Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We Are Not a Christian Nation Constitutionally

by Simon

The level of ignorance about our constitution is widespread and disturbing.  The ignorance is particularly alarming on the part of those who pretend to know about such matters, including certain pastors who repeatedly demonstrate a stunning ignorance of constitutional issues as well as certain inveterate writers of letters to the editor, not to mention certain uninformed radio talk show hosts.

Despite such wilful ignorance, we are constitutionally a secular state.  The preamble to the constitution has a Christian reference.  But the preamble has no legal force and is not dispositive in deciding constitutional questions.

Chapter I Article 1 of the constitution does have legal force.  It notes: “The Commonwealth of the Bahamas shall be a sovereign democratic State.”  Not a theocracy, not a Christian state, but a democracy.