Breakdown Of Family Life 'The Greatest Threat Our Nation Faces Today'

The church service at the Pro-Cathedral at Christ the King Church on Friday. Photo: Vandyke Hepburn

The church service at the Pro-Cathedral at Christ the King Church on Friday. Photo: Vandyke Hepburn


Tribune Freeport Reporter


AT the official opening of the legal year in Grand Bahama, Canon Norman Lightbourne highlighted many serious problems facing the country that seeks to diminish and threaten our way of life in The Bahamas.

In his sermon, Canon Lightbourne indicated that the breakdown of home and family life "is the greatest threat our nation faces today."

Some other major issues he pointed to were the high rate of unemployment, particularly in Grand Bahama, the serious gambling problem in the nation, greed and corruption, and the erosion of trust and confidence in the judicial system.

He added that the problem of illegal migration and immigration also threatens the stability of the country.

Attending the annual church service at the Pro-Cathedral at Christ the King Church on Friday were Attorney General Carl Bethel, Acting Chief Justice Vera Watkins, justices, magistrates, lawyers, and members of the judiciary. Students from various schools were also in attendance.

Canon Lightbourne said the country needs everyone more than ever before to collectively solve these pressing problems that exist in Bahamian society.

“These are really serious problems and issues we face, and we can bury our heads and pretend as if they do not exist, but sooner or later they would come to bite us,” he warned.

The Anglican clergyman stressed that the greatest threat the nation faces is the disintegration and dissolving of family life.

“Until we are able to solve this problem, we could build as many rooms in Her Majesty’s Prison until we are tired; we can budget billions and billions of dollars; we could hire thousands and thousands of police officers, but until we are able to deal with home and family life our efforts will be to no avail,” he warned.

Canon Lightbourne emphasised that dysfunctional homes and family life leads to dysfunctional schools, workplaces, and churches.

He believes the nation needs to go back to the basics such as love, respect, and reverence for God to remedy these issues.

Turning his attention to the justice system, the priest noted that many people are losing faith and confidence in the country’s judicial system because of the slow adjudication of cases and matters before the courts.

“The wheels of justice are turning slowly in our country that many persons are becoming so frustrated, angry and upset that they are willing to take the law in their own hands when we fail to respond in a timely manner to persons in search of justice,” he said.

Referring to a speech made by Justice Hartman Longley, Canon Lightbourne said the judge indicated that the law must serve as an instrument for the protection and enforcement of rights and justice, not as an instrument for denial and delay of rights and justice.

He reminded justices, magistrates, and members of the Bar Association that they are gatekeepers of justice.

“You are guardians of fair-play and custodians to whom much is given, and much is expected. We need your help as non-lawyers; we need you to assist and help us so that we could feel better about justice in the land.

“You should do all in your power to help fix what I call a broken system so that justice could indeed be swift so that the regular person on the street who wishes to have their case heard that something is done to bring some closure. How do you think people feel going years and years waiting?” asked Canon Lightbourne.

He stressed that there are lots of smart people who know how to fix the system. He said the country needs men and women with the will power and courage, commitment and warrior spirit to put their lives on the line to address wrongdoing.

“So many are becoming lawyers today not because they love the law or have a thirst for justice, many are lawyers because they want to get rich quick,” he added.

The clergyman said that something is fundamentally wrong with the system, adding that a chief justice is yet to be named.

“Something ain’t right, something is wrong. What is the reason for the delay? The last one was delayed, and he got it and only lived weeks afterward. Something is not right.”

“This isn't politics I am not talking; I am talking about justice. I am talking about every citizen of this country as a result of Majority Rule has the right to stand up and speak what is right from what is wrong. That is what I am doing here,” he said.

Canon Lightbourne indicated that the judiciary is an essential branch of governance. He noted that justice delayed is justice denied.


John 5 months, 2 weeks ago

As the family goes, so goes the community. Bahamians use to grow up in families where all the siblings lived with parents under one roof. One could walk from one ornd of the corner to the next and identify each family that live in every home and each family member if you met them on the street. The area was virtually crime free. Today in this same area the females have children with two or three baby daddies, and the guys, grand children, have baby mamas. So there is strange faces in and out the neighborhood. Gunshots in the middle of the night. Drugs dealing and consumption, housebreakings, personal assaults and, yes, even murders.


Godson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Canon Lightbourne delivered an uncompromising and excellent charge in his sermon at the opening of the Judiciary in Grand Bahama. However, his statement to the effect - "but until we are able to deal with home and family life our efforts will be to no avail,” - accounts for an external civil contact between two persons.

Each of our citizens, as an individual, needs to find value to their own life so that they of themselves would know whether or not they are indeed fit material to take on, or, be part of a family unit.

The world has change Canon. LGBT movement is now the new reality to include into the family unit. Can the Church handle that? The role of women have evolved in the affairs of life and the world at large. What then may become the role or collaborating position of the men in the "home & family"?

What would then be the Church teaching as far as male/female roles in the "home"?

To go into marriage with the traditional view of male/female roles will spell disaster. Inevitably it will fail or end up in divorce. Therefore, it cannot be business as usual, or can it?


sheeprunner12 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Single parent homes, employed women, and sweet-hearting did not just start in The Bahamas with Independence.............. We looking for excuses today.

Slack parenting, instant gratification and social media access are bigger problems in 21st century Bahamian households.


joeblow 5 months, 1 week ago

LGBT units are not families in the traditional sense of the word and lack the complementary roles (sensible) heterosexuals have to raise children who can successfully raise the next generation! Why do people have such a hard time seeing this?


Godson 5 months, 1 week ago

Like you say, "in the traditional sense of the word...". Whatever was the tradition before, the questions begs, "what is tradition now?". Or, does tradition matters??? You can be socially ostracize for your comments. In fact, hauled before the courts.


John 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Well a lot of people are now starting to realize that the media and social media is a false case of the grass being greener on the other side of the picture tube. One time ago Hollywood wanted the public to believe that everyone lived in a house on the prairie with a white picket fence and everyone was innocent and happy. Then the scandals leaked out and so did all the bad behavior the Hollywood idols were involved in. Then they did it with the rappers and certain other movies, where they portrayed young black men as all violent and toting weapons. Drinking Hennessy and sleeping with their friends women and skipping school and being unemployed going to jail. Having several baby mamas and girls doing the same with baby daddies but not realizing the responsibility that comes with it or the damage that is done, yes even to future generations, when you are not responsible. And a recent study shows that being hooked on the internet and to Facebook is more addictive than being on cocaine. So much so that the managers of Facebook have agreed to warn its customers about excessive use of the media. Yet they attempt to manipulate and control the people you come in contact and the content you are exposed to. So now there are young people more attached and loyal to several ‘friends ‘ they ‘have’ on Facebook than they are to their own family members. A false sense of virtual reality. And with the 5 G speed internet on the way where reallity on the internet will become more virtual and more addictive. A high school told his class more than two decades ago, even before the laptop, the smart phone or the internet was developed, ‘ I see humans as becoming physically weaker in the future but with expanded brain power. Because humans will spend more time living in their heads.’ Humans have become physically weaker, but do they now have expanded brain power since becoming wired, or more like controlled zombies?


SP 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Nonsense. Jackass, corrupt, self-serving, politicians have been, and for the foreseeable future will continue being 'The Greatest Threat Our Nation Faces Today'!

As usual Canon Norman Lightbourne, will cowardly not say one word about this.


bogart 5 months, 1 week ago

WEEEELLLLL........MONKEY ONKLE.......WHERE......does dat leave the ...rest of da country when....its da Politicians who selects....gets the judge to be appointed.....politicians who appoints select people to be da judge ...to the boards of directors of gubbermint entities....banks....corporations...


ashley14 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Lack of family, internet, social media all contribute to the problems of today. How many people don’t talk anymore, their buried in their phone or tablets even during a meal. Absence of family, church, neighborhood ties contribute to most of today’s problems.


bogart 5 months, 2 weeks ago



ashley14 5 months, 1 week ago

Your right life is hard in the Bahamas. People have trouble paying their bills and feeding their families. They work hard for little pay and sometimes even your government doesn’t pay their employees. Once I read they paid the wrong people. There is so much wrong and leaves little room for hope and dreams.


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