By Travis Cartwright-Carroll
Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell’s suggestion that Bahamas Faith Ministries International president Dr Myles Munroe is ignorant is unfortunate and disappointing, Bishop Simeon Hall said on Tuesday.
Bishop Simeon Hall
Hall said both Mitchell and Munroe are entitled to their views, but each should keep the debate above board.
“I want to avoid whether I agree with Dr Munroe or not,” he said.
Mitchell reportedly told The Tribune on Monday that “ignorance is a strange thing” in reference to Munroe’s call for the prime minister to replace him over recent comments he made on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.
Munroe claimed that Mitchell does not represent the convictions of the majority of Bahamians.
Mitchell reportedly said he did not want to get in a back and forth with Munroe, but he said Munroe misinterpreted what he said.
But Hall, a former president of the Bahamas Christian Council, said in a statement, “To call Myles Munroe ignorant is like calling me white; or Fred Mitchell boorish.
“It is most distressing that national debates in our Bahamas always sink to its lowest levels and I did not expect that kind of remark from the minister, if indeed he said so.
“I do not always agree with some things Dr Munroe states but he is a highly intelligent, articulate soldier of righteousness held in the highest esteem by political and religious communities the world over.
“Whatever the minister might have said in Trinidad and whatever Dr Myles’ position is, the label of ignorant ought not to enter the debate.
“I am of the considered opinion if Myles Munroe were an Anglican priest the word ignorant would never have been used to describe him.”
In the speech, Mitchell said his political career suffers because of his position on LGBT issues.
He also urged tolerance and spoke of the general rights of all people.
Munroe said Mitchell should keep his personal convictions to himself.
Mitchell has said that when he spoke in Trinidad, he did so as the minister of foreign affairs.
Hall said he did not want to get into the LGBT issue.
“All persons are human beings first, before you look at one’s sexual preference,” he said.
“Sex is a private matter; I don’t need to know the preference of anyone.”
Last Thursday, Bahamas High Commissioner to CARICOM Picewell Forbes said he had “some different views” from his boss (Mitchell) on LGBT issues.
Forbes told parliamentarians that he believes in the traditional, nuclear family. He expressed his admiration for Mitchell, describing him as a friend and mentor.
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) chairman Bradley Roberts told The Guardian on Monday that he didn’t understand what the discontent is over the issue.
He said successive governments have endorsed the position taken by Mitchell.
In 2011, then Foreign Affairs Minister Brent Symonette said that the government supported the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that affirmed rights for LGBT people.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian