of cosmic symmetry. The particle and anti-particle annihilate themselves with each other, and release some radiation at the event horizon of a black hole. This is known as Hawking radiation, and it has been confirmed scientifically. So you get something out of nothing, in the physical sense. In the same way, space and time combine to become a physical fourth dimension of the universe, and space-time has the property of being bent, creating gravity, although it is a bunch of apparent nothingness.

Now if you take a virtual quantum particle, that behaves in accordance with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in Quantum Mechanics, one could pop into what we know as existence. But what happens if its anti-particle is prevented from annihilating it? It pops into being with an almost infinite amount of energy. That energy ignites, hyper inflates, cools into mass as predicted by e=mc(squared) and voila, you have a universe. It is a universe that is still expanding. It is a boundary free universe. It behaves in a predictable way that can be measured without any smiting or flooding or mad overseer willing to burn us forever.

I think that my story is a hell of a lot more probable than your story that doesn't fit what the eyes can see, the ears can hear and the fingers can touch.

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kairosmatt 3 years, 6 months ago

Hey Licks, your right! Its so complicated, and mind boggling. Our minds have not evolved to see things on that scale, but, mathematically, it makes much more sense, than "Bored and lonely all powerful being magics stuff into existence one day."

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Chucky 3 years, 6 months ago

I always wonder where all the water went after the flood. Actually I wonder where it came from to create the flood.

Seems to me that we know rain water comes from evaporation of water on earth.

LOL, Religion is great comedy, until the religious start taking their views seriously and acting upon them; at which point somebody is always gonna suffer.

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ohdrap4 3 years, 6 months ago

Many of you all who have made wisecracks at pastor Lyall will be among them banging on the doors of the Ark (heaven) pleading to get in. But it will be too late.

yes, it will be late, I hear that the ark's concierge took bribes and only select politicians will come in.

But there will also be a PPP and a lot will be drawn to allow one grassroot person in.

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Maynergy 3 years, 6 months ago

In the long run, nothing a government can do, does more good for the people that creating and adopting good policies for creative innovative economic growth. What this government or most government do is to either accelerate or decelerate long run economic growth - i.e the most important aspect of macro-economic policy. Nothing matters more in the long run for the quality of life in an economy that its long run rate of growth. Consider this, for a more sustainable prognosis, using the spending and credit powers of the national government to affect the economy is an awesome way to further open up the economic umbrella for further stimulus in the family islands could be a trigger which could loan more prosperous outcome for everyone who embraces new enterprising and emerging trends to succeed. Whats your view? Imagine Bahamas beyond 2017 with a patriotic nationalist government that set up and establishes a functional people oriented regime with the following for the betterment of the people: a) S.O.R.S (Strategic Oil Reserve Supply) To minimize the lack of petroleum throughout the territories and the maintenance /regulation of fair pricing & market stability. b) B.M.T.S (Bahamas Maritime Tracking System) i.e. Installed in all mail boats etc plying the national waters for a minimal fee. c) N.C.M (National Cellular market) – deregulation and opening cellular services to competition. d) I.I.A.T ( Inter island Air Transportation). e) I.I.T.B ( Inter island tourism board). f) New postal rates for mass mailers/advertisers/bulk mailers. g) Housing department that renders residents a helping hand not a hand-out. h) B.T.A. ( Bahamas Transportation Authority) A semi –quasi agency that administers the mass movement of people in New Providence island and throughout the island nation. i) National Prescription Drug plan to ensure the pricing of imported drugs may be cost effective and more reasonably priced. Now we can Bahamas.

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ohdrap4 3 years, 6 months ago

you posted in the wrong topic buddy.

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Islandboy242242 3 years, 6 months ago

This is news? Coerced into bowing to the gays? I don't get it.

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

Homosexuals, just like sweethearts and harlots have been around since man came to know of his sexuality. The protest is not against gays, per se, but against gays wanting to partake in a holy Christian ceremony that God says should only between a man and a woman, holy matrimony. In the Bahamas and the Caribbean homosexuality has always been taboo and while it is tolerated, it is not promoted. In fact when young men or women get the urge to be flaming in that lifestyle, they would to flee to the US where they can have all rights and priviliges afforded to them. Not only is gay marriage being promoted by the US, but many prisons are encouraging same sex relationships. Of course when the inmates are release they continue in that lifestyle. And since America's new immigration policy requires undocumented immigrants to be deported on their release from prision, that lifestyle, as being normal, is exported with them.

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Caligulalives 3 years, 6 months ago

youre missing a huge point-no one cares about fake gods in matters of law-marriage predates all religious kookery by thousands of years

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

Then why do they want a marriage held in a fake church of the fake gods? I'll wait why you find the answer

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

They don't. The gays want the legal recognition of marriage, for such things as survivor benefits, social insurance and rights that non-gay people have.

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Emac 3 years, 6 months ago

Very well put. The other comments are pure rhetoric.

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Chucky 3 years, 6 months ago

you must be on drugs to string that theory all together.

Gays have been around longer than western world governments.

Grow up and realize religion is just man made! An invention to control the simple.

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TalRussell 3 years, 6 months ago

Comrades! The thought occurred to me - what percentage the faces in a crowd of registered voters, would you say could identify as living the middle class, christian lifestyle?

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 6 months ago

Reposted ............ Stop wasting time talking about homosexuality and speak out against the 70% of children born out-of-wedlock (the baby mama disease) ...... Which one has caused more social upheaval in The Bahamas??????????

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

Jesus said," suffer the little children to come unto. me". It is not the children being born out of wed-lock that is the problem. It is what is being done to the children born out-of-wedlock...the widows and the fatherless. . "Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation."

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Chucky 3 years, 6 months ago

Religion is great comedy, until the religious start taking their views seriously and acting upon them; at which point somebody is always gonna suffer.

LOL

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Porcupine 3 years, 6 months ago

Some great comments here. Especially banker. I like to watch George Carlin's take on Religion on Youtube. These so-called ministers should get out more, think more, and speak less.

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Chucky 3 years, 6 months ago

Religion is great comedy until the religious start to act based on their beliefs; then at that point someone is gonna suffer.

LOL

Seems the bigger the lie, the more people that will believe.

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TalRussell 3 years, 6 months ago

Comrades! How So Help Me God colonial thinking are we to this very day, after nation's independence - when we still hang on to many old English customs, one being taking an oath on the Bible to swear to tell the court da whole truth and nothing but truth - so help me God.
I guess the British thought that no defendant, or witness, would be willing to offend God to tell a lie in court, But if that be the case - lying with your hand on the Bible before da judge - has consigned many a thousands souls to fires hell.

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John 3 years, 6 months ago

“‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

1 Corinthians 7:2
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

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Citizen777 3 years, 6 months ago

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Citizen777 3 years, 6 months ago

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Citizen777 3 years, 6 months ago

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Citizen777 3 years, 6 months ago

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Citizen777 3 years, 6 months ago

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242gyal 3 years, 6 months ago

Another example of ignorant "sheeple" following the ignorant.

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Citizen777 3 years, 6 months ago

[Due to length of this response, it will be posted in three separate postings] [Part 1] Dear Ms. Virgil Thank you for your fine reporting on the "Trump Letter" that hundreds of Caribbean Christian leaders have joined together in sending to the new President if the United States. 

We did so for two basic reasons: First, the execution of the former Administration's orders to its ambassadors to aggressively promote the elimination of any local laws, policies, etc. that opposes or prevents same-sex marriage ... and that the Caribbean (including the Bahamas) was a special focus for 2016-17... to help bring about this UN driven global agenda, is extremely offensive to us and borders on infringing upon our sovereignty as a democratic country. We do not believe our way of life and moral values should be forced upon us by so called "progressive” outside forces."

Second, to proactively foster the centuries long belief that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman, and the basis for a strong, morally healthy society, and in fact, upon which our entire Western Society is based. 

We well understand and respect the response of Ms. D’Marco – and we say that with the utmost sincerity – however, we are extremely disappointed in the manner in which she has chosen to express it. She, unfortunately, takes on the same “tone” with she charges us. Due to the importance of the issue and the hope that perhaps a foundation can be laid for ongoing constructive dialogue, we are compelled to respond in some detail to her remarks as recorded in your fine article, and we do so in a spirit of love and genuine concern for the spiritual and sociological welfare of our people.

As mentioned, Ms. DeMarco begins by describing our letter as "vitriolic." First, if this is so, we humbly apologize on part of all signatories. That was not our intention. We can truly say, in a sincere attempt to follow our Saviour, and as good Bahamian Christian citizens, "we love you," and believe that, since He died for all people, we are all similarly "precious in his sight." It is the Bible ALONE that tells us we are ALL made in the imago Diol – “in the image of God. [To be continued]

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

to proactively foster the centuries long belief that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman, and the basis for a strong, morally healthy society, and in fact, upon which our entire Western Society is based.

There was a centuries long belief that the world was flat as well. Just because the unenlightened believe superstitions for years, doesn't make it true. My own grandfather believed in spontaneous generation whereby if you left out rags and garbage, bugs would form. We know that it is not true.

And you say that Western Society is based on marriage. Wrong historically again. It is based on scientific discovery. The new world was discovered by sailors using mathematics. Who developed the math of navigation? -- the Moors who had several wives. If you care to look it up, algebra comes from the Arab word Al Jabr, a branch of math invented in 825 A.D. by the Arab mathematician Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khowarizmi. The word azimuth in navigation is an Arab word. All of the Arab learning, including our numbering system was incorporated into Western thought when the Moors were driven out of Europe and their libraries were sacked and subsumed into Western thought.

And if you are Christians who love all people, you will love the gays because your god made them that way biologically.

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Citizen777 3 years, 6 months ago

Although your comments are replete with unscientific assumptions, I think we could learn some things from you if you removed the "attack mode" from your comments. BTW: here is something else science DISCOVERED: the human race would not exist without male and female... thats why our emphasis here is on the essence/nature of marriage itself, not an individual's lifestyle. Male+female = marriage is like math 1+1=2 and logic: they were universal "givens" which were DISCOVERED by man, not created by him! Selah!

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Citizen777 3 years, 6 months ago

[Part 2] Second, We would appreciate her citing specifically how and where we have expressed the "vitriolic tone” she has charged us with, especially since we desperately try avoiding doing that very thing when we are in dialogue on this issue. Also, she, as well as most of those who responded to your article on your website, have inappropriately broadened our focus on same sex marriage to include ALL those of the LGBTQ community personally. This is an inaccurate, judgmental conclusion. Our concern in the letter is with the ISSUE of same sex marriage, NOT the individual per se. That is also why we avoid name calling or judgmental accusations of individuals. Something that most of the respondents on your website unfortunately appear so eager to do, thus diverting our attention away from the issue itself.

Ms. D’Marco also. charges us with being homophobic. Again, it amazes me how such unfounded accusations are made by those who hold the contrary view to ours. Name calling and personal attacks against one's character are almost automatic. Again, I direct you to the respondents to your article on your website. How often, if at all, do you see "us" "take the low road" and retaliate with such terns as "heterophobic"  or "Christian-phobic" against those of who hold a contrary view?!

Moreover, she implies that we think we are living in a theocracy and stresses the fact that we are in fact, living in a Democracy. She is wrong in the first instance, but correct in the second. In fact, we proudly say that's exactly why we believe we have the right to express our views as much as anyone else in our democracy... and that without being "demonized" by those who disagree with our views. I believe we are still living under the rule of "freedom of speech" and "freedom of religion" in our democratic country. Unfortunately, some of a different persuasion on this issue of same sex marriage, seem to think those “rules” or “rights” apply only to them.

In keeping with this, it should be pointed out that we are not making our "case" purely from a Biblical or even a religious perspective, but from a historical, sociological and "scientific" one as well. In other words, Historical, observable events establish the fact that marriage between a man and a woman is best for an ordered society.  That's being "scientific." We have abundant evidence to subtantiate this position, but both space and medium prohibits from presenting it here at this time. However, if you would be agreeable to publish such evidence as presented, we will gladly supply it to you. [To be continued]

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

Here is the central issue: You are denying the rights and privileges of human beings, and censuring them for their biological predispositions, based on superstitious hocus pocus and the mantle of moral superiority found in a book of historical and scientific fiction. That is a major impediment to the enlightenment of the nation.

You deny the science that you use daily in cell phones, computers, internet and medical care.

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Citizen777 3 years, 6 months ago

[Part 3] As to “sticking to the issue,” We would like to encourage a continuation - and in fact- an evaluation of The Hon. Dame Anita Allen's lecture, “Law In A Changing Society” Reconstructing Marriage,” on June 14, 2016, in which she dealt very energetically with the definition of marriage according to our Bahamian Constitution, and in which one could safely say, she threw Christianity and the church "under the bus" when she said, among other things: “Bahamian society has changed. We are now a multi-cultural and multi faith society, in which many do not ascribe to Judeo Christian beliefs. And in determining the way forward it may well be necessary to give serious consideration to whether there is any longer any reason why the contours of contemporary secular marriage should continue to be shaped by Judeo Christian doctrine.” This is a remarkable declaration, to say the least! From a philosophical and religious/theological perspective, she has turned our entire history and cultural foundation on its head. All of a sudden, values are subjective, not absolute, and are dependent upon a changing and “progressing” society! Wow! In my humble opinion, she has in a very intellectual and sophisticated way, introduced and substituted what is now being called, "The New Civic Religion," a “progressive” philosophy that is stoked by based upon secular humanism. And it is being done “from the top down,” which makes it very difficult to track and “keep an eye on” – until it hits you in face!

I did not have the privilege of attending the prestigious event in which she gave her speech, but I secured a copy of it and read it with much enthusiasm, surprise, amazement and satisfaction, that at least she dealt with this important issue head on. She very appropriately and skillfully highlighted the core of this SAME SEX marriage issue: the meaning of marriage itself. THAT is the issue with which we are concerned in our letter. Not an individual's lifestyle. 

So, I join her in this hope so compassionately expressed: “It is my sincere hope, that as we discuss and determine how to reconstruct our marriage laws to meet the needs of our changing society, we faithfully adhere to our country’s motto to move: forward, upward, onward, together.” We must not leave out the “upward [toward our God]” aspect as we do so.

Thanks for the space.

Selah!

Allan R.Lee President  Teleios Theological Training Inst..

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

France has the right idea. We must secularize society from the prehistoric views expressed above, under the guise of moral righteousness.

As an example of the comedy of the above misguided missive, no one really knows what the word "Selah" means. It is more mumbo-jumbo, just like religious robes and ceremony to add credence to convince the ignorant and control them.

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stislez 3 years, 6 months ago

This entire comment section was a class for me. I know Bahamians and the way that we think even better now. I cant say im proud, but i can say my views of us as a nation are correct!.....................By the way, @Citizen777, thanks for being brave enuff to come in this comment section and explain your peace.............One Luv all!

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Chucky 3 years, 6 months ago

How can something so fake be so funny- Religion...............LOL

then again, how could anyone take it seriously

Critical thinking will prevail, these dogmas are on their way out!

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