Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (R) sharing a light moment with Archbishop of the West Indies and Bishop of Barbados, Dr John Holder, during the opening of the Anglican Congress 2013. (A. Gaskin/BGIS)
By Sharon Austin
(BGIS) -- Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart believes the issue of same sex relationships is one which must be wrestled with and resolved in the way Christ would have settled it.
Stuart expressed this view on Monday while delivering the feature address at the opening of the Anglican Church Province of the West Indies’ Congress 2013. He said the church must ask what Christ would have said and done.
Acknowledging that the issue was a very sensitive one and a new agenda item which was difficult for Christians to grapple with, he continued: “It does not seem to conform to anything that we think God intended and we are going to win the argument as long as it is framed in moral and ethical terms.
“But, I have noticed, as I am sure you have, that those who are promoting this idea have themselves realised that they cannot win the argument if it is left in moral and ethical terms. So, they have shifted it, quite wisely I think, on to human rights grounds. And, once you put it there the question has to be asked, if heterosexuals are entitled to enjoy the human right of interaction with one another and of marriage, why can’t homosexuals?”
The prime minister suggested that the argument became more troublesome because those in the audience were not competent to resolve the basic issue related to homosexual behaviour.
“We do not know whether it is based on nature or whether it is based on nurture… [and] until we could speak with… certainty on whether homosexual behaviour derives from nature or from nurture, it does not lie within our competence to sit in seats of judgement and to condemn those who pursue that practice.
“…But, as I said, until we can resolve the issue of nature and nurture, until we can put ourselves in a position where we can say that the people who pursue that orientation do it out of perverseness, rather than out of the fact that their own physiological make-up makes it very difficult for them to go in any other direction, until we can resolve that we have a challenge on our hands,” he remarked.
Stuart reminded those present that homosexuals were members of families and said one could only guess the anguish they go through when a member declared his or her sexual orientation.
“So, we have to approach all of this in a very Christian way. It is not easy, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Christian church is… not going to want to find itself on an end opposite to the recognition of human rights. Now this is not another way of saying that the church can afford to compromise the principles upon which it is built; those principles are not up for sale or for negotiation,” he declared.