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If you speak from the heart, then no apology is necessary

June 20, 2013

Dear Sir,

Please allow me a portion of your paper to express my heart, as a Christian, to the Attorney General. As I listened to and read the recent comments from the Attorney General, in the House of Assembly, I was reminded of the saying “it is impossible for a person to consistently live in a manner that is inconsistent with what is in his heart”. Admittedly, I was taken aback by his vain comments against religious associations because they are not the only people who oppose the amendment; but, he just shared his heart.

Therefore, no apology necessary!

Unlike Mr Pettingill suggested, as a religious person, I was not inducted into a 2000 year-old religious doctrine, but rather “chose” to believe the principles of the Bible and live according to its laws. I believe the Bible is the “eternal” word of God. It is profound, but it certainly is not “crazy”.

My “religious beliefs” do not give me the right to hate, degrade, slender, or defame anyone who does not believe as I do. I share my beliefs freely, even if they are against a proposed amendment. I do not recall a Pastor or a particular church using derogatory comments or slanderous words when referring to or defending their beliefs concerning “sexual orientation”. However, Mr Pettingill “chose” to use words like Kool-Aid drinkers, homophobic, people of fear, etc when referring to those of religious associations — because they have a “different” view?

Contrary to the belief of Mr Pettingill, I have given much critical thought to “sexual orientation” and believe it will be passed into law — because the Bible says it will — however, I still don’t agree it deserves “special mention” in the Human Rights Act. If that “gets scary” for him it does not bring “fear or cause me to be homophobic”.

Based on the performance in the House of Assembly by Mr Pettingill, who thought it his right to “represent himself” with slanderous words against his fellow Bermudians, I conclude that discrimination will always be “prevalent among us”. Hopefully he has a different attitude when he remembers his role as the honourable Member of Parliament, the elected representative of the people of Warwick North East, a member of the Legislature and the Attorney General.

I have, as he suggested, “looked beyond the whole” at the influences that drive us and at the “perceived homophobia” which he states has kept Bermudians from returning to our beautiful shores. It is not at the hand of religious organisations — he proved that bigotry is in every sphere of our community. We can be “unkind” to each other no matter what our position or belief. We are all Bermudians and no law can change our hearts and cause us to be kind to one another — we must choose it because it is important to us.

So, to Mr Pettingill, I will not apologise for what I believe, it’s my human right as a Bermudian. Neither should you apologise, those sentiments are yours and it’s your human right as a Bermudian to express them; however, as you represent this country, you cannot “consistently” be different from what is in your heart. I am proud to be a Christian, I am proud to be a Bermudian — I love Bermuda and I love her people.

Again, no apology necessary.

JEANANN STOVELL

Co-Pastor at Better Covenant Christian Fellowship

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Published June 24, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm)

If you speak from the heart, then no apology is necessary

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