Don’t mock God!
This was the stern piece of advice issued last night by one local evangelical leader to the authorities and Barbadians in general, as he added his voice to the recent public debate over morality.
It was Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler who re-ignited the issue during a political meeting of his ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) last month at which he suggested that the next general election would really be fought on moral grounds.
Sinckler had also stated at the time that it was really up to DLP supporters to protect “the moral heart of the country”.
In response, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party’s representative for St George South Dwight Sutherland told a BLP political meeting last week that members of the ruling party should be the last ones to speak about morality, at the same time accusing the DLP of being nothing short of corrupt.
While not getting involved in the political blame game, Pastor Leroy Small has sought to warn Barbadians that they are only fooling themselves into thinking “we are a moral society”.
“Remember God is not mocked,” the church leader said.
Zeroing in on the illegal sex trade, which he said was being openly practised within the precincts of the historic Garrison Savannah, at Bush Hill, under the cover of darkness, he called on the authorities to stop turning a blind eye to prostitution, and to urgently move to shed some light on the illegal practice.
“We all know what the Garrison is known for at night and it is not the history that the place has,” the evangelical leader said, while suggesting that “as simple as a flick of a light switch and the scourge of prostitution at the Garrison Savannah will be over”.
Speaking during a Week of Prayer at the Faith Revival Centre on Maxwell, Christ Church, Small further warned, “Things done in darkness must be brought to light”.
However, for the moment he said “whenever there is an event at the Garrison at night, the place is a ghost town” since “evil needs the cover of darkness in order to operate [and] the big ups in society that frequent this spot don’t want their cars easily seen”.
The religious leader further lamented that Barbadians in general seemed to have adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell approach to the situation”. He also likened them to the proverbial ostrich that buries its head in the sand.
“If you watch those spy movies you hear the term plausible deniability. We seem to be operating in the same way and think we are fooling God, who knows the very thoughts of man. I have never read of a person being brought before the court for prostitution, yet everybody knows it takes place every night at Bush Hill,” he told the congregation.
“Everybody knows that the problem can be solved by simply lighting the area brightly, but we pretend there is no such problem and that Barbados is the land of values and high morals,” he said.
As further evidence of a prevailing double standard, he said Barbadians were known to be up in arms if a singer graphically described the anatomy of a woman in a song, while turning a blind eye to women parading in the nude at the Garrison.
However, the fiery preacher said: “I should be able to take my children to the Garrison at night in the play park if the moon is bright without having to fear that they might see something which might scar them for life.”
Warning that the island stood to pay a high price for prostitution, he said: “When we normalize this type of behaviour our children will pay the price. Young girls are being taught that prostitution is an employment option. We have politicians talking about organizing the sex trade as if it is something good to do. Our children are going to pay the price,” he stressed.