As the Christian Right freely goes out and legislates morality, and what women, can and cannot do with their bodies, let us not forget, that we the enablers, are but pawns in their game, easily disposable; for as we agree with, inter alia the prohibition of abortion, the illegality of buggery, and the banning of marijuana, let us be aware of the slippery slope we trod.
If the Christian Right gets its way and performs the irreligious marriage of Church and State, they will impose upon a secular, multi-religious nation, laws and sanctions that suit their ideology. Let us not delve into which brand of Right Wing Christianity we will have to adopt for that is anyone’s guess. Let us instead look at what we take for granted and how our lives will be affected by such a marriage.
The rights of women
- The rape of a woman is but a minor transgression (Genesis 19:8 and Judges 19:16-30). We can already see this in how our current law defines rape, by refusing to any forced sexual activity against a woman. Indeed Part II of the Sexual Offences Act 2009, does not recognise penetration of the vagina or anus by a body part other than the penis, an object manipulated by the offender, or the placing of the penis into the mouth of the victim as rape, rather it is defined as grievous sexual assault (thank the Lawyers Christian Fellowship in helping to make this definition)
- Women are the property of their father and at marriage her ownership is transferred to her new husband (Exodus 20 & 21)
- Women ought not to be ministers of religion(Ephesians 1:22,23, 1 Timothy 3:1-2, 1 Timothy 2:11-14). Should we interpret this into professions generally? After all women were considered to only be homemakers and housekeepers.
Common law marriage
The laws recognising common law relationships will have to be discarded, as common-law marriage falls short of honouring Christ. As such the rights of surviving partners of the relationship will not be recognised. You better get married people!
The laws allowing gambling will have to be abolished. Casinos, gaming houses, horse racing, bingos and raffles must become outlawed and prohibited (1 Timothy 6:10, Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 6:24, Proverbs 28:22,).
Depending on which brand of Christianity we become ruled by, our meals will also be regulated. There will be no:
- Pork and Christmas ham (Leviticus 11:7-8 , Deuteronomy 14:8)
- Shellfish (Leviticus 11:10, Deuteronomy 14:9-10, Leviticus 11:9-12)
- Cheese Patties (the mixing of meat and dairy)
Work on Saturday and Sunday
Depending on whose brand of Christianity we become ruled by, we will have to prohibit working on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday.
The drinking of alcoholic beverages will have to be prohibited. Indeed we may have to impose something very similar to the ‘Prohibition in the United States’ which was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. Why would the Christians want to ban the sale of alcohol?
- It distorts the perception of reality (Is 28:7; Prov 23:33)
- It impairs the capacity to make responsible decisions (Lev 10:9-11)
- It weakens moral sensitivities and inhibitions (Gen 9:21; 19:32; Hab 2:15; Is 5:11-12)
- It causes physical sickness (Prov 23:20-21; Hos 7:5; Is 19:14; Ps 60:3)
Look out Red Stripe, J. Wray and Nephew, Tia Maria, Desnoes and Geddes, Lascelles Wines and Spirits, Edwin Charlie, Sangster’s, wholesalers, retailers, bars, hotels, and restaurants. The sale of alcohol will soon be prohibited.
We will also have to ban cigarette smoking (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 1 Corinthians 6:12). Cigarette Company Of Jamaica Limited, Carreras, sellers, and distributers of cigarettes and tobacco products be aware, you will be suffering the same fate.
Of course with a Church state we can’t possibly have freedom of religion. So Rastafarianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, Particular denominations of Christianity, Mormons, Bahá'í Faith practitioners, Spirutualists, Judaism, Revivalism (and others) will have to go underground.
Social life (parties)
Our social events will be regulated, no more ATI, RTI, clubbing, places like Palais Royale Nightclub, Shades Nightclub, Ceasar’s Nightclub, Mass Camp and Carnival, Reggae Sumfest, Margaritaville, Mobay Proper, Coral Cliff will have to close down. Then we will have to move on to places like Hedonism, and Couples and many of our other resorts catering to adult entertainment, you will also have to look out, you are all on the chopping block.
Classroom education will also be regulated. Sex education (what little there is) will possibly become non-existent or at the very most, taught solely along Christian ideology. And how will we treat religious education? Shall we teach only Christianity or will we offer Christian views of other religious teaching from Christian authors? And what of science? How will science be taught? Will Darwin be thrown out? Your guess is as good as mine.
With regard to adultery both the man and the woman caught, must be put to death (Deuteronomy 22:22, Leviticus 20:10).
Regarding divorce (with 2,371 divorces this should be interesting), the laws permitting divorce will have to be removed, (Malachi 2:14-16, Matthew 19:4-6). Remember too that the Bible says that anyone who divorces and remarries commits adultery (Mark 10:12, Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:11, Luke 16:18), I guess that means that all divorced and remarried persons having committed adultery should also be put to death?
Fornication is met with death as in Deuteronomy 22:13-21, which says that a woman who is not a virgin upon her marriage must be stoned to death.
Finally we would have to force rape victims to marry their rapist as per Deuteronomy 22:28-29.
No I’m not mad
By espousing these views I’m not going mad, this is happening right now in our world; in fact this is the same fight going on in the United States right now! While writing this piece I came across an article on The Christian Left blog, talking about Reconstructionism and Dominionism.
Christian Reconstructionism is a religious and theological movement within Evangelical Christianity that calls for Christians to put their faith into action in all areas of life, within the private sphere of life and the public and political sphere as well. The social structure advocated by Christian Reconstructionism would have the clergy, laity and government, individually and corporately, to be in ultimate submission to the moral principles of the Bible, including the Old Testament, while retaining their separate jurisdictional spheres of authority and roles in society as inferred from principles of Biblical law, both Old and New Testaments.
Dominionism is a term used to describe politically active conservative Christians that are believed to conspire and seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States, with the goal of either a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of Biblical law. Dominion Theology is a grouping of theological systems with the common belief that the law of God, as codified in the Bible, should exclusively govern society, to the exclusion of secular law, a view also known as theonomy. The most prominent modern formulation of Dominion Theology is Christian Reconstructionism, founded by R. J. Rushdoony in the 1970s. Reconstructionists themselves use the word dominionism to refer to their belief that Christians alone should control civil government, conducting it according to Biblical law.
Am I saying Christianity has no place what so ever in Jamaican society? Am I saying people must be able to do whatever they want regardless of the effect it may have on others? No, and no. I am saying however, that the tyranny of the mighty should not be imposed on others. I am saying everyone should be free to exercise their rights so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others. I am saying we must be respectful. There is no respect in the Church wanting to force legislation to suit their ideology.
We must reject our roles as pawns and refuse to be intimidated by the Churches power; we must build a Jamaica for all persons, respecting rights, allowing persons to make their own choices.
There is a poem I want to leave you with, the words are chilling, but they are not farfetched. It was written by Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller, who was a German anti-Nazi theologian, Protestant pastor and social activist; it says:
In Germany, they came first for the Communists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . .
And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
A Christian Tired of Being Misrepresented
I'm really not sure what else I should add. As far-fetched as her arguments may seem, they really aren't that far off at all. Look at what the church and groups like the Lawyers Christian Fellowship have been able to do. Look at how they have exerted their power and created a constitution deliberately leaving out many. Look at how they attempt to control others by creating fear, fellow blogger H over at his blog (Gay Jamaica Watch) tells us about a radio interview of a Dr. Wayne West:
who declared that Christian lawyers and people of God will not stand by and allow homosexuality to be legalized. He said among others things significant lawyers from Europe are a part of the moves to impose sodomy on Jamaica and that we (the church I would imagine) must resist it. He mentioned the high rates of HIV in the Men who have sex with men community and quoted figures from France and other areas suggesting HIV/AIDS is a gay disease as other religious spokespersons have done instilling a fear that repealing the laws will unleash more infections. In referring to the legal challenge against the buggery laws in Belize that is ongoing he also said "....yes Jamaica is the next place ..... there can be only one, if certain rights dominate in the public sphere the church will be into the closet." (read the rest here)
Are we going to wait until they have gotten rid of those in society we don't like and then turn on us for us to fight against them? Actually I'd be dead by then for I'm one of those ills they want gone.
As Ms. Jackson said, let's stop being pawns, let's stand up to this tyranny before it is too late.
By the way I wonder if the papers will publish her?