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October 09, 2007

Comments

EB Christen

Excellent point. You give a sound and healthy voice to what I hope is the silent majority of 'normal, good thinking and reasoned' people in our Bahamaland.

One more thing, we should never give the police the power to invade one's home and one's private space without very, very thoroughly thinking through the ramifications of how those powers can be used/abused. There is more to this argument than just gay rights. There is also the question of a citizen's right to privacy in his/her home.

It is worth thinking of how readily such laws could be abused for nefarious purposes.

lashan fox

we should not be going against gods laws because in the bible in 1 chronicles 6-10 it says no adulterer or bi sexual shall see the kingdom i will prepare for them so lets be positive and stick
with the word of christ .vote for christ not bi sexuals.when the day comes for us to be judged we will see the punishment for allowing people to be bi sexuals inthis world .lets all protest against the bi sexual thing that is wanted to be put on piblic television

Steffan Antonas

Craig,

This was an excellent, controversial article. Topics like alternative lifestyles and censorship need to be heavily discussed publicly in the Bahamas, especially in a society like ours that is dominated by outspoken conservative groups like the Christian Council. I got the sense when I was reading your article that you were subtly hinting at the fact that, although the public conservative voice seems to be a majority, it may not be a true majority at all…and that, in actual fact, there is more likely a silent majority of more progressive thinkers out there and that the outspoken ones are actually just a very loud, dominant minority. This is an astute observation and it’s an important one for the following reason: In a conservative society like ours, when policy decisions are being made that affect future generations, we have to be careful not to allow important public decisions to be made by a dominant few without debate.

The truth is, when it comes to issues like alternative lifestyles, it’s easy for conservatives to find the motivation and courage to get up and speak out – you’ll find that, with a lot of highly controversial issues, like abortion for example, the people that are the most outspoken tend to be the ones who feel they have “God” on their side – they speak out with loud, righteous voices to affirm their piety and to show the world just how devout they are. What’s worse is that the more justified they feel internally, the louder they become externally. And when it’s a powerful minority group like the Christian Council sending the message in a public arena - that being gay is wrong, for example - it becomes a hard message for individuals who don’t agree to oppose publicly. Because of the deep-seated conservatism we have in the Bahamas, anyone who speaks out risks public scorn and a damaged reputation, especially as there is already so much conservative public consensus. Put another way, it is easier for people who think more progressively/liberally in today’s Bahamian society to be silent than to risk scorn – and that’s the choice that most people make – by not sticking your neck out, you risk nothing. Unfortunately, for this very reason, I think it’ll be years before that silent majority might stand together publicly and say in one voice “Being gay is not a choice, it is a fact of biology - a statistic we must accept and understand to move forward and progress as a country.” One can only hope that we, as a united people, will come to understand and accept that whether you’re gay, straight, bi, atheist, agnostic or a devout Christian, the only truth in this world when it comes to being human is that variety IS nature’s reality – you can censor the public all you want, but it will only prolong social change, not prevent it. To this end, I think you’ll see progress made when our education system gets funded and organized better – but that’s another conversation for another day.

So where do we stand on the issue of a gay channel? Isn’t this just an exercise in censorship by conservatives? If we ban a pro-gay channel, what next? No movies or books with gay images and commentary? What about songs by gay singers? Where would censorship end? It’s a slippery slope, isn’t it? More importantly, muting people’s ability to chose to consume pro-gay media in the privacy of their own homes seems wrong, doesn’t it? Instead of banning a gay channel, why don’t we just advocate the use of and advertise technologies like the v-chip so that parents can effectively censor what their children/families see and let the rest of the world do as it likes? The bottom line is that policy makers and figureheads should seriously consider the negative impact of censorship before making any decisions that affect people’s right to chose for themselves or express thoughts freely.

Thanks again, Craig for having the courage to encourage discussion around these issues.

EB Christen

@Lashan Fox
If people can respect your point of view and your right to believe in whatever it is that you want to believe in, then why can't you respect the rights of others to do the same? Do these people harm you? Do they come to your home and tell you how to live? What is that Golden Rule that is attributed to Jesus again? I have read the bible many times; it is my understanding that Jesus asks you to look to your own actions and doesn't ask you to judge others for theirs. Perhaps you should study your own religion a little bit more closely? Perhaps you should also consider that societies where priests of whatever faith take power have failed over and over again - you can look at this anywhere in the world today and throughout history.

Your kingdom that you crave is a heavenly one, not an earthly one. Religion should be about your own personal relationship with God and shouldn't be something that priests and politicians can use to manipulate you and your feelings. I am sure that if you read your own scriptures more closely and don't listen to foolish pastors, you will see this. Don't let hate mongers poison the religion that is supposed to preach love, tolerance and forgiveness. You will be losing the true meaning of Christianity if you do.


Gail

It is no business of mine, or the public whether one chooses to enjoy sexual acts with a man or a woman. Who cares? The more these "anti-gay" committees are promoted, the more "gay" people come out proclaiming their preference and the more chickens running around without a head!
As you said, these people should spend some more time looking into Adultery, Prostitution, Fornication, Disease etc. instead of running after one issue that possesses a higher stigma!
If that is who you are, so what? Keep your business to yourself!

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