As Sexual Assault Awareness Month continues I was again deeply disturbed by recent revelations of some serious infractions and abuse of children by of all people their own parents. I have known that the problem exists having worked with other child agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the past but it seems a lot has changed and for the worst.
Trouble is that such paedophile and abuse matters are often used a fodder for anti gay groups to obfuscate the debate around the buggery law’s decriminalization or removal as the suggestion is sexual grooming by adults, more buggery cases with boys as victims and other sexually based crimes involving children. Paedophilia is whole different issue and in fact designated a disorder by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, DSM the bible for psychologists by the American Psychiatric Association and other related bodies.
The ICD 10 also speaks to the deviance (homosexuality is not seen as such) and frankly it is common sense once one is an adult and is sexually aroused by a prepubescent individual then that cannot be seen as regular behaviour; that is worlds apart however from innate same sex attraction to other adults but groups such as Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, Jamaica CAUSE, Love March Movement, Betty Ann Blaine (of Hear The Children’s Cry), Rev Al Miller (now in court for 2 matters) and the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship would have Jamaicans believe otherwise to the effect that homosexuals have predatory paedophile intent to catch little boys before their time or when their bodies are ready for sex.
here is one of the latest deliberate conflation of same gender sex, abuse and over simplification of other sexual practices with church imperative(just the title says it all) by Dr Wayne West relying on a call by the PM for kids to go to church: PM rejects moral nihilism and sexual anarchy : No to LGBTTTIQ….PZism ! No to fisting, felching, farming, scat, chariot racing etc !
also see this letter from the Observer:
Healthy coalition nonsense!
This conflation of same gender sex with abuse that is interwoven deceptively into anti gay advocacy (they cannot declare ignorance in this day of information and ease of access to same) by the aforementioned groups and is one of the main walls blocking progress as it feeds into The religious/biblical fundamentalist anti-homosexuality Imperative, the Christian Church with its fundamentalist doctrines, and the reggae-dancehall genre. A third influential feature in the exceptionality of Jamaican homophobia derives from Christian fundamentalist doctrine which finds constant outlets not just in churches, but in popular culture (in Christian radio and TV programmes), as well as in the rituals of many secular institutions.
Disturbing Paedophile Case & Conflation of Same Gender Sex with Abuse
Another St Thomas Pastor Accused of Rape ........... Where are Anti Gay Religious Groups?
One can remember a famous remark often quoted:
“Some of you think that homosexuality is a greater sin than malice keeping.
No way in the sight of God.”
The proven brutality and physical and psychological violence of homophobia shows the clear link towards homo-negative messaging from sections of the religious movement, these groups/individuals have been almost mute on other societal ills including horrific murders or when one their own also allegedly commits the very sexual crimes on boys that they use as justification to deny supposed “gay rights.” It is the overt virulence of the homophobia at the expressive level within both secular and religious popular culture. The declaration by Bishop Blair – who is a figure of some political and religious influence – that there is no substantive theological basis for the selective highlighting of homosexuality as the ‘sin of sins,’ and which is our epigraph here, is not one that is often publicly made in Jamaica. The overtly virulent expressive homophobia arguably encourages the documented tendency towards and the practice of physical brutality and violence against homosexuals.
It is reinforced, even operationalized, by three other specific features of the Jamaican situation.
The religious fundamentalist anti-homosexuality imperative has primacy within African-Jamaican popular culture, dramatically manifesting in both the religious and the musical popular. Duality is immediately evident in the medium called ‘street gospel’, a form of Christian dancehall (‘Street gospel’) of which the work of artist Radikal Prodigal (Prodigal Son) is a striking example. The culturally African-Jamaican nature of the form is affirmed and given theological sanction when he declares that God has called out to him and personally anointed him to worldwide missionary discipleship. God has told him not to try to preach like an American, but to be bold in being a ‘radikal yardie’ instead – and to be known as Radikal Prodigal
Thus divinely anointed, Radikal Prodigal then offers a diet of fundamentalist
Christian-based homophobia. The artist attests to the power of the God he serves, drawing specific attention to the anti-homosexual story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. A few tracks later, he has warmed to the task. As a ‘radikal’ Christian, he can and will ‘trample’ a whole list of God’s enemies including ‘b’man’ (presumable homosexuals) and demons, and the less immediately identifiable entities ‘pokeyman(from the word poke suggesting anal sex) and he-man’. This misplaced use of spiritual power is another problematic blockade for reaching understanding and tolerance.
He directly quotes Luke 10: 19, which says:
Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
On this basis, he offers ringing condemnation of those who are mixed-up in ‘buggery’, as well as in vanity and idolatry
The revelation of the pimping, child sex slave ring that was revealed at the back of a market in St Ann found almost by accident or a buck up coincidence is one such matter that has rocked me big time and then the recent near back to back murders of those four boys in Clarendon, the incest case in St Thomas of that nine year old girl by her father and also the numerous allegations of persons in position of trust breaching such trust, namely pastors, police officers (three cases since this year I am aware of but three too many) and so on. Claudette Pious Executive Director of Childrens’ First speaking on a radio interview yesterday April 21 on Newstalk 93FM Freshstart during their counterpoint section made some more disturbing revelations for example:
The pimping of kids as young as 9 years old by parent(s) for money and not seeing them again, she mentioned one case of a boy was pimped as his mother acceded to the wishes of a man who wanted him, the boy was around 15 at the time and the mother got some $30k from which she bought a refrigerator. Other community members upon hearing of the episode have since ostracised her and named her the fridge woman as she gave away her son for one. The boy has not been seen since and this was some three years ago.
The court cases or the creaking legal systems, corruption in such places for such privileged types also in the end allow perpetrators to literally go free, cases languish, all kinds of character references (manufactured backgrounds or even real ones where there was alleged abuse when they were young) are used to protect the accused, arresting officers (even after being subpoenaed after absences from hearings) stop coming to court, an alleged faulty evidentiary material, witness refuse to come to court or lie or change their testimony than that appearing in their statement.
The Reverend Paul Lewis case proved the challenges, conclusive DNA evidence was present but he was set free and is one of the few matters I have heard other clergy men or anti gay religious voices spoke to; maybe because the media kept up with it which also shows up the lack of follow up by media as well, cases die in the minds of the public as other matters compete for our attention of the newer cases are so gruesome they simply outshine the older ones.
Death threats issued to witnesses and families of victims is another matter in and of itself. The sentences for those that go to full conviction are almost a joke.
The finding of a foetus in Seaview Gardens only yesterday, the other matter where a baby was found in a barrel (upright) chopped into pieces earlier this week and stuffed alongside food items contained therein are just two of the more horrible outcomes of our young yet the veracity and intensity of concern that is to come from the religious corner notably the Council of Churches is so low or missing. Yet on homosexuality they are at their loudest. Yes I agree that we must be outraged on ills but the selectivity and deceptive cherry picking by some is even more egregious in the name of morality.
The missing active Christianity that is to highlight God centred principles could not be more highlighted than a story in today’s newspaper where an elderly man was assisted by an entertainer who was moved by his story of poverty where he was living in a fowl coup. Yet no churches or religious groups upon checks and rechecks have moved or joined the assistance save and except for Food for the Poor and other newspaper readers, so church groups again missing their mark and in action that are supposed to be meaningful.
Have we as a nation become so numb to the atrocities?
One can even get more perplexed or disturbed at the numerous missing teenage girls that appear nightly on our TV screens during prime time and a growing number of boys as well which makes it more worrying despite the somewhat calming news in my previous post on CISOCA’s latest report that reported cases of buggery of boys is falling. Old excuses of survival or it’s only some sex it won’t hurt came up as well on the radio program which strongly suggest Jamaicans in some quarters do not see this kind of pimping of children a crime.
The old Negril beach boy problem that was first studied in 2001 was highlighted by Miss Pious as well (also linked is the rent-a-dread concept though not discussed in the radio show) but the changes are that the boys are younger and or are also involved in cross dressing or maybe pre-operative transgender as the market diversifies itself more openly these days. I can remember one of my last visits to the hip strip in Portmore St Catherine prior to the citizenry backlash and the police stepped up intervention there were some MSM/transgender youth there; a spill over from the population in Kingston and others from the parish capital Spanish Town.
It is going to be very difficult as said by Miss Pious and I agree to break down those cultural blocks and to think in a modern day society one would have thought such ideas would have died, the old lingering one that directly impacts HIV/STI prevention is the sex with a very young virgin as outlined in my previous post of a present case by CISOCA of a young girl who now has an STI by a 20 year old man (age is important given that education and information are readily at hand).
Stories like those again influence the homo-paedophile construct that anti gay groups latch on too easily and then use same to justify their arguments sadly.
I will once again recommend a book I have found helpful to me to understand the psychology of sexual predators.
The recent gender based attacks on the University of the West Indies and same gender loving women who are also attacked or verbally abused have also received very little response for or against by religious groups but mainly from secular entities/LGBT groups which once again fires the conflation or false dichotomies of godless LGBT rights proponents versus Christians and the perception of stifling freedoms of speech.
Working solutions (not aspirational announcements as usual) must be found not just the trial and incarceration or even suggested chemical castration made by some (mostly anti gay voices) we can probably use the Florida model of a residency that addresses paedophiles by various means in including
Pharmacological treatment to reduce libido and subsequent interest in children tempered with self releasing activity such as masturbation but adult materials as the catalyst, not sure how that works.
State monitoring via GPRS typed ankle bracelets hence restriction of movement towards places where children socialize a lot
Supportive legislation so that while freedoms are curtailed the desired effect of treatment of interventions are effected present legislation such as the Child Care & Protection Act, Human Trafficking Acts and aspects of the Sexual Offences bill cannot be effective by themselves such as touching and so on but the people also need awareness programs and so on. They have not quenched the problem. Judicial decree cannot change the heart and like many other laws we have them on the books and they are not enforced.
Psycho sexual counselling and interventions on an ongoing basis
Help victims avoid also becoming predators in later life
Education programs for children (as early as primary school as suggested by Miss Pious) to know how to spot and differentiate play from inappropriate touching
I am one of those gay activists who believe we cannot be narrow minded or wearing visors limited only LGBT advocacy we must also pay attention to other issues though not directly linked to the struggle. A late in the day response when the rest of the country has come from Betty Ann Blaine (Hear The Childrens’ Cry from linked to the aforementioned Ananda Dean case) in a press release seems to be just catching up but Miss Betty was quite fiery and never needed a press release during the anti gay march in Half Way Tree last year and the energy placed in that regard pales in comparison to the sexual abuse or murder of our young.
Peace and tolerance