Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Patria-Kaye Aarons | The sick religious threesome

Published:Tuesday | June 14, 2016 | 6:00 AM

Not just Christianity, but, seemingly, all religions, have taken particular interest in policing what goes on in people's bedrooms. I find it morbidly perverse. In my eyes, it's a pseudo threesome of the people poking and their spiritual leaders.

Why should you care what kind of sex I have and who I have it with? Why aren't you equally as concerned about the other sins in my life?

The Anglican Church has a practice I abhor. If an unwed couple has sex, and the woman gets pregnant - no matter the age of the persons involved, or for how long they have been committed to each other - the 'guilty parties' have to kneel before the congregation and publicly confess their sin of fornication. An open act of expressing contrition and regret about the act that brought their new life into the world.

I saw the confession done once when I was a teenager, and even then I thought it unnecessary. I am a child of unwed parents, and it angered me to think that my church would have wanted my mother to apologise for the way I came into this world.

Eighty per cent of Jamaicans come into this world as a result of fornication, and no amount of public shaming and Bible-beating is going to cause that to change.

I read The Sunday Gleaner's cover story about allegations that unwed mothers employed to Andrews Memorial Hospital were being required to enter the hospital through the back door. The thought of that sickened me, and I immediately likened it to blacks having to ride at the back of the bus. True or not, worse happens. There are many schools in Jamaica today that force unwed teachers to resign. I'm appalled by that and surprised that more administrators aren't taken to court for it.

This country recognises common-law marriage. A woman doesn't need a ring and a man's last name to be considered his wife. And even if she isn't his partner, even if it were one night of the hottest sex ever that resulted in her getting pregnant, who are you to administer punishment to her? That's blatant discrimination (and perhaps a bit of bad mind)!

 

KEEP UP APPEARANCES

 

If these institutions were serious about their moral high horses and wanted to truly set examples, unwed fathers-to-be would be dismissed as well. Or is the sacking only because the woman is VISIBLY pregnant, and you want to keep up appearances?

Sin should be sin. There are Ten Commandments in the Bible under which many shelter as their moral compass. Almost half of those commandments surround praising God exclusively. The other five focus on 'red eye', killing, telling lies and honouring your parents and only one around adultery. However, the Church has a seemingly disproportionate obsession with sexual sins.

I'll be overly critical of the Christian faith because this is what I have known all my life, but as I watched the horror that played out in Orlando last weekend, and heard that the killer may have been motivated by gay bigotry, I was reminded that people, in general, are obsessed with other people's sex lives.

For a man or woman to lose their life because of who they choose to sleep with is a downright shame. Especially when the judgment is cast by an unrelated, unaffected third party. How do you kill a man for having sex - and he never had sex with you?

It befuddles me. This preoccupation with who people sleep with is just plain 'faas'. Far more immoral than the sex act is those who feel the need to prescribe and execute judgment.

Stay out of people's bedrooms. As my friend, Kalilah Reynolds, said, "Why should a person's sexuality be more important than their humanity." Every other sin is between you and your God, so why are sins of the flesh between you and everyone else?

- Patria-Kaye Aarons is a television presenter and confectioner. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and findpatria@yahoo.com, or tweet @findpatria.