Morris says Durant’s plan encourages national prostitution
It is national prostitution.
That was the angry reaction of outspoken cleric Reverend Charles Morris as he rubbished as “asinine” a recommendation by Government Senator, church leader and Chairman of the National Assistance Board Dr David Durant to replenish the population.
With the population falling steadily from 34.1 per 1000 in 1955 to 12 per 1,000 in 2014 and birth rate of 1.84 births per woman, according to the World Bank, Durant suggested that the authorities should consider paying married couples to have more children.
The Barbados Family Planning Association has already rejected the call, saying it would place the burden on women and it did not addressed the larger issue of national economic and social development.
Now in a damning condemnation, Morris contended that Durant was looking to turn married people into prostitutes.
“It is the hallmark of discrimination. If he is going to say that you reward married couples for getting babies, give them financial rewards, you are asking married couples to become national prostitutes because you [are] telling people to get married, get pregnant, have a baby and get some money for it,” a peeved Morris explained.
“That is the most asinine statement I have ever heard . . . and coming from a pastor . . . it presents a very warped view of Christian marriage. And if that is what Christian marriage is about then I would advise people in Barbados not to get married because you are turning them into prostitutes,” he continued.
In responding to fears that Barbados could face a population crisis within a decade, with the elderly outnumbering children by that time, Durant was quoted in a media report as saying: “We may not have the money to do it but we may have to consider giving an incentive to married couples to get babies as some countries are doing.”
However, Morris would not settle for this, telling Barbados TODAY that paying people to produce babies would not rectify the problem.
Instead, he recommended immigration as a solution.
“[Having babies] is not the answer because there is still another 18 – 20 years before that problem is solved,” he argued.
“For any pastor to get up and make that kind of statement shows the kind of backwardness of the church. And if that is what the church is recommending then I feel sorry for the church because I do not believe that any member or any person right now should take the church seriously not with this kind of foolishness.”
The controversial Anglican minister added that the population problem could have been avoided had Barbados been more open to the idea of immigration.
“When the Guyanese were coming we said that Barbados was this lofty place where others would come and destroy it. We never had an open mind to immigration. We never sat down and discussed the advantages or disadvantages for that matter of immigration.
“If we have a problem, immigration is the way to go, not this nonsense that is being proposed; and I am surprised and I am really, really, disappointed that not even the Anglican Church came out and spoke against this nonsense. It is wrong to make Barbadian families prostitutes now,” Morris said.