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Three: Okay to vote in church


HLE

Three:  Okay to vote in church

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IF SOMETHING BETTER can be done, then it should be.

But, said Canon Noel Titus, he does not believe that using a church only to vote could defile the church.

Titus was reacting to a statement from Pastor Urilene Springer, of The Church Of God United In Christ, in King Street, St Simons, St Andrew, who said churches should not be used as polling centres.

She was speaking last Thursday as Barbadians cast their votes at a number of places which included schools and churches. She called the practice inappropriate, adding she had a vision in which God had told her voting in a church was wrong.

Titus told the NATION yesterday he did not know why churches were being used but said: “If something better could be done, then they should do it.”

He admitted he voted at a Church Of God on Polling Day.

“The trouble is that in some communities there is no other building available and if that is the reason, then perhaps we have to take what’s available.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to see [a church] being used for political meetings and so on, but I am not so sure that just going and casting your vote will necessarily defile a church.”

The Anglican priest added: “I can sympathise with her [Pastor Springer] wanting to use the church for religious purposes only, but if there is no other public facility, then . . . I think we might have to make an adjustment.”

For Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army, Major Darrel Wilkinson, members of the church and church houses had the right to be involved in the election process. 

 No problem

Speaking yesterday after a service at Solidarity House to celebrate the church’s 120th anniversary, he said: “We have to make sure we give our support to the process because we are nationals and we are a part of the country. So as long as it’s not violating our Christian values, it’s not a problem.” 

As has happened during past elections, he said, the Salvation Army Checker Hall, St Lucy building was again used as a polling station.

Springer said she had been trying to get the practice stopped for many years but to no avail.

She said she had even written to the Prime Minister’s Office two years ago and, while she had received correspondence acknowledging her letter, and promising that the matter would be looked into, nothing had been done.

Wilkinson said some people tended to interpret The Bible incorrectly.

“Sometimes it all depends on a person’s theological perspective and it all depends on what they believe. There are some people who don’t believe in going to other people’s churches; so it all depends” he said.

Pastor Vincent Wood, of the Emmanuel Baptist Church on President Kennedy Drive, St Michael, said he had
no problem, if asked, with his church being used as a polling centre.

“My answer would be yes. It is not defiling the church, as they are not desecrating the church. They [voters] are just carrying out a civic duty.” (HLE/TG/BW)

 

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