EDITOR, The Tribune.
I must confess at the outset that I am not an expert on the Bahamian Constitution. Any uninformed foreigner who reads the constitution concerning the protection of freedom of conscience and freedom of expression would automatically assume that the same privileges that Americans have in voicing their disapproval of a magistrate or supreme court ruling would be extended to Bahamians also. Any misconceptions regarding this democratic privilege was quickly erased after Works Minister Desmond Bannister’s scathing remarks concerning a judicial ruling received a backlash from members of the legal fraternity. I will not delve into the particulars of that case.
Suffice to say, it seems as if the judicial fraternity is treated like scared cows in this country, being legally immune from any kind of criticism. Had a John Q Public said what Bannister said, he would’ve been held in contempt of court. Meanwhile, the system allows Bahamians to revile and blaspheme God, an offense which was punishable by capital punishment in Old Testament times (see Leviticus 24:10-23, Exodus 20:7, Ecclesiastes 10:20). In the New Testament era, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:31-31). Yet the constitution allows Bahamians to exercise this supposed right to slander God without any legal repercussions. It might be a source of surprise to the readership of this daily to learn that even speaking disparagingly about our elected leaders is a grave sin.
In Old Testament times, reviling the king was also a capital offence, as the king stood as God’s representative (1 Kings 21:13). I am not calling for the establishment of a theocracy, like what we see happening in Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan and Kuwait.
I am just attempting to make sense of our retarded democracy.
A court ruling is criticised, and prominent Bahamians kick up a fuss. God is routinely ridiculed and vilified in the media, and no one is troubled by this.
June 30, 2021.