...'Removing God recipe for disaster'
SHOULD God be removed from the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago? Should the rights of homosexuals be enshrined in the Constitution?
These were two of the controversial topics that came up during the third meeting of the National Consultation on Constitutional Reform on Saturday evening at the Arima Town Hall.
One man called for the "supremacy of God" to be removed from the Constitution as this led to ambiguity and individual rights were more important.
"Who can agree on the supremacy of God? What is God? Everybody have (sic) their different beliefs," he said.
He added that while the Constitution calls for respect for private and family life, the gay and lesbian communities does not get that respect. He also called for specific clauses to protect women and children and for reproductive health.
Another attendee called for State and religion to be separate, while a third suggested that we "keep God out of government".
Apostle Vernon Duncan, senior pastor of Divine Encounter Fellowship Ministries International, disagreed with the removal of God from the Constitution.
He said that we are all creatures of a creator and "we can't say there is no creator". He noted that late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez had (allegedly) begged doctors to keep him alive, but only God controls life.
Duncan said rights must be "right" and noted that while homosexuals claim gay marriage is their right, people who practise bestiality and paedophilia may also claim that is their "right". He noted the nation was "doing well' and "we cannot afford to be under the judgment of God".
One attendee, Christopher Perreira, said to remove God would be to remove the supplier of morality and mankind would then be free to do whatever it wants.
"We need to keep God to be guided," he stressed,
He questioned that should the country legalise homosexuality whether that would infringe on his right to teach his child about morality.
"We need God. And if we are to remove God from our land and our Constitution we are setting ourselves up for disaster," he stressed.
Attendee Rachel Nyack was also not in support of rights for homosexuals, saying the country would "be judged".
She described homosexuality as being against natural order and God's order. She pointed out that if the entire society became homosexuals there would be no human race in two generations because they cannot reproduce.
She also called for a clamping down on the sex trade, pointing out that prostitutes were walking the streets and not being arrested, and for a return to corporal punishment.
Earlier in the meeting, attorney and child rights activist Hazel Thompson-Ahye said the country was doing very poorly in protection of children and noted that the current laws protect parents who "assault children" with corporal punishment.
"We are a very violent society," she added.
Another attendee, however, commented that when corporal punishment was removed from schools the level of school violence went up.