“No weapon formed against me shall prosper” says Bishop Edghill in response to newspaper article
Opposition Member of Parliament Bishop Juan Edghill in a press release issued today (Saturday January 7, 2017) said the article carried in today’s Guyana Chronicle titled “Bishop Edghill opposes curbs on illegal rum shops” is “mischievous, misleading, a total fabrication, a nasty piece of editorial intervention, yellow journalism and displays the pettiness and vindictiveness of the APNU+AFC Granger led administration.”
According to the statement, “it is clear that this propaganda piece was not designed to inform the public of the debate which took place in the National Assembly on the 6th January, 2017 but it was a calculated attempt to bring my ecclesiastical office into disrepute and to create suspicions in the minds of readers.”
Edghill said the headline and story do not match and from all indications, the editor of the Guyana Chronicle must take full responsibility for facilitating this despicable act.
“At no time in my presentation to the National Assembly during the debate of Bill #32 of 2016 “Intoxicating Liquor Licensing (Amendment) Bill 2016” did I indicate that I am against illegal rum shops or even made any such insinuations. As a matter of fact, nowhere in the bill even in the explanatory memorandum, was the issue of illegal rum shops addressed. The bill was about increasing fees and penalties (100% in every case).”
According to him Government having inflicted greater burdens on the people of Guyana through their taxation measures are now seeking to deflect the criticism coming from the masses.
“This attempt exposes the lack of decency and ethics; in seeking to denigrate one’s religion and vilifying their stance on moral issues to camouflage the Government’s moral bankruptcy. I strongly reject this continuing attack by members of the Coalition Government, many who claim to embrace Christianity as the religion they practice,” the Bishop stated.
He went on further to state that the article is a continuation of the “unending and relentless cynicism, sarcasm and downright persecution that I have endured in the National Assembly without adequate protection from the Speaker of the House.”
Edghill is reasoning that the fact that the Guyana Chronicle chose to insert this Headline along with a picture of him clothed in ecclesiastical garb is a clear indication that the target audience is the church community but “I am assured by the Scripture in Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from me, says the Lord.”
He made several calls including for every media entity interested in conveying factual information to the people of Guyana to air and make available his full presentation as it related to his contribution to bill #32 of 2016.
“I call upon all Guyanese to visit the parliamentary website and view my presentation in full which was live streamed and is now archived. I call upon the Guyana Chronicle to make public the story submitted by the reporter who was present in the National Assembly and to indicate who gave the instructions to make changes, who gave the instructions to insert that Headline and who gave the instructions to insert a picture of myself in ecclesiastical vestments.
I call upon Christian leaders of all the various denominations to denounce this despicable attack. ‘Silence for the purpose of political expedience is not an option.’ I call upon leaders of all religions to state publicly their position on the abuse of religious leaders by the State media for political purposes.
I call upon the Board and management of the Guyana Chronicle to immediately retract and offer a public apology with the same level of prominence that the article was published.”
Last night (Friday January 6, 2017) in the National Assembly Edghill told the House that his presentation with regards to Bill No 32 of 2016, the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing (Amendment) Bill 2016, said his ecclesiastical office has no bearing on his call for the Bill being deferred.
“I don’t stand here as a supporter of the use of alcohol but I’m dealing with a principle and when we come to this house to legislate what is before us is not our opinions and moral values alone but what is also there are the principles that are involved,” Bishop Edghill told the Assembly.