Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Church too worked up over 'racy' directory

Published:Saturday | December 3, 2016 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS) has to be the most ridiculous organised group currently in Jamaica. When they're not out on the streets blocking entrances and protesting in black (with mouths taped up), these so-called Christians are busy stirring up issues when there are none.

The JCHS led the church lobby with their latest controversy against the publishers of the 2017 Yellow Pages phone directory, forcing them to produce an alternative art cover, as they found one depicting a dancehall scene offensive.

Now, dancehall happens to be an integral part of our culture. We hear dancehall on the airwaves daily and see variants of it all around us. Dancehall represents a lot of extremes. It is not only a musical genre, but a bold creative expression of a people, originating right here in Jamaica.

Dancehall has been written about in books, depicted in art and murals, TV and film. The three phone directory covers were creatively done using a central theme of our music and dance forms - ska, reggae and dancehall, depicted as art.

Members of the JCHS and their affiliates need to find something better to do with their time. I applaud CEO of Global Directories, Ian Neita, for not apologising for the scene used on the cover, nor pulling the publication from circulation.

I wouldn't have bothered to publish an alternative cover either. It is time to start claiming our culture as our own. Those offended may not get out very often and may be very limited in terms of what what they watch on TV or see in real life around them.

I don't see how an artist's interpretation can influence one's morals. This is why we have parents and families, why we socialise and get educated. If you don't like the artistic cover of the phone book, don't get one. There is too much hypocrisy in our midst.

Would the JCHS have preferred a picture of a church? And would they also take offence to a soca scene? I bet some of these same church

people tap their feet (and more) when they hear the beat of the dancehall (and soca). Wonder what they think of the nude statues by Emancipation Park?

They really need to get a grip, and focus more on the serious issues affecting the Church and society.

PETE DELISSER

pdelisser1988@yahoo.com