By Richard Ho Lung
On Easter Monday morning, I was really shocked and saddened to see Jamaica at its worst. In the past, whereas Jamaica would have celebrated Easter in our Sunday best, fully decked out heading off to worship with smiles and sunshine on our faces and a hymn in our hearts and on our lips, modern Jamaica was practically barbaric or animal: rich, middle class, poor, almost totally nude, men and women with their little children dancing back to back, belly to belly, simulating sexual gyrations that disturbed the heart of anyone who believe in the Lord and the dignity of the human body.
There were thousands of people throughout Kingston, uptown and downtown. What I witnessed was Christ crucified, Jamaica laughing and mocking the Lord. Such behaviour on Easter Monday perpetrated as a cultural celebration revealed to me that Jamaica has certainly gone pagan.
We were worshipping the body, we were worshipping pleasure, total lewdness was being raised up as civilisation. The naked parade had replaced the Easter parade. Thrown in the face of God, God will certainly absent Himself from this new modern Jamaica. And, without God, we will be doomed. There will be emptiness, total inertia, drought, greater poverty, and a sadness that goes past the desire to love.
Sin killing Jamaica
As all Christians know, sin brings death. Already we are seeing signs of death in Jamaica. Indeed, we are a sinful nation. The fall or failure of the economy, the continuous exodus of people from Jamaica, the decline of churches and churchgoers, and the escalation of violence against the old and the young, all these are part of the culture of death. I weep for my island, Jamaica.
The materialism of our times has grossly changed Jamaica's way of life. There isn't the decency, respect, highly civilised way of behaviour that once was in the most educated and the simplest of Jamaican people. We are quickly losing our roots and our foundation as one of the best of people.
There is a conversion from Christianity to paganism in Jamaica. Jamaica is slowly but surely being eroded from being a Christian country to being hedonistic. Pagans are people who worship themselves, constructing gods who allow for their appetites to flourish such as violence, war, death, bacchanal, intellectual enlightenment, or absolute sensuality.
Hedonists are those who seek pleasure as the first principle in life. At the heart of every pagan, there is selfishness which, for the most part, leads to hedonism.
Pagan Rome, for instance, which was converted to Christianity by the great efforts of Christians, exemplified by St Peter and St Paul, in 313 AD, was most self-indulgent, perpetrating war and extending its power and control over most of the known world. Converted after centuries of martyrdom and evangelisation on the part of Christianity, Rome became the centre of Christianity, which is the most powerful civilising force the world has ever known.
In Jamaica today, the media, in an effort to sell everything and anything, have been a major force in converting Jamaica to paganism. It has sought to absolve people's consciences of right and wrong, questioning every moral mandate and ridiculing the commandments of God, and people of faith.
Abortion, contraception, euthanasia, extramarital sexual relations, the hydrogen bomb, genetic engineering, the free sale of guns and bombs, liberal capitalism, slavish socialism, infidelity, the legalisation of drugs and prostitution - all are the result of the 'free mind', 'free choice', and the absoluteness of the individual - to make up his or her own ethics separated from God and his commands, and a world of goodness, a civilisation of love and kindness.
Selfishness and paganism are natural. All we have to do is to emphasise I, me, myself, mine, what I want, what I desire, what I think, what I must have, what I like - as the first principle of life - rather than a world of others, and service to those suffering most in our world - which I believe can only be sustained by a belief in God.
In our pagan times, what must we do? We must keep on building God's kingdom; we must struggle onward in this world of sin, towards light. Christ is risen from the dead; and the heart of man is never satisfied without Him.
Father Richard Ho Lung is founder and superior general of Missionaries of the Poor. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.