PRAYER ALERT on evangelical appeals. We must admit, the Body of Christ in Belize is in a place of discouragement. We have been working long and hard on national issues, and the government has ignored us. More than two hundred pastors signed a petition against decriminalizing marijuana, and the government did not respond. We presented in-depth studies and press releases on the damaging effects of marijuana, and the government did not respond. Instead, the government recently decriminalized marijuana. Furthermore, both major political parties are pressing onward toward marijuana legalization.
Evangelicals and Catholics together came up with a Comprehensive Report on the government’s gender policy in 2013. A year later, finally Prime Minister Barrow promised to write 95% of our recommendations into that policy. But ultimately, the government did not respond. The policy remained unchanged. Not only that, in 2016 the Chief Justice singlehandedly legalized sodomy though the vast majority of Belizeans was against it. The churches became so outraged that the government set up a Church-State Commission.
Evangelicals and Catholics together represent 68% of Belizeans and comprised two-thirds of the Commission. For ten months we worked on a wide range of issues affected by the sodomy verdict. Two smaller church groups dropped out. But the evangelicals and Catholics persevered. In late July we produced exhaustive and parallel position papers on sex-related issues. Since then, the government still has not responded.
This past Tuesday, November 28th, evangelicals went public with our grievances concerning the lack of government response. We held a Family Values Rally in front of the Cabinet meeting at the National Assembly. But after so many rallies and demonstrations with no response from the government, the turnout was comparatively low. It was a working day and an exam day in most schools, so we did not expect a big crowd.
But we did get our messages across to the media. We spoke passionately for family values. NEAB President Lance Lewis said, “God wants to see the family together. Because without the family unit functioning properly and effectively, the nation will be destroyed.” We spoke against the LGBT agenda. NEAB member Kerm Thimbrel said, “it is bringing so much confusion into our society. Fundamentally its almost taking the authority from parents to be able to effectively train their children.”
And we spoke against the drug legalization agenda. NEAB 1st VP Scott Stirm said, “our opponents say ”you can’t overdose on marijuana.’ The facts from Colorado state that the child emergency room visits from marijuana overdose have increased 100% since they’ve legalized marijuana. For teens it has increased 400%. Those are official publications by the state of Colorado.”
Still, the government has not responded. Where do we go from here?
DailyInsight. A nation’s greatest hope is a praying church with members who disciple that nation in every arena (see Neh. 1-9).
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