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Presbyterians silent on same sex unions

Published: 
Monday, July 9, 2018
Justice Seepersad expresses concern:

Months after the landmark ruling on T&T buggery laws, a High Court judge yesterday criticised the Presbyterian church for being silent on the issue of same-sex unions.

Justice Frank Seepersad appealed to Presbyterians to display the tolerance, equality and love of Jesus Christ to members of the LGBTQI community in his address at the Sushamachar Presbyterian Church’s 147th anniversary celebrations.

He told them to stop being “pew warmers” and start being “selfless Christian soldiers.”

“Within the recent past, we have seen faith-based organisations join in a national conversation in relation to same-sex unions. That conversation was characterised by attitudes of intolerance and hate. Where was the voice of the Presbyterian church on this issue?” he asked.

“We need to remember the life lived by Christ. He embraced the prostitute, attended the home of the despised tax collector and he said, ‘He who is without sin cast the first stone’.”

Seepersad added: “As a believing people, our position on issues of import has to reflect the spirit of Christ and as we formulate a vision for the future, unconditional love, tolerance, equality, and equanimity must be the mantra which resonates within our hearts and is reflected in our actions.

“We have to remember that we are all God’s children and the equality with which he sees us should always apply in relation to how we see each other.”

Justice Seepersad said he was concerned that the vision of the Presbyterian Church and the country had become obscured.

“We are now at crossroads. The less optimistic among us feel that the church’s future is grim and that the nation is on the verge of becoming a failed state,” he said

“We can’t lose focus or hope and we have to take control. We need to understand that with God’s grace and guidance a glorious future awaits us.”

Contacted for comment yesterday, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church Rev Annabelle Lalla denied that the church was silent on the same sex issue.

“That is his opinion. I want to know which Presbyterian church he holds membership in. If you belong to an organisation it is unethical to be slamming the organisation. He is a citizen and he is entitled to his opinion but we have not been silent on the issue of same-sex unions,” she said

“When I was elected in 2015, I did speak to the media on the matter. We recently issued a press statement on the topic and we had a first gathering of the committee set up by the Synod to look at the matter so we can make a statement on it.”

Lalla added: “One cannot speak in ignorance about sensitive topics. Before you make a statement you must educate yourself and your membership first, then you could go making statements.”

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