The Evidence of Things not Seen is the title of a nonfiction book by James Baldwin about the Wayne Williams Atlanta child murders of 1979-1981. The title is a reference to the definition of faith from the Biblical Letter to the Hebrews 11:1, wherein it is written: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Also: “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.” Before his conversion, teachers of the Scriptures maintain, the Pharisee Saul understood faith as an act of obedience; righteousness was based on works. After his conversion, the apostle Paul “understood the difference in the basis of his new faith.”
Paul taught that faith is the act of believing, that the spiritual gift of faith is “an unusual measure of trust in God that is exercised beyond most Christians.”
The legendary author and atheist Christopher Hitchens (deceased), in an article entitled ‘Belief in Belief,’ wrote thus of faith: “It is at its most toxic and dangerous point, not when it is insincere and hypocritical and corrupt, but when it is genuine.”
Now, I have not the slightest idea how to describe the demonstrated faith in the campaigning Kenny Anthony’s promise that permitted the widespread belief his reelection would be accompanied by jobs, jobs, jobs, an earmarked $100 million for private sector investment, and an end to Saint Lucia’s economic woes—especially since Kenny Anthony did not himself believe a word of that. How could he have, when there was no one more familiar with the evidence of impending economic disaster?
For two terms he had been the nation’s prime minister and minister of finance. He had to have known—notwithstanding the 11-year absence of audited accounts— that we were dead broke and destined to be even poorer in the coming months and years. So what if he had the word of Hugo Chavez that the campaigning SLP leader could count on ALBA loot, if returned to office. The visible evidence suggested Venezuela was itself facing increasingly troubled waters, even as Chavez lied in his teeth about both his country’s wealth and his own failing health.
We know better now as a nation than we chose to know in late 2011. Madura, who replaced the expired Chavez, is in no position to be generous; not to his own people and certainly not to our prime minister. The US has cut us loose: no more financial assistance for our police, now under investigation for alleged human rights abuses. With his public servants breathing down his neck, our prime minister had little choice recently but to say that if at election time he had known about what now confronts him, he’d not have made those ultimately wicked promises to his dependent and ever-hopeful party faithful.
Of course those were not quite the words the prime minister used during the recalled recent probing at the nimble fingers of his favorite prober Jadia Jn Pierre-Emmanuel. But essentially his confession was that he had made to a largely uninformed people who took him at his word promises he could not possibly keep.
Meanwhile, it’s anyone’s guess why throughout Saint Lucia’s pro-SLP communities the “better days are coming” posters remain where they had been placed nearly three years ago, albeit now somewhat weather beaten. Are the folks now hiding behind closed doors still keepers of the faith? Have they retained the promissory notes as personal reminders of their leader’s deceit?
Or might there be other reasons more ominous, toxic and dangerous? It could turn out that hell hath no fury like faithful voters shafted!