By Matt Maura
NASSAU, The Bahamas – There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politically expedient, nor popular, but must do it because conscience says it is the right thing to do,” Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis told members of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc., (PNBC) Thursday.
“Those of us in political and religious life have a shared mission: an abiding commitment to a genuine common good and to the least among us, especially the poor. Let us continue to be men and women of conscience in our defence of human dignity and the promotion of social justice.
“As you complete your Mid-Winter Meeting, thinking about and planning for your work in the year ahead, may you be guided by the inspiration of Dr. King (legendary Civil Rights Activist Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a former member of the PNBC), who famously advised: ‘‘On some positions, cowardice asks the question is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right?
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right,” Prime Minister Minnis added.
Addressing the Opening Session of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc., Mid-Winter Board Meeting, the Prime Minister used the Convention’s core values (including the defence of human dignity and the promotion of social justice) as a theme of his address and to outline some of the similarities still shared between persons of the African Diaspora in North America, and The Bahamas in particular.
“I note and celebrate with you your core values of fellowship, progress, service and peace which have issued forth your struggle for economic empowerment and development, and the realization of universal human rights and total human liberation for all people,” Prime Minister Minnis said.
“You will discover in The Bahamas also, a people committed to social justice, equality and freedom. You will discover a people fiercely committed to democratic values and a high level of participatory democracy.
“And as important, you will discover a people of faith, committed to defending the dignity of all people made in the image and likeness of a marvelous, wonderful God, whose natural creation we are also commanded to care for and preserve,” Prime Minister Minnis added.
Founded in 1961, the PNBC is a “vital” Baptist denomination with an estimated membership of 2.5 million people. PNBC was formed to give “full voice, sterling leadership and active support to the American and world fight for human freedom” and was interwoven with the Civil Rights Movement in the United States of America.
The Convention was the denominational home and platform for the late Dr. King, who addressed every annual session until his death in 1968.
Reverend Dr. James C. Perkins is the current president of the Convention.