'We are safe in the arms of Jesus, but ...'
One religious group has expressed concern about the move by The Gleaner to publish the country's murder statistics each day. According to the Reverend Father Franklyn Jackson, rector of The Church of Transfiguration, the initiative is not positive.
"If the intentions of the editors in putting the number of murders on the front of the paper is to remind us, then that for me is not editing ... I am sorry mister editor but I don't too like what I see," Jackson said while addressing congregants at the St Andrew Parish Church yesterday.
But Jackson said Jamaicans should be horrified by the fact that less than halfway into the year, the murder figures have skyrocketed past the 500 mark.
The rector called for his members to play their part in stemming the spiralling murder rate but chastised the Church for its laid-back approach.
"The Church seems to be in a little sleep, a little slumber safe in Jesus' arms. What are we the good people who know Jesus, who feel safe in Jesus' arms doing about it? While we are safe in Jesus' arms, the nation is in mayhem," he said, adding that bad things happen when good people keep quiet.
Two church members who asked not to be named also expressed concern about The Gleaner's move. One member said the practice only serves to glorify criminals. Another member claimed the daily publishing of the murder figures serves as a deterrent to members of the Jamaican diaspora, who might be interested in returning here.
But a third member, Horace Creary, who served the Jamaica Defence Force as a reserve soldier during the 1960s, said the newspaper should be applauded.
"I grew up in the colonial Jamaica where if we had 10 murders for the year that was too much, so I don't have any problem with it," he said in endorsing the daily publication of the murder figures.
- Nedburn Thaffe