October 1, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Political correctness now comes to Cayman

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Colin WilsonwebWith the announcement by Danielle Coleman, the Disaster Manager that because the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) can be identified with religious groups, the Red Cross have introduced a new emblem the (also called the Red Diamond), it would appear political correctness has come to the Cayman Islands – see iNews Cayman story published March 2 2014 “Red Cross in Cayman to adopt the Red Crystal” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/red-cross-in-cayman-to-adopt-the-red-crystal/

The Cayman Islands has portrayed itself as a very religious island and when I arrived here almost 32 years ago the only music that could be broadcast on a Sunday was religious.

No matter if it was New Year arriving on a Sunday no drinking and no non—religious music was allowed past 11.59pm on the Saturday before.

Even now, unless a special disposition is granted, you cannot publically buy a drink past 11:45pm in a licenced premises and you must vacate the building by midnight.

The cracks in the religious veneer of Cayman are slipping now.

Ash Wednesday, one of the holiest religious days in the Roman Catholic and Anglican calendar, and the subject of a National Holiday here, has now been perverted by the allowance of a Mardi Gras festival complete with ill clad dancers, bead throwing, loud music and dancing along Harbour Drive, George Town, where all the cruise ships dock.  Mardi Gras is NOT allowed even in New Orleans past 11:59 on the day before called Shrove (or Fat) Tuesday!

Along Harbour drive is the oldest church in the Cayman Islands, Elmslie Memorial, who surprisingly has made no objections but have an unlikely partnership with the next door drinking establishment and restaurant Margaritaville.

The dancing and loud music is going to take place from morning to past midnight to show just how religious we really are here.

However when it comes to an organization like the Red Cross in the Cayman Islands any thoughts of the movement being perceived as affiliating themselves to a religious movement are not a good thing, Ms. Coleman said.

Even in the United Kingdom where Christian church attendances diminish every year there was an uproar when the Red Cross announced they were bringing in the Red Crystal. However, here in the religious conscious Cayman Islands there isn’t even a whimper except from this media outlet.

Philip Davies, a UK Tory backbencher, said: “At face value to the layman it seems at best a solution looking for a problem and at worst another example of extreme political correctness.”

From across the other side of the UK Parliament benches Shadow Foreign Office minister David Lidington said use of the crystal over the cross by the British military should “be the exception rather than be allowed to become the norm”.

The founding Conference of the Red Cross Movement in 1863 adopted a red cross on a white background – the reverse of the Swiss flag – as the emblem of the voluntary medical personnel who assisted the wounded on the battlefield.

It was never intended to have any religious meaning and is thought to have been intended as a tribute to traditionally neutral Switzerland, which hosted the conference.

However, the symbol unintentionally raised suggestions that it was somehow linked to the Hospitallers, a military order which took part in the Crusades, the centuries long series of military campaigns waged by Christians from Europe. That the Crusades were freeing Christians from Muslims seems to have escaped nearly everybody especially the newly written history books!

Presumably the red cross on all of Cayman’s medicine boxes and cabinets will have to be changed so they don’t affront anybody who won’t use them because of their religious or non-religious beliefs even when they are bleeding to death!

 

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