Respect is ever due on holy ground
Almost daily, increasing acts of lawlessness leave us wondering whether the world has indeed gone mad. In fact, we are so bombarded by outrageous and despicable incidents, some of us might just come to accept it as the norm.
Case in point: horrifying scenes at an army-run school in Peshawar just today after the Pakistani Taliban led an attack, killing 141 people, 132 of them children. We had hardly recovered from yesterday’s deadly siege in Australia, where a gunman held a dozen people hostage in a café in Sydney. The gunman was killed, along with two others, while four people were injured.
Thankfully, we have been spared such gross crimes in Barbados. But, in recent weeks, we have had more than enough of our share of deviance and violence, which must be rejected and condemned.
The spate of shootings involving our young men, the violent attack on Marva Ward –– such must not be tolerated, and they do demand all right-thinking people to take a stand before it is too late. Wrongdoing in all its forms must be nipped in the bud to avert greater ills from taking root in society; and it’s the collective responsibility of every citizen to speak out against these practices that would lead to much greater harm than good.
That is why we applaud Anglican cleric Reverend Davidson Bowen of St Philip the Less Anglican Church, who rebuked the shocking actions of some who boldly attempted to engage in irreverent behaviour in no less a place than the church’s grounds at a funeral. According to the priest, while presiding over the service for murder victim Gregory Ainsley Bishop, of Boscobel, St Peter, several young men were on the outside smoking and drinking.
And if that wasn’t enough, while Reverend Bowen was performing the final rites, the youngsters scattered what appeared to be an illegal drug in full view of the gathering who stood in silence.
Said Reverend Bowen: “I asked him [a youngster] what he [was] doing. I told him it was foolishness. ‘Get out from in front of me; you’re doing foolishness’. So he moves; he goes to a side.
“I commit the body and he then comes up with two others, flanked on either side, staring me down; again dropping marijuana in the grave. So I asked him if it made any sense. I asked, ‘Which part of the service is this?’.”
Have we gone mad? We know all too well that deviant behaviour exists, but the church –– God’s house –– is off limits; and we reject the audacity of a few who would seek to undermine its sacredness.
How is it that youngsters would be so bold as to dress scantily and behave as they like in church? And, worse yet, no one chastises the youngsters for their behaviour, but would dare to challenge the priest’s decision to walk away.
Whether one is religious or not, one can hardly argue that the church has always been deemed a holy place. We don’t think, act or dress how we feel like within its precincts!
Would such an incident be allowed in the hallowed walls –– or precints for that matter –– of the Supreme Court, in the presence of a mortal judge? We daresay no. So why should it be allowed at church?
A society that would accept or excuse such nefarious conduct is fast headed to ruin. Turning a blind eye to growing ills is not only foolhardy but perilous –– whether it be in the home with reckless parents who fail to train their charges, or with wayward adults who have lost their way or leaders who cannot stand for truth against error.
Enough is enough. Wisdom demands that we boldly speak out and take a stand, regardless of any unjust criticism that may follow. After all, if we fail to stand for something, then we will fall for anything.