Category Archives: Oppression

It Is Time For Christians to Fight Back

General John Kelly of the US Southern Command has reported that about 150 persons left the Caribbean region in 2015 to fight with Islamic State – the Islamic army that is killing Christians wherever they find them. He warned that Islamic terrorists may now choose to carry out terror activities in their home countries.

The mass-beheading videos by Islamic State appear to show Christians unresistingly kneeling before their executioners. Tragically, Christians were taught to submit to this barbarism by their religious leaders. Even after the televised mass-beheadings, Christians continued to be taught to submit to their oppressors while maintaining their faith until the end. Before a similar persecution is upon us, our religious leaders need to honestly discuss an effective Biblical Barbadian response.

Jesus’ Response to an Individual Oppressor

Jesus provided two responses to violence. The first was directed to individuals during their normal interaction with other individuals. Jesus advised His followers to essentially turn the other cheek and not resist such individuals. Paul advised Christians not to retaliate against oppressors since vengeance belongs to the Lord. The Bible teaches that God hears the cries of the oppressed, and that certain terrible judgement awaits the oppressors.

Those who organise the mass killing of Christians depend on the willingness of Christian religious leaders to convince their adherents not to resist the impending slaughter. Such religious leaders conveniently ignore Jesus’ second response to violence as they unwittingly cooperate with the oppressors.

Jesus’ Response to Terrorism

Jesus’ second response was directed to communities vulnerable to terrorism. A few hours before Jesus’ arrest, He instructed His disciples to sell some of their possessions and arm themselves with the latest weapon of war – the sword. The disciples obtained two swords and Jesus said “it is enough” (Luke 22:38), indicating that the armed should protect the unarmed.

And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?”  So they said, “Nothing.”

Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.  For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”

So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.”  And He said to them, “It is enough.” (Luke 22:35-38)

There is no contradiction with Jesus’ responses. While Jesus ministered, He was the lighting rod that attracted criticism and death threats. He preached openly, chased merchants from the temple, and defended His disciples from criticism. However, shortly before He was arrested, and would not be present to protect His disciples, He instructed His disciples to defend themselves (Luke 22:36).

While Jesus was being arrested, His disciples asked whether the time had come for them to attack with the sword. Jesus replied “Permit even this” (Luke 22:51), signifying that the swords were last-resort defensive weapons.

The murder, rape and enslavement of millions of Christians around the world over the past 2,000 years has been facilitated by religious leaders teaching pacifism. Jesus hated religious traditions that violated God’s commandments, and He publically insulted religious leaders who misled gullible adherents. Hear Jesus’ public response to such religious leaders: “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matt 23:33)

It is better if each person conscientiously arrived at their own response to potential terrorists now, rather than being forced to react immediately during such a foreseen event. While I respect pacifists who have honestly considered all sides of this issue before reaching their conclusion, let it be known that if I am overwhelmed by terrorists, I intend to go down fighting.

Best regards,


Constitutional Monarchy and Gun Ownership

There have always been injustices in the world. There have always been national leaders who have treated their citizens as their personal property, to torture and murder at their pleasure. During my lifetime, a handful of despots have been responsible for the deaths of approximately 10 million civilians.  During the past century these tyrants have been responsible for the deaths of approximately 100 million civilians.

These are not war-time dead. They are the consequences of leaders who generally believed that the only way to remain in control was to kill anyone whom they interpreted as political threats. In most cases, other national leaders simply watched the slaughter and did nothing useful to help the oppressed – since it was not in their national interest to intervene.  The killings normally stopped upon the death of the national despotic leader.

Perhaps it is useful to note that in the last century, approximately 40 million soldiers have been marched to their deaths on the orders of a few individuals. This action has resulted in the consequential deaths of approximately 20 million civilians.  Therefore, war appears to have had a lesser impact on civilian misery than a despot or tyrannical government.  What appears to restrain a national leader with despotic tendencies is the threat of armed resistance.

In Barbados, there are four categories of armed personnel: the military, the police, a few private citizens, and criminals.  When the Grenadian military executed the civilian leadership, murdered civilians, and assumed power, the police did not stop them.  They were stopped by the US military, with a coalition of willing Caribbean countries.  Why was there this departure of nations simply observing the oppression from afar, and offering nothing but the token and meaningless UN resolutions for an end to the conflict?  The difference was that the Governor General requested help.

To whom can the citizens of the republics of Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago appeal to should a despotic leader emerge?  The sad truth is that they can call on no-one but their tyrannical government.  They have disposed of the only person with standing, who could have appealed to other countries for military intervention to remove their despot.

We do not know when our turn will come.  Most developing countries are only one election-cycle away from electing a despot.  Caribbean civilians are generally unarmed and therefore vulnerable to being oppressed by a tyrant.  However, like Grenada, most English speaking countries in the Caribbean can be assured of a realistic hope of military relief.  Barbados, like Grenada, still maintains a Governor General who has standing to legally request outside military assistance.

History has shown that this critical ‘hope of the oppressed’ is generally futile for citizens living in countries that have chosen a republic type of government.  With this knowledge, why would a nation’s citizens, who have everything to lose, and nothing to gain from such a change, choose to take away from their children the one thing that can restrain a future despot – the realistic threat of force?

If the citizens of Barbados choose to replace their current constitutional monarchical system with a republic type of Government, then let us not choose a model that leaves our children vulnerable to a despot.  Rather, let us choose a model like the USA, where its citizens are given the constitutional right to bear arms in order to resist a tyrannical leader.



Thank you USA for caring – many do not!

Dear Residents of the USA:

Thank you for caring enough to intervene in the internal affairs of other sovereign nations in order to stop mass murder.  Thank you for the lives that you have saved at the incalculable sacrifice of your sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters.  My words are an insufficient expression of the gratitude that I feel, but thank you none-the-less.

You are not obligated to save the lives of people of other nations, and you do not intervene in all countries that desperately need military intervention, but thank you for when you have intervened.

I believe that nations should not interfere with the internal affairs of other nations, and should respect their sovereignty and territorial integrity.  I do not believe that any nation has the right to violate another nation’s sovereignty in order to bring relief to citizens suffering under a leader who is corrupt, and has mismanaged the country’s finances and social services.  That is an internal matter for the citizens to resolve.  However, some leaders see their citizens as their property, to torture and murder at will.

When leaders begin to mass murder their citizens, then those leaders should become illegitimate and the United Nations should remove them.  Unfortunately, the United Nations is not effective at removing despots, so generations of people continue to suffer.

Human beings are not property, as African slaves were legally defined some 200 years ago.  All human beings are our brothers and sisters, and they are not somehow less valuable just because they have the misfortune of living under an oppressive regime.  Every oppressed person has the right to expect to be liberated.

Being liberated must be a wonderful feeling.  In neighbouring Grenada, despots executed the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet, and massacred some civilians in 1983.  The governments of Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, and St. Vincent responded by informally asking US President Reagan to join them in a coalition of the willing in order to liberate the people of Grenada.  The USA only agreed to participate after these nations made a formal request.  President Reagan then convinced the American public to support the intervention, by explaining that the operation included securing the safety of American medical students at the university in Grenada.

I followed that operation with interest since Barbados was used as the staging area for what was called Operation Urgent Fury.  I remember when it was all over, and President Reagan subsequently visited Grenada, that the Grenadian people were so elated that they wanted to change their national anthem to the US national anthem – such was the temporary exhilaration of being liberated, and I felt their joy.

I have subsequently read publications that criticised the USA’s involvement in the operation.  I understand that the US has meddled in the affairs of other nations and has supported despots who have committed mass murder.  That is clearly wrong.  However, I have visited Grenada many times and regardless of the US Government’s motives, Grenadians are generally happy that the US participated in their liberation.Many people have misgivings about the war in Iraq.  However, that invasion sent a message to depots and potential despots worldwide that sovereign borders will not be respected if they start to mass murder their citizens.  It should be noted that people living in developing countries, under leaders with little accountability, can potentially be one election away from despotism.

Thank you again for caring.

Voting in Barbados

Dear Readers:

In May 2003, I voted to select a parliamentary representative for the fourth time in my life. However, this time my voting experience was different. While driving away from the polling station, an unexpected wave of emotion engulfed me and I struggled to understand why. Memories of the stories of people whom I had read about during this past year flooded my mind, and then I understood what was happening to me. I had, up too this point, taken my right to vote for granted.

For the first time since I became eligible to vote, the real meaning of the oft-repeated phrase “universal adult suffrage” began to dawn on me, and I began to appreciate the sacrifices made by others to secure this right for us. This phrase had a superficial meaning for me, and it did not nurture an appreciation for our system of government. It was not until I had read the historical accounts of life experiences under repressive dictatorships, while conducting research for various articles for this newspaper column, that I began to see the true worth of our system of government. Every 5 years, Barbadians get the opportunity to effectively demonstrate their confidence or lack thereof in their elected representatives, and regime change can occur in Barbados literally overnight and without violence.

The voter turnout in our recent elections was reportedly low. Perhaps active participation in the voting process would be greater if we were made fully aware of the contrasting repressive environments within which others are forced to suffer. Admittedly, such experiences may be challenging for us to relate to. We have enjoyed living under a working democracy for decades, while others have had to suffer for generations under a dictator, whose agents can forcibly remove them from their homes, and torture, rape, or kill them for any reason. We enjoy some freedom of expression, while others risk horrific consequences if anything that they do, say, or write can be interpreted to mean dissent.

I am therefore extremely grateful for our system of government. I have been writing these articles for almost one year now, and had I been living under a dictatorship, then ‘they would have come for me’ a long time ago.

Had I expressed ideas that could be interpreted as opposition to the government’s policies in Burma, China, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Laos, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe, then I would most likely have been imprisoned, mercilessly tortured, or killed. There is general consensus among human rights organisations that these nations are currently led by the world’s most repressive regimes. Incredibly, the governments of China, Cuba, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria are members of the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission – a body responsible for monitoring and condemning any human rights violations in other nations, including Barbados.

Had I written favourably about Christianity in China, Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Northern Nigeria, or Egypt, then I would most likely have been imprisoned and tortured.

If I refused to convert to Islam in the African nation of Sudan, then I would most likely have been tortured and killed, and if I were a woman or a child, then I would most likely have been sold into slavery. If I practised Christianity in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, then I would most likely have been imprisoned, tortured, and sentenced to death.

The atrocities committed by repressive dictatorships around the world are well documented. What then could Barbados’ response be to such governments? There are at least three responsible actions. Firstly, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs could be mandated to try to influence responsible governance in nations led by repressive regimes.

Secondly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could warn Barbadians that they risk imprisonment, torture, and death if they try to assist persons living under repressive regimes while visiting such countries. Thirdly, the Government of Barbados could lend or increase its support for any lawful international efforts that would provide relief to our fellow human beings, who are currently being tortured or slaughtered for doing things that we do lawfully and take for granted.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Dear Readers:

In 2003, Iraq was invaded by a self-proclaimed coalition of the willing, and Barbados took a firm stance against such coalitions invading a country without the sanction of the United Nations (UN).

There have always been coalitions of the willing who have felt compelled to act due to the offensiveness of atrocities committed by governments of other nations. Such coalitions have also been severely criticized by some non-coalition members who felt that a diplomatic solution should have been sought, and that the invasion of a sovereign nation was premature or wrong.

When the Grenadian army murdered most of the Grenadian cabinet ministers in 1983, Barbados participated in a coalition of the willing who felt compelled to take immediate action, without UN approval, and despite the objections of other Caribbean states. The UN should be a respected institution, however its bureaucracy does not always lend it to respond in a timely manner, and due to its structure, sometimes it does not respond at all.

One of the most horrific events in my lifetime was the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. UN peace-keeping forces were stationed in Rwanda, and they warned the UN about the impending slaughter. The UN did nothing. When approximately 10,000 Rwandans were being murdered every day, the UN forbade their UN troops from intervening, and the UN Security Council unanimously voted to withdraw most of their troops. After approximately 200,000 Rwandans were massacred, the UN Security Council passed a resolution condemning the killings.

This genocide continued every day for over 3 months while the UN Security Council debated the issue. Over 800,000 Rwandans were murdered and thousands of women were systematically raped and infected with HIV/AIDS. The world looked to the UN to intervene, the UN debated and passed resolutions, while innocent Rwandan civilians died, hoping in vain for a coalition of the willing.

The atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 killed approximately 105,000 Japanese and qualified as weapons of mass destruction. The hands who murdered 800,000 Rwandans, simply because they happened to be born into a different tribe, must also qualify as weapons of mass destruction.

In 1998, the Serbian army massacred tens of thousands of Muslim Kosovar Albanians. Once again the world looked to the UN to stop the slaughter. The UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for both sides to enter into a dialogue, while Muslim men continued to be massacred, and tens of thousands of Muslim women were taken to rape camps and gang raped. The victims hoped for a coalition of the willing, and a coalition responded by invading Bosnia without UN approval, and despite protests from other nations.

Some conflicts are internal, like the current elevated levels of crime in Jamaica and Guyana. However, when a government authorises its agents to torture and murder civilians, then it ceases to become only an internal matter. It becomes the responsibility of those nations with a conscience.

Were the atrocities that were committed in Grenada, Rwanda, and Serbia immediate threats to the world? Probably not. Are the atrocities committed in Iraq, Zimbabwe, and the Sudan similar threats? Probably not. However if I lived in one of those countries, and they came for me, then the pain inflicted by my torturers would pale in comparison to the disgust that I would feel for those trying to discourage any help from coming my way. I cannot image the horror that the Rwandans felt when they saw the UN soldiers leave, thereby condemning them to certain torture and death?

Let me state that I completely agree with our Prime Minister’s suggestion that the actions of the current coalition of the willing have no place in a civilized world. However, it is very easy for us to sit in a land blessed by God with relative peace, forget that the world is not yet a civilized place, and judge those who feel compelled to respond to the atrocities being committed by governments of other nations. We much prefer an academic debate on the sovereign rights of national governments, and refuse to acknowledge the greater human rights of individuals. We have become almost completely insensitive to the torture of civilians in other nations who desperately cling to the fading hope of a liberator.

The most horrific atrocity in my lifetime has been the senseless torture and killing of the most vulnerable among us. Our hands were designed, inter alia, to gently receive the next generation into our nations, and babies instinctively trust our hands. Rather than lovingly welcome them into this world, many who should know better betray that trust, and send them into the next world after inflicting upon them the most cruel and inhumane torture imaginable, simply because they happed to be conceived. With over 40 million babies tortured and killed in the USA alone, and thousands in Barbados annually, those hands must certainly qualify as the most deadly weapons of mass destruction to date.

Pan-Africanism in the Balance

Dear Readers:

Pan-Africanism is essentially the promotion of a united African continent for, inter alia, the economic and cultural benefit of those in Africa, and the descendants of those scattered by the transatlantic slave trade. One laudable vision by a noted pan-Africanist was for a United States of Africa.

Pan-Africanism appeared to have its genesis with persons who had witnessed the abolition of slavery, not through mass rebellion, but rather through the prayers and the actions of men and women who claimed to have a personal relationship with God. Two of the leading figures in the development of pan-Africanist thought in the 19th century were Alexander Crummell (1822-1898 ) and Edward Blyden (1832-1912).

Both of these men left their native USA and Virgin Islands respectively and resided in Africa for decades. During their stay, they identified a major threat to the creation of a powerful united African continent as African spiritism and idolatry. These men encouraged Africans and persons of African descent everywhere to reject African spiritism, and pursue a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. African spiritism is essentially the summoning of ancestral spirits to provide guidance.

Why were these early pan-Africanists so insistent that spiritism be rejected? Why not allow a mixture of Christianity and spiritism like in Haiti? It seems that there were three principle scriptural reasons. First, mankind is incapable of summoning ancestral spirits, but are deceived into summoning demons who have no beneficial interest in mankind. Secondly, God Himself explicitly states that: He is the only living God, He will not share His glory with anyone or anything, and any attempt at worshipping Him and anything else is a rejection of Him akin to adultery. Thirdly, God’s response to a nation worshipping Him and others was generally to remove His protection from the land and economy, leaving the land vulnerable to natural hazards, and the economy vulnerable to that nation’s enemies.

African governments generally rejected Crummell’s and Blakes’ warnings. Corrupt political leaders, imperialist minded nations, and greedy trans-national corporations have all taken full advantage of the unprotected state of those African economies. Such countries are characterised today as being: disunited, politically unstable, debt-ridden, exploited, poverty-stricken, and oppressed. However they comprise the most valuable land and mineral resources in the world.

The main African beneficiaries in the countries that have adopted spiritism appear to have been the political leaders, and their family and friends who have amassed millions and in some cases, billions of dollars from alleged corrupt practises. In contrast, the general population of these countries have suffered from: war, terror, genocide, crime, misery, poverty, inflation, illiteracy, hunger, disease, unemployment, famine, drought, floods, disillusionment, and corrupt and incompetent governments that have mortgaged their children’s future with a crippling debt burden.

The political leadership considers anyone willing to speak the truth a threat to their survival, and any dissent is typically met with persecution, merciless torture, and even death. The modern African continental experience is a mirror into which we all can look if we choose as a nation to reject God’s guidance and protection.

If developing countries wish to reject God’s guidance and protection, then it is necessary that legal instruments be first established, to protect their economies from its enemies. The USA has a system to restrict the power and spending desires of its President. Developing countries generally have no such system and are thus vulnerable to politicians driven by power and greed.

We have been fortunate to have generations of Christians who have faithfully worshipped God and have asked Him to bless Barbados. Whether we believe it or not, we are the grateful or ungrateful beneficiaries of their prayers. Our responsible response should be to ensure that our children and grandchildren enjoy similar blessings. However, despite the warnings of the early pan-Africanists, and the apparent consequences, the promotion of African spiritism at some national events is alarming.

If we as a nation wish to reject God’s guidance and protection, then all citizens are advised to brace themselves for the terrible consequences. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Suffering in the Balance

Dear Readers:

Why do bad things happen to us? Why do we suffer? These questions if not addressed properly can lead the sufferer to despair and in extreme cases, suicide. Given the number of suicide attempts in Barbados, and the recent (2002) promotion of doctor assisted suicide, I thought that today we should examine suffering.

Some assume that suffering is a result of punishment for wrong doing, while others assert that it is fate or coincidence. But what initiates suffering? By observation, there appear to be three types of suffering and a description of each type may reveal the causes.

The first two types are associated with selfish desires. Selfish desires are natural, but they are not always beneficial. We have a natural desire for food, drink, music, sex, material goods and other pleasures. Knowing when to satisfy these desires is a mark of wisdom.

Temptations are opportunities for us to satisfy these desires either wisely or irresponsibly. If they are satisfied wisely, then complete pleasure can be experienced and the residual physical, mental and emotional benefits will enhance subsequent pleasurable events. If however these desires are satisfied irresponsibly, then there may be a brief experience of pleasure but with the accompanying guilt, followed by negative physical, mental and emotional consequences.

Irresponsible eating includes consuming unhealthy foods especially after the appetite has been satisfied. There may be momentary pleasure while the food is being ingested. However, the host of health related diseases resulting from unhealthy or over-eating should be incentive enough to eat wisely.

Irresponsible sexual behaviour includes sexual intercourse before marriage and being unfaithful to your spouse. There may be momentary pleasure during the act. However, the host of incurable sexually transmitted diseases, not to speak of AIDS, should be reason enough to be responsible in this regard.

Hence two types of suffering are revealed. The first type is experienced by those who resist the temptation to irresponsibly satisfy their natural desire for pleasure. This type is beneficial to personal development and builds character. The second type is experienced by those who must face the consequences of irresponsibly satisfying their desire for pleasure.

It should be noted that temptations are realised when curiosity is aroused, and curiosity is aroused when information on the subject is promoted. Therefore the strategy of promoting sex education in primary schools may not be beneficial. It is irresponsible for either parents or teachers to awaken sexual desires in primary school children, thereby prematurely forcing them to resist these desires. They are not physically, mentally nor emotionally developed enough to bear either the first or second type of suffering in this regard.

As explained in my Co-education column, children’s brains develop differently before the onset of puberty. They mainly learn by participating, and if their curiosity is aroused, they will tend to explore the described behaviour. The recent reports of 7 to 9 year olds engaging in sexual behaviour should inform us that children are having more difficulty in resisting this type of behaviour.

The third type of suffering occurs when persons are doing nothing wrong, but bad things happen. They include: the faithful wife who gets HIV/AIDS from her unfaithful husband, the careful pedestrian who is disabled by a drunk driver, the responsible parent who’s son embraces irresponsible behaviour, the productive employee who is severed, the healthy eater who gets cancer, and the innocent victims of rape, assault and robbery. These people experience a level of suffering that goes beyond that described thus far since there is no apparent cause. We must therefore seek an explanation beyond what we can simply observe.

If we believe Jesus, who said that everyone must be seasoned or prepared with fire to receive greater responsibilities following this life, then this becomes a source of hope for the third type of sufferers. However, those who undergo this type of suffering are highly vulnerable to despair and succumbing to irresponsible behaviour. Therefore those individuals and groups, who support and encourage these suffers to persevere and maintain a positive attitude, deserve our commendation.