Young church goers between the ages of 10 and 25 in Barbados are having sexual intercourse. And some church leaders are uncomfortable talking about the subject. According to Chief Executive Officer and General Secretary of the Evangelical Association of the Caribbean Dr. Gerald Seale, it’s no secret that youth within churches are having sex. Dr. Seale says church leaders must not fear talking to the young people and by extension their congregation about sex and the dangers of HIV/AIDS. He says over 400 letters were sent to churches across the island inviting them to participate in a study on sex in the Church but only 50 sent representatives. Evidence that sex is still taboo within the church.
Last month we posted the very popular article, The Church’s Big Secret which in a nutshell questioned the fading role of the Church in our society and in our opinion the consequential issues which we believe are linked to it. The pluralistic nature of our modern society obviously made this issue a controversial and contentious one, but the thrust of our point remains valid. The willingness of our society to push the church in the background, we are seeing the full effect of it. The ‘cover-up’ of the failure of our leaders to influence the behaviour and lifestyles of our people, especially the young is now being exposed. The data which is now overwhelming us from many sources clearly indicate that HIV/AIDS is growing at a frenetic pace. In other words, it is an epidemic and although infected people are living longer because of the advances in modern medicine, the rate of infection continues unabated.
Why have we restated a known position?
For the simple reason that the General Secretary of the Evangelical Association of the Caribbean has come out of the closet to confirm what we have been saying all along. The Church which historically has been the entity that has held its hand up as the caretaker of the spiritual well being of our society appears to be badly under-performing. In fact we have to deliver a Grade F. It is not a discussion friends, it is an admission by the Church. We have known for sometime that the inclination of our young Christian flock to readily integrate with the prevailing secular lifestyle is now enshrined behaviour. Some of you will no doubt say that fornication and adultery has been happening in the Church since Adam was the proverbial lad, and you would be right! The difference here is that it is an uncivilized idiot and a fool who would engage in a behaviour which is self-destructive and continue with it, UNCHANGED! No we are not talking about the primal behaviour of uncivilized animals. We are talking about HUMANS that most civilized of the Animal Kingdom.
Whew, now that we have gotten that off our chest let us become a tad dispassionate.
Analysis in the USA market which we feel apply to Barbados as well, supports the view that behavioural programs which adopt abstinence based programs ONLY, don’t work – see this link. This is an important finding because the doctrines of the bible clearly preach the position that fornication and adultery are sins. Herein lies the conundrum which the church must grapple within a modern society. Data do not support the position of abstinence by the church, which for obvious reasons would not want to exercise flexibility on this issue. Given the reality of the situation however, some people may question the relevance of the church in today’s society as it relates to helping mould the behaviour of our young people.
May God have mercy on our souls.
We apologize if our article makes you feel like there is no hope. There is always hope.
God curse your stinking backside.
You filthy swine. Why have you defiled Errol Barrow’s memory by copying his photo on your blog title?
You don’t represent him, you stupid monkey.
Personally I do not see pre-maital sex being the fault of the church alone. The cause for pre-martial sex is multi faced, complex and is the blame of society in general! Youngsters have as role models the Hollywood types who would laugh in our faces about this subject being any problem at all! They would tell us get lost old man this is the young generation where sex is normal anytine! I do not think people see this situation for what it really is!
The younger generations have come to have very little respect for the churches and whether some like to admit it or not the churches are the ones to shoulder most of the blame. But it does not end there. And in fact the churches failed to see this social revolution coming!
An equally and even more important component to this twenty first century increase in sexuality is plainly parents not stepping up to the plate and doing their job. And quite truthfully I see it now as being too late. Do you think that parents or churches are going to have any impact on the thinking of males or females who have reached the legal age of consent from having sex?
And you might say what about the young ones now coming up why not teach them? Have you not seen what these youngsters are being exposed to even in kindergardten? seeing on TV and hearing from equally young people as themselves? What about the videos, the rap lyrics etc. How are you going to ban these things? More importantly how many parents are going to ban them when 8 out of 10 children like their own are participants and have all the toys to be hip?
However, we have all gone down this path already and will go down it again with some very strong views expressed all of which are mainly valid but in THEORY only.
We are living in a society today where sex unlike what it was 50 years ago is out in the open, talked about quite openly, seen graphically on TV, websites etc and is treated like a recreational sport.
But sex is not the only liberated if you will issue permeating our societies that were 50 years ago condemned or in the closet. There is the issues of homosexuality, mixed marriages etc that have been embraced by most countries in the world. Talk to ten people about these issues you getten different view points and the church is the l;east of their problems.
I think the matter of promiscuity and other changes we or some of us see as an affront to Gods teachings, bad, and sinful are a sign of the times that is only going to get worse.
Parenting, the church, society at large and Governments all are to blame. But with the kind of rapid change and thinking that has taken place in the Universe over the past 50 years I see the cause for the entire decay that of the liberating, and relaxation of the values generations before held so dearly and it has been done by society, Government etc. And it was inevitable!
Were the truth known Barbadians pay more attention to things like this than 80% of other societies.
Sorry second line “multi faceted”
Your last paragraph, 6 words: May God have mercy on our souls…. sums up the idiotic ideas people still have.
“Instinct of self-preservation” and “Instinct to reproduce” i.e. – have sex – are the two ingrained, primal and ultra powerful drives in the animal (and humans are animals) and these operate below the level of the conscious mind.
If these goodie goodie people think talking about sex and admonishing people “not to have it” is going to make a dent in what comes naturally – they’d be better off trying to persuade Owing not to throw his hat in the ring once more…..
May God have mercy indeed.
Here is a movement in Portland, USA to give children as young as 11 birth control pills.
Hypocrisy is alive and well, not in the church only but in the society as a whole. Young people in the church have always been sexually active on one level or another because the church sometimes behaves as though people do not have sex drives. Pretence is the order of the day. You can do anything as long as the church members don’t find out. Lust is prevalent in our society. How many of us as adults can give the youth advice on controlling their sex drive when our society is driven by lust. As long as our men/women think that it is natural to lust and it is impossible to control your sex drive then the current situation will continue.
Barbados used to be a breeding station during slavery and it seems the hundreds of years since the abolition of slavery has not changed our ‘breeder’ status. We now behave like the animals they claimed we were and are now embracing the stereotypical image of the sex- mad- black- savage that our ancestors fought so hard to erase. During slavery young girls were ‘lined’ by older men. Has that changed? During slavery ‘bucks’ had sex indiscriminately with as many women as massa said he should ‘cover’ and he bragged about how many women he bedded and how many children were conceived. No matter how many children he made he never had to support them, massa did that. Has that changed? A female slave was supposed to be willing to be covered by many different men to make sure she produced. Her sole purpose was to produce children. She never had to feed them, massa did that. She was rewarded financially for each child she produced. Has that changed?
We have to decide if we are going to continue to skip happily down the hypocitical path to our own destruction or are we the elders in society finally going to own up to the fact that we have not set a good example for those who follow.
Children learn what they see and hear, they sometimes seem to even pick up the behavior that we thought we had hidden from them.
Do as I say……and not as I do?
Sex drive: Basic, primal
It might take a civilization generations to control it and further to sublimate it into a higher form of creation, beyond mere biological reproduction.
But in 3 generations it can all be lost, life returns to easier to maintain levels, in the absence of stronger motivating social and intellectual patterns.
The hypocrisy of Barbadian society is clear for all to see, the youth are not fooled. They know in spite of the makeup on the face that the cadaver is exactly that…. rotting away on the insides.
Return to the church?
To put at the head of your society a dying being…
After periods of glorious successes the two major monotheistic religions are philosophically bankrupt, monumental failures almost as impressive as the edifices they leave behind.
They both deserved their status as the organizing principles behind past civilizations and societies. The achievements…staggering.
In Laws, Mathematics, Military,Language, Science, Music, Art, Architecture…..out of reasons and passions…
Religion is but the manifest durable quality of a society/civilization, it is more static than dynamic. A compass, not restricted to just a Church, Mosque or Synagogue….but in Academia, Political Ideology etc…also forms of religion. Exceptions in experience must be reconciled even if it means denying Truth. But this is when your religion has become almost exclusively static….a shell, hollow bones, dead for so long it is incapable of rebirth. The pyramid crumbles…
What about Science then…it is in a sense the perpetual becoming, without ever being “the thing”….iterative, always surpassing itself. Dominated by pursuit of Truths. Theory must reconcile experience….one exception can justify modification of a theory or the creation of a new one. But what about a time when previous theory is not appropriately validated before its offspring are given life? Within a few years its mutated progeny wreak havoc on the society. Poorly organized, incoherent and viral. Once mostly dynamic quality, becomes almost exclusively dynamic and we are out on the stormy seas with neither stars nor lighthouse to guide us
The fewer questions people ask about purpose, meaning, understanding of life the less they need
Religion and Science.
Moral order is beyond Religion or Science and should not have been demoted to, subordinate to, or defined as a product of either.
The dominant society of the future will likely be born like most of the past, through greater understanding. At the spearhead of this will be genius, courage, truth…may you live in interesting times. The next toolbox for mankind will surpass your wildest dreams and nightmares.
Its seeds now lie in soil made fertile by the decaying corpse of western society. Watered by a new language, and shone upon by a greater philosophy, may the fruit of their invention sustain humanity into its next golden era.
Old man and wild child, I salute the ones to glance at you as mirrors but will surpass you both.
Deep , Very Deep Makaveli, I am captivated, would you like to expand on some of the concepts that you have so interestingly articulated above?
1- If the whole society is decaying, why not allow the church to be at the head? (why does it matter in that case?)
2 -What periods of great successes did the church have? maybe you mean periods of great influence… since success must be associated with UNDERSTANDING YOUR PURPOSE.
3- You say “The fewer questions people ask about purpose, meaning, understanding of life the less they need Religion and Science.”
Don’t you think that by not asking these questions people are making themselves fools? Why would ‘fools’ need Religion and science? (..and by religion – I mean a true understanding of life)
Your piece about the seeds of the future being nurtured by the “soil made fertile by the decaying western civilization” is epic in its conception – I like the imagery – could we have that again in English? Can you really be understanding my point that this world is running EXACTLY according to a BEAUTIFUL plan conceived by the Big Boss Engineers (BBE) we refer to as God? Despite the evil, war, sorrows etc that we see…
The fundamental power and relevance of SEX as a factor in the purpose of life is enlightening and you seem to tantalizingly touch on that untouched subject.
Altogether a most refreshing post Makaveli….
Thank you for the compliment Bush Tea. The following is just a little elaboration on the former post.
Polyphonic mass propelled the reinvention of musical notion, a good example of the tendency of religion to give duration to quality. The periods defined as Renaissance, Baroque and Classical are filled with the INFLUENCE of the Roman Catholic Church. But it is more than just influence; Roman Catholicism was a powerful unifying force.
It is ironic that born out of a blend of paganism, Egyptian theology and primordial communism that Christianity would grow to defeat the fatalism and superstition of Roman civilization at its decline. When the empire fell it had been sick for a long time.
Christianity gave life a new direction, and while some may argue if the direction was correct, valuable etc. it was direction, the stagnation of the cyclical pagan world view was never going to give birth to western science.
Christian philosophy which at the time of the 13th century was expanded in large part by Aquinas through the rediscovery of Aristotle (by way of Al-Ghazali) was progressive. Islam (in the dark ages) was the guardian of western knowledge and thought achieved by the Greeks. It is especially to Muslim Spain that Europe owes its reacquisition of the founding principles of western thought.
We have the Roman Catholic Church to thank for medieval spread of universities throughout Europe. Islam is to be credited with the re-establishment of Plato’s concept of the academy in the form of what we would today call a university. Al-Azhar University was founded in the 10th century and resembled then, universities of today.
By the middle 15th century Gutenburg gave the west the printing press with the Bible being one of the most well known of the printing projects.
I don’t want to go on and on but it is well documented the products of Christianity and Islam. They are in a sense the Gemini of Western Civilization (Christ-Sun, Allah-Moon)
I might be wrong but I understand a lot of their activities to have been purpose driven. Yes they were unintended consequences, inquisitions, crusades and victims like Galileo, or worse Giordano Bruno. Millions died through religious fervor but witness the achievement of the age of ideology in the emerging Christian vacuum of the late 19th century….
The spawn of that age, Nazism and Communism slaughtered millions in one generation.
As for the BBE, I sometimes peer through the window of Pangloss’s philosophy in Voltaire’s “Candide”… “it is the best of all possible worlds”
Sometimes I wonder what if the entire concept of perfection is but a classical fossil, and that we are indeed living in perfection.
As for God/and Gods I understand it/them to be real. I unfortunately cannot begin to articulate my understanding with current English…..as for mathematics I won’t even go there it’s paralyzed by constants…. Hmmm…but to take a stab at explaining it, a few questions and answers might help point in a general direction…
Why are organic compounds based on carbon?
In many ways carbon is an element which forms a pivot in the periodic table…yes there is the explanation of bond angles. But it betrays carbon’s deeper nature which is essentially many permutations, potentially thousands of basic compounds (dynamic quality) and stability (static quality) resulting in duration (bergsonian)
Why DNA…..again we find both qualities in harmony a plethora of possibilities and yet changing (paradoxical to some) stability.
Why proteins? Why cells? Why Multicellular/Why organism? Why Social order? Why a mind/s? Why intelligence? Why civilization? Why Gods etc….. Life is an organizing whole, all that I have listed is life.
My tentative answers all reveal a common theme, and it is a radical departure from a materialist paradigm. It is a moral order of reality.
Under it Evil and Good have also been redefined…Evil denies reality’s few core truths, and good is expanding of them into many locally applicable truths. I can only tease with this topic….a full discourse is many hours long and a growing stack of notebooks. Not written in 21st English, and with too many aphorisms and much symbolic logic.
Trying to take a lead from a past genius I desire to make these philosophical issues elegant and simple. The wake of fools is confusion and cognitive dissonance, may I not be found guilty of such… one Socrates is quite enough.
As for the Church heading society….it needs a new tool box to mine for its new truths.
There is no standing still… Aquinas was fortunate to have Aristotle available. If the Church can adopt a philosopher for this age then a renaissance may still be possible.
My opinion is that church is burdened by the evil of its static quality, and will collapse under its own weight. Its brain has died , and now its body follows.
Will have to touch on SEX later, I replied to Bush Tea’s comment but it isn’t posting.
What ever happened to individual responsibility? What ever happened to the man in the mirror? The “church” is just like the “government” Un-identifiable. You need to identify this “church”. Is it Orthodox, Roman, Anglican, Coptic, Moravian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, … You know I can go on. So many different bodies, doctrines, dogmas and ethics make up what you seem to believe is the “church” that I am afraid we will never discover what it is.
Why is an objective identification of church needed? Is it even useful in a moral evaluation?
Orthodox, Roman, Anglican, Coptic, Moravian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Gnostic, Mormon…
Christian churches still use a tired epistemological approach….you can name 150 denominations they have the same philosophical foundation. It is the root of western thought, and it goes back to Greeks. Islam’s philosophical applications as well, go back to Greeks. Western science originates with Greeks; Aristotle and three syllogisms, law of identity, law of excluded middle and law of contradiction. These are the foundations of classical logic, the core of any reasoning process undertaken by any of the “churches” and almost anyone in the western world. They are taken by many as self evident truths. “It” is intrinsic to our language…”it” is encoded within the structure of language.
Classical logic metastasized into cultural relativism. This is ironic because it was Plato who railed against the Sophists who are the origins of relativism in western thought. Swings are roundabouts, but the central axiom of truth as unchanging and further the proposition that there is ONE Truth, should be challenge. The proponents of this classical logic system demand that discussion be facilitated on their terms, with their linguistics and symbolic logic. Churches of all kinds ignore proposed paradigms that exceed their own, quick to dismiss new cognitive memes as irrational, unreal, immoral etc. may I suggest dabbling with some Church of Virus, it contains a refreshing lexicon on memes. Monotheism is on a very shaky foundation; note the many paradoxes within western theology.
If you search for what “it” is without asking… Is church even an “it”? You might get bogged down with subjective and objective views. Trapped in this limited epistemology, one might believe that “Definition” and “Identity” is essentially to understanding. This is a naïve perspective that sees all that is real as definable and discrete within current language and mathematics. Such proponents claim vehemently “it does not exist”, when they cannot not make “it” a subject or object. Reality will be as large as the ability of your language to reveal…this is well demonstrated in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-philosophicus. Instead of saying it does not exist, recognise that in absence of language necessary to understand…you could as Wittgenstein suggests “pass over in silence”
I have an understanding of church but I cannot say definitely it is this or that etc my understanding of church is within a moral order…vis-a-vis A predominantly static pattern of value/a recursive axiomatic meme-complex.
Below is a list of some terms/words that require development to better reconcile language with experience:
Nothing, No, Yes, Truth, True, False, Stop, Motionless, Either/or, One, Two ..any integer number, State, Identity , Now, Past, Present and Future tenses. Universe,
It, The, I, And/But, All, None, Good, Evil, Never, Same, Not, None….etc.
And a host of paradoxes created. Above I did not avoid using at least some of these terms, because if I did, one might not understand the English.
As for “Individual”, do you know at what moment you are equal to yourself? can your being even be considered as discrete? A moderate dose of Heraclitus and Zeno of Elea may be in order… Proposing individual responsibility dodges the problematic axiomatic meme “I am”. It was my decision because… “Ergo cogito sum” is just not good enough, self-referential axiomatic meme complexes sprout inconsistency, ergo hypocrisy embraced. If hypocrisy shunned, and with youth liberated from such a meme-complex there is no morality available to church, potent and encompassing enough to bring them back into the “fray”, “flock”. Essentially we are all choosing….but it is difficult to patch responsibility on “the individual”. In reality higher patterns dominate lower ones. Social patterns dominate biological ones, intellectual over social….an enduring wrestle in human mind-brains…a battlefield for three interrelated, quasi-discrete, orders of morality.
Church’s almost exclusive social stasis has meant a triumph of new intellectual patterns over its social patterns (church is still recovering from Darwin)…as they say when the cat is away, the mice play…biological patterns have gained a lot freedom through the uncoupling of Christian morals, as evidence by pre-marital sex, sex among minors, adultery etc. Promiscuity can be the indulgence of instinct…but it may even be well rationalized intellectually. For a moral order to completely suppress a level below it is to guarantee its transience…they are no second generation suicide cults or chastity cults. A highly intelligent human will not develop in a social vacuum.
I fear becoming guilty of confusing, which is not my intention…so that’s enough for now…