Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Preaching ban crisis!? Please!

Published:Wednesday | June 28, 2017 | 6:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

On Friday, June 23, I was listening to a popular discussion programme on my way home and, to my surprise, one of the central topics was enforcing the preaching ban on the JUTC buses. The ban was being discussed in depth, while the main news of the day included the following:

- Three persons, including a three-year-old, were fatally shot in central Kingston.

- A 14-year-old is the main suspect in the shooting spree at the Coronation Market, which resulted in two vendors being killed.

- A 10-year-old child was rendered unconscious by a lady who choked him on a school compound. She was upset when a group of children called her a nickname; the boy had to be rescued by a quick-thinking teacher.

- The Caribbean Public Health Agency advised the Ministry of Health that the sample submitted had tested negative for cholera.

All of the above were happening in our country while the discussion host found the time to focus on a "real burning issue persons preaching on the JUTC bus. Seriously? Really? Preaching on the bus is now deemed such a major problem that it displaces crime and water-borne diseases for the media's focus. Obviously, the media's priorities are misplaced; hopefully, the Government (Opposition included) knows that the country's runaway crime problem is more serious than persons preaching on a bus.

By the way, this 'preaching ban law' is yet to be tested in the courts. Some of our prominent local attorneys contend that this ban is on very shaky ground as it clearly infringes on freedom of religion and freedom of speech, basic tenets of our Constitution. Christianity is evangelistic in nature, and as such Christians share the Gospel as they go.

MARSHA THOMAS