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No barbarians at the gates


PAT HOYOS

No barbarians at the gates

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Not since Jippy Doyle predicted that the whole of the South Coast would be washed away by a tidal wave as a result of God wreaking His vengeance on the sinners located there, has a religion story made me jump out of my seat.
In the case of Jippy’s prediction, I was surprised that God would deliver such a geographically based punishment.
It occurred to me at the time that, the law of averages being what it is, there would probably be at least some sinners on the other coasts and there would be some non-sinners, or at least innocents, on the South Coast.
But according to the Doyle Prediction, the former would be spared while the latter would be consigned to a watery grave along with the presumably righteously damned.
Luckily for us, it did not come to pass. I hope the most recent jarring statement by a religious leader also proves incorrect.
Last week, Rev. Holmes Williams, Pastor Emeritus of the People’s Cathedral, and one of the founding fathers of the Christian Evangelical movement in this country, was quoted in the Press as saying that some Masonic Lodge members in the banking system were opposed to funding Christians and that is why the People’s Cathedral had encountered difficulties raising the loan to buy the Banks Breweries site at Wildey.
He is quoted on the Front Page of the DAILY?NATION of Monday, April 29,  as saying that some of the banks were “powerfully stacked” with Masonic Lodge members who “hate Christians . . .hate the Gospel,” and were dedicated to the demise of Christian churches.
He is reported to have said that a consortium of banks had originally agreed to lend his church the money it needed to buy the Wildey property but had changed their positions.
Apparently, this is what led to the property being re-advertised briefly for sale, and eyebrows being raised by some people inside the church, who must have thought the sale was a done deal.
Luckily for Christianity in Barbados, there is at least one lending institution in which the level of Masonic influence has not, perhaps, yet risen to the point where loans to Christians can be routinely turned down. Rev. Holmes also said the new deal could be concluded in a few weeks.
As for people who are neither Christians, nor Masons, sorry, folks, you may be on your own out there on the cruel financial street.  
The idea of Christians being victimized by “unbelievers” is nothing new, but I must confess I never expected it to come from such an esteemed personage as Pastor Williams.
In other countries, it is the members of another religion who have borne the pain of being stereotyped as unethical moneylenders.
I got the impression from the comments attributed to Pastor Williams that members of the Masonic Lodge here in Barbados, simply by such affiliation, are dedicated to the demise of non-Masons, or at least Christians.
I don’t accept that or believe it for a moment. There are no barbarians at the (Christian) gates.
And if that was the intent of Pastor Williams, he needs to apologize to the people of this country. The last thing we need right now is for senior members of the religious community – no matter what they profess ­– to stir up a holy war.
While they are human, and may only be acting out of genuine frustration over a business deal gone awry, they have a duty to watch what they say or imply. There are others who may take them at their word and cause all kinds of animosity and friction to come to the fore in our little island, which has lived in religious harmony for as long as I can remember.
It has taken Christians centuries to come to terms with the results of sowing that kind of prejudice around the world, most of it directed, historically, at Jews. Just read The Merchant Of Venice, or anything on World War II and you can see the results. Of course, the aspersions against Jews pre-dated and post-dated, respectively, both Shakespeare’s and Hitler’s times.
Let us hope that a precedent hasn’t been set now with regard to Masonry.
Noteworthy:
Eight million Brits can indeed be wrong
Do you know anybody, besides a fisherman, a scuba diver or beach chair renter, who goes to work on the beach? Okay, a few others. Maybe.
But do you know anyone who actually walks from work to home, or vice versa, on the beach?
Dressed in, say, a suit or a police uniform? I don’t.
Given the traffic situation nowadays, I must say, it seems tempting. But we who actually live in the Caribbean know from experience that you would get so hot that you’d have to shower and change before you actually sat down at your desk.
Sweating, however, does not seem to be a problem for the cast or writers of the TV series Death In Paradise which, according to Wikipedia, is “a British crime comedy-drama, created by Robert Thorogood and starring Ben Miller and Sara Martins. The series is a joint British and French production, filmed on Guadeloupe.”
It airs on BBC (and PBS) and its high ratings – up to eight million viewers in Britain – have earned it a third season. The lead detective and some of his island policemen and women seem to walk to work on the beach all the time. Very odd indeed.
The show is an easy-going police procedural, sort of a piña colada version of Law & Order – without the charm of New York – and I enjoy watching it. With a reservation about those beach commutes.
Now, although I wish they were filming it here (we need the money), I still have to ask why people in the show walk to work on the beach, fully clothed. That is a mystery in need of solving, Death In Paradise detectives.

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