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Collective Commentary 2005

Topic Title Date
Gender Catholics criticise Government's Draft Gender Policy? 30 November 2005
  On Wednesday 6th April 2005 a critique of the Draft National Gender Policy and Action Plan - which was issued by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs - was delivered to Senator The Hon. Joan Yuille Williams, Minister with responsibility for that Ministry. On that same day a copy of the critique was also delivered to the Prime Minister. "See the CCSJ critique and our opinion ..."
Ethics TT Humanist Statement on 2005-2006 Budget Speech 04 October 2005
  By trashing the Draft, the Prime Minister has stopped the official discussion in its tracks and proved that he does not believe in national dialogue as mandatory for good governance. Moreover, while it may seem that an effective Gender Policy is far removed from the pressing problems of our society, such as crime and poverty, there is a strong correlation between women's rights and economic prosperity and a less violent society. "See Letter"
Sexuality TT Humanist Statement on Abstinence Only 20 July 2005
  A complete and sustained sex education programme that combines information on abstinence, being faithful, and contraceptive use, should be mandatory in all schools. These programmes should be non-judgmental and non-directive, fuelled by fact and by respect for the individual's right to think independently. The availability of such programmes should not depend on the whims of principals, as the Abstinence Committee suggests. "See Statement"
Reason "What, exactly do the humanists of our country stand for?" 29 June 2005
  Ragbir's first query was "What, exactly do the humanists of our country stand for, stated outright and clearly?" The answer is that we stand for the use of reason, evidence, ethics and compassion in the discussion and implementation of public policies. "See Letter"
Observance Statement to mark World Humanist Day 21 June 2005
  Although humanism is usually painted as an anti-religion movement by its critics, there is nothing in the values listed above which runs counter to the beliefs of any enlightened person of faith. Our perspective does, however, offend religious fundamentalists, whose intrusions into public policy, in our view, help keep our society backward. But part of our purpose is to provide an alternative forum for the expression of moral viewpoints, since our religious leaders have, for the most part, failed the country in this regard. "See Statement"
Secularism Humanism, secularism and public policy 21 June 2005
  We are not concerned about whether any of our members believe in God or not. What we are concerned about is that such beliefs, when unsupported by ethical reasoning and evidence, should not affect public policies. "See Letter"
Crime Death Penalty 07 June 2005
  But we will not solve (the crime) by catering to irrational, barbaric, quick-fix ideas. Instead, the authorities must look at the research and take a long-term view so that the Government can institute pro-active and preventative solutions, rather than implement emotionally-charged band-aid measures. "See Statement"
Education Enlightened Education 21 May 2005
  Teach philosophy in schools, perhaps from as early as Standard Five but certainly no later than Form Three. The subject must be taught, not to provide answers to students about any of the large questions of existence and life, but to tell them what answers have been offered by the world's great minds and, more importantly, to guide students to seek answers for themselves. "See Statement"
Gender Draft National Gender Policy and Action Plan 15 April 2005
  ... since secularism is strongly correlated to social development, we urge the government not to be intimidated by the rantings of religious fundamentalists, and to let the discussion on gay rights and abortion law reform go forward. The TT Humanists recommendation is that the Draft Policy be tabled in Parliament, so that citizens can hear a debate on fundamental issues of human rights, discrimination, and morality in the nation's highest forum. "See Statement"
Religion Statement on the passing of John Paul II 06 April 2005
  ... when the American church faced the greatest crisis in its history - the sexual abuse of children by priests and bishops - the Pope's response was hardly as forthright as his condemnations of abortion, homosexuality, and euthanasia. He did not apologize for anything, nor did he acknowledge anything amiss in the hierarchy's decades of dissembling - or, as he dismissively put it, the way church leaders are perceived to have acted. "See Statement"
Justice "Abu Bakr no Jesus Christ" - Abu Bakr conspiracy to murder trial - Senior Counsel Pamela Elders closing statements 24 March 2005
  ... we are surprised that the Christian community in Trinidad and Tobago has not objected to Ms. Elder comparing Jesus to Bakr, the man responsible for an attempted coup that resulted in over 20 deaths, dozens of injuries, and millions of dollars in damage. It seems that, in our country, such facts play second fiddle to religious sentiment, metaphors and Biblical arguments - even in a court of law and in the season of Lent. "See Statement"
Morality "Arrest the moral deterioration in the Carnival" - Is this a subject for a Prime Minister to be concerned about? 05 March 2005
... officials should not concern themselves about morality. Morality is a concept impossible to define for a whole society. Notions of it vary from group to group and individual to individual. No individual or organization is competent to pass moral judgement on any other, since it is impossible for any human being to have perfect knowledge either of a person’s conscience or their circumstances. "See Statement"

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