Liberia: Min. McGill’s Justification for Expensive Burial of His Mother Meets Stiff Resistance


MONROVIA – Minister of State, Nathaniel McGill, over the weekend sought to clear the air over the criticisms of the state-of-the-art burial tomb constructed for his mother. The public perception has been it was built with state resources. While that is yet to be proven by any of his critics, the sticky question has been, “Could he have afforded such a burial prior to the CDC-led government coming into power?”

While many see the tomb, which was situated in a building that has electricity and a large fenced compound as a waste of resources, Minister McGill has stated that the much-talked-about burial is a fulfillment of the Bible’s Fifth Commandment which states: “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

In the interpretation of the Fifth Commandment is quite unique. In a Facebook post, the Minister rationalized that the latter part of the commandment seeks to say that in a society where children honor their parents, that society flourishes while urging building a society where honor is bestowed on parents.

“The corollary is: A society in which children do not honor their parents is doomed to self-destruction,” he stated.

Minister McGill: “In our time, this connection between honoring parents and maintaining civilization is not widely recognized. On the contrary, many of the best-educated parents do not believe that their children need to show them honor, since “honoring” implies an authority figure, and that is a status many modern parents reject. In addition, many parents seek to be loved, not honored, by their children. Yet, neither the Ten Commandments nor the Bible elsewhere commands us to love our parents. This is particularly striking given that the Bible commands us to love our neighbor, to love God, and to love the stranger.”

He argued that parents are the only ones who Bible has asked Christians to honor.

He added, “There are many ways to honor parents. The general rule is this: They get special treatment. Parents are unique; so, they must be treated in a unique way. You don’t talk to them in quite the same way you do anyone else. For example, you might use expletives when speaking to a friend; but you don’t with a parent. You don’t call them by their first name. And when you leave their home and make your own, you maintain contact with them. Having no contact with parents is the opposite of honoring them.”

Minister McGill went ahead to thank God for giving him a “loving mother” and allowing him to honor her the way he did.

Despite explaining himself out, the Minister seems to have even raised more doubts than ever with many questioning the sincerity of his Biblical reference and interpretation.

Commenting on Minister McGill’s justification on Facebook, Arthur J. Payne noted, “Nathaniel McGill doesn’t understand the scripture. The scripture says honor thou mother and father, not dead mother and dead father. So, whatever he’s doing to justify his flamboyant grave cannot be justified in scripture.”

Others argue that the Bible rather referred to parents who are live to be honored and not the dead who will have no appreciation for whatever luxury you may give their remains.

Joseph Sirleaf Gaye Jr. also commented on Facebook, “I guess the oldma isn’t in peace at all, she’s crying every day for God to have mercy on u, for the foolish and boastful way burial her, the world is talking about it every day, her name has become a topic of the century and you here talking stupidity.”

Martin Wiamah Brown: “Min. McGill justification for wastefully spending public money extravagantly is insensitive and there is no way he can quantify it.

We are not questioning his status, but to wastefully spent taxpayers’ money in such a loose manner and justified it without expressing any remorse, actually shows, he doesn’t care. Is he telling us that, all those that gave their parents a befitting burial without displaying luxury and Opulence doesn’t honor their parents?”

Molley Paasewe: “Vanity only impresses the lowly minded living. Truly hope the deceased finds grace in the hereafter, after the showy send-off. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.”

The reactions on Facebook were heavily one-sided against the Minister. Many referenced the current state of the economy and how sudden the proponents of the “Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development” are rather living in extravagance and their lust for luxury is vivid.