The Day God Shook the Nation

Religion&PoliticsAntigua and Barbuda, like most British Commonwealth nations, was founded upon democratic principles, with recognition and acceptance of “...God as the Supreme Being.” Hence, its people, grounded in the “...Christian Faith,” have accepted widely established “...religious principles, doctrines and/or practices.”

The “...Founding Constitutional Principles” purposefully speaks to these principles and may be discerned from its proclamation that clearly states “...The nation of Antigua and Barbuda is a sovereign nation, founded upon the principle that acknowledges the Supremacy of God” [CO: 1981: A]. Though politically divided and symbolically conscious, as evidenced by distinguished dominant colours of “...Red Blue and Green,” the twin-island nation is blessed with law abiding, peace-loving, patient and tolerable, but “...God fearing people.” This commentary briefly looks at several issues, including “...matters pertinent to Christendom, Ecclesiastes Affairs, challenges within the electoral system and processes, as well as certain behavioral traits.”


Following weeks of “...agitation, prompts, protests and ultimatums,” the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer told a mammoth gathering of loyal supporters and members of the wider community that he had “...Spiritual Consultations with God” [Crusader Radio: Thursday May 15, 2014].” Such revelations seemed to have omitted fundamental information, in the light of the existence, within his administration of a “...Department of Ecclesiastes Affairs” and an exceptionally close bond with the Clergy-its leadership; ...their Councils and/or Associations,” and a recently convened “...Regional Interfaith Conference at the Jolly Beach Resort” [ANUGOV: February 17, 2014]. Though such consultations may not have included“...Ecclesiastes matters,” returning with a date suggested that God had not only listened, but seemed to have sent either a “...Message or a Warning to the nation.”


Mere hours after the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer finally fixed “...Thursday June 12, 2014” as the date for general elections,” by “...Sheer Coincidence,” an act of God “...Shook the Nation.” Seismic instruments suggested a measurement of “...5.9” on the Richter scale, striking at precisely “...7:01 am, FridayMay16, 2014.” It had registering an intensity greater than the category“...5” used by Finance Minister Honourable Harold Lovell in describing the state of the nation’s economy [2009]. There was no panic among the populace. However, God may have sent a “...Message to Finance Minister Honourable Harold Lovell regarding the state of the economy” and a “...Warning” to those who lead; ...those with aspirational quest for leadership, and the leadership of the religious community, concerning their “...Secular leanings, preaching, teachings and practices.”


God may have beensending a“...warning to the Ministers of government and the leaders of the religious community.” He may have been saying “...As much as I reserve vengeance for the treacherous, heretic, wicked and evil, I have no desire in bringing catastrophe and misery to another Caribbean nation.” Therefore, “...Indulge in no guile or vile behavior; ...Make no mockery of Me; ...Do not call My name, neither vainly, heretically, nor politically” [KJV: Galatians 6: 7-9]; ....” By My Counsel guide yourselves; ...Worship no other God” [Exodus 34: 14]; ...Keep away from ungodly men [Psalm 1:1]; ...Remain grounded in Me; ...For I am your God; ...Know that I am loving, but also jealous[Exodus 20: 5]; ...You are bound by my commandments; ...Keep and obey them” [John 14: 15]. In doing so, you will escape My wrath” [Romans 12: 19]. There will be no further warnings. Finally, My peace I give to you; ...Make amends for your godlessness; ...Go in Peace [John 8:10]; ...Transgress no more; ...I will come again” [KJV: John 14:3].


However, God may have been saying to the nation’s leaders and people “...Accord everyone with respect and for My sake, do My Will; ...Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; ...Speak kindly to them as you would have them speak to you; ...Be conscientious and considerate to your fellowmen;  ...Discharge your duties in accordance with the people's mandate and by the dictates of the Constitution and the Law; ...The office you hold represents the public trust; ...Conform to, and respect the solemnity of the Oath office.”It partly states (i) “ ...I Jackie Lee swear that I will honour, uphold and preserve the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda and the Law; (ii) ...I will conscientiously, impartially and to the best of my ability discharge my duties; and (iii) ...I will do right to all manner of people without fear or favour, affection or ill-will” [CO: 1981].


Allowing for a “...Multi-denominational Community” with orthodox and unorthodox religious sanctuaries, populated with indigenous and other people from across the globe, Antigua and Barbuda has been made home for many people of different nationalities. Fusing the different “...cultures, mores, customs and practices,” the citizenry believing in “...Christendom,” have religiously assembled for “...Divine Service” on an almost daily and/or nightly basis. The primary days for worship and giving thanks and praises to GOD, are “...Saturdays and Sundays.” A humorous Jamaican artist had described heretics as “...One Day Christians.” Many people who had “...professed Christianity,” had often behaved in similar manner or had displayed similar trait.


Those who may have been infrequent in their “...Divine Duties” had often visited the “...House of the Lord” at special events such as “...Good Friday; ...Easter Sunday; ...Lenten Season; and Old Year’s Night Mass.” Ensuring that he was not offensive to the “...True Christians,” the Jamaican artist carefully made clear distinction as he sought to protect the religiously virtuous from hypocritical public ridicule, he sings “...All true Christians, you nah in ah dis; ...This one is about people who curse the sinners; ...Then turn ah round and ah do the things that give Christians bad name.” In making the assertions, he said “...Six days ah week they do all kinds ah wrong; ...Sunday, they dressed up in ah white with Bible in hand; ...Oh Lord, dem ah one day Christian” [Lloyd Lovindeer: 1989]. While hypocrites sing, those feeling the pain and miseries of a secular life, were also forced to sing “...In times like these we need employment and money to spend.” 


There was no doubt that the electoral system and processes and suggested threat to the principles of parliamentary democracy have generated as much interest as they have sparked controversies equally as much as they have provoked debates and discussions in every conceivable forum. These necessarily require much more than the human efforts in resolving them as amicable as possible. For reasons known to himself, the Honourable Prime Minster Dr. Baldwin Spencer made no public announcement of “...advisory and/or consultative engagements” with prominent religious leaders, including “...His Grace Bishop Kenneth Richards; ...Reverends Dr. Kingsley Lewis and Dr. Cortwright Jarvis; ......Major Byron Maxam; and/or ...Pastors Alister Jackson and Paul Andrew,” or other religious leaders concerned in discussing the futility of life, as contained in the Bible [Book of Ecclesiastes].


Given the established“...Department of Ecclesiastes Affairs,” wisdom suggested that he may have sought the intercession of the “...Antigua Christian Council (ACC).” Though “...Secular/Religious Relations” exist among the leadership of the religious community and his administration, Prime Minister Spencer, neither made “...References” to the primary heretic religious body, nor the ...Evangelical Association.” Incidentally, the denominational composition of the “...Antigua Christian Council (ACC), includes the “...Moravian, Methodist, Roman Catholic and Salvation Army Churches.


It was to be understood that not infrequently some sensitive issues were viewed “...secularly and religiously,” have almost always ended in controversy. Thus, dependent upon the position taken, it was likely to run counter to the perspectives and/or arguments advanced. Research show that the religious community has been sometimes placed in the unfortunate position of “...bedfellows.” Frequently, stupidity was said to have influenced some union. There was no evidence in support of such assertions as they affect existing union between Church and State. Irrespective of the “...heretic views,” of those advocating “...Decriminalization of the abominable crime of Buggery,” good use may still be made of the “...Council’s Advice; ...Counsel and Guidance.” These were said to be useful in keeping secularly evil thoughts from the heart of man, thereby helping to avoid degeneration into “...spiritual and moral bankruptcy.”


Irrespective of “...Secular/Religious Relations,” there comes a time, if he made friend with God, when a man shall take his “...Troubles to the Lord in Prayer.” That was everyone’s privilege. Even the vilest sinner has a right to communicate with God “...privately, silently and reverently.” Thus, whether calculatedly or inadvertently, there comes a time when a man shall “...Walk Alone.” This was consistent with the experiences of “...His Only Begotten Son,” who was forced to endure pain of punishment and indignity as he carried a wooden Cross to Calvary; upon which he was “...Nailed, Bled and Died.” He had paid the ultimate price for the “...Sins of Man,” those who existed then and those who exist now. Not sure of the sins, if any, he had laid at God’s feet. He was clearly relieved of, at least a very heavy burden and returned with a “...Date for Elections” and enhanced melodramatic skills.


The Honourable Prime Minister, his advisors and his colleagues could incur either the “...Wrath of God” or that of the “...Electorate.” Barbadian political Scientists/Pollster Peter Wickham has given his scientific opinion on the latter. He indicated that his “...recent polls” suggest that the Honourable Prime Minister was “...Dangerously close to losing his seat in the upcoming elections” [Observer Media: May 19, 2014]. Prime Minister Spencer remained unperturbed. It was obvious that he may not have only ignored “...Conventional Trends,” but also “...Conventional Wisdom” in allowing the life of the Parliament to die a “...Natural death.”  It was nearing three (3) months since the conduct of General Elections [March 13, 2009] and twenty two (22) days after the first sitting of Parliament [April 27, 2009].


In spite of all, the situation remained relatively stable and comparably peaceful. Thus, even when it appeared that the system of governance and the electoral processes had been plunged into asorry state of confusion, patriotic and civic-minded citizens remain law abiding. While socially jesting and may have been seen as “...prostituting his talent,” taunting his friends “...VC and Tanny Rose,” social commentator Calypso Joe, had implored the leadership, parliamentary aspirants and the populace that “...Only sober decisions would show that we have come of age” [Tribute to VC]. Thus, all were expected to demonstrate purposefully their patriotism, resolve and convictionthat the democratic principles shall be allowed to work and to prevail over their “...emotions, idiosyncrasies and individual aspirations,” for the common good. Only then each may proudly say without bitterness, indignation and castigation “...We have come of age” [Joseph Hunte].


The founding “...Constitutional Principles” speak to democracy in the simplest of terms. However, in interpretations, applications, practice, observance, there seemed to have been “...misunderstandings and innumerable problems.” Consequently, the nation’s people and leadership may seek to enhance their behavioural understanding worthy of attestation and understanding that the citizenry value the nation’s democracy and the fundamental principles on which it shall be allowed to thrive. Invariably, either for convenience and/or expediency, democratic principles have been erratically or erroneously re-defined and/or applied for specific purposes.


For this reason, citizens shall remain free from “ ...Discriminatory practices and/or victimization;”  …that there shall be regard for the right of all persons to equality and justice; ...that there shall be respect for the dignity and worth of the human person; ...that each shall enjoy the entitlement to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual-including enjoyment of the right of enfranchisement and that “ ...all persons shall assert their conviction that their happiness and prosperity can be best pursued in a democratic society in which all persons may, to the extent of their capacity, play some part in the national life” [CO: 1981: C].


Amidst the noise, chaos and confusion; ...trials and tribulations; ...drama and excitement; ...the fierce rivalry with constant ranting, raving and demonizing; ...asserting the right to parliamentary squatting and the unprecedented, ignominious constitutional dissolution of Parliament,” made its way into the “...Annals of History.” The citizenry has come to the end of an agonizing wait for an electoral date to be fixed. Notwithstanding the “...Rivalry and Political Ferocity,” candidates have finally embarked upon another journey to the nation’s Legislative Chambers. Many aspirants now appeared to be facing a tunnel of un-maneuverable darkness. Those who may say that they have seen a glimmer through the tunnel may not necessarily rely upon that as good reason to consider that laurels. Critical to their electability, may be plans designed ensure that there was “...creation of wealth for citizen’s financial empowerment; ...providing opportunities that may allow for gainful employment and allow for accessibility to disposable income.”


There was “...Anguish and Despair.” This was reportedly due in part to electoral challenges andadministrative glitches, compounded by “...lengthy litigious proceedings.” The electorate were wary of many things, inter alia, the apparent “...repetitive electoral promissory rhetoric; ...luring tactics and entertaining and comedic antics; ... anxieties over the electoral processes, completion of which was necessary to chart the nation’s economic course.” They are sure to make a “...definitive statement” over their “...electability and administrative competencies in managing public affairs.” Inevitably, those elected may be faced with the daunting tasks of address the nation’s “...social ills, unemployment, economic conditions, fiscal discipline and the national debt.” These may ultimately lead to financial prosperity and improve the quality of life for every man, woman and child.”


For incumbent Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Baldwin Spencer five (5) challenging years have elapsed [2009-2014]. A nation seemingly struggling; …its leadership and supporters woefully divided over fundamental issues. There were myriad social and political issues over which the leadership of the nation and leadership of Opposition appeared locked in battle. These include “...Elections; ...Disenfranchisement; ...Nationality; ...Citizenship; ...Residency and the ABE Commission.” These, undeniably, have resulted in “...frustration and protraction of the electoral process.” Looking at the situation from across the globe Fox News wrote “ ...Government and opposition parties in Antigua and Barbuda continued to trade accusations over the delay in setting a date for elections expected to be held this month” [March 17, 2014.


Then Young Destroyer sought to change the mood, tempo and subject. Whether or not there may have been collusion, when he sang “...Don’t Sell We Passport,” Senator Collin Derrick asserted that such selling may only be possible “...Over my dead body.” Then the social commentator inquisitively sought “...explanations from the Chinese on conditions of engines” as he seemed to have examined those at “...Wadadli and APC.” It was not clear how the Honourable Molwyn Joseph had seen “...Oil spilled” and seemed to have mistaken it for a consumable. However, the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer assured him that it was neither “...Blood nor Wine.” Neither Winston nor Fergie Derrick had returned to assist with investigation to ascertain if “...We get value for money”, Young Destroyer may have been forced to sing that there can be no “...Healing of the nation” [Leston Jacob].


While some brood over engines, others frowned over the suppressive frequency of the utilities services. Still others concentrated on more fundamental issues surrounding the ABE Commission and issues affecting the electoral processes. Most however, were concerned about the “...quality of life; ...rising gun crime; ...unemployment; ...lack of disposable income; ...home foreclosure; ...re-possession of hire purchased property; others, their inability in retrieving pawned items.” For them, life has become unbearable and miserable. Many eyes appeared weary. Most appeared either “…Red or Blue; ...Green and in between. While the repetitive promissory rhetoric continued, empty stomachs rumbled. It was “...In times like these, we need a Savior; ...an Anchor and ...a Rock.” Given man’s propensity in stirring up strife, creating enmity and demonizing others, in a hostile political environment, there may be no place where a “...Savior” may be found or ...an anchor may firmly hold


Bringing humor, excitement and laughter within the political environment, was a “...Terrific Preaching Machine.” Making his maiden speech at a rally, parliamentary aspirant Clephane ‘Mr. Terrific’ Roberts, substituting critical national issues, using “...Street-side Theatrics,” comparable to the eloquence of “...opposing candidate Paul ‘Chet’ Greene,” with lyrical humor, he said, “...They say I am green; ...But I am coming clean.” Health Minister the Honourable Wilmoth Daniel, captivated by his delivery promptly retorted “...If Mr. Terrific continues to preach like that, all of us will win.” When the prolonged rapturous laughter subsided, there was growing discontent and indignation that he had not spoken to his electoral plans and programmes should he be successful in his parliamentary aspirations.


Not only had unease existed among the populace, ominous clouds menacingly hovering over the nation suggested an imminent replenishing deluge. That may have prompted APUA Water Manager Ivan Rodrigues sing “...Send down the rain; ...Send down the rain Lord.” Instead, the sun shone in all its brilliance, mercilessly descended that which had been described as “...heated fury.” The citizens knew that they had no control over the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. While the Executive and Legislature found itself at variance, the Judiciary played its role as “...Adjudicating Pacifist.” Misunderstanding of such role had sparked a barrage of comments, either deemed reckless, inappropriate or controversial. In spite of the delayed judgment, the Judiciary had prevailed in its “...professionalism, independence, integrity and rationality in delivering reasonable informed judgments.” Much to the citizen’s “ ...maturity, civility and good sense of responsibility,” the “...intolerable wait” had not allowed for their emotions to cause impairment to their “...patriotism; ...purposefulness; ...the peace and tranquility and orderliness that shall prevail in a civilize and democratic society.”

To be continued.

Hits: 2091

11 Comments In This Article   



#11 oversee » 2014-05-21 11:29

The way you stated the percentages allied with the named countries does seem to imply that their prosperity and relevantly low crime rate is because of their (perceived) non religion or atheism. It is not a matter of math; I'm only using your own assumption to dispute what you have said!


@ oversee

#10 Dessalines » 2014-05-21 10:09

I never said atheism was responsible for progressive societies prosperity. I was merely pointing out to R. S Baptist that he doesnt have to imagine what a society would hypothetically look like it people had no faith or belief in the afterlife. These societies do exist. And I named a few like Japan of which 99% of the population does not believe in the afterlife or Christianity and were voted the 5th most peaceful country on earth due to its low crime rate.
The US where over 85% are Christians ranked 100th most peaceful out of 162 countries. You do the math.



#9 RAWLSTON POMPEY » 2014-05-21 09:07

Dear R S Baptiste,

Rawlston Pompey neither " ...takes any responsibility for (i) "....shortness of attention span; nor (ii) " ...lack of comprehension and/or inferior intellect. "

Please "...accept the message;...Don't shoot the messenger"[Pastor Clifford Haynes].

At least, commendably, you have shown that you understood " ...atheism."



#8 oversee » 2014-05-21 06:06

If, as you say, 70-95% of Scandinavians are atheists and is the reason for their prosperity then I must disagree with you. The reason, in my opinion, is not one of religion or the lack thereof, it is simply their method of governance coupled with, most importantly, the cohesion in their society. Without the desire to do what is best for your country and not one's self, it matters not a cent whether you have religion or not; the country will not prosper. How deep do you think corruption runs in those countries?



#7 Citizen » 2014-05-21 04:27

I guess you also believed in the big bang creation lie too. The fool said in his heart there is no God. Throw away the Bible and you will see how soon we eat one another on earth. The lack of understanding of God is mostly why Antigua and Barbuda is already catching hell. We need God's forgiveness as sinners and God will change our doomed conditions. Also the Christian folks you mentioned below do not know God.They are acting like they do but we called those folks hypocrites and they will all go to hell if they keep on fooling themselves. There is a God and he will certainly reward all those hypocrites. There are also true Christians who will be rewarded for letting folks know that there is a God who loves all land kind. Be careful what you tell the folks because God is watching you.


@ oversee Baptist

#6 Dessalines » 2014-05-20 16:39

I know Ham was not cursed. It is the 'event' that is called the curse of Ham not the cursed himself. In fact I do not believe in any of the bible fairy tales since the authors cannot be and never were identified or authenticated. I'm merely the messenger reporting how the whites used and are still using the bible as their basis for moral superiority.
@ Baptist - You should visit Sweden, Finland, Denmark, China and Japan someday where over 70% to 95% of the residents are atheists and see how prosperous, peaceful, crime free and educated those societies are. By the way when you look at the prison population of the Western countries who do you suppose are filling these jails. Certainly not atheists, so its just a matter of you being exposed to non-religious cultures to experience for yourself that morality and progressiveness has never been a hallmark of religious societies e.g Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria.



#5 oversee » 2014-05-20 13:27

It is better to keep a cool head in this matter as emotions can run wild. Ham was not cursed, it was his son Canaan. I believe you might have read these articles before but in case you haven't, please refer to the following:
And the bitter pill:
From what I've read of your other blogs I am sure you will deal calmy and reflectively and come to your own considered conclusion. All the best!


RE: The Day God Shook the Nation

#4 R. S. Baptiste » 2014-05-20 10:46

Mr. Pompey: Maybe you should have published this opinion pieces over a five day period so that most people will have time to digest and comprehend.
Dessalines: can you imagine what would happen if there was no faith or belief in a superior being or an afterlife? The world as we know it would have become a battlefield. We would see an escalation in treachery; murders; famine; hypocrisy; discrimination; slavery; other crimes, manmade disasters and or abnormalities; can you imagine this? Sometime all we have and or need is faith, and the belief that man will not destroy himself.

R. S. Baptiste

@Dessalines - Remember that is what they did to Jesus

#3 Christian » 2014-05-20 10:25

I wonder what white people and all those who thought Jesus is white with long blonde hair and blue eyed going to do when they see he is brown skinned like a black Palestinian. I assume they will take the next exit door out to hell. Jesus is brown skinned like a black Palestinian but the white man print him as otherwise.


@ josephine son / Pompey

#2 Dessalines » 2014-05-20 08:29

Its false doctrines broached this article that keeps blacks in general and Antiguans in particular in a rut. The biblical god Jehovah does not love or care for black people. From the curse of Ham in the old testament to Jesus comparing the Canaanite woman's people as dogs in the new, blacks have never been shown in a positive light in the bible and the white cultures have capitalized on this. Blacks like the author of this article are the most religious people on the planet yet they are the bottom of every imaginable scale, be it economics, social or academic. One would think that god would bless his most fervent believers but it's just the opposite - the more religious we become its the more impoverished our society becomes. Our slave masters most of whom have abandoned religion for reason are doing quite well and we who are stuck with this bronze age philosophy are still wallowing in ignorance and superstition. This reflects in our lack of progress as a nation. It is difficult enough to live one's life as is, without the unnecessary burden of preparing ourselves for an afterlife that just does not exist.


whose god

#1 joesphine son » 2014-05-20 07:54

why would i worship the god of my slave owners...your slave like indulgence is pityful..what happened to your god before the white man enslave you...i guess christopher columbus discovered antigua also...when i left antigua and started reading i became scared of my ignorance ,it seems like his god served him all through slavery ..i wonder if all those people who dont look like you who control your economy believe in your god....even on those recordings i never heard asot and bird talk about god...they dont believe....

joesphine son

Add comment

Mr. Rawlston Pompey

 Mr. Rawlston Pompey






Follow us on Facebook

Spotlight on Education

Previous Next
Govt to give Two Uniforms
Antigua St. John's - Minister of Education Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro has confirmed...  Read more

Latest Opinions by Rawlston Pompey


Android LogoDownload Caribarena's Android App Click To Download

Find us on Twitter!