Nassau, Bahamas – The Bahamas requires “bi-partisan governance and a united church” to manage the moral, social and economic problems it is experiencing, president of the Bahamas Christian Council Rev. Patrick Paul said Wednesday.

In his sermon at the Bahamas Christian Council’s annual Church Service for Parliamentarians held at Ebenezer Methodist Church Shirley Street, Rev. Paul urged Senators and Members of Parliament to work together for the betterment of the Bahamian people.

“We live in a beautiful country and together we must work to make it better in The Bahamas, despite the economic downturn in the Bahamian economy,” he said.

Rev. Paul told Parliamentarians that it is their responsibility to “ensure that justice is not delayed, protect its people, maintain and build its nation’s economy, manage the present challenges and build a bridge to facilitate the physiological differences in their country.”

“As the Government,” said Rev. Paul, “You must ensure that justice and fair play [are] administrated and carried out in every aspect of your governance. This includes adherence to labour laws and other laws that are on the books of this self same purpose. You must assure the Bahamian people and the world that due-diligence and due-processes are carried out.”

Rev. Paul advised the Parliamentarians that they must strengthen the judiciary and “see to it that the crime that is committed meets its just reward.”

Referring to the issue of capital punishment, the Christian Council president said, “it is on our law books and due-process should be carried out before anyone is executed. The Government represents ministers of God. The Bible says there should be a degree of fear to those who seek to do evil and it is the Government’s responsibility to instill a healthy fear in the country.”

Rev. Paul, however, explained that it is “not fair for any case to go on for an infinite or extended period before it is properly heard. It is the Government’s responsibility to fix the system. Do all that is in your power to fix it until every case [is] heard in a timely manner.

“If you are pressed by other countries or international bodies to remove existing laws [from] the books, you must remember that you were elected by the Bahamian people. Bring the issues to the Bahamian people – let them make the decisions.”

Parliamentarians were told that before laws are passed and final decisions are made on national issues such as the legalization of gambling, they should ask themselves the question, “is this going to reinforce our core values or does this undermine our core values?”

“Every action has consequences and we will give an account first to the Bahamian people and then to the Almighty God. Righteousness still exalts a nation and sin is still a reproach to any people. Let us do the righteous thing and uphold that which is right,” urged the President.