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As this country’s leading expert in religion and 17th best writer, I was surprised that no politician hired me to write their Easter message and weekend grocery list.
Even Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie, a former media editor, preferred to use a pastor who, he said, had a theology degree from a “well-respected seminary.” Cuffie didn’t say which persons respected the unnamed seminary so well, but presumably they included Pastor Winston Cuffie PhD and Dr Pastor Clive Dottin and Doctor Trevor Sayers, since no other pastoral opinions matter in Trinidad and Tobago.
But I was especially disappointed that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley didn’t seek my expert professional input for his Easter statement, since I could have used that money to not vacation in Tobago.
So I am today offering a revised version of the Prime Minister’s Easter address to the nation and, since I am following the lead of his Communications Minister, I am sure I can look forward to an all-expenses trip to St Lucia next year.
“My fellow citizens, Easter is a special time of reflection and observation on the Christian calendar, which is why you should polish your mirror and buy a good telescope.
Here in Trinidad and Tobago, Easter comes at a time when the poui trees are in full bloom and serve as a reminder of what a truly blessed time this is because, even if the murder rate is up to two a day, we can still watch the yellow flowers.
“All around the world Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ who died and rose again. Easter reaffirms that hard ships do not last forever, although most men wish they could sail longer.
“I would ask all citizens to mark the words of Jesus in John Chapter 20, Verse 17 ‘Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father,’ showing that Jesus didn’t have any spare change but was willing to borrow from his Dad.
“ Which is the case with our Treasury and the IMF. Our nation is facing difficult times, like no reasonably priced triple-fudge chocolate cake in Pricesmart.
“We continue to adjust to a new economic reality, and by ‘we’ I of course mean you.
“Government must make the hard decisions that are necessary to help ensure that we emerge from these difficult times and continue on a path of growth and development, once those hard decisions don’t involve revamping URP or privatising Petrotrin.
“In John 20:29 Jesus tells is that ‘blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed,’ which is why I read out those email printouts in Parliament.
“Easter reminds us that we must hold on to our values, our families and the love for our country as we chart our way forward to a better tomorrow as Jesus Christ did when he faced crucifixion, when he said in Matthew 27:46 ‘My God my God, why has thou forsaken me?’ just like the Opposition always asks when I go on vacation.
“We must all remember that, after He rose, Jesus in Mark 16:18 said: ‘They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them,’ which is a clear reference to the UNC leadership and rum.
“Today, many of us will flock to the beaches, fly kites with our children, share meals with our families and worship at our churches, while I shall play some golf.
“As you so do, I encourage you to be mindful of the sacrifice Christ made for us and ponder upon the reality that during these challenging times, we too may be called upon to make sacrifices for the greater good of our nation—and again let me remind you that when I say ‘we’, I mean you.
“I myself have no intention of sacrificing the next election by legalising weed just to keep young black men out of jail, even if like the elders of Galilee in Matthew 28:12 I have to ‘give large money unto the PNM soldiers.’
“With these things in mind, I wish all citizens a safe, happy and holy Easter, since even Hindus and Muslims will have to bow their knee to Jesus on the last days.
“As Jesus said in Mark 16:16 after He rose from the tomb, ‘He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned’, which is why, as Minister Cuffie says, death will always triumph over life.
“I hope we will all emerge with fresh resolve and renewed faith to each do our part to secure a brighter future for Trinidad and Tobago, except atheists who have no faith to renew.”
Kevin Baldeosingh is a professional writer, author of three novels, and co-author of a Caribbean history textbook.