NASSAU, BAHAMAS – It appears as if some leaders are not being as empathetic as they should towards those who are struggling financially, President of The Bahamas Christian Council Bishop Delton Fernander suggested on Thursday.
“There is not that empathy that is necessary to help people move from where they are to where they are going.
“Some leaders give this kind of feeling of ‘why are you crying, I use to be in the same situation,’ but the key word is ‘use to be’.
“Where are they [these leaders] right now,” Fernander asked.
He was expressing these and other views last night as he appeared as a special guest on Beyond the Headlines talk show with host Clint Watson.
Asked if he believed persons in authority were listening to the cries of those who are suffering, Bishop Fernander said, “If over 15,000 Bahamians [struggle to] keep their lights on and you are giving me a discount of $200 and I am not qualifying for that, it says that we are in a struggle.
“If I can’t qualify for land that is at its lowest rate ever, you have to listen to me.”
The Christian Council president also commented on what appears to be the vast amount of predatory lending that is being carried out by financial institutions.
Fernander said while the church has been an advocate to address predatory lending in different jurisdictions, more must be done.
“We [the church] have gone after payday lending. We have gone after these institutions that have attacked and went after the paychecks of people who cannot afford it. It is happening, and we can hear it expounded from parliament, but…we need to make laws to make it difficult to take a person’s entire paycheck.
“It’ an elephant that we don’t want to touch because maybe that elephant is a friend of mine.”
Meanwhile, Bishop Fernander said in the new year, The Bahamas Christian Council will play a role to “own the economy” of The Bahamas.
“You will see some partnerships,” Fernander hinted. “What we want to show this country is that we don’t always have to depend on governments to make things happen.
“We will come together as people and leverage what we’ve got. Little becomes much when we work together and as we work together, with some of these initiatives we are trying to do, we can change the frustration to a place of investment.”