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St Lucia opposition criticised for using churches for political gain
Published on March 5, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Caribbean News Now contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- Ahead of a public meeting last Sunday, Nancy Charles, treasurer of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) in Saint Lucia, issued assignments to party members to attend church services in the constituency of Anse La Raye/Canaries for the now widely criticised purpose of canvassing for votes.

uwp_churches2.jpg
uwp_churches.jpg
Screenshots of Nancy Charles’ message to the UWP candidates
The social network group message included assignments to new candidates as well as former prime minister Stephenson King, leader of the opposition Gale Rigobert, other parliamentarians and political leader of the UWP, Allen Chastanet.

The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has expressed surprise that the UWP would use churches in that manner.

"Whereas it is not uncommon that politicians would attend church services across denominations and across Saint Lucia, it is very disturbing that a political party would declare a church a canvassing zone. Churches are generally viewed as a sacred place, where the focus is on fellowship and worship, over selfish and personal ambitions," the SLP said in a press release.

According to the SLP, historically, worshippers and church members have resented being used in that manner.

"To add insult to injury, photographs were taken of unsuspecting churchgoers and posted to UWP pages on Facebook to show presence and support. Some were even shown indulging in refreshments provided by the UWP," the SLP pointed out.

"One is left to wonder whether the leaders of the various churches were aware that the presence of politicians in their sanctuaries was not simply to be fed with the word of God and to worship with them, but to speak to members of their congregation about voting for the UWP," the SLP added.

According to the SLP, the UWP has crossed the line and ought not to use the church as a political tool or platform.

The UWP did not respond to a request for comment.
 
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Comments:

C. ben-David:

No line was crossed. Caribbean politicians have preached the gospel from the electoral platform since the beginning of adult suffrage. They have surreptitiously and openly used the churches for decades to win and maintain support. The Lucian opposition will do no different once they gain power.

Separation of church and state is no oxymoron in the Caribbean which has always exhibited quasi-theocratic tendencies, just one more legacy of slavery where the bondsmen were told to accept their fate because it was God's will.

The new Gods are our bible-thumping politicians. Just check St. Vincent and the Grenadines where a reputed atheist Prime Minister quotes scripture like the most learned of bible scholars.

These people will continue to rule over and oppress us as long as black people continue to believe that their party is in power only because of the will of God.

The poisonous conflation of politics and religion is why most of us are exhibiting all the symptoms of mental enslavement.


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