Columns

Leave the vice chancellor and the UWI alone

DANNY ROBERTS

Sunday, June 22, 2014    

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I am extremely happy to see that the churches have taken the lead role in coalescing that amorphous group — which has been campaigning against the University of the West Indies — into some kind of organisational force, under the acronym CAUSE (Churches Action Uniting Society for Emancipation).

What I am not happy about is that they are continuing to make the UWI/Bain issue the bane of their contention when it ought not to be. There is a real cause for emancipation, or better still, an effort to resist the penetration of alien and unacceptable cultural norms and behaviour into the psyche of our children and to force us to legitimise immoral lifestyle. The UWI/Bain issue is merely symptomatic of a wider hegemonic agenda.

I congratulate the group for its advocacy and persistence but believe it is now time to focus on what are the real fundamental issues. The campaign ought not to have been, and should not continue to be about the right to freedom of speech as evidenced in Professor Brendan Bain's right to give expert testimony without any possible reprisal. The university, some of the protestors would want us to believe, fired him for that.

Professor Bain has so far made no such claim that his freedom of speech has been violated, and from reports has not exercised his Constitutional right to seek redress on this issue before a court of law. For the group to continue to campaign on that platform is to engage in a frolic of their own, since there is no aggrieved party to support.

What appears to be of concern to Professor Bain is his right to due process, an issue which one half of the group seems less inclined to speak about. This is the bone of his contention and for which he has instructed his lawyers to have the matter adjudicated by the court.

The church group, CAUSE, does appear to be focusing on the right to due process based on the reportedly published statement that they "are not happy with the way Professor Bain was treated following his dismissal". But to persist in light of the matter being sub judice, is also to engage in a frolic of one's own.

The truth is, none of the churches or human rights organisations making up this group has any track record of advocacy in defence of workers' rights or the right to freedom of expression. The issue of dissatisfaction with the dismissal of workers has been the bane of trade union advocacy. What the unions are obliged to do once the court has taken over a dispute is to end their protest action; this is in deference to our rule of law.

Only the court can pass judgement or make pronouncements on whether or not Professor Bain's dismissal is unjustifiable. It is not protest, but redress we must seek if our rights have been violated. Professor Bain certainly does not think so in respect of the freedom of speech, and he is seeking redress on the issue of due process.

The group's protestation and advocacy therefore can no longer bear Professor Bain's name or that of the university. The campaign against the vice chancellor and the university must rightfully cease.

So, let us therefore get to the substantive issues at stake and examine the real variable at play. I most certainly would have to be convinced by nothing short of divine intervention that had this episode occurred with Professor Bain and the University in circumstances that had nothing to do with expert testimony on the Buggery Law, there would be no campaigning by any group.

It is this issue on which the third variable is at play, and that variable ought not to be obfuscated, for at the heart of it is the agenda of the LGBT international lobby group and their local support. It is they who opposed Professor Bain's right to speak and advocated his removal, not the university.

Even in circumstances where Professor Bain refrained from expressing his personal opinion and relied solely on empirical evidence and research data, he offended the group. For his reliance on facts he was hounded and attempts made to discredit him. The church is a very strong advocate of the retention of the buggery law and clearly opposes the homosexual lifestyle; on this they have been very consistent.

What should incense them is the LGBT's brazen and vulgar pursuit of their agenda, which opposes the cardinal principles and moral sensibilities which are the bedrock of the church; not about the university's violating of freedom of speech (which Bain apparently does not share), or about the right to due process in a dismissal, for which the goodly Professor is seeking redress.

For indeed, freedom of speech is a central theme of the LGBT agenda, and it did not begin with Professor Bain. It certainly arose when Queen Ifrica attempted to start the conversation we are told we need to have on tolerance of homosexuals and their deviant lifestyle, but she was roundly condemned. This was when the protest should really have begun.

Part of that group's agenda has also been uncovered in the recent story about the violation and abuse of our children in the illicit sex education campaign in a number of our children's homes by certain 'human rights' groups. This should be 'cause' for concern, and I do hope it will be vigorously pursued by CAUSE.

The advocacy must be about justice, about respect for our laws, values and norms. The perpetrators who sought to corrupt the minds of our children and besmear the work of our state institutions responsible for the caring of our young ones must face the full force of the law. I hope CAUSE will wage a campaign until justice is done.

Their advocacy must now begin to focus on the immoral lifestyle practice that is robed in the garb of 'human rights'; on the battle to prevent our cultural sensibilities and ethical standards from being perverted; on ensuring that imperial hegemony does not again seek to capture and imprison our minds through cultural penetration -- as they attempted during slavery and colonialism.

The cause of CAUSE would certainly be lost if the court were to rule in favour of the university, and the church as the guardian of moral rectitude would have missed the opportunity to be in the vanguard of restoring values and attitudes for which tomorrow they may have to wrap themselves in sackcloth and ashes.

This would be a pity, because there are thousands of Jamaicans ready to join the CAUSE, once it can be properly and broadly defined.

BAIN... what appears to be of concern to him is his right to due process

Jamaicans protesting against the dismissal of Professor Brendan Bain outside the University of the West Indies, Mona campus main gate.

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