We have all heard the religious rhetoric surrounding Sec 53, you know (in lowered voice) the gay law. Pastor Dis and Bishop Dat decided that they would just ignore the fact that we are NOT, I repeat NOT a religious state BUT a democracy. See, people get sooooo confused with the word DEMOCRACY but in simple simple simple words, it means “the freedom to call something into being which did not exist before, which was not given… and which therefore, strictly speaking, could not be known.” This type of freedom, which is connected to human “natality,” or the capacity to begin anew, sees democracy as “not only a political system… [but] an ideal, an aspiration, really, intimately connected to and dependent upon a picture of what it is to be human—of what it is a human should be to be fully human.”
Not simple enough? Mek ah try: it is a process by which what nevah exist before, could exist NOW!
While there is no universally accepted definition of ‘democracy’, equality and freedom have both been identified as important characteristics of democracy since ancient times. These principles are reflected in all citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to legislative processes.
And then some more:
Majority rule is often listed as a characteristic of democracy. However, it is also possible for a minority to be oppressed by a “tyranny of the majority” in the absence of governmental or constitutional protections of individual or group rights. An essential part of an “ideal” representative democracy is competitiveelections that are fair both substantively and procedurally. Furthermore, freedom of political expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press are considered to be essential, so that citizens are adequately informed and able to vote according to their own best interests as they see them. It has also been suggested that a basic feature of democracy is the capacity of individuals to participate freely and fully in the life of their society.
AHHHHH CRAAAAAAPPPPP!!!! NOW I SEE WHAT THE PROBLEM IS!!!!!
Ok. Now that we have an idea of what democracy is, let’s look at RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. People like Pastor Dis and Bishop Dat feel that because God is on their side and they believe in Jesus that for some reason, they are superior to everyone else. At this point, you should all be raising your hands and asking the teacher, “But, Miss? Doesn’t that contradict what you just said about democracy?”
Ahm, frankly YEEEESSSSS! People confuse the right to practice religion with the rest of democratic principles. And don’t worry, it’s not just in Belize. I am not picking on you but I won’t let you get away with it just because al Qaeda blew up a couple a buildings and does it worse that you. The following is a case that explains it perfectly. And YES I know it’s an American case, but they’ve been doing this whole independence/democratic nation thing a lot longer than we have so…they could teach us a thing or two:
In Employment Division v. Smith, a pair of men who were fired from their jobs for ingesting peyote during Native American religious ceremonies sued when their applications for unemployment were denied because they had been fired for cause from their jobs. The US Supreme Court ruled that since the prohibitions on drug use is a neutral law of general applicability that the religious freedom argument didn’t come into play. From the decision:
“Laws, we said, are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. . . . Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.”
In other words, lovers, lovers of Belize, we have the freedom to practice our religious beliefs BUT CAN’T HOLD IT SUPERIOR TO THE LAW OF THE LAND!!!!!! Soh dem weed smokers whe seh dey do it because a JAH…dem Pastor Dis and Bishop Dat whe seh that homosexuals should be prosecuted because dat dah whe GOD seh? Dem Muslims whe mutilate girls, cutting off their sexual organs to keep them pure because ALLAH seh soh? YOU CAN’T DO THAT IN A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY AND IF YOU DO YOU ARE SUBJECT TO PROSECUTION AS ANYONE ELSE IS.
Now…I am hard pressed to understand why the hell a country run by a bunch of lawyers couldn’t figure this one out and make a stand for the development and progress of our democracy…buggery..I tell you…just plain old buggery. Bend ovah and insert bukut.