Thursday, October 30, 2008

Religion in Jamaican Society

I wrote an editorial in the Gleaner, which focused on a few of the reasons why Jamaica was fragmented as a nation. I had made some 'blasphemous' remarks about the church in the process, for which I was lambasted by a concerned Jamaican. The reply I made to his letter is an interesting discussion of the church in Jamaica, as I see it.

Dear Chadrick*,

I must first express my delight to read your response to my article. I greatly enjoy participating in intellectual discussions and am looking forward to an amicable online discussion with you, if you so desire. I am not sure how best to deal with your objections to the opinions I expressed, but I hope the format used below will be comprehensive and easy to follow.

Blaming the church for the current predicament in the country is inaccurate and serves no useful purpose.

Ina Mi Gutumaa:
I agree with you. I do not believe Jamaica's moral decay and resulting spiraling crime rate are caused by the actions of the church. Such a statement would be preposterous. The aim of my argument was not to discount the inherent good of the church, but instead to show how having a dominant religion might lead to the exclusion of smaller religious/ interest groups. This seems to me a blatant contradiction to our motto, which praises Jamaica for being a melting pot of cultures.

The role of churches is to convince people to follow the teachings of god, and by so doing becoming someone who would be less likely to resort to crime.

Ina Mi Gutumaa:
This makes perfect sense to me; I cannot imagine why it would be any different in practice.

The Christian church has no monopoly on morality. What is moral for a Christian would also be moral for a Muslim or a Hindu.

Ina Mi Gutumaa:
Here Robert I have to disagree with you. In theory no one group has a monopoly on morality. In the Jamaican context however it is undeniable that Christian morality is viewed as preeminent and that other value systems are frowned upon by the average individual. This is mostly due to ignorance, but that does not change the fact that many Jamaicans are highly intolerant to views outside of their own. Children are indoctrinated by authority figures to believe in the Christian God as soon as they enter the school system, where Christian devotions mark the start of every day. I am not saying that something is necessarily wrong with this. But I am of the view that different religious views are not very well understood or respected.

You are right in saying that 'what is moral for a Christian would also be moral for a Muslim or a Hindu,' but I think you have missed the point if you wont agree that brows are often raised when you are of religious persuasions outside of Christianity. A typical response might be: "Den a uu unu prie tu, kou?...mi no ina dem sitn de!" or "A wan Gad mi nuo, an im duohn niem Ala… go we wid dat!" Jamaicans are not very respectful of different points of view, for which reason my article purports that we are not as united, as our motto might suggest.

You should place the blame for moral decay in the society where it belongs, with politicians. They are the ones who armed their supporters and created garrisons, not the church.

Ina Mi Gutumaa:
Hmmm. I understand where you are coming from. I was not trying to point fingers in my article however, and I must apologize if it misled you to believe I was attempting such. Again, I was pointing out how fragmented Jamaicans are, not the cause of moral decay. I want us to be true to our motto or consider changing it, as it does not accurately reflect the modern reality. Politicians contribute to the disunity, yes; and I feel that having a dominant religion which tries to influence political decisions which will affect people of various religious persuasions does the same thing. I believe the political order should be impartial to all private interests (no matter the majority of supporters they have)!

Jamaica is a majority Christian country. As far as I know freedom of religion is a right all Jamaicans enjoy. So as a non Christian you have nothing to fear.

Ina Mi Gutumaa:
A majority Christian country we are, yes. And too, many are forced to partake in Christian ceremonies from a very early age. Does the majority status justify this? I vividly remember being chastised for not clasping my hands and closing my eyes at the appropriate time. This might be an exaggeration of what is brute force, but it is nonetheless true and emphasizes the point I am trying to make. We cannot continue to pretend that Christian morality isn't forced down our children's throats. I was reciting the 23rd Psalm as early as grade 1! Many in turn accept Christianity as the true religion, but I ask: would they have done so independent of the influence and power of the church in society? What I call indoctrination is regularly defended by the statement: "train up a child in the way he should go and when he grows old he will not depart from it." People can say what they may, but I still don't believe in this logic.

In the constitution, freedom of religion is a right all Jamaicans enjoy, but I think mutual respect for different religions must be present for such freedoms to be appreciated. I am not worried as a non Christian, but I am saddened by the fact that my national motto is clearly propaganda. There is no freedom in this country to pursue modes of living that do not comply with accepted moral standards rooted in Christian morality. People get killed for deviating Robert; again, that's an extreme, but it happens.

For example, the church believes abortion is morally wrong. Okay, I understand and respect that. Now it is the church's duty to teach this to its followers so they may not fall prey to such sinful deeds. That seems appropriate. What I cannot and will never appreciate, is the church entering parliament trying to influence politicians against legalizing abortion. Those who do not believe in Christian morality should have the choice! The church should be able to trust that its teaching methods are effective and if they find that they aren't they should modify their approach accordingly. Trying to influence legislation is tantamount to suggesting that it would have been okay for God to put an electric fence around the Tree of Good and Evil. God left the choice to Adam and Eve, and I feel the church should follow suit and leave the final choice to the individual, Christian or not (but especially non Christians). I feel like I live in a religious state, and I do not appreciate that. I do not feel free. I have many unconventional views and when I express them I do not feel respected.

Though you might disagree with my point of view, I hope at least you may be able to see where I am coming from. Thank you for the opportunity offer clarification for the ambiguous statements in my article.


• Name has been changed


  1. With that experience, you have a better chance in landing
    a permanent job in a bigger hospital. During tough phases of life, you need someone with whom you can share your marital problems openly.
    You will also get the chance to participate in discussions along with your fellow students.
    Also see my webpage -

  2. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to far added agreeable from you!
    However, how could we communicate?

    Feel free to visit my website: online backup
    Here is my blog post : online backup

  3. Good day! This post couldn't be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    Look into my blog :: best online backup service
    Look into my site online backup solutions

  4. Hey are using Wordpress for your blog platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get
    started and set up my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

    My blog: kostenlos spiele spielen

  5. When I originallу сommented I clісκеd thе "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbоx and nοω
    each time a сomment is аddeԁ I get thrеe е-mаіls ωith the same сomment.
    Is there anу wау yοu сan rеmоve mе from that sеrvіce?
    Blеss yοu!

    Feеl fгeе tο visit mу blog - kostenlos spiele spielen
    My webpage :: online radio

  6. Great blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I'm planning to start my own blog soon but I'm a little lost on everything.

    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like Wordpress or
    go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that
    I'm totally overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Bless you!

    Feel free to visit my web-site - youtube converter
    my web site :: spiele spielen

  7. It's very easy to find out any matter on net as compared to textbooks, as I found this piece of writing at this site.

    Look into my web blog ... diets that work for women

  8. 5. B) SEO basics - Image 2: Select-'English' and 'All Countries and Territories'.
    Content, keywords and link building are some of the factors
    using which Search Engine Optimization services are taken care of.
    The main aim of SEO is to get search engines positioning a
    certain website well in results for specific keywords.

    Is professional search engine marketing the thing that you
    need. Search engines are getting smarter at detecting sites that are spamming keywords or made solely for the purpose of advertising.
    Social networking Optimization Websites which include Facebook and You - Tube
    could be the latest examples of how "personal" websites can be
    appropriated for business. Content writing for websites is not as simple as typing out a predetermined amount of words,
    if you wish people to view the content. Google bowling messes
    up the external ranking used by Google and penalizes a sites ranking compared
    it the competitors. People these days use the Internet for a varied purpose.
    So, most move slowly when deciding on who becomes the
    company's SEO. Don't Forget to Replace the Default
    Favicon with Your Logo. ' Every page should be optimized with additional keywords. You can Google maps link for your website, which will be very helpful if any person search in images sections. Once you find the right and affordable SEO Company, it is essential to talk about your business objectives, target customers and future goals with the professionals to help them develop their strategies accordingly. Why. Online Advertising and SEO Marketing. When a person enters a keyword into the search box of a particular search engine such as Google, there will be scores of results showing out which are a result of a search engine algorithm devised by that particular search engine. You need the keyword and phrase in both title and description. ============ More at: Comment "Smartly" & Increase Page Views: Writing Essentials 8.

    Take a look at my blog - mouse click the up coming website page

  9. Certain foods will send glucose rushing into your
    blood which then triggers an insulin response which puts you directly
    into a fat storing mode. However, diabetics should never drink anything with this substance in it as it has a very bad glycemic reaction
    on the body. Nuvoryn is a dietary slimming supplement like no
    other as it not only helps a person lose weight,
    but it helps lose weight efficiently.

    Have a look at my web-site ... Isgodreal.Info

  10. You сan also buy bundle deals, ωhich most radio statiοnѕ offег, tо ԁecrease thе overall ad cоst.
    Yet аnοther ωay tο сonstruct a device
    tο harness еnergy from raԁio wavеs iѕ uѕing an аntеnna, cоnnected to
    a series of diodes аnd a capacitor bank that is earthed.
    Aԁԁitionаlly, some neω attributеѕ maκe it evеn easier
    to mаkе radio buttons ԁo exactly what you want
    them to do.

    My blog poѕt:

  11. Hi there, just wanted to mention, I enjoyed this article. It was practical.

    Keep on posting!

    Feel free to surf to my homepage :: diets that work fast for women

  12. My brother suggested I might like this web site.
    He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent
    for this info! Thanks!

    Here is my web-site ... More hints

  13. Hi there to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this web page, and
    your views are good designed for new users.

    Here is my page ... linked web page

  14. Wow, that's what I was exploring for, what a material! existing here at this webpage, thanks admin of this web site.

    my homepage - thrombosed hemorrhoid treatment

  15. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation
    but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the hang of it!

    Here is my homepage :: hemorrhoids treatments

  16. What a information of un-ambiguity аnd preservеness
    of prеcious knowlеdge rеgaгding unpredіcted feelings.

    Alsο ѵіsit mу website: gratis spiele

  17. I do not even understand how I stopped up here, but I assumed this publish was once
    great. I do not recognize who you are however definitely you are going to a well-known blogger should you aren't already. Cheers!

    Also visit my page :: visit the up coming internet page

  18. What's the put-on to cellulite ware for Nivea is the Nivea consistency Good-bye cellulite. Tip 1 - obviate to and so do work up to one hour of walking per day.

    my blog: treatment for cellulitis
    Also see my web page :: effective cellulite treatments

  19. I like the helpful info you supply to your articles. I will bookmark your blog and
    take a look at again here regularly. I'm rather sure I'll be told plenty of new stuff proper here!

    Best of luck for the next!

    Feel free to surf to my web page :: Diets that work

  20. This is very interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I've
    joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post.
    Also, I've shared your site in my social networks!

    Visit my site; diet plans that work
    My web site :: diet plans that work

  21. At this time I am going to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming over again to read more news.

    my blog post ... diets that work

  22. Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a
    team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.

    Your blog provided us useful information to work on.

    You have done a extraordinary job!

    Review my web-site online graduate certificate programs
    My website: graduate certificate online

  23. Great delivery. Solid arguments. Keep up the good effort.

    Also visit my web site ... safe diet plans

  24. I read this article fully about the difference of most recent and earlier technologies, it's amazing article.

    my weblog; bmi calculator men
    My web page: bmi calculator for men

  25. Cοnsіder running a сontest oг offering а
    frеe рroduсt tip shеet that accοmpaniеs the interview.
    Yet аnother way to construct a device to harneѕѕ еnergy from radio waveѕ
    iѕ usіng an antеnna, connecteԁ tο а sеries of diοdеѕ аnd a сapacitor bаnk that is earthеd.
    Ρrοffeгing multifarious benеfitѕ tο the adѵertisеrs, іt iѕ а quintessentіаl resort for comρanies big or small.

    Takе a lοoκ at my blog poѕt; radio sender

  26. You actually make it appear so easy along with your presentation
    however I to find this topic to be actually something which I believe I might never understand.

    It sort of feels too complicated and very extensive for me.
    I am taking a look forward for your subsequent submit, I will attempt
    to get the grasp of it!

    Also visit my site :: healthy diet plans for women

  27. Thank you for every other informative website.

    Where else could I get that type of info written
    in such a perfect means? I've a venture that I am simply now running on, and I've been
    at the look out for such information.

    Also visit my blog post easy diets that work

  28. But the the main thing is a lot of your personal data is out there whether it's health information, bank card details or even as the Albuquerque mishap shows courtroom files. Since the controversial introduction of the format in 2003 its growing popularity now prompts the question of threat to the traditional test format. I thought it would be cool to make people laugh as I inquire into the things that fascinate me, like the trap of being human and, at the same time, divine. Fun the first time, but just not enjoyable after numerous journeys. Many consumers worry about their security when making purchases over the internet. For an in depth guide to the E8400 chip, I highly recommend reading this article: Final Thoughts on the Intel E8400. Today, the scenario is entirely different. In an effort to counter the lack of support from Microsoft, an SVG plug-in for Internet Explorer was developed and supported by Adobe. * You're realistic about what you expect from others.

    Two people have a heated argument, voices raised, vocalized
    obscenities, hearts racing ' obvious discord all rooted in fear.

    Feel free to visit my web page Read the Full Write-up

  29. These online dress-up video games have about hundreds of online games stored in its database.
    When children fit these fun video game titles into actions require time to view
    those facial seems to be and human body expressions. You could also
    do your very own version connected with makeovers and allow a celebrity a whole different start looking.

    Feel free to visit my page ::
    my webpage: Read the Full Post

  30. It's genuinely very difficult in this full of activity life to listen news on Television, thus I simply use web for that purpose, and take the most recent information.

    My blog post: bmi calculation

  31. Link exchange is nothing else however it is just placing the other
    person's weblog link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do similar in favor of you.

    My website - bmr calculator

  32. Hurrah, that's what I was seeking for, what a material! existing here at this web site, thanks admin of this site.

    Here is my blog; chapter 13 bankruptcy florida

  33. I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This post posted
    at this website is genuinely nice.

    Check out my website :: Diet plans that work

  34. This is really fascinating, You're a very skilled blogger. I've joined your feed and
    look forward to in the hunt for extra of your magnificent post.
    Also, I have shared your website in my social networks

    Here is my web site; Diet That Works

  35. Excellent site you have got here.. It's hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    Feel free to surf to my blog; chapter 13 bankruptcy florida

  36. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the
    structure of your website? Its very well written; I love what
    youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so
    people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text
    for only having one or two pictures. Maybe you could
    space it out better?

    Feel free to visit my site; airplane simulator game

  37. I all the time emailed this weblog post page to all my friends,
    as if like to read it afterward my links will too.

    my blog post :: airplane landing games

  38. You could definitely see your skills in the article you write.
    The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren't afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

    Also visit my web page Bmr Calculator For Women

  39. This article provides clear idea in support of the new
    people of blogging, that in fact how to do blogging and site-building.

    my blog; bmi chart female

  40. "Organic Mulch) (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, NRES-19-97). Owning a regular lawn mower does not mean you have to give up on mulching your yard; you just have to be willing to do some work. Mulch also keeps soil from being depleted of vital nutrients, so gardeners do not have to rotate planting locations from year to year.

  41. Appreciation to my father who informed me on the topic of this webpage,
    this blog is genuinely amazing.

    Feel free to visit my page; diets that work

  42. Hi, I check your blogs regularly. Your writing style is awesome, keep
    it up!

    Here is my web blog best diet

  43. whoah this blog is excellent i really like reading your posts.
    Keep up the good work! You realize, a lot of persons are
    hunting round for this information, you can help
    them greatly.

    Look at my web page; bmi charts

  44. It's genuinely very complicated in this active life to listen news on Television, therefore I simply use world wide web for that reason, and get the most recent news.

    my blog ... how much should you weigh


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.