We, the pastors of the Cayman Ministers Association, have been constrained by recent developments to use this medium to publicly express our grave concern over a planned two-day conference on June 11 and 12 by an entity called “Queering Paradigms” under the sponsorship of Canterbury Christ Church University in the U.K. We note that the aim of the conference is “to challenge Queer/LGBTIQ+ discrimination and to provide intellectual tools for empowerment of both academics and activists on the Cayman Islands and the wider Caribbean region.”
We are concerned that, under the guise of a challenge to a widely demonized concept – “discrimination,” there may in fact be planned an ideological and moral attack against the mores, values and traditions of our beloved Cayman Islands – mores, values and traditions that have been shaped and guided by a Christian world view.
While recognizing the rights to freedom of religion, speech, assembly, etc., we view the recently publicized plans as quite possibly the thinnest of veils over a direct attack on the moral, spiritual and social fabric of our islands. As pastors of Caymanian churches, we are especially saddened that a United Kingdom cleric appears to be selected to undermine the biblical values that faithful local pastors have been striving to commend to our people – especially our vulnerable youth and children.
While we understand that in academia there must be openness and willingness to explore the difficult issues that confront students in all disciplines, we also feel that a sensitivity to one’s social context and conventions must be exercised by those who guide our institutions. This is why we are deeply saddened and seriously troubled by the planned public conference on June 11-12 that on the basis of its own media publicity up to now will present an inadequate and biased account of the complex issues that surround the LGBT+ issue.
We must conclude, therefore, that rather than a mere academic exercise, this planned conference is most likely to be a strategic attack on the traditional Christian position on morality and family that the majority of Caymanians have held for generations. To those who may accuse us of overreacting by drawing that conclusion, we will simply note that we are not so isolated or ignorant as to be unaware of the clear strategic victories that have been gained by the LGBT+ advocates in recent years.
We also note that we have been convinced by developments in the dominant western nations over the past several years that the freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, etc., which we also hold dear, have not been accorded all groups or persons with equity or fairness. In particular, there is clear evidence that those advocating or standing for traditional Christian values have not been given the same rights as those representing opposing or deviating views – in fact, in many cases their rights have been abused.
In conclusion, we call on the people of the Cayman Islands to stand strong in your defense of our biblical Christian position on morality and family – but to do more than stand. Express your concern to those in authority, making it clear that you also consider this recent development to be an affront to your values and the social health of our islands. If we are called alarmists (which may be the least pejorative adjective thrown our way), our position is that there is ample reason to be alarmed. When there is the threat of war, someone needs to sound the alarm! And indeed there is a war being waged against our biblical, Christian values relating to marriage and family life.
Pastor Torrance Bobb, Chairman, Cayman Ministers Association