EDITOR: I was disturbed and dismayed by something the General Secretary of the Unity Labour Party said at the Calliaqua Playing Field on Sunday, April 8, 2018.
The occasion was the Party’s 17th anniversary rally. I am speaking as a ULP supporter, but in everything my Christianity takes precedence.
I consider it my duty to guard against any semblance of sacrilege or disrespect of biblical precepts creeping into the official rhetoric and public discourse of this blessed land. What happened greatly bothered my spirit and stirred up in me a righteous indignation. I am under patriotic, spiritual and moral obligation to speak out against it, whatever the consequences, with the hope that by so doing I can help to ensure that my country stays on the straight and narrow path. This is for the good of the nation and the good of my party.
I was at the rally myself from start to finish and heard everything that transpired with my own two ears. No one had to tell me about it. There was a point in time when the General Secretary took the microphone and began addressing the large crowd that was assembled. Thousands of people were in attendance. The atmosphere was electric. Suddenly, he took me by surprise when he asked us to turn in the direction of a huge frame which said “17 Years” and bow to it. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. My jaw dropped. I gazed incredulously at Minister Francis. I wondered if our good Senator had taken temporary leave of his senses, was just being reckless and sacrilegious, or simply didn’t know better.
He was basically asking us to bow down and worship the sign.
How could he do such a thing? He repeated the instructions several times to his satisfaction. I suppose that this was simply his way of drawing attention to the sign. I tried to understand the psychology of the situation. It seems to me that the General Secretary was exceedingly proud of himself for being able to have such a sign made. In asking persons to bow to the sign, he was perhaps indirectly asking them to worship the man who was able to get it done.
We must push back against any subtle or seemingly innocuous form of evil. What Julian Francis was encouraging is expressly forbidden by the Word of God. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we should not bow down before any graven image – see the 10 Commandments and elsewhere in the Scriptures. The three Hebrew boys (Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego) refused to bow down to the golden image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and obtained the favour and protection of God, even in a fiery furnace.
Was the “17 Yrs” sign a modern day golden or graven image? When the General Secretary made his call for us to bow, I of course, did not budge. Thankfully, there were many other persons in the crowd like me. I wonder if there would be an attempt to throw us all into the fiery furnace. “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us,” (Daniel 3:17). Seriously, why should anyone believe it is acceptable to say on a platform in a nation which, according to the constitution, is founded on a belief in the supremacy of God, something so outrageous and offensive to biblical imperatives?
Is Julian Francis inviting a curse to descend on the party and country? Is there a plot afoot to make St.
Vincent and the Grenadines the next Sodom and Gomorrah? God forbid. I wish that Minister Francis would return to his godly heritage – that would do him a world of good. He owes the supporters of the ULP and the entire nation an apology. He must also undertake to be more careful in his future utterances, if possible, or just keep quiet. That is a mild way of putting it.