Trinidad and Tobago Humanist Association

tt.humanist :: forum :: commentary :: 2014 :: politics

Minister of Diversity not socially integrated

07 January 2014 • 290 words

It is quite revealing that the Minister of Diversity and Social Integration should be an individual who is apparently against diversity and whose words can exacerbate social divisions.

That the People’s Partnership administration should have appointed a fundamentalist Christian to manage this portfolio reveals much about their commitment to these goals. Pastor Rodger Samuel, speaking at a Full Gospel prayer meeting on New Year’s Day, identified sexual “sins” as the main cause of Trinidad and Tobago’s socioeconomic problems.

Minister Samuel was especially incensed at persons who “engage in abnormal, inordinate and rebellious sexual acts.” The newspaper report did not specify what these acts were but, inasmuch as the Minister was echoing fundamentalist Christian rhetoric, it is reasonable to assume that homosexuality was one of his concerns.

He also complained that “Lord, we have been guilty of shedding innocent blood both inside of the womb and outside of the womb.”

As a matter of empirical fact, however, the nations with lowest rates of violence, crime, and corruption are those which tolerate diversity, including sexual diversity, and which have laws that allow women the right to terminate pregnancies for their own well-being. Indeed, there is no society which has widespread acceptance of homosexuality which is not also a society with low rates of violence, simply because such acceptance promotes the very attitude of agape (spiritual love) which Christians claim is the hallmark of their religion. Yet it is also an empirical fact that, the higher a society’s religiosity, the more corrupt and violent that society tends to be.

Where Minister Samuel hit the nail on the head was in lamenting “the wrong and strong attitudes of our leaders.” No doubt, however, he mistakenly assumed that he was not one of these leaders.

T&T Humanist Association

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