30 May 2016

Secular State?

I have often read or heard in the media, comments by various people that Trinidad and Tobago is a secular state. I don’t know how or where that misconception came about as the very first paragraph of the Constitution clearly states:

Whereas the People of Trinidad and Tobago—
(a) have affirmed that the Nation of Trinidad and Tobago is founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in fundamental human rights and freedoms, the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions, the dignity of the human person and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by their Creator;

and the fourth:

(d) recognise that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values and the rule of law;

You can read it yourself on page 27 of this link.

For more information on what morality means and its relationship to law, readers should dig into the Hart-Devlin debate. Morality is independent of both religion and culture, but in the minds of most people, morality is religion and culture.

Coming back on course, I hope that people can accept that Trinidad and Tobago is NOT a secular country and that religion is given an unproportioned weight in decision making.