Thursday, October 22, 2009

Matt 24 watch, 91: UK MP objections to the Cayman Islands Constitution Order

Yesterday, BBC Caribbean Report headlined UK newspaper accounts of objections by UK MPs to the Cayman Islands UK Overseas Territory Constitution Order in Council of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Defender of The Faith, etc.

According to a BBC summary:

A panel of parliamentarians in Britain wants the Cayman Islands to drop references to Christianity in the territory's new constitution.

The preamble to the constitution of that British Overseas territory affirms the intention of islanders to be a God-fearing country based on traditional Christian values tolerant of other religions and beliefs.

The British newspaper, the Mail on Sunday, says the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee objects to Christianity being singled out above other faiths in the constitutions of overseas territories.

The committee also fears that references to traditional Christian morality could undermine gay rights.

The new Caymans constitution comes into force next month.

Now, the relevant portion being objected to is the preamble, plainly inserted by the people of Cayman, and present ever since the 2003 draft.

So, let us look at it in entirety, from the 2003 draft:
Whereas the people of the Cayman Islands, recalling the events that have shaped their history and made them what they are, and acknowledging their distinct history, culture and Christian heritage and its enduring influence and contribution in shaping the spiritual, moral and social values that have guided their development and brought peace, prosperity and stability to those islands, through the vision, forbearance, and leadership of their people,

Affirm their intention to be -
A God-fearing country based on traditional Christian values.
A caring community based on mutual respect for all individuals and their basic human rights.
• A community which practises honest and open dialogue to ensure mutual understanding and social harmony.
• A safe, secure and law abiding community.
• A country which is free from crime and drug abuse.
• A country with an educational system which identifies and develops on a continuing basis the abilities of each person, allowing them to reach their full potential and productivity.
• A community which encourages and prepares young people to assume leadership roles.
• A country which provides a comprehensive healthcare system.
A community protective of traditional Caymanian heritage and the family unit.
• A country with a vibrant diversified economy, which provides full employment.
• A country which makes optimal use of modern technology.
• A country which manages growth and maintains prosperity, while protecting its social and natural environment.
• A country which respects, protects and defends its natural resources as the basis of its existence.
• A country with open, responsible and accountable government, which includes a working
partnership with the private sector and continuing beneficial ties with the United Kingdom.
• A country with an immigration system which protects Caymanians and gives security to long-term residents.
Now, therefore, the following provisions shall have effect as the Constitution of the Cayman Islands . . .
Once we do so, it is immediately obvious that the intent of the objections of the UK MPs is to forward the agenda of global de-Christianisation, by using the power of Britain as colonial power to impose a stripping of the authentic will of the people of the Cayman Islands.

For, plainly the Judaeo-Christian, Biblical and specifically Christian heritage of the Cayman Islands is a matter of centuries-deep undeniable history, as is the positive impact of that history and tradition. (Just as the Islamic history of many peoples in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia are a matter of plain record. One rather doubts that the same MPs would dare to try to strip out such an acknowledgement of history and tradition from the Constitution of an Islamic territory! [Cf the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan, post 2003.])

Worse, that intent is in the particular context of advancing a controversial global homosexualist agenda, one that is plainly repugnant to the peoples of the Caribbean as a whole. And as to the scare-mongering rhetoric the MPs used, it is worth simply highlighting how the Caymanians have stated their commitment to traditional Christian values and what IMMEDIATELY follows it.

For the drafters affirmed their intent to be:
A God-fearing country based on traditional Christian values.
A caring community based on mutual respect for all individuals and their basic human rights.
• A community which practises honest and open dialogue to ensure mutual understanding and social harmony . . .
In short, the UK MPs have -- sadly, but plainly -- indulged in dishonest rhetoric through artful excerpting, not "honest and open dialogue to ensure mutual understanding and social harmony."

And, the BBC has even more plainly allowed them to get away with it.

Moreover, the real objection of the MPs [given their fulminations on "Gay Rights"] is apparently not to the preamble's intents, but to the Caymanian version of Section 9 [cf. the Montserrat version, which here has the same section number and most of the phrasing but artfully omits "of the opposite sex" . . . ]:
9.—(1) Every man and woman of marriageable age (as determined by or under any law) has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex and found a family . . .
In short, the UK MPs in question hope to use colonial power to impose on unwilling Caribbean people of Judaeo-Christian heritage the novelty of so-called same-sex marriage, which is both repugnant to the overwhelming majority of the peoples of the Caribbean and which is credibly destructive to family life, the provision of a safe and stable environment for the nurture of children and corrupting of public order in general.

To that end, "rights" language is being rhetorically hijacked to create the false -- indeed, slanderous -- impression that objectors to this amoral innovation are against fundamental rights. And in that cause, the ghosts of crusades and inquisitions are being called into play, as though it has not been the case that for centuries ever since the Bible was translated at bloody cost and put in the hands of the ordinary man, the Book and the religion based on it have not been in the forefront of the march of genuine liberty.

As the classic Websters Dictionary, 1828 (as just linked) ever so aptly defines:

LIB''ERTY, n. [L. libertas, from liber, free.]

1. Freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind. The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled. A man enjoys liberty, when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions.

2. Natural liberty, consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life. This liberty is abridged by the establishment of government.

3. Civil liberty, is the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty, so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty, not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression. civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another. Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty.

The liberty of one depends not so much on the removal of all restraint from him, as on the due restraint upon the liberty of others.

In this sentence, the latter word liberty denotes natural liberty.
4. Political liberty, is sometimes used as synonymous with civil liberty. But it more properly designates the liberty of a nation, the freedom of a nation or state from all unjust abridgment of its rights and independence by another nation.

Hence we often speak of the political liberties of Europe, or the nations of Europe.
5. Religious liberty, is the free right of adopting and enjoying opinions on religious subjects, and of worshiping the Supreme Being according to the dictates of conscience, without external control . . .
As opposed, of course, to libertinism or licence.

Moreover, the language of "rights" is not correct in this context. For, strictly, a right is a morally based claim we make against others: my right to life implies your duty to respect that life and there fore I have made a claim on you by asserting such a right. But, no-one has a duty to marry anyone, apart from freely given consent.

Instead, fundamental law should acknowledge that we have a freedom to marry one of the opposite sex and found a family without undue interference or prohibition.

Finally, we the peoples of the wider Caribbean must now stand up publicly with our brothers and sisters in the UK overseas territories and protest this amoral neo-colonial imposition. END

PS: It is sadly instructive to look at the tone of some of the comments from a tiny but plainly vocal anti-Christian minority, in this Caymanian news report here.

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