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Time to Speak

Rev Paul Edwards“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” (Martin Luther King Jr).  Ecclesiastes 3:7b says, “There is a time to keep silent and a time to speak.”

I believe the time to speak is now. King warned us to refrain from keeping silent, to speak up when we encounter injustice.  One of his most profound statements was: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” We cannot merely sit back and watch injustice; we need to speak out and consciously push back against it.
 
I call upon the men and women of Antigua and Barbuda who must make a choice today to take a stand for what is right and just.  Tomorrow may be too late.  We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is now today.  We are confronted with the fierce now.  In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late.  It was said by someone that, “the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality.  There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.”  We must stand and we must speak.  The day has passed for superficial patriotism.
 
If you were a patriotic citizen, you would have ended your silence long ago.  But some of us aren’t strong enough to stand firm for what they believe in, or in defense of their rights and ideals.   Those of us who are weaker are so not because they are not true nationalists, but because they are scared to sacrifice their safety for the betterment of their lives.
 
I think we can learn something from the brave patriots and activists in the world not to hang ourselves or throw away our lives, but to stand against injustice and fight for our rights – by any means necessary.


 
Now it isn’t easy to stand up for truth and for justice.  Sometimes it means frustration.  When you tell the truth and take a stand, sometimes it means walking the streets with a burdened heart.  Sometimes it means losing a job, it means being abused and scorned.  But stand you must because your conscience leaves you with no other choice.  Each of us needs to manifest some courage that can make a difference.  
 
In the midst of so much pain and trauma, injustices, and oppression in our nation who will dare to stand up and speak up.  The major disappointment is that the government of the people and for the people has become the government just for a few of the people. To further complicate matter the established religious bodies and non-governmental organization have retreated to a gospel of silence. We have sacrificed our morality for fear of rocking the boat. We have watched in mock horror as our nation continues to plunge down a dangerous precipice.
 
We must not allow evil to triumph.  Do not sit by and do nothing.  Stand up and be counted, speak up against evil and evil men and their evil deeds.  Our silence is a catalyst that will keep these evil diseases spreading. Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  Where are the good men and women of Antigua and Barbuda?  Where are the men and women of conscience?  Some seemingly have consciously put their conscience to sleep.  Others have caused theirs to be seared. There are those for fear of victimization and for a few dollars more are stifling theirs. Today we are paying a high price at the hands of leadership gone awry.
 
“Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice” (Robert F Kennedy).
 
There are so many grave issues to address.  Issues such as: the high rising crime.  Just a couple of weeks ago, my family were the victims of criminal activity. There the Draconian laws that are passed by both Houses of Parliament. The ayes always have it. Conscience doesn’t matter anymore. We have the vexing matters surrounding the Electoral Commission and the General Elections and the disregard for the court of law. These are critical issues that need the attention of not just a few but the entire nation.  It is time to break the silence.  It is clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life in Antigua and Barbuda today can ignore the present state of affair.
 
Too many are silent on the issues that are wreaking havoc on the very fabric of our society.  There is need for each of us to confront these evils.  We have to ensure that we are on the right side of justice, equity, and righteousness even when it disagrees with our personal positions.
 
The problem with keeping silent when we should speak is not how it’ll affect us today, or tomorrow.  It isn’t even how it’ll negatively affect our lives.  It’s how it’ll damage future generations – for our children’s children.
 
How can we keep silent in the face of all these evils?  How can we forget the achievements of our forefathers and choose the easy path – the cowardly path of keeping mute and living in shame? How can we remain silent when after the God of Abraham has given us a soul, intelligence, and a voice to speak, shout and stand against injustice? Let’s face it; your rights are your struggles. You have to stand up for them, or sit down to rot in the pit of fear. “Power concedes nothing without a demand” (Frederick Douglass).
 
The time is always right to do what is right.  The time to speak is now. Here’s another quote from Dr Martin Luther King Jr: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Therefore, I call upon every man and woman of Antigua and Barbuda with good conscience to break the silence, let your voice be heard. It is time to speak up. Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking in it. Do not stand by in mute silence and jeopardize the future of our nation. The time to speak is now.  So I say to all:

“Gird your loins and join the battle
‘Gainst fear, hate and poverty,
Each endeavouring, all achieving,
Live in peace where man is free.”


Reporting by Caribarena news, publishing by Ofer Shaked.

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7 Comments In This Article   

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Time to Speak

#7 D. Observer » 2014-04-15 09:02

What ever happened to 'talk as you like' a la 2004?
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D. Observer

RE: Time to Speak

#6 randy » 2014-04-14 23:22

God bless you pastor edward
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randy

re: gripe water

#5 fnpsr » 2014-04-14 17:44

Gripe Water you hit the nail on the head. Where was this man when bloggers were calling for the Church, the NGOs, the Bar Association and the like to discuss or weigh in on several hot **on issues facing the island? It seems to me that his statement is rather self serving. Had his family not been victimized, he himself would have kept silent. How ironic! It seems to me that he is speaking with "forked tongue".

"let's fix the little things with RWE before we attempt to fix the big things>"
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fnpsr

RE: Time to Speak

#4 good citizen » 2014-04-14 15:25

Clearly this man is straddling the fence. Obviously, he is afraid to speak out. This man is pandering to his own conscience. This man does not speak of specificity. This man was too busy quoting others. We need to hear his views as to what is bothering him and the country. Take a stand of your own and stop hiding behind Luther words. This is not about politics. This is about what is right for the country. These preachers with their righteous indignation ought to stop making fools of themselves. We the people, are seeing right through them. They live a life of luxury hiding behind the bible, while the m** suffer daily. They do and say nothing of substance. I am sick and tired of their cowardly acts.
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good citizen

@ Gripe Water

#3 SlyThatGuy » 2014-04-14 12:51

Your point of view about this man is right--he refrained from speaking out against all the corrupt acts the ABLP leaders were caught--on tapes--talking about in details with one another. Why did he keep silent about those evil deeds after Caribarena published the tapes, isn't that a form of accepting and cooperating with it? I mean, if there were a time that was suitable for him to call on us to stand up for our rights and fight against injustice, this was the occasion; instead, he chose to be tight-lipped about it. Now he wants to speak out against things about the government he cannot prove.
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Cry aloud and Spare not...

#2 FEARLESS » 2014-04-14 12:27

A voice crying in the wilderness but nonetheless a powerful one indeed. Breaking silence is indeed a noble act of good citizenship especially when it evokes a cry for justice to roll like a mighty river and righteousness to flow by powerful waterfall. The UPP regime has practiced blame politics, poor governance and callous corruption. It has outlived it's usefulness. It has NO PLANS for the future and NO SOLUTIONS to our festering challenges of unemployment and crime.
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FEARLESS

Where was your voice before?

#1 Gripe water » 2014-04-14 07:03

Only now is the Time to Speak Rev Edwards, now your family are the victims of criminal activity, so what about all the other families. Families who suffered from rape, murder, robbery, assault, where was your voice them. You seem very selective about vexing questions, you identified Electoral Commission and the General Election. Although these are of concern, where is your moral conscience and integrity on all the corruption on tapes published by CA. Where was your voice then, did you not know about all these problems, since your conscience is awake today, I expect to hear more. Hypocrites and parasites exist among people of the cloth, and you are one of them.
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Gripe water

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