Just yesterday, our Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite –– at the presentation of certificates to participants of a four-month training programme in drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation –– alluded in his short address to the church in Barbados reaching out to communities in some drug prevention scheme of its own. After all, he surmised, there was a church in every village –– as there was a bar.
Mr Brathwaite’s suggested hope was that these churches could save many of our youths from drug addiction and a possible life of crime. Ironically, the remarks came at the end of an Organization of American States-sponsored and National Council of Substance Abuse-organized course involving prison and police officers and church leaders, and at which he would acknowledge that Reverend Dr Lucille Baird had already established such a drug prevention programme in the Rock Dundo, St James community which her church serves.
Truth be told, it is refreshing to hear from the Attorney General some cry of dependence on the church, especially when in these modern times many from the powers that be see the Christ religion as a barrier to the execution of their “ultra-modern” and “progressive” views and an unnecessary chore and burden in this Technological Age.
Naturally, we applaud any effort by leaders of the church in reaching out to our youth who will have gone astray; but bringing up a child in the way he should go, as The Bible admonishes, starts from infancy; and Sunday School would be a great stage, if parents could establish the resolve in themselves and the responsibility, at which to have our little ones experience God the Father and Jesus His Son.
Many more of us parents need to have our children experience from early the Godhead as a pleasure –– and with respect –– rather than as an Addiction & Emergency rescue team of the church when the present and future appear bleak.
Too many of our youths today have no interest nor time for God or His Word, and many a parent couldn’t be bothered. Regrettably, some parents who take their little ones to Sunday service have failed to instil in them the reverence they should show in the Lord’s House, and the conduct of these infants is very much like their incorrigible behaviour at home –– running from pew to pew, falling and bawling, totally ignoring instructions to be quiet, or being totally ignored themselves by their alleged guardians.
Of course, this type of conduct by minors is transported to the school, where by law they must be every school term, barring being ill.
This raises the current high discussion of the refusal of a student of Springer Memorial School to carry out an instruction from a senior teacher, and subsequently from her principal, to pick up a wrapper from the floor of her classroom, which she allegedly casually dropped –– the consequence of which was the student’s absence from class these past several weeks. And her guardians would fight her cause where she deliberately flouts authority.
As Down To Brass Tacks host Trisha Watson, attorney-at-law, pointed out this week, “there seems to be a message to our young people that says rights prevail . . . that says you can flout authority”. We couldn’t agree more that such would cause our young to live in dream world and reap disappointment.
Those of us exposed to Christian religious teaching will hardly be unfamiliar with the idiom “cleanliness is next to godliness”. Often attributed to the Holy Bible itself, it is really the coined phrase of evangelist and Methodism founder John Wesley.
Apart from the 18th century minister’s intent to show that after the worshipping of God the second most important thing was the pure preservation of self and one’s surroundings, his purpose was as well to convey the notion of simply keeping oneself and one’s place, including the classroom neat and clean –– for the Master’s sake, man’s and the teacher’s, which is reaffirmed by the Apostle Paul.
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
–– 2 Corinthians 7:1.
We must all practise a high standard of hygiene. We must not by our laziness and indifference, or in ignorance, or through arrogance aid and abet the mission of the disease and virus carriers, the Aedes aegypti mosquito included.
We accept that parenting is not always easy, but by our degree of effort we will either gain by or pay heavily for what we help our children to do and to become.
If Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite is to be considered seriously on his yesterday’s appeal, and that it is not slick talk or any social oral nicety, he must not otherwise appear to be at loggerheads with the church on very salient moral matters affecting us all as a society –– to wit, sexual preferences and the upbringing of children.
Lardy-dardy mouthings about what the church could do in its outreach just won’t cut it.
Not that this would –– or should –– make the back of the church any less sturdy against those who would exploit it for problem solving and national drug addiction ease.