Submitted by Yardbroom
It Is best being clear at the outset, to prevent unnecessary distraction and diversion into non-productive debates leading into cul-de-sacs. There are people – of sober mind and disposition – who do not believe in the Bible and what it teaches. Some boldly say they are not Christian. Many others have no interest of any kind in Religion and even think it is not a force for good in the world.
This submission is not a vehicle to facilitate an argument to the above views, as I am aware logic “however” arrived at is limited in changing a belief system. However, it is a fact that a major section of Barbados society is Christian or go to church regularly and have religious beliefs, even if tenuous.
“Protestant 63.4% (Anglican 28.3%, Pentecostal 18.7%, Methodist 5.1%. other 11.3%) Romam Catholic 4.2%, other Christian 7%, other 4.8%, none or unspecified 20.6%”
Source: Religious Statistics
You cannot change a society by “ignoring” the belief systems of a major section of that society, it is that which has led me to pose the question in this submission.
I have heard members of the church speak of Barbados society’s ills. This week the “Archdeacon Eric Lynch of the “Anglican Church” made comments of people in society who were exhibiting unacceptable behaviour” (Nation News, September 06, 2011).
We need a concerted effort by all faith groups, rallying not only their flocks, but reaching out to the wider community as a force for good. This proactive Army needs to lead by example, it is not enough just to say, but lead by what we do. If a light shines on the untruthfulness you practice but do not preach – your case is undermined – who can believe in what you say. The good exposition of a cause flounders when a light shines upon duplicitous practices.
Society is best served when actions are taken not simply because they are the tenets of Religion but because they are just and good in their own right, and lead to a better society. Those of Christian and other religious beliefs can take up the mantle for good, not to state they are better than other groups but because no good will come from a vacuum. When others say what they are against – or do not believe in – but will not take positive action to bring about change in the society of which they are a part, their contribution to that society can be questioned.
We need to have a serious conversation with the young people in Barbados, who have been led astray and let them know, if they have decided to go outside common decency and attack society; then they are on their own. A “united society” will always defeat their selfish and destructive ambitions.
Society’s Religious leaders must first sacrifice self interest and positions of importance for the common good. All naked selfish ambitions must be subsumed, that calls for a structured approach when people of all faiths through their leaders come together. Law enforcement agencies could have an input but there must be an Army of people whose authority has already been given through the organisations they represent.
It could be – and some will say absolutely necessary – that others with no religious affiliation should be included, for the objective is a better society which is not solely defined by Religious people but by what we as individuals contribute to the whole and how our individual actions impacts on it.
In any organisation or collection of people there will be the nay-sayers, some snipe from the sidelines, they will say this faith, or its leaders have a bad record in Y, this faith was very involved in the slave trade, this faith X seeks separation from others and so on but they never say what their philosophy offers and how it will be achieved….leave the nay-sayers to their fate and we do the business of importance.
It is also folly to say all is well when it clearly is not, if a problem has been identified, there is a need to solve it, other ideas maybe better and worthy of note, but to do nothing and exist in a state of drift with no positive action, is not an option that will lead to a better society in Barbados.