Pastor denies ‘money for babies’ talk

A Government Senator and prominent church leader has denied saying Government should give Barbadians money for making babies as a means of boosting the island’s aging population.

At the same time, Senator David Durant, pastor of Restoration Ministries, has welcomed recent discussion surrounding the declining national birth rate.

Senator David Durant
Senator David Durant

Durant took time out of proceedings at the Sunday service to respond to a news report, published in another section of the media just over two weeks ago, which landed him in hot water after he was quoted as saying cash should be offered as an incentive for Barbadians to get more children.

“That was not something that I said. It was a conversation that was very private and was not meant for the press,” Durant told the congregation at his Britton’s Hill, St Michael church, where members of the National Assistance Board (NAB) had gathered for a service in observance of the department’s 36th anniversary.

Durant, who is NAB Chairman, further sought to explain, “I was called and asked just about a couple of stats for the elderly, which I gave”.

He said that after giving figures on Barbados’ elderly challenge, a discussion followed on, ‘what we need for this problem that we are facing’.

“I was shocked, as a matter of fact, my mouth dropped when I saw it in the papers the next day in the way it was said, because first of all ‘money’ never came out of my mouth.

“I said it would be good to give people some incentives because whenever you talk to people about making children, they say, ‘Pastor, it’s too expensive’. So a good way of trying to encourage that maybe, is to give some incentive. It didn’t mean money because we don’t have it.”

Durant told the congregation, “Money can be given in the form of tax relief for couples who are getting children; maybe for six months pampers provided by Government; or you have baby milk and so forth, supplied for six months or a year,” and added, “I was just offering a few different solutions for us to look at because it is a problem we have to address anyhow in the future”.

The pastor said that despite what he saw as a misrepresentation of his statement in the report, much of the ensuing comments on the way forward for Barbados’ demographic challenge was welcomed.

“It caused a discussion. So if I am the sacrificial lamb for a discussion that is to be started, it started. Jesus was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and he opened not his mouth. That’s why for the entire two weeks I opened not my mouth until this morning.”

He continued, “My back is broad, and if this is the discussion that has to happen now so we can address [it], don’t wait for the next nine years then to start on it, because we are facing population aging, and the number of aged will soon outnumber the number of youths in our land.

“It is a situation that we are moving to because of the decrease in fertility rate and we will have to address it anyhow.”

12 Responses to Pastor denies ‘money for babies’ talk

  1. Joan Wickham
    Joan Wickham September 6, 2016 at 7:23 am

    BACK TRACKING NOW, HAHHAHAHHAA, THE CHURCH IS THE DEVIL’S PLAY GROUND,

    Reply
  2. Dawn Franklin
    Dawn Franklin September 6, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Does give he mouth to much liberty.

    Reply
  3. a.archer September 6, 2016 at 7:57 am

    “So if I am the sacrificial lamb for a discussion that is to be started, it started. Jesus was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and he opened not his mouth. That’s why for the entire two weeks I opened not my mouth until this morning”

    Jesus opened not His mouth period, follow and live the whole counsel of God that is why Barbados is the way it is, just quoting scriptures and can’t even live the practicality of them wholeheartedly

    Reply
  4. Rochelle Melissa Batson
    Rochelle Melissa Batson September 6, 2016 at 7:59 am

    As a pastor he seems to be very comfortable with lying. First he didn’t say it and then he all of a sudden he said it during a private conversation with a journalist where he was already being interviewed then he change he mouth again saying he never said anything about money. He know good and well that that’s exactly what he said.

    Reply
  5. Sue Donym September 6, 2016 at 8:51 am

    In other words the pastor is devoid of ideas but felt he needed that media moment; and waited for two weeks to find out which way the wind was blowing.

    What about some ways to help the already existing citizens so that when they decide to ‘make children’ it’s more likely that they will be well nurtured, soundly guided children, more capable of being members of a community steeped in pride and industry.

    Pastor, when you’re away from your pulpit/soap box, perhaps spend some time listening to your community and hear what the problems are that six to twelve months of diapers and milk won’t take away.

    Reply
  6. Nathaniel Samuels September 6, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Is the goodly pastor likening himself to the Jesus? While that is honourable, we all remember him stating that the former late PM was going to be healed and we know how that turned out.
    It is therefore better that he continues to keep his mouth shut.

    Reply
  7. Ivan Armstrong September 6, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Sue Donym I love the tenor and tone of your comments. And in reading them I’m confident you and the others commenting on this story know the minister. Admittedly, I don’t have that benefit of perspective.

    Nevertheless, I do not see that as a hindrance, but rather a benefit where the problem the minister was seeking to address ‘stands’ front and center in my mind – which is an alarmingly aging population in Barbados.

    Yes, the ministers recommendation might not have been well thought out but the bright red unaddressed Elephant of an aging population is still ‘standing’ in the national room.

    I’m reminded of a similar error in recommendation by a sitting (white) member of parliament here in the Bahamas who suggested that that the government tie-off single women after having their babies in order to address the crime problem in the country predominantly perpetrated by young men from single mother lead homes. You could imagine the national outcry! But the crime problem by this group remains and climbing.

    Therefore, our objection to silly solutions has no mitigating qualities to serious, national problems that are ballooning.

    As a son of a Barbadian father, one recommendation among many for addressing the aging population of Barbados would be to invite the children and grandchildren born abroad to Barbadian parents to move to Barbados – with incentives to do so.

    One major benefit to them would be Barbados’ educational system which I’m told is second to none.

    Just my attempt to speak to that Elephant that will have to be addressed sooner rather than later.

    Reply
  8. Lennox hewitt September 6, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Ok Pastor don’t mine dem i want u to tell me the exact words u said i want to see if there lying on u so u tell me cause prople say u say so .

    Reply
  9. jrsmith September 6, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Give the pastor a chance , he’s part of the religious manufacturing
    base, which control our people, plus most of our government ministers seems not to be able to talk to bajans or explain themselves ,unless they are standing at a church pulpit..

    Reply
  10. harry turnover September 6, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Durant man you is a real paling cock .Weeks gone by and you now decide to come out of the woodwork to keep noise and expect people to BELIEVE YOU ?
    See why I don’t go to Church now ? I don’t BELIEVE nutten wunna does say from the pulpit.I does stan home ,sing my songs , pray and read my Bible.
    See why young people don’t go to Church now Durant ? nowadays people does go to Church to hustle men and women.
    Durant you should have talked about those young girls and experienced women who come to Church dress to excite the men and the Pastors.

    Reply
  11. harry turnover September 6, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Durant as a PASTOR you should have asked for forgiveness like JIMMY SWAGGART….not LIE !!

    Reply
  12. allison archer September 12, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    “So if I am the sacrificial lamb for a discussion that is to be started, it started. Jesus was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and he opened not his mouth. That’s why for the entire two weeks I opened not my mouth until this morning”

    Jesus opened not His mouth period, follow and live the whole counsel of God that is why Barbados is the way it is, just quoting scriptures and can’t even live the practicality of them wholeheartedly

    Reply

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