Week of Prayer not a solution
Last week the MP for Arima, Rodger Samuel, urged the nation to participate in the “National Week of Prayer”, and to return to “godly values”. This of course, left me confused. What period in the Trinidadian history of godly values was he asking us to return to? Was it Columbus’ genocide of the Amerindian people (done in Jesus’ name, of course)? Or was he referring to the slave masters’ biblical justification for the enslavement of African people (also done in Jesus’ name)? Or maybe, he was alluding to the British colonial laws that did not legally recognise non-Christian weddings and places of worship, among other things. Once the Minister can clear up this matter, I may be more inclined to listen.
Many Trinidadians believe that younger generations have continually been turning away from God, and their non-belief has now culminated into the current spike in crime and corruption. Again, this also left me confused. I clearly remember sometime in 2004, there was a massive event where members of all Christian denominations (except Jehovah’s Witnesses, the one time they actually stayed in their homes) gathered together and prayed that God would end crime in our country. The following year however, Trinidad and Tobago saw the highest recorded murder rate in our recent history. This left me to assume one of two possibilities — either prayer does not work, or God is one of the biggest practical jokers in cosmic history. Personally, I’d like to believe the latter.
Let me make it clear that this is not an attack on anyone’s religion. We all know what the root causes of crime are (poverty, unemployment, etc, etc, etc). This is why we elect governments. It is a government’s job to effectively alleviate the problems that a country is experiencing, not to engage in ad hoc, quick fix “solutions”, especially ones that accomplish absolutely nothing. Like a “Week of Prayer”.