Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My thoughts rather than prayers are with you Prime Minister

The Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson is ill and has been for some time. Understandably all over the country there is a feeling of concern and anxiety. I, as a fellow Barbadian, echo these sentiments and hope he has a speedy and complete recovery. What has been a bit alarming but not at all surprising is how our people have sought to help him and his family. Yes, it's a fervent appeal to the heavens for divine healing. You can read about the national healing service here and here. I shook my head almost after every sentence in these articles. Healing the PM through touching the mother? I am still trying to work through the logic. And what pray tell is a "spiritual parliament"?

I know there is much sincerity in this national show of solidarity for the PM but after the dust has settled, what is the lingering message? It is a strong statement, endorsed by the most respected minds in the land, that says prayer works and is a legitimate if not the best method to use to affect the outcome of an event. It says that we are better than some other nations because we respect God so much. It says that our dependence on the divine demonstrates the great compassion of our people to the world.

I think the repercussions of the propogation of these ideas is far greater than the short term solace and solidarity that coming together in prayer may bring. These ideas are a strike against reason, contamination in the well of rationality. People should be concerned about religion in the way that there are about nuclear power or the threat of oil spills. Yes it may give us the energy we want today , but the pollution that lingers in the environment could be in the long run far more debilitating.

So, prayers I will not offer you Mr. Thompson, but please accept my best wishes to you and your family at this challenging time.


  1. Just the mention of prayer by someone to me, reflects a lack of mental intellect.

  2. Not sure I would say lack of intellect. Think it's more like unable or unwilling to apply critical thinking to one's own religious beliefs. It's hard when you are living in a faith bubble.

  3. At my office we get regular emails from Human Resources advising us to pray for so and so’s ill mother or some other relative, or notifying us of a staff prayer session. I empathize with the staff member(s) affected but will be considered cold or heartless for not attending the prayer session.

  4. Yes Mr. Apostate, this is always the problem. Non believers are made to feel that they just don't care. It's like there are no words in our vocabulary to express concern without reference to God or something religious. This just helps religion to keep its hold on society.

    I read another article in the Nation saying that teachers should give " pastoral" care when what was meant was counselling on behaviour.

    Sigh.It's tough but we must continue the struggle