September 26, 2020

MCKEEVA IS CROSS: Being Christian and politician is tough – Bush

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Premier says giving money to churches was not political decision

Premier McKeeva Bush yesterday said he was a “man of God” – and declared he finds it difficult being both a politician and a Christian.

In an exclusive interview with iNews, Bush admitted he is not the best Christian and that he “fails and falls down” sometimes.

And he says his controversial decision to help churches in Cayman is not politically motivated.

“It is not easy to be a politician and be a Christian,” said the Premier. “I am not the best Christian there is. I am challenged and I fail and fall down sometimes but I don’t stay down. I know that there is a God and that there is also a hereafter.”

In response to the public and media backlash of the $4.3 million Nation Building grant, which was also keenly scrutinised by the Auditor General’s office, Mr Bush said, “There are heretics and atheists who go on the blogs to criticise. The devil is a roaring lion walking to and fro, that’s what is frightening me.”

The Premier said that politics and atheism is behind the criticism he received for his financial support of the island’s churches. “I always had the church’s support. There are certain atheists in this country that are willing to pounce upon the church and blame the church and I am not going to accept that.” he said.

In his exclusive interview with iNews the Premier said that it was his Christian principles and not political campaigning that led to his decision to help the churches.

“I go to church. I am a baptised and born again Christian. I try to adhere to the tenants of Christianity.

“I don’t just help people that are in my party. I stretch across the political divide. I stretch my hand out to the poor at all times.”

The Premier also accused the opposition party, People’s Progressive Movement (PPM), of failing to assist the island’s churches while they were in power.

“The church is the moral guidance of the island. The Government must partner with the church. The PPM speaks about moral guidance, but yet they did nothing,” said Mr. Bush.

In his explanation as to why the Government allocated $4.3 million to the development of some of the island’s churches, under a plan called the Nation Building Fund, the Premier said, “I have been giving support to the church since the 1990’s when I started assisting with their after school programmes. The church should be doing these things – social out reach and after school programmes.

“The church also has to have a building so people can worship comfortably. A lot of churches suffered during Hurricane Ivan. Places like West Bay and Bodden Town don’t have hurricane and emergency shelters. Bodden Town has a meeting hall, but it is not safe, and West Bay has to build one,” said the Premier.

Mr. McKeeva Bush said that his love for God and his active participation in the church is part of a family tradition and something he is committed to as a Christian. “I was raised in the church. I meditate and read my Bible and other Christian materials. I was taught Christian values from Sunday school. My aunt, aged 103, was a Lay Preacher.

Wesleyan Holiness Church in West Bay

“I love to sing, and even lead the church sermon sometimes. I use my voice to bless people and express myself.”

The money given to the church is part of a larger sum, of about $7 million, provided under the government’s  Nation Building Fund which has come under strict scrutiny by the Auditor General’s Office.

Questions have also been raised by the leader of the opposition, Mr. Alden McLaughlin, about the appropriateness and justification of some of the fund’s payouts.

Bush’s own church, Wesleyan Holiness Church, received a substantial $1.3 million, however they have declined to speak on the matter or comment on how the money will be spent.

 

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