The Dean of St Michael’s Cathedral The Very Reverend Dr Frank Marshall believes that the general movement of people away from God might very well be responsible for the “obvious decline” which is “stepping in” to Barbadian society.
In a sermon yesterday at a service to mark the beginning of the Supreme Court’s legal year, the senior Anglican cleric asked the congregation to look closely at what is happening in the society and to play a role in preventing its decline.
Marshall urged them not to say, like so many others, that Barbados has “special favour” or that “God is a Bajan”. He alluded to recent reports on crime which, he said, suggested not only the existence of callousness but “no reverence for life”.
This, he said, was driving “reasonable and respectable persons into retreat.
“How do we see ourselves? What motivates us? What is our ultimate objective as a society?” he asked.
Marshall reminded members of the legal fraternity of the injustices of slavery and the lack of real emancipation. It was the 1937 riots which brought into focus the continuing economic and social relations in Barbados, he said.
That was followed by improvements such as free secondary education, workmen’s compensation, national insurance and university education which led us to believe that we “had reached a better place”, he noted.
Bringing it back to the present day, Marshall observed that the daily news now reflects “a breakdown of the fibre and character of Barbadian life” and the society therefore needs to recover the cohesion that our “forefathers knew.”
“When a sense of the moral and spiritual has been removed,” the senior priest said, then people have “secured their license to exist as creatures of the wild”.
Making a scriptural comparison, the cleric said just as the Apostle Paul wrote that one part of the body could not say that it has no need of the other, it is much the same with any institution, community or nation.
The Anglican Dean added that it would be wise for us “to take stock and attend to those principles and practices which served us well in better days.”
He spoke of both “current and impending dangers which we must seek to address”, the most dangerous being “the denial of the Divine authority and sovereignty in our lives.”