EDITOR, The Tribune
Given his narrow-minded and ungracious response to the Government’s proposal to welcome some students from Dominica in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, thank God Prime Minister Hubert Minnis did not appoint Pineridge MP Rev. Frederick McAlpine to the cabinet.
Dr. Minnis likely realized that Rev. McAlpine is not cabinet material, which the reverend has proven in his recent comments. In his response to the Government’s proposal, Rev. McAlpine demonstrated that he lacks the capacity for serious deliberation and thoughtfulness.
His response was knee-jerk and petulant. He lacks good judgment, the primary quality of a leader. One hopes that he remains on the backbench. This is not the caliber of individual we need in the cabinet.
Rev. McAlpine says he is only a messenger. This is nonsense. MPs are not elected to rubber stamp the thoughts of constituents. They are elected to deliberate on the issues of the day and make considered judgments on the matters before them.
Rev. McAlpine says he is a nationalist. He is trying to hide behind the banner of nationalism. One can be a nationalist and an internationalist at the same time. It appears that the reverend gentleman is actually a xenophobe. In his additional comment about Haitian children in government-operated schools he demonstrated his xenophobia in spades.
Rev. McAlpine may be entertaining on the election stump, but he has failed to demonstrate moral wisdom and moral leadership in this instance. One would have thought that as a cleric he would have shown compassion and Christian charity to children and young people from Dominica, whose country has been destroyed.
Sadly, even the Sermon on the Mount and the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Widow’s Two Mites, recounted by the Prime Minister in his communication to the House of Assembly, did not move this reverend gentlemen’s heart, which seems hardened by xenophobia in this instance, unconverted by the suffering of God’s people in Dominica.
Rev. McAlpine embarrassed the Prime Minister and his colleagues. He especially embarrassed Dr. Minnis, who was moved to tears by the plight of Dominica.
The Pineridge MP publicly rebuked his leader. Rev. McAlpine also embarrassed the good people of Pineridge.
Dr. Minnis continues to work hard to bring employment and opportunity to all Bahamians, including the people of Grand Bahama. He has rejected the false choice that the only way to care for our own people is to reject the plight of our Caribbean neighbour in their hour of need.
In the Sermon on the Mount and in other parables, Jesus teaches us that care for our neighbour is one of the most essential attributes of following Him. For some, it is okay to send our neighbours a few dollars. But God forbid that we allow them to come under our roof.
October 1. 2017.