I was raised in the church. Which is funny because my Sundays now are dedicated to Naps, Vodka and Game of Thrones.
I still fancy myself a Christian, just a little less on the judgey side and more on the “God is in all of us. Find him how you can.” side.
Every now and then I make an appearance like the prodigal daughter I am and I’m reminded why I don’t show up in the first place. There’s a judgmental pageantry in place at the church that I genuinely don’t have the time and patience for. We saw it as a nation this week reflected in the Christian Council’s bid to “outlaw” Carnival.
I’m late to this discussion because I needed a minute…and a shot.
I struggle to see the value that the Christian Council adds to Bahamian society. Please don’t stop reading, I mean no offense but I am very much confused about the role they play, and how that translates to the power they have.
The Christian Council. An arbitrary board of men who have crawled out of the shadows yet again to chastise those of us minding our own business. An elite group of intellectually defunct individuals. They seek to rid the country of immoral activities and shed the flesh of its carnal desires by being adamantly opposed to Harry Potter Movies.
The Christian Council mentioned that Carnival is a “ticking time bomb waiting to explode into a dangerous series of circumstances” but let’s talk about sexual violence in the church. That’s a bomb that has gone off a hundred times over no?
I can’t blame them though. Christianity, or rather Christianity as it has been dictated to us, is rooted in fighting many miscellaneous battles.
God somehow cares that I wore pants at church but he doesn’t care that the Head Deacon has been assaulting little kids in the Sunday School Ministry for 16 years? God has mandated us to treat teenage mothers like filth but for some reason he doesn’t seem to have much to say about the Usher 20 years her senior that got her in that very condition.
I refuse to believe that a body of people that can willingly ignore the pressing issues of their own house are also the gatekeepers of morality in this country.
Their newfound concern for women is so baffling to me because we’re talking about the same group who successfully infiltrated lower income communities and campaigned against the rights of women in our last Referendum, lest we forget Gethsemane.
Bishop Fernander of The Christian Council left a lot for me to unpack but here’s what I want people to know:
Victims don’t cause rape. Rapists cause rape. There’s no special ambrosia wafting from the bodies of victims that cause rapists to shed their outer decent exterior and “unleash a beast.” specifically during Carnival.
The logic that seems to equate a woman’s clothing to whether or not her rape could have been avoidable is so flawed because as we already mentioned, women wearing their Sunday best get assaulted in the hallowed halls of the church every week.
The press time Bishop Fernander wasted could have been time taken to do a moral audit. Because as we have clearly seen, churches are getting emptier and emptier. Not just because of the moral fiber of the country being broken down. But because of the people who man the altars of the church. The people who use bible verses for their own personal gain taking them out of context and using them to create cultish behaviour.
As a woman with her own thoughts I’m well aware that I’ll be labeled a witch and possibly burnt at the stake for this level of insubordination. I am also aware of how hard it must be to retain influence and relevance in a world that’s constantly questioning archaic traditions and ideals. I can see how easy it would be to paint an image of a monster on the outside without once looking at the monsters within. But let’s be clear, it’s time we stopped giving the city-less Vatican a seat at the table.