We have declared several times over the life of BU that we know little about religion and the issues which are attached to it. This is despite Bush tea goading us to blog on the subject from time to time. Don’t get us wrong! We believe in the one and only and give thanks as often as we can for all the blessings which have been bestowed on the BU household.
We thought long and hard about writing this blog but ‘ones conscience should always be used as the guide’. Did our eyes deceive us when we read Bishop Holder of the Anglican Church articulating his denomination’s position by saying that:
… he is prepared to support a recommendation to allow 16-year-olds to receive HIV testing and counselling without parental consent, provided the amended legislation included two other important stipulations. The first such stipulation is that there must be some other close relative such as an aunt or grandmother or adult counsellor present in that teenager’s life to offer ongoing support, especially if the support of parents or a guardian is not available and such testing proved the patient is HIV positive, said Dr John Holder
How could this be?
We live in a time of heightened promiscuity, especially among our young people. Despite the ‘tales’ which we hear about the success Barbados is achieving in the fight against HIV (we have our doubts), we support any opportunity which would arm young people with the knowledge about their health, specifically regarding the dangerous HIV and AIDS disease. Against this position the BU household hold a contrary view to that of the Anglican Church which says that for a 16 year old to receive testing for HIV a relative must be involved in the process.
In our opinion the position enunciated by the Anglican Church though its Bishop Dr. Holder reflects how out of touch the Anglican Church has become with the reality of our current society. We do not live in a perfect society and decisions by the Church must be seen to be relevant if they are intended to help society to become better. We can be harsh on the Anglican Church more than the other denominations because of its reputed dominant position in Barbados. We say reputed because when we survey the congregations attending services in the Anglican Church across Barbados we see ‘older’ people. It begs the question what influence if any does Bishop Holder and the Anglican Church have on the youth in our society.
Here is an example of the symbolism of the Anglican Church being confused with the influence it currently has on a Barbados society. We do however applaud Bishop Holder for finally having the guts to come public on ANY issue, and we expect to hear more of it in the future. We think that the raised voice of the Anglican Church is coming 20 years too late. Given the HIV pandemic it seems a common sense position to us that any opportunity to test young people for HIV, it should be done unconditionally. We live in an era where young people routinely participate in sexual activity. It is paradoxical to believe that for the Anglican Church to refuse to support the testing of young people for HIV is immoral, think about it! The reality is that some children have delinquent parents and no family support structures. Invariably it is the children of dysfunctional homes that become wayward in behaviour and may need help such as testing for HIV to help them manage their lifes.
The Anglican Church needs to go back to the drawing board to assess its relevance to the Barbados society.