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CHURCH PROTESTS PRIDE EVENT AT UB...but the university declares it is free of ‘undue influence’

BAHAMAS Christian Council president Bishop Delton Fernander and several dozen senior pastors held a press conference at UB yesterday, objecting to a LGBTQ+ forum to be held at the university.

BAHAMAS Christian Council president Bishop Delton Fernander and several dozen senior pastors held a press conference at UB yesterday, objecting to a LGBTQ+ forum to be held at the university.

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

THE University of the Bahamas declared its independence from “undue influence” yesterday after the Bahamas Christian Council protested an LGBT-related event planned for this month.

Pride Bahamas, an organisation concerned with social justice and empowering the country’s LGBTI+ community, will host a series of events from October 4 to 10 to celebrate pride, including a forum scheduled at UB.

Bahamas Christian Council president Bishop Delton Fernander and several dozen senior pastors held a press conference at UB yesterday, objecting to the event.

In response, UB chair Allyson Maynard Gibson said: “University of The Bahamas was established by University of The Bahamas Act 2016, which establishes a Board of Trustees “ … which shall … be free from undue influence from political, religious, or other external bodies and shall protect the institution from such influence.”

“The School of Social Sciences will host a forum entitled ‘Black Bahamian Subject Formation: From Non-Subject to Subject Part II’. It is hoped that students and citizens will continue to engage with UB, the national tertiary institution, as it carries out its fiat, among other things, to encourage our students (and all Bahamians) to “… exercise critical thinking”. 

“Forums such as this are the places where, as a part of UB’s national development mandate, our national spirit will be enriched and developed, as people with differing views engage in civil discourse and our students and citizens develop a better understanding of different viewpoints.” 

Bishop Fernander said he accepts that universities foster debates, but does not expect UB “to be used as a propaganda tool for special interests”. 

“The interests of the country, the interests of the people, the interests of the people of God who stand up for righteousness, should be what is used for taxpayer dollars to push forward in our country,” he said. “We are the people sending our children to these classrooms.”

 “This week, I believe, engenders a sense of anxiety in our country because we’re concerned that we are playing not only on the younger minds, but now we’re playing on the young leaders of tomorrow that we want to be prepared to lead our country in a better way.”

 Bishop Fernander suggested Christian Council members will attend the event if it is not cancelled.

 For his part, Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas (UTEB) President Daniel Thompson told reporters he was taken aback by the outrage. 

 He said as an academic institution, UB cannot discriminate against anyone.

 “This is not the Baptist Community College, neither is it the Anglican seminary,” he said. “This is the University of The Bahamas, and so we do not judge people based on their religion. We do not judge them based on their sexuality. We do not judge them based on their gender or ageism.

 “Again, people are free to express themselves outside the gates. They’re free to express their opinion, and I welcome the expression, but my members who are involved in an academic discourse on sexuality have a right to speak freely, and their academic freedom must be protected.”

 “When I speak as an academician, I speak based on my academic freedom. When I’m outside the gate on Sabbath when I attend my church, I speak in my religious capacity, but when students enter these walls, when scholars enter these walls, when Bahamians enter these gates, they enter with the freedom of expression as an academic institution.”

Comments

FreeportFreddy 8 months, 3 weeks ago

They should have their tax-free status revoked!!

Sickened 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree! The churches should have their tax free status' revoked.

hrysippus 8 months, 3 weeks ago

These religious leaders seem to be so obsessed with what happensin the privacy of other peoples bedrooms, have they not noticed that more than 70 peiole have been brutally murdered so far this year? It seems that being a gay person is worse and more concerning than being a murderer.

LastManStanding 8 months, 3 weeks ago

bedrooms

shoves dildos in everyone's faces in public

Are you naive or just arguing in bad faith?

ohdrap4 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Christian Council members will attend the event if it is not cancelled.

Yes. They also watch p-o-r-n to do research on how their flock feels.

Porcupine 8 months, 3 weeks ago

If we want to see the rot that the least of us must endure in this country, look no further. Show me a Christian here who reads and understands the bible. Can't do it, can you? The real danger to our country is the political class. That danger seems not to be noticed by the bible thumping gay haters. No wonder we don't want an educated populace. We might make progress towards becoming an enlightened country.

bahamianson 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The forum is entitled Black Bahamian? Dang, racism is in reverse, here. You need to entitle the forum, White Bahamian. We have black leaders and everything black, do we really follow America? Where is the white racist in the bahamas. For every white racist, I can show you 10 black racist.We are okay in the bahamas.

Porcupine 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Proof that our Ministry of Education has failed?

AnObserver 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Where in the Bible does it even say it is wrong to be gay?

M0J0 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The bible surely states it is an abomination for men to have sex with men and women to have sex with women.

M0J0 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Why is there a problem with the church speaking freely but not with the gays speaking freely? And yet we don't see the issue here. Why does the gay community always go in defense mode or always feel attacked. Freedom of speech goes both ways.

FreeportFreddy 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Except that when the church/ministers speak it is Hate Speach!!

sheeprunner12 8 months, 3 weeks ago

If the UB is free to do as it pleases, why does it depend so heavily on Treasury funds????

So, if our public taxes are going to fund UB (who wants to engage in LGBT activism) .......... given that MOST Bahamians DO NOT support LGBT ......... then what does that say about how our politicians and the UB Board think about our views and stance against LGBT?????

hpallas 8 months, 3 weeks ago

It doesn't matter what the public thinks. Academic freedom is legally enshrined in the University of the Bahamas Act : “the freedom to exercise critical thinking, engage in innovation, research and teaching." As long as the faculty member violates no law or institutional regulation and does not proselytize or cajole, the faculty member is free to speak in his or her academic capacity as he or her feels. This talk is a sociological one. If UB faculty cannot speak on issues like this when they are supposed to concern themselves with knowedge about anything imaginable about the Bahamas, who can?

Sickened 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Bahamians speak out loudly about gay but at the same time I have heard and believe that the majority of Bahamian men are bi-sexual. Many of these preachers and their male supporters have no problem sleeping with a man. However they don't consider themselves gay because they also like woman. We are an interesting and special people.

birdiestrachan 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The church should know that God loves everyone even gay people it is good to listen to opposing views and then respectfully disagree if necessary

FreeportFreddy 8 months, 3 weeks ago

WOW - I agree with Birdie!!

JackArawak 8 months, 3 weeks ago

What the Bible thumpers fail to remember is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” If the “gays” protested outside of the church there would be “hell” to pay. Lol.

LastManStanding 8 months, 3 weeks ago

As far as I remember, having a "pride" club was one of the requirements for CoB to transition to UB in the first place. The truth is that this agenda is not domestically driven but being forced on us (and most other countries) by an international clique that aims to keep people docile and complacent with these "issues" while they steal and hoard all of the worlds wealth for themselves. Look at how many people in the modern West are content with living in squalor as long as they get to play with buttplugs and dildos; that is the order that they are trying to establish here and in other parts of the world as well. This clique is actively subverting Christian denominations (C of E, ELCA, etc.) into this program and attacking those that resist (traditional Catholics, Orthodox, etc.) via legal apparatuses because they do not want any organization with the capability of opposing them to exist and certainly do not want anyone to be able to live outside of the system that they are creating.

TalRussell 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Fifty-years of a colony's Independence. --- The use of the "Cissy-Word", --- Should be as offensive as the "N-Word". --- Yet, both are frequently heard spoken from the pulpit. --- By those in authority.. --- Joining in the use of the "N-Word and C-Word" --- Are the live-on-air talk radio presenters' and by their show's guests and callers'. ---.Yes?

hpallas 8 months, 3 weeks ago

It doesn't matter what the public or the Christian Council thinks. Academic freedom is legally enshrined in the University of the Bahamas Act : “the freedom to exercise critical thinking, engage in innovation, research and teaching." As long as the faculty member violates no law or institutional regulation and does not proselytize or cajole, the faculty member is free to speak in his or her academic capacity as he or her feels. This talk is a sociological one. If UB faculty cannot speak on issues like this when they are supposed to concern themselves with knowedge about anything imaginable about the Bahamas, who can?It is notable that the University is the only place in the country where sexual orientation has some protection by law. it is supposed to be an inclusive institution.

"No person shall be excluded by reason of religious beliefs, political opinions, sexual orientation, disability, age, race, ethnicity, national origin or gender from admission as a professor, associate professor, assistant professor, research professor , lecturer, librarian, or such other staff, student, or employee of the University or from office or employment therein or to pursue any course of study therein or to receive any degree or other qualification awarded by the University or from any advantage or privilege"

sheeprunner12 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Yep ................. that is the slippery slope of academia that takes every country down the rabbit shithole of liberalism.

And the public who doesn't support that crap still has to pay these "social deviants" to "shoot the breeze" in the name of freedom of speech.

Carry on smartly ...........................

hpallas 8 months, 3 weeks ago

And that is the point of freedom of speech--everyone has the right to it, everyone pays for fora like this to exist. So again---it doesn't matter what "the public who doesn't support that crap." thinks. There is a public who very much supports it all. Y'all are free to complain, but it will not prevent those professionals from speaking on matters they should be expected to speak on.

sheeprunner12 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't throw that term "professionals" around so loosely ........... some of these so-called University geeks are crackpots .......... Some have taught me, and I wondered what planet these fools came from.

University and college is really overrated .......... Common sense is still of far greater value than some of the "worldly knowledge" taught at these liberal institutions by some of those crackpots.

But, again ........... carry on smartly

quavaduff 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"Me thinks one does protest too much" ...... tons of closet gays in the Bahamas

hrysippus 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Hi Lostmanstanding; you have posted the following: " having a "pride" club was one of the requirements for CoB to transition to UB in the first place. The truth is that this'''" The truth is that what you have written is not true but it epitomizes very well the sort of unfounded prejudice that abounds amongst many who profess to follow the great teachings of The Lord.

LastManStanding 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I admit that I may be misremembering something, but I do recall reading that an LGBT club was necessary for UB to receive some form of accreditation years ago. It has been a long time, so I will have to do some digging to try and find the source.

You have no idea what prejudice is, historically speaking Christianity has been very lenient when it comes to treatment of homosexuals. Germanic pagans used to strangle and then dump homosexuals into swamps, there are Muslim countries that still execute homosexuals to this day; my biggest problem with the homosexual community is that they will have all kind of tough mouth and try to pick on Christians but don't have the balls to fly their flag or march in a city like Cairo or Riyadh. Honestly that is Christians fault too for becoming too passive and abandoning any semblance of a backbone at this point.

empathy 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I’m proud of UB today and fully support their stance.

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