by Pastor Floyd N. Hall
Whenever general elections are due in Barbados, the age-old question comes up at some point for debate among some Christians:
Should Christians take part in the democratic process and vote?
Well, most Christians think they should. And really, why shouldn’t they? After all, we are Barbadian citizens too. This gives us the right and privilege to be a part of any civil or community exercise – as long as such participation does not bring our Christian character or God’s good name into disrepute.
Besides, let us remember that there was a time on this island when the average Barbadian could not cast his/her vote. This right was reserved for citizens who had property or possessed a certain level of income.
This was so for centuries until the enactment of the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act of 1950, which ushered in universal adult suffrage: “… The right of citizens in a given society who are entitled to vote in an election to select, at periodic intervals when these elections are called, a government to represent them. Usually, the only restriction applies to people under a certain age.” (www.google.com).
Sixty-eight years ago, the voting age in Barbados was 21. Now it is 18.
Let us consider also, that unlike several other countries in the world, we can be proud of a culture of free and fair elections.
Of course, after Election Day, there is the usual cry of the unfair voting process by one or two disgruntled candidates. But this is soon regarded as unfounded and dismissed altogether by the populace.
But here in Barbados, we have never had to have election observer teams from CARICOM or international organizations to ensure the process of fair elections.
Also, the Electoral and Boundaries Commission has never seen the need to use electoral ink on voters’ fingers in any of our elections. This is a “semi-permanent ink or dye that is applied to the forefinger (usually) of voters during elections in order to prevent electoral fraud such as double voting.” (Wikipedia).
Yes, indeed. Christians should vote. In fact, all Barbadians should go out and exercise their franchise on May 24.
As Christians in this country, we have a very important role to play in this month’s elections.
We ought to pray and vote and not get involved in the shameful mud-slinging and gutter politics as we have seen on social media already.
If we are going to get down low with anyone, let it be on our knees.
Let us pray that the right candidates will be elected to represent us and serve the country in the House of Parliament. We need to always remember that while we can only see a person’s actions and outward appearance, God sees the heart (1 Samuel 16:7 KJV).
Let us pray and vote in full cognizance of Roman 13:1, “… All governments have been placed in power by God.”
Lastly, let us pray that all parties would hold their candidates and supporters to high ethical and moral standards of behaviour; and that we would have a peaceful and violent-free month of elections.
Lord, we declare it to be so and we reprove and resist the “false prophets” of doom who are forecasting otherwise. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!