That’s how one Anglican priest has dismissed the recent discussion and controversy surrounding a “seminary student” with a dreadlocked hairstyle.
Reverend Davidson Bowen of the St Philip The Less Anglican Chuch in St Peter entered the debate a week after one newspaper highlighted the matter in a front page picture, noting that the newspaper got it wrong in the first place by stating that the student was a priest.
He was speaking during the church’s 154th anniversary service where he boldly declared that many Christians were robbers – “robbing” others of an experience with God.
“The church has become a proverbial den of robbers,” he told the congregation. “If we are robbing anyone, we need to stop. It is time for us to put aside malice and envy and do the work of God.”
Contending that a hairstyle could not stop anyone from entering the Kingdom of God, he declared: “If so, I am going to grow locs tomorrow!”.
He wondered aloud when the “foolishness” would stop, arguing that if persons with locs were not welcome in the Church, then the same could apply to women with traditional “male” short Afro hairstyles.
The priest stretched the argument even further, adding that pretty soon fat people and very dark-skinned people may not be allowed in church.
“We need to meet people where they are in life,” insisted Reverend Bowen.
“We need to move out of the past and take the Church into the future,” he added in his sermon. “The church now can’t exist in the past because the people of the present will suffer and if we look around we will see the people are suffering.”
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