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Open letter to Prime Minister of Britain

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Fri, Nov 25. 2011

Dear Prime Minister,

I read with some concern your comments that the Government of the United Kingdom will be withholding financial aid from countries that do not have the same approach to gay rights that your government has adopted in recent times.{{more}} With the greatest of respect, Prime Minister, it is an inconvenient truth that it was the Government of the United Kingdom during the height of its imperial adventures around the world that enshrined many of the laws against homosexuality of which you now complain. Given the principle of continuity, the United Kingdom Government appears rather hypocritical to have enshrined laws in more than forty jurisdictions and now wants to punish those jurisdictions for having those same laws on their law books. Who will sanction the United Kingdom Government for having enacted those laws in the first place in so many countries worldwide?

With great respect, Prime Minister, was it not the United Kingdom Government that sent its military forces across the world to dispossess people of their land without compensation; to extract the natural resources of these lands and send them to the United Kingdom without payment to the original owners; to enslave millions of Africans for over three centuries, transporting them across the Atlantic to horrible conditions of servitude, denying them even the most basic of human rights, stripping them of their cultures, their languages and their very names while the United Kingdom enriched itself on the profits of this slave trade? Was it not the United Kingdom Government that paid the English slave owners at emancipation twenty million pounds sterling (estimated to be worth billions of pounds at today’s values) as compensation for the loss of their “property”, the slaves, while refusing to compensate the African slaves themselves for their loss of freedom, culture, language, identity and the horrible pain and suffering endured at the United Kingdom Government’s pleasure for three centuries?

Given the unfortunate historic reality of the United Kingdom Government’s total disregard of human rights for centuries while the United Kingdom’s citizens enriched themselves and prospered as a direct result of that denial of human rights in so many countries across the world, does Her Majesty’s United Kingdom Government now have the moral authority to lecture anyone about human rights? With the utmost respect, Prime Minister, I think not.

Perhaps a more humble and holistic approach to repairing the global damage done by the United Kingdom Government’s centuries of gross disrespect and outright denial of human rights in Africa, Asia and the Americas would be more suitable in the present global circumstances and go much further in building a proper structure for human rights globally, which Evangelical Christians in the Caribbean would welcome.

With Humility and Deep Respect,

Bishop Gerald A. Seale, DD,

Secretary General and CEO

Evangelical Association of the Caribbean

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