Report of Cayman Islands Rally

by Philippa Davies

Sept 13, 2016

Packed to capacity with standing room only, the Lions Centre in Grand Cayman, on Sunday, September 11, 2016 was the scene of an enthusiastic public affirmation of the importance of good family values to the Cayman Islands.

The island-wide rally held under the theme of 'The Future Is Now: Preserving Values for a Better Future’ was organised by the Cayman Ministers’ Association, the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh Day Adventists and other churches.

The information-rich presentation from keynote speakers, Professor Brendan Bain, Public Health Specialist, Mr David Gibbs III, US Constitutional Attorney and Pastor Alson Ebanks of Church of God Chapel, Grand Cayman, was interspersed with inspirational musical items from various local artistes. These included the Church of God Children’s Choir, spoken work and rap artistes Pauze Entertainment, saxophonist Junior Hinds, and a number of choirs. The opening praise and worship segment was led by the First Baptist Choir under the baton of Pastor David Jorge.

The over 3000 persons in attendance were pleased to hear the Premier and Leader of the Opposition affirm that for their respective parties, marriage was and would remain the union of one man to one woman. The Hon. Alden McLaughlin informed the audience that he had recent confirmation from Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick, that the U.K would not require the Cayman Islands to adopt same-sex marriages. The Premier stated however that his government would not allow hate or bigotry to characterize Cayman culture, rather tolerance and love. The Hon McKeeva Bush in his comments noted however that the Government had implicitly given recognition to same sex marriage by way of the recent decision by the Immigration Appeals Tribunal. It was a shameful action in his opinion and if the justification was that this recognition was required by law, he openly wondered what other changes would also be required by law.

For a few hours during the Rally, a peaceful demonstration took place on the pedestrian embankment across the road from the Lion Centre. Around a dozen persons sporting multi-coloured t-shirts and banners held placards expressing their views that homosexual relationships should be treated as equal to male-female relationships and marriage extended to all.

The first of the keynote presenters, Professor Brendan Bain, Public Health specialist based in Jamaica, provided the audience with seven take home messages on good values for parenting, marriage and sexual behaviour. He encouraged parents and proxy parents to pray for and teach wholesome values to children and young persons and not to allow privacy to turn into secrecy. A healthy marriage was in fact a relationship between an imperfect man and woman “who are committed to learning and growing together and adjusting to change over time.” The educator and researcher warned against accepting the values of today’s hedonistic environment which promotes pleasure and fun of all kinds, without boundaries. Exercising self-control was possible for both young and old so as to remain safe from disease and from disappointment in marriage. Professor Bain also urged his audience to be sexually responsible in an age of HIV/AIDS. Early sexual initiation, promiscuity and using drugs in sexual encounters were among the danger factors increasing the risk of catching and passing other sexually transmitted infections and some forms of cancers. The greatest risk came from practicing unprotected anal penetration.

The next presenter was Mr David Gibbs, Founder of the National Centre for Law and Liberty in the USA. He challenged the audience to ask themselves 3 questions when engaging in the public square; take the right stand, take the right way, and in the right spirit. He reminded his captive listeners that the law always draws a line between what is right and wrong, and where the law removed order and good regulation, there would be chaos in society. The constitutional lawyer also pointed out the bizarre results taking place in US society and schools arising from removing order in the law in the ‘grand untested experiment’ of disregarding biological sex and demanding that citizens, teachers and students affirm the desired ‘gender identity’ of confused persons.

He urged church leaders to set out a statement of faith to clearly define the church’s position on biblical beliefs in particular marriage, morality and human sexuality and these should factor in the selection of leaders and admission of members. Mr Gibbs stressed that leaders must also hold themselves accountable to these standards, whether they did not struggle with them or whether they did, and that the grace of God was sufficient to heal all sins and brokenness.

Senior Pastor for the Church of God Chapel in George Town, Pastor Alson Ebanks called Christians to “an all-out commitment to follow the Bible as the authoritative source of those values that contribute to the emotional, physical, spiritual and social well-being of individuals and nations.” Following biblical morality on sex would reduce most if not all the pressing social ills affecting modern society. The Church needed to admit its own failings to model biblical family values and uphold for itself and others the hope for personal change made possible only through salvation by Jesus Christ. Christians were to show loving compassion to persons with personal struggles through a dual track of practical response to single parent families, abused spouses, neglected children, victims of sexual abuse and those in bondage to sexual sins whilst not ignoring or tolerating sin. Despite growing global efforts to silence biblical family values, the church must continue to re-affirm that the God of the Bible is real, has given mankind “His Word principles for living up to his standards and through His Son the power to live up to them.”

Just before the close of the evening’s programme, Ms Philippa Davies, Advocacy Officer of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society briefly shared with the crowd on the experiences of Jamaica in countering international efforts to undermine laws and policies protecting the family in that country. Among other actions, an objectionable sex education curriculum was sneaked into schools and children’s homes. Additionally, US President Barak Obama and the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon have pressured Jamaica to accept illogical ideas on human sexuality into its laws and policies. Ms Davies encouraged the Caymanians to stand firm for God’s design for marriage, sex and family, and to work with other like-minded Caribbean groups to preserve the well-being of their nations through the rebuilding of healthy family life.

The event was the first of its kind and Pastor Torrance Bobb, Chairman of the Cayman Ministers' Association commented that it had been a wonderful start to what would need to be a sustained effort over time.