COMMENTARY: Dominica – A ‘Christian’ Nation

It is Saturday night and I am listening to a political program on a popular radio station. The radio stations are awash with political programs all year long and though they often induce political fatigue because the toxic nature of these programs can be stressful, I listen when the opportunity avails itself because it is good to have an ear on the ground.   I was never keen on opening myself up to such torture, but it is sometimes a necessary evil.  By and large, I have always held the view that politicians are merely blowing hot air. My experience with politicians has taught me that if one is living with his head in the sand; then, blind allegiance to a party is the outcome, but if one is realistic and does not live in an illusionary world, objective assessment of governance no matter the political party at the helm will be possible.  One will be able to see development, identify shortcoming, know when what is said is mere persuasive rhetoric and when what is being said is even possible or plausible.  I, therefore, endure the pain of listening and in the process learn many things.  Saturday’s program was instructive, to say the least, and like every teacher who knows that there must be an objective at the focus of every lesson, I realized that many who called were quick to invoke their ‘Christianity’ to add flavor to their contribution and the nomenclature ‘Dominica is a Christian nation’ pervaded my thoughts.

I often laugh whenever I hear the words “Dominica is a ‘Christian nation “.   I laugh because although the popular religions invoke ‘Christ’ at the center of their worship, there is often a very visible disconnect. A dear friend once said to me that we really get to know people when they are at their lowest.   I declare the election period the “low point” for Dominicans.  It is akin to the survival of the fittest.   Party cronies know that it is often a do or die situation; I have too much to lose or too much to gain, and when the alternate options have proved disappointing in times past, it is a fight to the bitter end.  Sadly, at such times, there is an undeclared hiatus as far as “Christianity “is concerned and when there is a flitting reference to God or Christian principles, it rolls off the tongue like gall.  The election period is our nation’s time of testing.  This is when the signs of ‘Christianity’ are most evident or are they? A few months ago, I was reading an article entitled “Why millennials are leaving the church” and though one can find many opinion pieces on this topic, this piece written by Rachel Held Evans highlighted amongst others, a most shocking point; the exodus of most millennials was attributed to the fact that “They don’t find Jesus there!”  Did you just gasp?  Shocking! Isn’t it?  Have you ever gone to a place of worship and wonder what you are doing there?   You try to find somewhere to sit and realize that the three individuals in the pew you are approaching have spread themselves so thick and have even placed their purses, if women, on the seat so as to suggest that you are not welcome to sit there.  Now, if you are so brazen to decide that this is where you will sit, you will get a visual dress down even while the Christian message is being proclaimed.  I am not a millennial, but if the lure to ‘Christianity’ in this ‘Christian’ nation of ours had anything to do with situations such as the aforementioned and especially our behavior during the election period in our nation, then, you understand the rush to the door.

In my childhood and youth, like many Dominican children, I often heard of individuals being referred to as“Bidol’eglise”.  Individuals in society whose outward lives suggested that they were bound for heaven- no stones in the road.  They were present when the doors to the places of worship opened, knew their bible, could quote scripture to support everything, knew all the saints, all the prayers to the saints, and every aspect of a mass or service verbatim -even the Latin, in some cases.  Today, we have “Bidol’eglise” who have dreams/visions, can prophesy, ‘can feel the shift in the land”, “know the Lord’s anointed”, ‘can cast out demons’, and the list can go on.   The reality, Dominica is full of ‘Bidol’eglise”-very fitting for a “Christian” nation, and  I fully understand why we default to “Dominica is a Christian Nation” to reset when we have conveniently forgotten our Christianity.

Saturday night’s program was special coming on the heels of the election and since the Prime Minister had declared the weekend of the victory as one of “prayer and reconciliation”, this was the weekend to gloat and celebrate.  I listened to a senior citizen quoting the scripture as she celebrated her party’s victory because her leader had been “established by God”; “he was the Lord’s anointed”, and then listened to her in ‘Christian fashion’ prepare a special place for the ‘devil and his angels’.  I listened to another who had lit candles prior to voting to, I guess, guide the path to victory and on her voyage to Guadeloupe or Martinique after voting, she cast the ‘devil’ into the abyss of the channel. I will leave you to ascribe a name to that “devil”. I began to think at that point that I would have to find others to try to provide the example of ‘Christianity’ in this Christian nation of ours” since the “Bidol’eglise” had my feet tied.  In local parlance, I was “maway”.  I didn’t know if following them would take me straight to the pearly gates where Saint Peter was waiting to welcome me or to the palace of Beelzebub.

I retreated to the thought that often dominates whenever I hear the all so popular cliché – ”Dominica is a Christian nation”; Christianity is individual, not national.  I reflected again on the article I had read and realized that if one went to church for the expressed purpose of finding Jesus, then there would be a stampede of, not only millennials from the churches as the toxicity of these ‘Bidol’eglise” would definitely drive Jesus out.  The Church is an organism; it is made up of the people, and if all we bring to church is hate, acrimony, and the like, the church and ‘Christian’ nation will so reflect.  While I will not dissuade others from church and I do enjoy being part of a church, I am ever so thankful for the Omnipresence of God.

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22 Comments

  1. out of south city
    December 30, 2019

    I share your sentiments and the truth, my friend. That tells me that the message is spreading as to who we truly are and what damage that christianity has brought upon us. We must continue to rise, so that the younger ones will carry on the message of truth to the rest of the world where our people dwell. There is a brother who said,”truth, that has fallen to the ground, shall rise again.” We should not be ashamed to declare the truth about the bible and religion, which have caused us to lose ourselves to be who we really were and are not. We were never a religious people, like I have been saying for years. We are a spiritual people. Our spirituality has been demonised and we have adopted the ways of our enemies. We have fallen so far from the truth that we are even ashamed to say that we are an African race. In our psyche, Africa is all negative and as a result we do not want to identify with Africa.
    We HAVE to wake up, my people, less we continue to perish.
    UNAPOLOGETIC

  2. Gary
    December 29, 2019

    Why do we have to attach ourselves to some religion whether as a nation or as a individual, wow. Why attach ourselves to external things, attachment brings misery, attachment is a fabricator of illusion, attachment is from the ego, attachment causes conflict having us to always defend what we are attached to, have we not seen the effects of such foolishness in the world caused by attachment to religion, at the end we will arrive where we started.

    • Eddy A
      December 31, 2019

      So why did you attach yourself to a corrupt dictator?? You are a hypocrite and the same goes for all your corrupt friends!

  3. Afflicted
    December 29, 2019

    Sharon, being a Christian nation is NOTHING to be proud of. You should be ashamed of not getting rid of this demond of suffering. Christianity has brought nothing but pain, suffering and stupidity to Black People. WE MUST break away from the Stockholm Syndrome where We take on the identity of our captors. They won the war, and gave Us this burden. Go do just a little research on the bible rewritten by king James all while loading millions of African people onto ships into SLAVERY, while enslaving millions on their own homeland. King James and your European gods were very busy people, preoccupied with this dirty deed. With so much information out there at our fingertips, I am ashamed of you Sharon Philogen. The blood of the African People are on you-all hands with your christianity. Shame!
    Go find out more about it.

  4. DAPossieMasse
    December 27, 2019

    “Dominica is a Christian nation” is a euphemism for self-oppressed and are religiously unaware of it, which is why there is so much poverty and begging while they fill the coffers of the Roman Empire: The Vatican Bank, which did not reach out to help with the renovations. That mentality was there long ago and as Karl Max said “religion is the opium of the people,” and dat bishop has capitalized on that statement. Did you see his face with the smirk he had on it, together with Mia “I cannot miss a meal” Motley. They are all a part of the religion of oppression of Dominicans.

    Eco tourism in DA would impact Barbados and Antigua’s economy, if a generic Dominican industry is developed. But dat extremely greedy klepto, who is syphoning Dominica’s resources and trickling down houses rather than developing the economy in the interest of Gaston and you already know what Mia is, will not allow that. Remember the days when they all flocked to Dominica for work. They know what we can…

  5. Sylvester Cadette
    December 27, 2019

    Amen Sharon Philogen. I fully and wholeheartedly concur with every single word expressed here. I could not have expressed it better in written form.
    I too, have come to that conclusion that what I refer to as the “Priest Eli Phenomenon and behavior” is pervasive throughout the island (1 Samuel chapt. 2,3 & 4).
    These days I tend not to blame politicians at all even during election madness.
    They must be held accountable by the Nation and the churches (MOST CHURCH LEADERS NO LESS) for double talk and dishonest assessments that confuse their members and sow discord.

    I do not profess to be the “HOLIER THAN THOU” person but I think we just have to be objective as much as is possible within our conscious judgement. We need to reevaluate what we consider as values for living and serving.
    Dominica yearns for a new sense of POLITICAL HYGIENE, MORAL & SPIRITUAL RECTITUDE and a re-evaluation of what it means: “Dominica is a ‘Christian nation “. Apres Bon Dieu cést La Terre.

  6. educated man
    December 26, 2019

    Christianity is nothing to be proud of, worst thing to happen to the world.

    • December 27, 2019

      You went to college but got no knowledge. My sympathy.

    • December 27, 2019

      @educated man, what kind of education do you have? Carnal knowledge? No wonder you think the way do.

      I suppose you don’t think that Jesus is no one to be proud of eh! Because His Word tells us, that His disciples were first called “Christians” at Antioch. May God be merciful to you

    • out of south city
      December 27, 2019

      At least some people are waking up, like you, my friend. If our people would do their research, they would find out how christianity was a tool, forced on us to remain subservient, oppressed and docile to massa’s commands. The churches have been used against us and that’s why we have become so divided and confused. Confusion has us still looking up to the sky for Massa’s return. That is what you call white supremacy, which is a derivation of supreme, thus, a supreme god. It doesn’t matter how many times we go to church, how much tithes and offerings we contribute, we will still remain submissive to a false religions and false gods. We just need to ask ourselves, have we become better since our foreparents were brought into the western world or have we improved as a people? The elder folk were more united, even though some say they were not educated. Has being “educated” brought us closer or further? We must take a good look at our present condition.

      UNAPOLOGETIC

  7. December 26, 2019

    Dominica is a Roman Catholic society, which dominates the World, under the rules and laws of the Vatican. The people were misled from since the stone ages ago.

    But it is not only about Roman Catholics. Isaiah said, long before Jesus came to this World: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way”.

    Dominica is a very small Nation, who are you to call for a difference in her, pertaining to God and His ways? This is the business of God, not yours!

    No one tied your feet but your own carnal mind. If you were in a contemplated relation with God, by your faith in Christ Jesus, you wouldn’t be looking for Christianity through the outside, the Church has to be within you, by the Power of God’s Holy Spirit

    “The Church is an organism; it is made up of the people”. True. But we are speaking “spiritually”. The Church has Jesus within, we are His body, He is the head. His Holy Spirit does not conduct hate.

    • Sylvester Cadette
      December 27, 2019

      Elizabeth, you said, “Dominica is a very small Nation, who are you to call for a difference in her, pertaining to God and His ways? This is the business of God, not yours!” REALLY ? REALLY ?

      I am astounded by this first statement in quotes – Shocking. I note how you also attacked the writer as you often do to those with differing views. My dear compatriot, this is not an exercise to criticize you but to point out that your approach is not healthy – and I do not say this lightly.

      Dominica yearns for a new sense of POLITICAL HYGIENE, MORAL & SPIRITUAL RECTITUDE and a re-evaluation of what it means: “Dominica is a ‘Christian nation “. Apres Bon Dieu cést La Terre.

      I have noted that if one points to anything in the country for re-assessment then that person is anti-government; conversely, if one praises the government for a good deed or policy they are attacked by opposition. It seems Dominica has lost all sense of objective discussion – MAY GOD HELP US!!

    • DAPossieMasse
      December 28, 2019

      Sure they did: from Christopher Columbus to dat Bishop.

      @ElizabethLinaXavier’s take is a clear demonstration that this individual does not know the history of the Catholic Church which involves black people. Example, the oppressors cannot even find a Dominican to be bishop.

      Dat darn foreign political beggar who will beg for as much of our diplomatic passport money to live the life he is living in Dominica, and also fattening Rome in the process, but it is highly likely, based on what you wrote about this church, and what you have previously written, that you are a poor little old political goosbery, whose benefit is only satisfaction, while de boys and dem fatten their, stealing from Dominica swindling accounts, used for paying their RSS Jamaica laced killers and criminal goons to fire live bullets on Dominicans clearly, with intensions to kill our people.

  8. December 26, 2019

    “Dominica-A Christian Nation:” Based on your theme of this article I think that you should have left a question (?) after the title

    “I realized that many who called were quick to invoke their ‘Christianity’–Dominica is a Christian nation’ pervaded my thoughts”

    So you chose to observe the ways of a few people to decide the ways of a whole Nation pertaining to God, for that is what Christianity is about; but what are you doing on Radio Station which highlight Politics to come to that conclusion?

    You said that “the Prime Minister had declared the weekend of the victory as one of “prayer and reconciliation”, but you went on and on with all sorts of ugly criticism. With that mentality, do you think that your heart is of a Christian heart?

    As Christians, we are called to demonstrate God’s Love so that our witnesses might see and believe, but you choose the eyes which cannot see. Jesus calls it spiritual blindness; think about it

    • Tolerant By Nature
      December 27, 2019

      @ElizabethXavier – It would be really uplifting to see you write one good piece that one can be proud of instead of coming here to criticize everything posted on DNO. Show your intellectual intelligence for one please.

      • Locs Girl
        December 30, 2019

        @Tolerant By Nature, it’s about time someone called out Elizabeth Xavier.

        • Wilby
          December 30, 2019

          I think she just retired, like Francisco, brace up for the long haul of Christian/fake European idiocy.

    • Reader
      December 27, 2019

      Elizabeth, I think that you have missed the point. What the writer is in fact saying is we collectively call ourselves a Christian nation; however, christianity is individualistic. We must all examine ourselves individually and only when we as individuals act as Christians can Dominica be truly called a Christian Nation.

      Your attack on the writer says a lot tbh!

      • December 27, 2019

        @Reader, Okay! It is a mishap, that we cannot edit, or delete if we don’t like what we wrote. That is why those two posts of mine are so badly presented there were some errors.

        I didn’t miss the writer’s point, I wanted to show that the message does not speak the Title; like the rest of you believe, that it directly claims “Dominica is a Christian Nation”. But that is not what the commentary is speaking.

        For example: “I retreated to the thought that often dominates whenever I hear the all so popular cliché – ”Dominica is a Christian nation”–Does that sound like the writer believes Dominica to be a Christian nation? Why the term “popular cliche”

        And then: “The Church is an organism; it is made up of the people, ***and if all we bring to church is hate*** If the writer claimed Dominica as a Christian Nation, why that line here?

        That message is as negative as ever. It is a “personal critic” against Christianity in D/ca all the way

  9. Gerard Benjamin
    December 26, 2019

    The myth of the “christian’ nation will continue to have currency until there is a radical change in the conformity of those who think that they are real believers to true authentic and original Messianic faith life that was based on systematic teaching from the Holy scriptures The label of the christian nation is plain evidence of the superficial religious culture that has now pervaded even the so called Bible believing church to the extent that the fallacy of the messianic leader is the sound-byte now regularly echoed by some delusional “believers” among whom are tragically found even some senior members and church leaders.

  10. dissident
    December 26, 2019

    Saturday night radio talk is not usually a positive drive for nation building neither positive spiritual upliftment.

    You see usually in any race or activity between two sides, particularly politics and religion the winner is given a ‘god’ status while the loser gets de shame for being on de side of the devil.

    We end up with a parliament that has 2 sides….de opposition is seen as evil.
    What ‘good’ purpose can a divided parliament serve?

    A coin has 2 sides.
    If one tries to make a purchase with a one sided coin…… that coin would be rejected
    De bank would throw it out and redo it proper to have 2 clear visible unmistakable sides… that would restore power and put real value on that coin.

  11. Gouvelma
    December 26, 2019

    Wow! I have company. Welcome to my dinner table in Dominica!!!! It bewilders me that those claiming Dominica as a Christian nation are actually in some Instances university graduates. When i hear them I am forced to ask myself if greed, selfishness, envy, nepotism and corruption are the hallmarks of Christianity. I ask myself what is the relation between Christianity and illiteracy. I listen to the prayer to begin an official political function and the call in the prayer is for harm, evil and misfortune to befall the opposing politicians. Is that the Dominican version if Christianity or the political version. Oh how i wish that politicians who claim to be Christian s would practice the virtues associated and begin by speaking truth on their platform and advising their henchmen on the radio to do no less than speak truth to power. Until education become a the central focus of political parties Christianity will continue to be political and the people will continue to perish.

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