Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Social order under threat

Published:Tuesday | December 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Molynes Gardens Citizens' Association Neighbourhood Watch and Calvary Gospel Assembly publicly thank Dr Peter Phillips, Senator Mark Golding and Beverley Prince, our special guests at our recent town hall meeting. We thank also the persons who attended for their lively participation and many well-thought-through questions.

As we expected in what was a reasonably diverse group of persons, from church and community and various political and institutional allegiances, there were differences of opinion, and happily wide agreement on some matters. We want to thank these three leaders for how they conducted themselves in the midst of disagreement - an example that we wish can be transferred from the church house to Gordon House.

The entire gathering agreed with Dr Phillips that there is a social crisis in our land for many years manifest in poverty and social inequalities; that there is moral decay and degradation; that there are persistent high levels of destitution over generations. Further, that there are high levels of violence and low levels of trust. He spoke passionately about the need for us to "rid ourselves of the effects of plantation slavery in our society and its effects on our human relations"

Dr Phillips, Senator Golding and Ms Prince agreed that stable married families are critically necessary for social and economic stability in Jamaica and that active promotion of stable married family life is the responsibility of all stakeholders in society - Church, community, business and Government.

We agree on the foregoing matters even though we may have different thoughts about how to correct the social and economic disorders. The burden of the meeting was not about what we all agree on, but on some other important issues that have recently emerged on top of these generations-old maladies that we know only too well.

So the leadership and members of our church, as well as the leadership and residents of our community, raised in correspondence questions concerning marriage, parenting, family, sanctity of life, sex, human and religious rights, and philosophy of our laws because there are shifting legal foundations and aggressive global efforts to curtail our historic freedoms and norms in these areas, and we want to know how these matters will be represented in policymaking.

We are saying that there are some things that threaten the already very fragile foundations of economic and social order. These must be addressed. We are not saying that it should be one or the other - generations-old maladies versus recent threats. We are saying that it should be both - and the burden in our letter was for what is easy to overlook simply because of not appearing to be imminent.

We don't want the old problems on which we agree, to impede our being proactive concerning the emerging terror-like activism so manifest in influential and nearby jurisdictions.

DONOVAN D. COLE

Pastor, Calvary

Gospel Assembly;

CHRISTINE MOORE

President, Molynes Gardens

Citizens Association

Neighbourhood Watch