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Mar 31, 2016

NGC Lashes Out at Pastor Scott Stirm

Scott Stirm

There is a firestorm building over controversial remarks made by Evangelical Pastor Scott Stirm. Tonight, the Garifuna community has come out strongly over recent remarks made by Stirm in reference to their spirituality. The firebrand evangelist appeared before an international congregation where he spoke undesirably about the spiritual practices of the Garifuna people, particularly about the role of the buyei [boo-yay].  Now the buyei, or spiritual healer, is highly revered among Garinagu and Stirm’s off-color comments, widely perceived to be disparaging, have been met with ire.  The National Garifuna Council is demanding an apology from the embattled Christian minister.  According to national secretary Gwen Nunez-Gonzalez, a little research could have gone a long way in informing Stirm’s opinion.


Gwen Nunez-Gonzalez

Gwen Nunez-Gonzalez, National Secretary, NGC

“I must say that we’re very upset, gayintiwa, in Garifuna that’s the word, because we believe that in this day and age that we must learn to research.  And when you are somebody in the public light what you say has a lot of weight.  So to express with such confidence that our buyei are witches, that’s beyond our understanding.  We have written Pastor Stirm a formal letter requesting an apology and advising him to do his research properly.  We sat and discussed the matter thoroughly and we are of the opinion that if he had an experience with one person then we don’t see how that would give him the authority to generalize like that.  For us, our buyeis are very sacred people.  They are spiritual people and everything the Garifuna culture does surrounds God, one god who everybody serves and our spirituality is very special to us.  So to come and say that somebody told him that and for a learned person to readily believe that, for someone who has been in this country for such a long time is unforgivable.  But we are God fearing people so we’ll get to the point of forgiving but we are very upset.  And to know that this was done in an arena where hundreds, thousands would hear but those thousands would not be around to get the truth of the matter.  A buyei is a spiritual healer, there are different types of buyeis.  You find buyeis in the dabuyaba.  We don’t call it temple; people refer to it as temple but if you understand the concept of a dabuyaba and the concept of a temple they are two different things.  So a dabuyaba.  You find buyeis in the dabuyaba, you also find buyeis who heal.  You won’t see them in the dabuyaba but they can heal and provide that spiritual guidance and heal physically as well.  So if he understands the whole dynamics then he wouldn’t even believe if somebody had told him that.  He wouldn’t even repeat it, you understand.  So to defame our spiritual practices, we find that very insulting and like I said, in this day and age where you have technology like that, you can research.  You can verify, you can also come with your own opinion thereafter.  But if he had done his research then he would know that he would never, ever do such thing in this time and age.”

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4 Responses for “NGC Lashes Out at Pastor Scott Stirm”

  1. Libertarian View says:

    Freedom of Speech is a right imparted by law. Both Pastor Stirm and the GNC are protected under the rule of law unless there is malice, prejudice or physical altercation. There are other factors that a good barrister could argue in a Court of Law.
    If Pastor Stirm feels he is correct, that is his right; if he is wrong it is Christian to apologize. If the GNC is correct in every aspect of their beliefs, they have the religious right of Freedom of Religion. If the GNC has taken what he said “out of context”, they need to apologize.
    If anyone’s traditions are incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ (Belize is a Christian country), then they are wrong from a Christian point of view.
    I hope that everyone is aware that the United Nations and the United States do not respect anyone’s right of self rule, self determination and the Belizean Constitution. I think their attacks
    on our culture demonstrate their true intentions. The citizens determine the changes to our
    Constitution, not the UN or the USA.

  2. Elgin Martinez says:

    SCOTT STIRM is in no position to impose his ideology on any race of people in Belize.Every race has their own customs, as a result why is it that he think it’s okay to single out the Garifuna people for their believes.This man is a bigot and he need to be held accountable.There are millions of Cuban living in the USA who practice Santeria which is synonymous with the customs of the Garifuna people in Belize.If this bigot was in the USA would he go to the media and condemn the Cuban people customs maybe not.But he know that he can do it in Belize and get away.

  3. Moses Benguche says:

    People believe that God came to earth and impregnated Mary.

  4. Moses Benguche says:

    My friends believe I’m nuts when I tell them that God made Mary pregnant and that’s how our Lord and savior JC was born. But I assure them this must be true cause that’s what the whit man says.

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