|The significance of words|
Published: Mar 22, 2012
What does enmity mean? In some dictionaries it is defined as “mutual hatred or ill will”, but the Biblical definition is more about being angry enough to seek your enemy’s destruction. The question came up this week as the Freedom of Information Bill was being debated in the House of Assembly. The good members of that esteemed body were on the verge of giving us the definition from the dictionary but the member for Fox Hill got offended by that action because he claimed that he knew what the word meant. But, did he?
I had listened to him earlier in the year when he gave the intro at the majority rule day service at Bethel Baptist Church and came away impressed with his mild exposition on the Exodus account and the parallels that occurred in The Bahamas. That impression was short lived. Maybe he should have done more work before he added the “blood libel” component because it adds another dimension to a statement that he may be having second thoughts about.
Does he know that what he has said means that unless God does something about this “enmity”, Dion Foulkes and Fred Mitchell could be at each other’s throats until Jesus comes? I am glad that he is not the spokesman for that family, but if that is a position that he has assumed recently he has his work cut out for him.
This letter would not have been written except for what came after the “dictionary episode” as Mitchell made his contribution to the bill. He agreed with it “philosophically”, but I am still disturbed that he wanted the government to bring the names of those who had been granted citizenship recently and lay them before the House. Was he saying that since the bill is already being tabled it would do no harm to make those names “public”, which would also mean having them placed into the House records?
I do not think that this is what he meant, but it does make you think about what government officials are able to do or attempt to do because of the information access they have. Some have said that if enough of us took the time to do our work as citizens there would not be a need for such an act because most of the information is “public information” already. And, if we take that line of thinking, this act may not be about access to public information but more about what we do with the information we have and the use of the information we are allowed access to as citizens in this country.
Farfetched? I do not think so. Historically, when information is being dug up on anybody it is not about someone wanting to do something good; there is a bit of “enmity” involved. It is advisable that Facebook and Twitter users and all persons who have accounts in the “social media” do some cleaning up before this bill comes an act. Does anyone know if the bill has a retroactive component?
– Edward Hutcheson