Something wrong with your version of God
Sean Major-Campbell, Guest Columnist
Below is an edited script of Father Sean Major-Campbell's sermon at Christ Church on Sunday, December 7.
God cares about those who suffer injustice and persecution. The message at Advent also notes that worship without justice is dead!
In the Church, we have tended to do a good job talking about justice and praying about it. But the time has come for us to understand that "we have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds have become like a filthy cloth".
What are righteous deeds? James tells us in Chapter 2, "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
Righteous deeds are those actions that help the less fortunate. Righteous deeds promote the common good.
Has our beloved Church throughout Jamaica - regardless of titles and affiliations - become like one who is unclean?
If the voices of advocacy and the voices for human rights and justice were as frequent and as loud as the voices of praise and worship in Jamaica, this country would be prosperous in leaps and bounds! But who cares?
Who cares about persons like Mario Deane, Mosiah Morgan of Red Ground, Negril, and Romario Reid of Hermitage, Bethel Town, dying while in state custody? The right to life must be protected, and this is a duty of the State!
How many of our Jamaican brothers and sisters must die while in the custody of the State before we make a change? How many spouses in various relationships must die before we as a people take a stand against domestic violence?
Who was outraged when The Gleaner published the story titled 'Uncle from hell'? Outraged not because The Gleaner carried the story, but because this girl's childhood was snatched from her nightly and her grandmother knew, but she kept silent.
Something must be wrong with your version of Christianity or God if you remain silent when you know that a child, any child, is being abused and you remain silent.
Something must be wrong with you or your version of Christianity if you are so preoccupied with your favourite political colour, so much that you are blinded to the realities of corruption - but only until it is happening on the other side!
When Christians become so vociferous and activist about protecting two persons from a particular anatomical locale - as in keeping the anti-buggery provisions, they remind me of Lot of Sodom. He was such a godly, upright man (wasn't he?), he was willing to hand over his virgin daughters to strangers, in the interest of protecting two men he did not even know. Did he place more value on their posterior vis-à-vis his daughter's right to life, choice, sexual decisions?
Rape in our society
How many Jamaicans realise that a man who rapes a little boy will get a lesser sentence than a man who rapes a little girl? Simply because our laws do not recognise that boys can be raped, and this because our laws do not define anal-penile penetration as sex.
Did I mention that Jamaican law is silent concerning any married man who wishes to rape his wife? Did I mention that where a parent or guardian is molesting a child under the age of 16, a health-care worker would have to get the molester's permission to treat the child? Did any church group make a submission to Parliament about this?
Did you know that if someone used a mop stick to penetrate your child, that would not constitute rape? Did any church group make a submission to Parliament about this?
Why would a Jamaican be afraid of people who advocate for human rights? Is it because our faith is so empty and lacking and sterile, and our righteousness is of no use? Is it because we lack an understanding of successive governments as agents of human rights?
Imagine, it took a member of parliament versus a member of church to call for the recognition of rape in marriage! I am embarrassed to acknowledge that I saw many Christian maidens in social media opposing the concept of rape in marriage.
Throughout our long church history in Jamaica, many a black eye, swollen lip, lost tooth, bashed head has been the secret burden of some upstanding women of the church. And while men are also victims of abuse in marriage, since we are on the subject of rape, I made sure to tell my wife, if she ever tries it, I will personally have her reported! I will not stand for it.