Governor Martyn Roper has urged Cayman to maintain its Christian values of respect and tolerance.
It came as he delivered remarks at the 24th annual national parliamentary prayer and thanksgiving breakfast Wednesday at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.
The breakfast meeting was hosted by House Speaker McKeeva Bush, who said the word thanksgiving was added to the event following Cayman escaping relatively unscathed from the 28 Jan. 7.7 magnitude earthquake.
Roper said Cayman has a lot to be thankful for, such as “relative peace, tranquility and stability and prosperity that we enjoy”.
But, he said, “We must not take that for granted.”
The governor urged tolerance as he seemingly alluded to the recent uproar over same-sex rights, which was re-ignited by a private members’ motion in the Legislative Assembly brought by Savannah MLA Anthony Eden.
“It is also vital that we maintain our Christian values of respecting others and not tolerating hatred, despite any differences we may have,” he told the ministers of faith, lawmakers and members of the public who attended the breakfast.
In his motion, Eden, who was not at the breakfast, said the end of times was near. He said natural disasters and disease could be viewed as “warnings” against expanded rights for same-sex couples.
The event featured hymns, prayers for the nation and scripture readings.
Roper commended Hazard Management Cayman Islands and emergency responders for their actions after the earthquake.
He also turned his attention to the global threat of coronavirus, saying he had faith in Cayman’s response to the virus.
“The world is now faced with the global threat of the coronavirus. However, I have confidence in the competence and ability of our health ministry and health professionals. They are doing everything possible to ensure we are prepared for any cases on our islands,” Roper said.
Bush, in his opening remarks, said the earthquake was still “stark” in the minds of many, but Cayman had much to be grateful for.
“We give thanks that we do live in a free country and that we do live in one of the best in the world,” he said.
While Bush told attendees they did not come for “politics” and he does not go to church for politics, he could not help but point out the good condition Cayman is in.
“Let us not become a nation of complainers, because we have it ever so good in our country,” he said.
He called for Cayman “not to lie and deride everything that has been done in our country”.
“Let us be grateful to the judiciary, for those that give judgment, for the Governor who wants to be fair to all. … For our premier and all his headaches trying to keep the good ship Cayman off the rocks, our ministers for their hard work, and when you see them sometimes, do not think they are off gallivanting, they are out working on your behalf,” he added.
Bush seemed to defend the event when he said he already received complaints that “this is too much, but [it was] not from the people who [are] paying.”
The breakfast, which was well attended, was paid for by government.