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Thoughts as we approach Easter

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Last week, I reflected on the challenges faced by the US under the Trump’s presidency, but it is the American people who have to deal with his madness. I have always been grounded by the view that when America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. But we are a tiny country, hardly visible on a world map, although our leaders give us a different impression. What is ironic about this is that we already have a cold. So, if America sneezes, we are likely to get pneumonia. I have emphasized the checks and balances that are in place in the US to avoid its descent into a political ‘black’ hole.

America will find a way of dealing with its problems as it sees them. But what about us, with our tiny populations and being resource starved as we are? Our resources are our land, sea, and people. We treat the land as if it is not a valuable resource that should be owned and controlled by us. It is up for grabs, ready to be pounced on by those who promise much and deliver little. Chatoyer and his people were not prepared to bargain their land away and therefore had to fight to retain control. Today, they tell us that they have what it takes to make our land more productive and beneficial to us. But their objective is to exploit whatever is available for their own profit and hopefully the crumbs will fall to us. We understand the significance of education and so train our people, but do not value what they can bring to the table if it does not fit into our scheme of things. Our control of the sea within our territorial limits is tenuous at best. So where does that leave us? I speak about checks and balances in the US, but what is that to a population that has lost its soul and feels that it has to depend on the graces of others: those to whom we have given political control and those who come in purportedly with the skills and resources that we are supposed to need desperately.

What drives us? I ask this question, as we approach Easter, particularly to those of us who profess to be driven by Christian values and to whom the crucifixion and resurrection are supposed to have meaning. Yet, we turn a blind eye to nepotism, patronage, white collar crime, corruption, immorality, favouritism, lawlessness and a host of other ills rampant in our society. It is as if this is in keeping with our Christian values. I ask this question even to those who purport to preach the word of God and to interpret the scriptures for us. It’s a sad situation, for among them lie some of the worst transgressors. Is this why some of our churches are so empty? Perhaps not, for they seem to attract huge crowds. Nothing unusual about this, really!

The issue is ultimately about us. For what do we stand? I was reflecting recently on a photograph of some of the persons we had elected to political office being literally tossed out of the political chambers where we are supposed to exhibit the best graces of our so-called political democracy. What was our reaction? It was as if this was normal political behaviour. Let us forget church this Easter and stay at home and purge ourselves. As part of that purge let us fast and reflect on our sad state. Let us admit our hypocrisy and recognize that we are poor representatives of a people who are supposed to be independent.

Dr Adrian Fraser is a social commentator and historian.

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