More than three-quarters of the respondents to last week’s caycompass.com online poll said they don’t support at all the government’s giving $4.1 million to select churches over the past two years.
Of the 706 total respondents, 534 of them – 75.6 per cent – didn’t support the donations to the churches at all.
“This money would have been far better spent on education and fitness programmes for the community,” said one person. “Health and knowledge are what make a country strong.”
“The churches can raise their own money for the good they do, just as all the charities do,” said someone else.
“The churches should raise funds from tithes and offerings,” echoed another respondent.
“This is prejudiced and puts non-religious people at a disadvantage,” pointed out someone else. “Religion is a life choice that should be funded by individuals.”
“Church and government should be completely separate,” said one person. “Talk about looking after your own backyard. This stinks.”
“Just like the Caymanian Status grants, what may have been a good idea is destroyed by exposure to potential corruption in the selection process,” said another respondent. “This is the furthest thing from good governance.”
“This is just McKeeva Bush’s way of buying support from the churches,” commented someone else. “They’re all unholy in my book.”
“I would support this if government had surplus revenue,” said one person.
“How can they justify taking 3.2 per cent of government workers’ salaries – even those who make below 30K a year – and then spending $4.1 million on select churches?”
“How can we go from being in massive debt, not paying people their pensions to giving churches millions of dollars?” echoed someone else. “Can’t we educate our children and continue to let the congregation support the church as they always have done?”
“Which party would you vote for?” asked another respondent “One that gave your congregation a million dollars or the party who questioned the gift?”
The second largest segment of voters – 73 people or 10.4 per cent – said they supported the donations, but that the grant approval system should have been regularised.
“Government support for youth programmes and even church buildings can only be good for the country,” said the only commenter. “However, when there is no explanation given, questions are bound to be asked.”
Fifty-three people – 7.5 per cent – said they supported government funding all churches evenly
“The grant approval system should have been regularised to ensure that all parties were covered equally,” said one person.
Only 26 people – 3.7 per cent – said they absolutely supported the donations they way they were given.
“It is righteousness that exalts a nation, but sin a reproach to any man,” said the only commenter in this segment of voters. “King David, King Solomon and numerous others who kept the commandments of God prospered. It was when foreign gods (through foreign wives came into influential roles) that it all came down. Careful on the ground you tread. Choose you this day whom you will serve.”
Twenty people – 2.8 per cent – answered “I don’t know” to the question.
Next week’s poll question:
Which of the following best describes you?:
I’m Caymanian and go to church regularly
I’m Caymanian and go to church occasionally
I’m Caymanian and never go to church
I’m non-Caymanian and go to church regularly
I’m non-Caymanian and go to church occasionally
I’m non-Caymanian and never go to church
To participate in the poll, please visit www.caycompass.com