Tuesday, June 30, 2009

British Government imposes Christian constitution on the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are a British overseas territory and have been since they were ceded to England in 1670 under the Treaty of Madrid. They are one of the last non-self governing territories: the island’s government is headed by the Governor who is appointed by the British Government to represent the Her Majesty the Queen. The Governor is able to exercise complete executive authority through the prerogative powers reserved to him in the constitution: in fact, the Governor bestows Royal Assent to all legislation on behalf of the Queen.

The islands have a population of around 52,000 representing in excess of 100 nationalities, 60 per cent of which are mixed race: only 20 per cent are of European descent.

In this context, it is interesting to read that the British Government has imposed a constitution upon the islands by statutory instrument with the following preamble:

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS

The people of the Cayman Islands, recalling the events that have shaped their history and made them what they are, and acknowledging their distinct history, culture and Christian heritage and its enduring influence and contribution in shaping the spiritual, moral and social values that have guided their development and brought peace, prosperity and stability to those islands, through the vision, forbearance, and leadership of their people, who are loyal to Her Majesty the Queen;

Affirm their intention to be -

A God-fearing country based on traditional Christian values, tolerant of other religions and beliefs.
• A country with open, responsible and accountable government, that includes a working partnership with the private sector and continuing beneficial ties with the United Kingdom.
A country in which religion finds its expression in moral living and social justice.
• A caring community based on mutual respect for all individuals and their basic human rights.
• A country committed to the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
• A community that practises honest and open dialogue to ensure mutual understanding and social harmony.
• A safe, secure and law-abiding community.
• A country that is free from crime and drug abuse.
• A country with an education system that identifies and develops on a continuing basis the abilities of each person, allowing them to reach their full potential and productivity.
• A community that encourages and prepares young people to assume leadership roles.
• A country that provides a comprehensive healthcare system.
A community protective of traditional Caymanian heritage and the family unit.
• A country that honours the sacrifice of its seafaring men who left the shores of the Islands to enhance the quality of life of their people, and in doing so established themselves amongst the finest within the global maritime community of that time and through their remittances, endeavours and experiences built the foundations of the Cayman Islands’ modern economy.
• A country that honours and acknowledges the important contribution of Caymanian women who during the absence of the seafaring men of the Islands managed the affairs of their homes, businesses and communities and passed on the values and traditions of the Islands’ people.
• A country with a vibrant diversified economy, which provides full employment.
• A country that makes optimal use of modern technology.
• A country that manages growth and maintains prosperity, while protecting its social and natural environment.
• A country that respects, protects and defends its environment and natural resources as the basis of its existence.
• A country that fosters the highest standards of integrity in the dealings of the private and public sectors.
• A country with an immigration system that protects Caymanians, gives security to long-term residents and welcomes legitimate visitors and workers.
• A country that plays its full part in the region and in the international community.
Now, therefore, the following provisions shall have effect as the Constitution of the Cayman Islands...

It is noteworthy that Paragraph 14, ‘in the interests of public morality’, defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, with the specific stipulation that a man and a woman should be free ‘to marry a person of the opposite sex and found a family’.

And Paragraph 10 enshrines in law freedom of conscience and religion, including the right ‘either alone or in community with others, both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his or her religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice, observance and day of worship’.

Is it not ironic, at a time when the Government of the Motherland is renouncing and undermining the very faith which ‘shaped our history and made us what we are’, and which has had an ‘enduring influence’ and made an irrefutable contribution ‘in shaping the spiritual, moral and social values that have guided our development and brought peace, prosperity and stability to those islands’, that this very same Government sees fit to bequeath to one of the last British colonies a God-fearing preamble to its constitution?

And they do so whilst recognising the ‘the vision, forbearance, and leadership of their people, who are loyal to Her Majesty the Queen’.

Loyal, in fact, to her Coronation Oath to ‘maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel’.

One is left wondering why such an overtly Christian constitution is deemed beneficial to Her Majesty’s Overseas Territories, while that which is being imposed upon the United Kingdom by this profoundly anti-Christian Labour government is rabidly ‘secular’ and increasingly intolerant of any expression of Christianity in the public realm. If it is not quite a house divided, it is certainly religio-political schizophrenia.

30 Comments:

Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

This is how we the people will remember our days under this wretched socialist government:

All people seem to be divided into ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary’. The ordinary people must lead a life of strict obedience and have no right to transgress the law because …. they are ordinary. Whereas the extraordinary people have the right to commit any crime they like and transgress the law in any way just because they happen to be extraordinary.

Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)

30 June 2009 at 11:01  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Unless I have read it incorrectly(?).

S 16 (2) In this section, “discriminatory” means affording different and unjustifiable treatment to different persons on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, age, mental or physical disability, property, birth or other status.

Here is Article 34 of the 1977 USSR Constitution: Citizens of the USSR are equal before the law, without distinction of origin, social or property status, race or nationality, sex, education, language, attitude to religion, type and nature of occupation, domicile, or other status.
The equal rights of citizens of the USSR are guaranteed in all fields of economic, political, social, and cultural life.

Here is Artcle 14 of the European Convention on Human Righs imported into our domestic law under the 1998 Human Rights Act:
The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.
In other words the effect of Section 16(2) is to undermine the Cayman Islands constitution’s ‘bias’ towards Christianity. The rights and freedoms of homosexuality are concealed therein.

30 June 2009 at 11:36  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Singh,

It is, as it appears to have to be in an age of relativism, all things to all people. But it is decidely more to Christians than it is to those of other faiths and none, and therein lies the fundamental duplicity of this Labour government.

30 June 2009 at 11:49  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

If the people of the ‘Motherland’ continue to follow Your Grace’s lead and shun the British National Party then Britain, too, will acquire a constitution festooned with religious references. Do I really need to name the religion/cult I'm talking about? Islam.

30 June 2009 at 11:56  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

I agree with you.

My purpose in comparing similar provisions under other 'constitutions' was to suggest that case law will develop in a simuilar fashion to case law under other secular humanist constitutions.

On the other-hand the Cayman Island's judiciary may well 'dig in' upon the constitution's Christian provisions.

30 June 2009 at 11:58  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Perhaps David Cameron should ask the P.M. if this is a model of values to be adopted by the Government in this country and if not, why not.

30 June 2009 at 12:02  
Anonymous Philip said...

Martin, just the type of thought I had - a good PMQs question for a Conservative leader! "Why is the Government keen for Cayman Is to have regards for its Christian heritage and to be "A God-fearing country based on traditional Christian values" (Plus other virtues Cranmer puts in bold), while doing everything it can to undermine Christianity in UK? (Citing various laws and Bills that discriminate against or persecute Christians who live out their beliefs, in follow up questions as evidence). Mr Cameron, how about it?

30 June 2009 at 12:51  
Blogger dutchlionfrans1953 said...

It obviously is time to declare it's INDEPENDENCE from a TIRANNICAL UK!

30 June 2009 at 13:25  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Phillips’ suggestion is a sound one. Your communicants may recall a recent survey for the BBC by ComRes entitled ‘Religion Survey CATI Fieldwork: February 18th-19th 2009’.

Here are some of the questions it asked:

Our laws should respect and be influenced by UK religious values?

63% Agreed.

Amongst the religious:

70% Christians; 79% Muslims; 74% Hindu and 74% Sikh agreed [my note: Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs know that if Christianity ‘went down’ they would be next].

Religion has an important role to play in public life?

62% Agreed.

Amongst the religious:

73% Christians; 91% Muslims; 100% Hindu and 74% Sikh agreed.

30 June 2009 at 13:50  
Blogger Gnostic said...

What time does the next flight to Grand Cayman leave?

30 June 2009 at 13:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D Singh,

Item two of "Intentions" ...
'accountable government, THAT INCLUDES A WORKING PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR and continuing beneficial ties with the UK" .....
may result in a Labour selected, taxpayer funded, 'box ticking' Agency working to government dictate.

The 'aims were compiled by Nulabor whose support of homosexuality and multi-culturalism means your 'fears' are unfounded.

Blair awaits his role as EU President whose ultimate goal, according to reports is 'Federal Europe' within which no place or purpose will exist for 'sovereign states'.

Alongside the Cayman Island 'initiative', the left wing biased BBC drew viewers' attention last night to the 'cost of our sovereignty', i.e. the Civil List.
The 'thinking' is clearly to undermine the Queen, her role and that of her family.

30 June 2009 at 14:43  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Anonymous

The part you quote is not part of the effective part of the Cayman Islands constitution - but mere affirmation of intention.

The effective part begins:

'Now, therefore, the following provisions shall have effect as the Constitution of the Cayman Islands.

PART I

BILL OF RIGHTS, FREEDOMS AND RESPONSIBILITIES'

30 June 2009 at 15:08  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

I can only imagine it's some sort of Tavistiock Institute Policy to Drive us all mad with their Contradictions, prescribe medication for said Madness then rule over the Brain dead Populace ala Huxley's 'Brave New World'.

To think a few years ago you would have deleted such a suggestion and declared the poster as absolutely bonkers.

30 June 2009 at 15:16  
Anonymous not a mouse said...

Gnostic's idea strikes a chord, here! Trouble is, it's such a tiny island [group] - so if we all emgigrate...

30 June 2009 at 18:18  
Anonymous not a mouse said...

...emigrate. Sorry - think I did catch something from the Jacko strands.

30 June 2009 at 18:20  
Blogger UKViewer said...

Your Grace,

Of course you could found a Political Party with this constituion as its Manifesto.

It should go far with you at its head. Your reputaton for tolerance and forbearance would be an example to the whole population and quite rightly lead to your election to Parliament and to the Office of Prime Minister.

You might even be able to convince the Tory (sorry Conservatory) Party to join you.

The days of New Labour and PC are obviously numbered!

30 June 2009 at 18:34  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

D. Singh,

The study you cite (Religion Survey CATI Fieldwork: February 18th-19th 2009) also shows that 54% of Christian respondents agreed that the media reported their religion fairly and accurately, whilst only 30% with no religion agreed.

Another interesting finding was that the only two Jews that responded to the questionnaire both said that UK laws should NOT respect religious values.

One is forced, therefore, to wonder where all these Christians who object to the way the BBC handles religion are? It would seem the majority are quite satisfied with the way the media handles religion. Indeed, one can only conclude that it is those with no religion that feel under represented, and fairly reported on. Rather puts a hole in your constant whingeing about the way the media reports on religion, and specifically Christianity, if most Christians are happy with the way it is reported. We can conclude that they do not follow your type of hard-line Christianity (are, in fact, "liberal Christians), in which case you cannot draw inferences about what that majority is thinking of when they say they want laws based on UK religious values, since the values you are thinking of may not be shared by the 54% that believe their religion is fairly represented.

Indeed, since 51% of people with no religion think the UK's laws should respect UK religious values, one can easily imagine that respondents are thinking of the alternative of hardline Islam, and preferring to go with liberal Christianity.

30 June 2009 at 19:25  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

not a mouse

emigrate?

The clever thing to do is to demand that the UK become part of the Cayman Islands and adopt its constitution.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland would then be considered as outlying islands of the Caymans.

Build a new Buckingham Palace on Grand Cayman... etc etc

30 June 2009 at 19:33  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Does his grace believe that the world be a 'better place' if the UK still had the empire upon which the sun never sets ?

30 June 2009 at 21:15  
Anonymous Orwellian Prophet said...

Your Grace,

I think that credit for the overtly Christian values underpinning this Constitution must go to the Cayman Islands. It was their Government who initiated modernisation of the document.
The UK Government wanted to be assured that the draft Constitution had the broad support of the people of the Islands and after public consultation it was approved by a referendum.

The following link takes one to an explanatory memorandum issued by the Office of Public Sector Information:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2009/em/uksiem_20091379_en.pdf

How nice it would be if Brussels were to smile as benevolently on our little island.

30 June 2009 at 22:01  
Anonymous not a mouse said...

ultramontane....!!! Totally brilliant. That way, as well, the euSSR would turn up their noses and reject us, because they don't accept West Indians; etc. Gets all birds with one stone, really.

1 July 2009 at 00:50  
Blogger Brad said...

Are they serious? "God fearing, overseas hidden bank accounts dependent, glad not to be Jamaicans or Dominicans or Haitians" more like!
If they were larger/majority caucasian, they'd be branded as fundamentalists!

1 July 2009 at 03:05  
Anonymous Rudyard K said...

Imagine living in a country where the constitution was underpinned with traditional Christian values, which appears only reasonable when the religious majority is Christian.


At least the Muslims understand this very important principle i.e.underpinning their constitutions with their religious beliefs in Islamic Countries.They have a respect and regard for their faith that would never allow other religious groups to invade their country and override their own religious observances and beliefs.

This is one of most lamentable failings of Christianity. Christian charity doesn't mean letting the fox in amongst the chickens.

I often wonder why so many Muslims choose to leave Islamic countries where they have the opportunity of enjoying such religious freedom.Oops almost forgot, Muslims enjoy the same religious freedom here too. It's only Christians that don't.

1 July 2009 at 03:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D Singh,

The 'aim' - Affrmation of intention is to become an effective part of Cayman Islands Constitution.

This includes "Private Sector" with UK ties, under which a government appointed Agency/Quango can operate.

Nulabor continues to borrow vast sums at taxpayers' expense for 'PFI's' - PRIVATE funding initiatives - increasing State, as opposed to Sovereign control.

The Caymen Islands will be treated no differently than Britain.

1 July 2009 at 10:08  
Anonymous Stuart Hartill said...

Speaking as a resident of another 'dependent territory' and offshore centre, I suspect the answer is much more simple. Constitutions, bishops and governors are all colourful constructs, but of no significance to our everyday lives.
If I can give a Manx example:-
I once had a letter in the local paper suggesting that our bishop and governor form a white elephant club, and on principle referred to them by their 'real names', not their titles.
It was amusing that while the sub-editor let the governor's name stand and added no title, he had to add 'The Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man' after the bishop's name, because no-one on an island of some 80,000 souls knew the man as a friend with a first name!
We tolerate and even cultivate such colonial irrelevancies as something to look at on cold winter days, but pay absolutely no attention to them when they preach to us. Such are the games we play to get by in communities too small to have supported themselves by developing mines, agriculture or heavy industry and, in any case, historically owned by another country and thus even today not in full ownership of our own lives or land.
The only practical aspect of the Caymans constitution is that it asserts the right of that island to be governed by its own law, thus the decisions of foreign courts over property totally owned and controlled by a Caymans trust or company are highly amusing, but legally totally irrelevant.

1 July 2009 at 11:44  
Blogger Samizdat said...

"this profoundly anti-Christian Labour government"?

The last prime minister and leader of the labour party has just founded a Faith Foundation. The current leader flew to the Vatican to invite the Pope to visit. Faith schools are enjoying a period of prosperity. About the only "anti-religious" acts of the present government have been removing the blasphemy laws (which contravened human rights laws), and preventing christians' discrimination on the dubious grounds of 'conscience'.

You have a profound and disturbing persecution complex, evidently.

1 July 2009 at 12:08  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

The DT reported the Earl of Devon as stating, 'I am a Christian and therefore it [homosexuality] is obejectionable to my Christian religion.' (Said in the context of refusing to allow homosexual 'marriages' in his stately home.)

This socialist government is one of the most viciously anti-Christian that we have witnessed since the 1600s.

Floret Virtus Vulnerata - is Lord Devon's motto.

2 July 2009 at 08:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samisdat -

The last prime minister, who stepped aside to let Brown take the rap for financial meltdown his policies brought, was elected on 'spin and empty rhetoric'.

He's reportedly since become a multi-millionnaire and eagerly awaits his aim of becoming EU President, whose aim (reportedly) is the abolition of Britain's sovereign state and the creation of a Federal State.

Polishing his tarnished public personna, founding religeous Foundation and using taxpayers money for PR stunt trip to the Vatican - does not make him 'born again' - cleansed of sin, pure and unselfish, the aim of Christians.

Bliars 'God' is money ......

2 July 2009 at 09:35  
Anonymous Rudyard K said...

Mr Samizdat

Might I remind you that His Grace is a Prince of the Church.In your future communications do try to express yourself in a dignified manner.

2 July 2009 at 11:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have noted the comments regarding the main article namely, that the UK has "imposed" a christian constitution on the Cayman Islands, i say rather loosly speaking it was the opposite. Retention of the islands' strong christian heritage has been a longstanding issue during constitutional negotiations. The entire local community became involved and put forward a local vote in a referendum to accept/reject the negotiated constitution. Nine years is a long time to agree a constitution, even for the 'motherland'.

Caymanian.

7 July 2009 at 13:16  

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