Our Readers' Opinions
June 24, 2014
Are we prepared to forgive?

Tue, Jun 24, 2014

Editor: The issue of reparation has once again been placed on the front burner with discussions recently held in Parliament. I do not know if anyone has conducted a poll to determine what is the view of Vincentians on this matter. However, those in the forefront of the struggle are seeking compensation for the exploitation of our foreparents and the contribution this exploitation made to the development of those colonial powers.{{more}}

I hardly believe that there is anyone who is not of the opinion that slavery was brutal and there ought to be some form of apology and possible compensation. However, I maintain that we are overlooking one of the fundamental issues that resulted from slavery. That is, we were prevented from practicing our religion and forced to accept Christianity. Was this not psychological torture? Why are we overlooking this issue? I can only assume that we do not have any problem with this. In fact, one of my colleagues indicated to me that Christianity is one of the few good things that resulted from slavery.

We are overlooking the psychological impact slavery had on us as a people and this was further compounded by Christianity. We were taught that God favours the poor and according to the Bible, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven. In addition, we were told, thou shall not kill. All these served the interest of those behind the slave trade. Can we for one minute believe that those colonialists wanted us to go to heaven with them?

My position on this matter is that if we accept Christianity as a good coming out of slavery and take it to be authentic, then we should adhere to the teachings. If we are prepared to accept what is purported to be the teachings of Jesus Christ, sent by God to die for us, then we should do what he obviously would have done. That is, to forgive those who were behind the slave trade.