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Bahamian Clergy Urged To Say ‘No’ To ‘Colonial Awards’

By Canon S Sebastian Campbell

Colonial honours have more than outlived their usefulness. Continuing to offer them is a contradiction to the existence of the National Honours systems. Bahamian National Honours are our supreme honour system, anything else is inferior. It’s a national insult to award anyone in a system of inferiority. Forty-five years as an independent nation and yet we drag on in the gutter of colonialism, of which we have broken the shackles...or maybe it was only a farce.

The church must continue to give leadership in our deliverance from “colonial Egypt”. The church has always played a pivotal role in our ongoing mental liberation, however, the church is backsliding and therefore impotent in this march towards total liberation of our colonial, enslaving mindset.

How can church leaders accept colonial awards and yet claim to be leaders of our mental emancipation? The church must repent and move away from the colonial fleshpots. In the New Year’s Honours list 2018, the then leader of the Christian Council was a named. Today, again, the 2019 Queens’s New Year’s Honours list includes two leading clergymen – a Roman Catholic monsignor and a Pentecostal apostle. Their names could only be on the list with their consent.

In the name of our all-liberating God, in the name of our progressive Bahamian people and in the spirit of our national motto “forward, upward, onward, together”, I beseech these two clerics to have their names withdrawn from this “back to Egypt” honours list. It’s not too late, and by the so doing you will be further advancing our course of national development. The Bishop of the Anglican Church towers high in this regard. He, too, was once offered a colonial award, but he refused. Our Christian leaders are expected to lead in radical a form that will go far beyond the pulpit and the altar.

Many laypersons over these years have also rejected colonial awards. Again, many of our laypersons, leaders in our churches, are dragged into this enslaving system. The national honour is above an honour from the Queen. I congratulate our brave and valiant citizens, known and unknown, who in the interest of our development have literally said “no” when offered a colonial award. This list includes: Dr Jackson Burnside, Paul L Adderley, A D Hanna and Sebastian Campbell Sr.

The line must be drawn; “so far and no further” if we are to “march on to glory, our bright banners waving high”.

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