OFFENSIVE TO CHRISTIANS
Symbols are symbolic of important events and their displays help to capture the meaning and essence of what they are about. In the Christian religion, the Sign of the Cross says it all. In the Roman Catholic religion images of the Virgin Mary are powerful.
Christmas is set aside as the birthday of Jesus Christ whom Christians believe is the son of God. Belize is a Christian country. We may not be perfect Christians and goodness knows we could do with a heavy dose of real Christianity but it is still our religion.
Christmas in Belize in the 1950’s and 1960’s was about the birth of Jesus. Under many trees in many homes were nativity scenes. Little baby Jesus in the manger, is Mom Mary, a mere teenager, his stepfather Joseph and a few animals like sheep and cow to remind us how poor they were that the baby could not even be born in a hospital or a boarding house.
On Albert Street, the main shopping center of Belize City, several stores displayed the nativity scene. The Guild of the Holy Name and the Mothers Union from St. John’s Cathedral as did many groups from the many denominations traversed the streets and the neighbourhood singing wonderful Christmas songs.
Yes, Christmas is a party. We are celebrating the birth of our savior, we drink and dance and be merry.
But you tell me now, how as the years have passed we allow Santa Claus (a big fat obese white man) Frosty the Snow Man (Belize is a tropical country) Rudolph the red nosed reindeer (reindeer cannot fly) to replace Baby Jesus and the message of peace and love that he represents?
You ask yourself how the merchants, be they Chinese, Hindu, aliens or Belizeans, all are promoting and celebrating Christmas with Santa Claus, not Jesus?
Ask yourself how come Jesus who loved poor people and didn’t have a kind word to say about the rich, is not a part of celebrating his own birthday. There must be a reason why.
Christmas is no longer about Jesus, or his message of love. It is about money and material things. It is a promotion of greed and consumerism.
Christmas in Belize is not about Jesus, what it has become is offensive to Christians and they should start to push back; hard and fast.
This year, in all the churches from all the denominations there should be a resounding back-lash from the Sermons of every Pastor, Preacher, Priest and Bishop. Put Christ back in Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season.
JOHNNY’S BIG CHALLENGE
Here we are, the end of another year in which the failure of the Prime Minister to come up with solutions to the rising crime and murders, is his shameful legacy.
What a legacy. Twelve years of abject failure in offering no solutions except for a few knee-jerk legislation like depriving accused of a jury trial, or locking up by denying bail persons with firearms, none of which has reduced crime and murders.
There is no justification for the massive amounts of millions upon millions of dollars spent on none priority projects and roads not needed now, while nothing is spent on poverty and job creation. Roads and buildings, but nothing for people, education and health care.
Johnny Briceño, who God willing will become the next Prime Minister, has a big challenge. He has always taken the high road and the mature position on crime. He has stated publicly it is not to be a political football. He has publicly offered the hand of cooperation to fight crime. The Crime Minister has rejected this statesman-like approach of our Party Leader.
Let there be no doubt. Crime is a huge issue for the people of Belize. It is probably their number one concern. No one is safe in Dean Barrow’s Belize. Not children, not the elderly, not women and certainly not men.
No one is safe. Not in the villages, not in the towns, not at public places, not even in homes.
What Johnny has been giving thought to and discussing with his advisers and Executive are a number of key initiatives. He is already committed to a National Youth Brigade in which there will be widespread skills training, discipline and job preparation. There will be special legislation and funding for a South Side Development Zone with tax rebates and incentives for job and hiring of single mothers and vulnerable youths.
These are laudable ideas that are practical and workable and will contribute to tackling indiscipline and criminality. Single mothers will be singled out for special help. Arts & crafts and local souvenirs for the tourist trade will benefit from special home training and cooperative type income earnings.
Much can be done and much will be done because the Party Leader has the will to see that Belize becomes a safe place again.
Johnny is being asked to consider denouncing Dean Barrow for his coldhearted neglect of the crime issue and for the PUP Standard Bearers to take the debate direct to the people of Belize in the new year.
Crime is a serious issue and the Party Leader and his executive are taking it seriously.
D.P.P. BOMBS BARROW?
Last week’s Amandala newspaper mentioned the Director of Public Prosecution’s statement that she has thought many times that “political influence, financial influence even street influence” are factors in the delivery of justice in Belize.
Whatever does she mean?
Sounds she is saying the system needs fixing, strengthening. Whoever is responsible for such a state of affairs? Can’t be the Chief Justice, he is always calling out for financing from the Executive, headed by the Prime Minister.