“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‘? Continue reading