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Cherishing my freedoms



Editor: Human Rights are endowed to every human being by the Creator-God. They are not privileges given to us by the state. Rights do not come from government, nature, human dignity or human legislation. They come from God who has designed us with them. These rights are inalienable and inviolable and they must be respected and protected by all.{{more}} No one has more rights than another person. For example, a rich man does not have more rights than a poor man; a Prime Minister does not have more rights than a vagrant; a boy does not have more rights than a girl; a woman does not have more rights than a man; a politician does not have more rights than an ‘ordinary’ citizen.

Everyone has the responsibility of understanding clearly what his/her basic rights are and also to respect them.

The first Right is the right to serve God/Religious Liberty, and it is the supreme right. It is the first of all our duties to our Creator because we owe our existence to Him. The second of the basic rights is the right to life. To exist is to be living physically in time and space. The purpose for man existing is to worship His Creator. The third right is the right to private property. Each man has the responsibility to manage the property which God gives him and to use it to the glorification of His God and for his happiness and enjoyment.

The supreme right is so untouchable that one has to attack the Right to life and/or the Right to Private Property to attack it. Jesus Christ Himself identified the Right to serve God as supreme when He said: “And Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love thy God with all thy soul, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12: 29, 30. Even King Solomon recognized the Right of man to serve God as supreme. He said “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13

“The founding fathers of America established religious liberty as the cornerstone of America’s constitutional system by enshrining it in the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights. Many of the nation’s early settlers fled religious persecution to come to America; hence they vividly understood the importance of religious freedom…The Christian exiles who first fled to America sought an asylum from royal oppression and priestly intolerance, and they determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. These principles are the secret of our power and prosperity as a nation. Millions from other lands have sought our shores and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth.” Great Controversy, E.G. White

Our Rights and Freedoms go hand in hand. Freedoms are also called subordinate rights because they derive their existence from rights. This means that freedoms exist so that we can exercise our rights. For example, from Religious Liberty( the 1st Right) we derive freedom of expression. In order to serve God, we must express His will. To express His will in writing or on the radio or television, we need freedom of press. To secure our economic well-being (Right to Private Property) we must be able to travel throughout the country to make money, hence we need freedom of movement. There are eight freedoms. They are: Freedom of thought, Freedom of belief, Freedom of opinion, Freedom of conscience, Freedom of choice, Freedom of expression, Freedom of speech and Freedom of movement. The first five are private domain freedoms (take place in the privacy of our minds) and the last three are public domain freedoms (expressed in public if we choose to do so).

The constitution of St. Vincent and the Grenadines guarantees the protection of the fundamental Rights and Freedoms of every Vincentian.


Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms

1. Whereas every person in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest , to each and all of the following, namely_

(a) Life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;

(b) Freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association: and

(c) Protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation.

To understand the importance of appreciating our freedoms, we just have to take a glimpse back into history and consider the dictatorial rulership of Stalin and Lenin with their communist regimes, where millions of people were oppressed and murdered for opposing these dictators. In contrast, we can consider the prosperity of the great nation America, where the Liberties of men are recognized, guarded and respected (though that it is currently changing by corrupt men and women imposing

and legislating their atheistic/communistic policies).

The quicker we all learn the Divine-Sacred Origin of our Rights and Freedoms, the more mature and tolerant we will become as a nation and more post colonial in our ideologies and practices in relating to our fellow human citizens. Our differences in beliefs, race, status, disability etc. do not affect our equality or rights; hence we ought not as a result of such to deviate from respecting each other. We must all understand that having and exercising our rights and freedoms does not mean that we must be slanderous and libelous (this is licentiousness) and, therefore, infringe the rights of others.

I cherish my God-giving freedoms as a human being and as citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Will you cherish yours and respect those of your fellow men for a better SVG?

Ann-Marie John