Killing us softly: churches
THE EDITOR, Sir:
FOR 23 years, I've heard sermons being preached with the repeated power of suggestion that innocent people should be harmed as a way of bringing people closer to Christ. Women and children are encouraged to endure domestic violence and the invisible sexual assault as a way of bringing their perpetrator closer to Christ. This is contrary to biblical teachings yet it has become a culture to commit crime against the innocent.
The sermons preached at most funerals are very humdrum except for those involving the violent death of a young person. It is the violent death of a young person that draws people closer to Christ. The surviving relatives are comforted by the thought that Christ is glorified by their suffering or it's God's will. Neither of these teachings can be found in the Bible.
Despite the soothing subtleties of these repeatedly used word of comfort, innocent lives have been derailed and imperilled. There have been countless loss of lives from violent crimes; mainly domestic violence and sexual abuse. According to the overview of Violent Crime and National Security in Jamaica, the statistics for violent crime are as follows from 2001-2008, with the numbers steadily increasing: murder 10,836, shootings 11,229, rape and carnal abuse 9,119 and the number of individuals living with HIV/AIDS 32,000. These are alarming statistics for a population of only 2,868,380.
Despite most churches' vociferous cry of spreading the gospel, there is very little evidence displaying positive change in society. While some may say it's because of sin, if people were being held accountable for their actions then society would have fewer crimes. Most churches' antidote for the problem is to forgive and let it go. While I do agree that forgiveness is important, there has to be an effective plan of action to prevent a recurrence of violent crime. Failure to deal with the problem in an effective manner has led to the incessant cycle of this depravity.
"The truth is that male religious leaders have had and still have an option to interpret the holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have for their own selfish ends overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuous choice provides foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution of women throughout the world," according to Jimmy Carter, former United States president. Churches should be held accountable for distorting scriptures as a way of committing crime against innocent women and children.