NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Just days after a church service was held on Sunday to commemorate the Free National Movement’s two-year anniversary in office, the Opposition Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) expressed on Tuesday that the party was totally offended that the church’s pastor allowed the prime minister to lambaste the Opposition from the pulpit.
“I want to say that PLPs were totally offended that Ranford Patterson, the Reverend, would allow Hubert Minnis, the politician and head of the FNM, to come into his sanctuary, overtake the podium, and use the church to spew out total propaganda and lies about the PLP,” said PLP chairman Fred Mitchell.
“The Reverend ought to rethink whether he ought to have these people back in his church.”
On Sunday, the prime minister told congregants celebrating the party’s two year anniversary at the Cousin McPhee Cathedral, that the PLP ruled ‘under a cult of personality, a sense of entitlement, mass corruption and widespread victimization’.
He also noted that since coming to office, the government has put a stop to: rampant corruption, waste and stealing of the people’s money, the country’s descent into economic collapse and the never-ending downgrades to the economy.
But yesterday, Mitchell said the prime minister simply does not know what is appropriate and what is not.
“Had he been in certain churches, the prime minister would have been stopped dead in his tracks for violating the terms of reference of appearance in church,” Mitchell said.
According to the PLP chairman, there are certain protocols and norms that a person must follow when speaking in a church.
He noted that while one of these norms include thanking God, the pulpit should not be used to make direct political speeches.
“The speech in that church on Sunday was totally out of the norm, apart from being a vicious, concocted lie,” Mitchell said. “It is no wonder that some churches do not allow politicians in their pulpits at all.”
“I recall when [former] Prime Minister Perry Christie used to appear opposite the then Opposition Leader, Dr. Hubert Minnis [and] after Dr. Minnis’ speeches, how Prime Minister Christie would lean over to me and say that ‘this is simply a fellow who does not have any sense of how to behave when he is in church’.
“He continually abused the privilege by going over the line. The practice continues today and we denounce it.”
When contacted yesterday, pastor of Cousin McPhee Cathedral, Rev. Ranford Patterson, said he has no control over what is said from the pulpit of his church.
Meanwhile, a statement released from the Free National Movement on Tuesday evening, outlined that prime minister Minnis understands that government corruption has a negative effect on the country, and he is seeking to root it out.
“Unfortunately, the old and tired Brave Davis has taken it upon himself along with his cronies to attack the efforts to clean up corruption in government,” th FNM said.
“Sadly, for Bahamians everywhere who suffered under years of rampant corruption while Davis and his PLP counterparts were turning it into an art form, they are not surprised by his latest outbursts and histrionics.
“They grew tired of the antics while the PLP held power and removed them from office in historic fashion because they wanted elected leaders that served them and not just themselves,” the FNM said.
The party further noted that regardless of how ‘uncomfortable’ it may be for the PLP leadership to confront the sins of their past, the FNM supports the prime minister’s demand for accountability as he seeks to stamp out corruption.