The New National Party (NNP) is appalled at the vicious attack unleashed on the Nation’s religious leaders by the leader of the Women’s arm of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Jenny Rapier-Simon on Sunday 18th January, 2015.
When our Nation hears such utterances, we have to be reminded of the March 1979 to October 1983 era when the spirituality of the Nation was pushed underground that not even the churches were free to have a voice.
Ms Simon, operating as host on the NDC’s Heartbeat programme promoting the views of the party which was ousted by the people 15-0, was nothing more than an anti-Nationalist sowing the seeds of discord.
Then again, the only way NDC feels it can get some kind of attention is by attacking people, an attitude that breeds the hostility that rooted in its DNA, not knowing that it is rather shameful and despicable.
NNP considers this unwarranted and disrespectful behaviour displayed by Ms Simon, an executive member of the party, as reckless and unfortunate and calls on the Political Leader of the party, Senator Nazim Burke to address the nation on the issue and explain whether or not he approves or disapproves of the attack on the churches’ leaders.
Simon, who appeared to have been reading from a prepared script, lambasted the Head of the Grenada Conference of Churches, Presbyterian Minister Dr. Osbert James, as well as Catholic priest, Father Sean Doggett, Baptist Preacher, Pastor Stanford Simon and Church of God Minister, Senator Winston Garraway.
Ms. Simon accused the leaders of ‘Vain Worship’- a biblical reference that suggests not following the commandments of God. However, she was hardest on Reverend Dr. James for defending the appointment of Trade Unionist Chester Humphrey as President of the Senate and claims it was because of that attitude God’s judgment was felt when Hurricane Ivan blew off the roof of the Presbyterian Church. What sacrilege.
It is also interesting to note and strategically coincidental that all of the Church leaders she attacked except Pastor Stanford Simon are members of the Committee of Social Partners (CSP) and that tells the picture.
The CSP has been working along with Government for the past twenty months to enhance the country’s Fiscal management position.
The CSP, including the Churches and with the exception of Civil Society, recently signed a Social Compact which is seen as historic and very timely for the economic revival of Grenada.
This Social Compact establishes the terms of reference or rules of engagement between the Government and the other partners: the Grenada Trade Union Council, the Churches (Grenada Conference of Churches and the Alliance of Evangelical Churches), Non Governmental Organisations and the Private Sector.
It appears that this move by the Government which in its wisdom is the more prudent policy for the sake of the country is a big stone of discontent for the Simon lady and the NDC.
Looking carefully at the success of this approach that will help move the country forward, one could only ascertain that would have been reason for the scathing and wickedly attack on the church leaders.
It is the view of the NNP, that when the leadership of the church is attacked and ridiculed as is the case here could impact negatively on the entire congregation and in minimising their authority in the country.
The NNP will never sit by and allow anyone for whatever reason or agenda to attack the church and not come to its defense.
We call on Sisters Joan Purcell and Margaret Neckles and any other peace loving citizen to speak up in defense of the church leaders. It is the Godly thing to do.