“I only work Obeah for the Lord”
SVG Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves
by Peter Binose
These words were recorded as spoken by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in parliament, “I only work Obeah for the Lord”. What an insult to the Vincentian Christian society. How on earth can a prime minister in a Christian country say such a thing, and never apologise?
According to Wikipedia, Obeah (sometimes spelled Obi, Obea or Obia) is a term used in the West Indies to refer to folk magic, sorcery, and religious practices derived from West African, and specifically Igbo origin. Obeah is similar to other African derived religions including Palo, Voodoo, Santeria, rootwork, and most of all hoodoo.
Obeah is associated with both benign and malignant magic, charms, luck, and with mysticism in general. In some Caribbean nations, Obeah refers to folk religions of the African diaspora. In some cases, aspects of these folk religions have survived through syncretism with Christian symbolism and practice introduced by European colonials and slave owners. Casual observation may conclude that Christian symbolism is incorporated into Obeah worship, but in fact may represent clandestine worship and religious protest.
During slavery, Obeah was directed against the European slave masters. However, with the rise of Christianity, Obeah is considered taboo, and the term has pejorative associations.
Which ‘Lord’ is PM Gonsalves referring to?
Obeah is practiced in Suriname, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Guyana, Barbados, Grenada, Belize, The Bahamas and now according to Dr Ralph E. Gonsalves in St Vincent, and other Caribbean countries. Gonsalves said in parliament, “I only do Obeah for the Lord.” It’s true he said that, and it’s recorded in parliamentary records.
Such a statement must be an insult to Christians. Gonsalves told us he only does Obeah for the Lord. My argument is that you cannot do Obeah for God or Lord Jesus. So who is Gonsalves referring to, could it be ‘The Lord of Darkness, Satan‘?
It would be most interesting if Gonsalves could tell us in which church he does Obeah for the Lord. I am quite sure it cannot be the Catholic Church, which he sometimes attends.
What amazes me is that the SVG Christian society has said nothing about him making such a statement. This therefore prompts me to ask, what religious ministers and pastors is he associated with? Are they also doing Obeah for the Lord? What are the names of these people? Which churches do they lead?
Gonsalves told us in parliament, and it’s recorded there, “I sometimes tell lies.” Can we believe him when he says “I only do Obeah for the Lord”, as he is a self confessed liar we will never know when he is lying?
Having said both these things in parliament, did he tell the truth to the people and parliament? Or did he lie to the people and parliament?
When accused of sex crimes and charged with rape, he denied the accusations and charges. Was he being truthful? Or was he telling lies?
Either way it’s just not good enough, Vincentians deserve better from their prime minister.
Based on his own admissions, I wonder if such a man is a fit person to be a member of parliament.
Based on his own admissions, I wonder if such a man is a fit person to be prime minister or hold any other ministry.
Based on his own admissions, I wonder if such a man is a fit person to be an officer of a court of law.
We Christians deserve at the very least an apology. Problem is, can we accept an apology from someone who admits to being a liar?