The Church and the media will never lose their relevance - PAJ head
The president of the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) and the head of the Saxthorpe Methodist Congregation were speaking from similar scripts yesterday declaring that both the church and the media will never lose their relevance.
Journalists and other media workers were worshiping at the Constant Spring Road, St Andrew-based church to mark the start of Journalism Week which will feature several other activities including this evening’s panel discussion at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel examining the moot: ‘Is the news too negative?’.
"Like the church will always prevail, so too will the media,” PAJ president George Davis told the congregation, acknowledging, however, that there were inherent challenges that must be confronted.
But, according to Davis, the values of truth, justice and fairness, which have long been hallmarks of the church, will always win.
He later told The Gleaner that the church is one of the bastions of the protection of values and attitudes.
“Let nobody rebut me by saying ‘Oh but the Church did this or someone in the Church did that’, the Church does nothing. There are individuals in the church who have flouted the rules of the church, the rules of humanity, the rules of humankind, but the church will never lose its relevance,” he maintained.
According to Davis, societal problems such as runaway lawlessness, crime and violence mean that the church may need to pay a greater role in re-instilling order.
However, he said the church must also purge itself of wrongdoers who have been “co-opted” by negative influences.
“Name and shame those in the Church,” Davis demanded adding that the body suffers from a lack of wanting to draw negative attention to itself. “If there is someone or a group of people doing bad things, the urge to name and shame them is lower. The Church should forget that,” he said.
Later, the Reverend Dr Wayneford McFarlane cited what he called “occupational hazards” in the way of both the Church and the media.
“We tend to be vilified at times, we tend to be criticised, but that’s a part of the process,” he said.
The Methodist minister said too, that, in seeking to build the society, the church must be guided by what is noble even while seeking to operate in an age that is highly materialistic.
“How is it that the fish lives in the sea and its flesh is fresh?” questioned McFarlane, adding that the sea creature provides an example for how people should filter from themselves, ill will and negativity.
McFarlane also said, although the society is plagued with high crime and corruption in high places including the church, it does not make everybody the same.