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Referendum for Gender Equality by Rev. T.G. Morrison

FACING THE UPCOMING REFERENDUM: BAHAMAS 2016
Presenter: Rev T G Morrison
WEDNESDAY APRIL 20, 2016
What makes us human being distinct from every other creatures is the fact that human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, which the scholars call Imago Dei. James Cone suggests that likeness or Imago Dei is freedom. He says that as God is free to act, and only always acts in love, even so are human beings free to act, even if or when that action violates or rebels against the law and or expressed will of God. Because Western Theology is heavily influenced by Augustinian Theology, it is classist, it is undergirded by pietism, and is heavily suspicious of sexuality, and sexual expression. Genesis 3 has been interpreted as humankind’s fall and thus the genesis of original sin, which baptism, even of infants alone, is able to erase. [Augustinian theology].
Such an interpretation, has overshadowed the understanding of human beings as elevated by God to be gifted with free will and even if that free will or freedom is misused, misguided and mismanaged, God does not intervene or interfere although the consequences for such actions will flow. The use of freedom with all of its ups and downs, must be exercised without prejudice. The absence of freedom is dehumanization, and once freedom is taken away, responsibility cannot be enforced and consequences cannot be meted out.
If one is not free, one is not responsible. If one is not free, one cannot be held accountable. If one is not free, one is not responsible. If one is not free, one cannot be held accountable. If one is not free, consequences cannot be meted out. As hard as it is at times, Christians must protect the freedom of people, even if they choose to go against what we believe is the Biblical standard or what is morally correct. The purpose of education, is to provide people with the tools to emerge as critical thinkers. Education does not tell people what to do, that is brainwashing and regurgitation.
In our country right now, the government is on an educational campaign in reference to the referendum, but it is at the same time waging a ‘ say yes’ campaign. Leaders of established denominations have come out and said ‘ vote yes’. Other pastors are binding forces in a vote ‘no’. If freedom is God’s gift that has elevated human beings, it is WRONG for anyone or anybody to interfere or intervene in a human being’s use of freedom. It is wrong, for the government to prejudice the electoral process. It is wrong for the Christian church, selected leaders or pastors to tell people how to vote.
As any other educational enterprise, it is our task to give people information, the pros and the cons with their consequences and leave people to their conscience, whether those consciences are formed or uninformed. To make their own decisions, people must be free. It is and would be unethical, for me to come here in Zion and to use pastoral office to tell you who to vote for or which political party to support as it would be wrong for a human to enter a ballot box with you and tell you who to vote for. So too it is wrong for me or any other person who claims to be a mouthpiece for God to tell you how to vote in the upcoming referendum.
The problem is that too many of us want to be spoon fed and are lazy and are disinterested in getting information or becoming intentionally involved in the doing of nation building. We surrender our God given dignity, humanity and freedom and that is sin. We are responsible to get all the information so that our vote is influenced or is informed by sound knowledge, not emotions. The Christian church must remember, for freedom, Christ has made us free, and must guard and fight for everyone’s freedom. We live in a democracy and as such people must choose Christian principles. People must choose to be Christians, and those who choose to be Christians must also choose to live by the principles and the values of the Christian tradition.

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