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Oct 31, 2017

Evangelicals Demand Government Attention on Social Issues

On November first, Governor General Colville Young is expected to sign into law the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill. The legislation will make it legal to possess in a private home ten grams or less of cannabis, while specifically criminalizing possession on school property.  It will clear humps for the industrial hemp industry and provide sources of counseling for those whose names have been tarnished by their association with the drug.  But the National Evangelical Association of Belize continues its fight against this and other “sins” committed by the Government of Belize. They issued a dire warning today that Belize is on a rocky road to perdition. News Five’s Aaron Humes finds that the preachers have much to say, but it seems they can’t get anyone to listen.

 

Lance Lewis

Lance Lewis, President, National Evangelical Association of Belize

“Evangelicals and Catholics — who together make up sixty-eight of Belize’s population — have spoken to the government on all these issues. Yet we have received inadequate responses or no response at all. Now we are speaking out in public for all to hear. We publicly call on the government to publicly answer our positions on these issues which we have presented to them.”

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

From LGBT inclusion to smoking cannabis, school teaching to protection for preaching, the National Evangelical Association of Belize today outlined their view of specific threats to Belize’s spirituality. On the anniversary of the start of the Reformation movement by German theologian Martin Luther, it maintains his view that “Scripture Only” (“Sola Scriptura”) is the supreme authority in our lives. NEAB Assistant Secretary Rick Novelo said it is one thing to call God’s name, but another to live by His teachings.

 

Rick Novelo

Rick Novelo, Assistant Secretary, NEAB

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme or to governors as sent by him” – and I would like to underline this – “to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.” I do believe that our national leaders are aware that they are just in government to dispense what is good, so that we can live in an harmonious environment within our nation.”

 

On the specific issue of the decriminalization, first vice president Scott Stirm says the Association was ignored and swept aside when trying to present their views. While he appeared to rule out a legal challenge, the church does consider it important to rehabilitate marijuana users – without removing the consequences of their actions.

 

Scott Stirm

Scott Stirm, First Vice President, NEAB

“We presented to the Government the concept that yes, we fully support a compassionate, alternate track toward expungement, because God is a God of new beginnings and that is what we represent. But do not lower the bar on consequences, or else, as any parent can tell you, any time you start to remove consequences for a certain behaviour, that behavior will increase.”

 

President Lewis and Pastor Stirm maintain that increased marijuana use, as they predict will happen with the introduction of the amended law, will only exacerbate the crime and decaying social situation.

 

Lance Lewis

“It’s a done deal, and just like other areas, like LGBT, we go full speed ahead; but the powers that be put aside the Church – they make grandiose statements that we can’t fight against the Church, but they fight against the Church as much as possible, and don’t take the word of the Church seriously, because they want to be like other countries in the region and in the world. And that is where we are heading – LGBT, marijuana, what else? Alcohol is already there as a serious, serious drug, and now the marijuana component will make the society crumble. Rome did not fall by outside forces, it fell by inward destruction; and this is where we are heading unless God Almighty intervenes.”

 

Scott Stirm

“It’s not us who is making the link between marijuana use and the murders on Southside; it was Minister Elrington himself that made that connection. And I find it astounding that we would pass legislation to decriminalize ten grams, which will make easier access and more people wanting that now decriminalized ten grams, which will only increase the market for the suppliers and the turf battles. And that nobody could figure that the reason these people are dying are because of these turf battles in relation to the marijuana industry and the marijuana market and that this move, the legislation, is not going to decrease that; it’s going to increase it.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

A Family Values Rally had been scheduled for today in Belmopan at the National Assembly, but it has been postponed for the end of November.

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1 Response for “Evangelicals Demand Government Attention on Social Issues”

  1. SAMCRO says:

    These pastors sound like real idiots talking shit about something they know nothing about. They say it will increase use which will in turn increase violence? Any one who knows anything about herb know that it does the exact opposite, which is to mellow out and relax the users body. Imagine a turf war with a bunch of stoned gangsters, it would be ridiculous. Churches just need to put away their old outdated ways and get on board with moving forward with the rest of the world.

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