Under threat

Barbadian way of life in danger from right-wing evangelists – Barrow

A former university professor is warning of an invasion by right-wing evangelical zealots who threaten Barbados’ way of life and put the liberal gains achieved over several decades at risk.

Retired social development professor Christine Barrow said last night that the traditional religious denominations, including Anglican, Catholic, Methodist and Moravian, had been open-minded and liberal in their approach to social and moral issues here.

This, she suggested, had led to a country that is tolerant of practices such as common-law relationships, divorce and abortion, and which has given legal recognition to these practices.

However, Barrow contended that a new, more conservative and radical form of religion had surfaced and was threatening to take Barbados backwards and to undo legal reforms and generations of social transformation.

“We in Barbados, along with many Caribbean countries, and many other countries in the world are now dealing with a heavy right-wing evangelical force. It is a force that drives a narrow reactionary righteousness. It’s anti-divorce, anti-abortion, it is against sexual diversity, it’s against all other unions other than marriage, etcetera . . . . This is a force that we need to keep an eye on,” the former deputy principal of the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies told a panel discussion on family life organized by the Anglican Church.

Barrow did not name any denominations or individuals but said much of this “extreme religious thinking” was imported.

The retired professor was adamant that the message being preached by the evangelical right was contrary to Barbadian religious norms and did not take into consideration the social and religious outlook which lay the groundwork for the introduction of liberal laws recognizing the Barbadian and Caribbean way of life and living.

“Barbados has led the way in law reform to recognize the realities of family life in Barbados, recognizing and protecting the rights of women in common-law relationships, eliminating the legal distinction of children born in and out of wedlock, facilitating abortion and divorce,” she told those gathered at the university’s Roy Marshall Teaching Complex for the discussion.

The former coordinator of the Cave Hill Women and Development Studies Group fired back at religious leaders who staunchly oppose divorce and abortion, contending that stringent laws did not hold marriages together “and stringent abortion laws have never prevented abortions. They just sent them into the back streets”.

Instead, she argued, by making abortions possible and divorces easier, the Barbadian society had recognized the needs of people over conventions forced upon the population.

She maintained that these legal changes represented a radical departure from the post-slavery colonial standards when previous generations felt a proper family was comprised of a father, a mother and children, and anything other than the nuclear family was seen as improper.

She pointed out that back then recognition was not given to the Caribbean reality of households led by women, whose bloodline can now be traced through generations of offspring, often living within the same home.

However, she said, this has changed with “a body of legislation that is recognizing the full realities of Caribbean family life in the Caribbean, in Barbados”.

Yet, she emphasized, Barbados and the region must guard against allowing fanatical religious advocates to reverse those gains.

14 Responses to Under threat

  1. Coralita May 5, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Wait, she mean that the new religions are observing the Bible, while the traditional one doesn’t?? Then again that is true because Charles Morris said there is nothing wrong with having sex before marriage and he speak contrary to the Bible and he is supposed to be an Anglican priest.

    Last time I checked, the Bible still condemned homosexuality, divorce for reasons other than adultery and all forms of sin. Yet God is forgiving.

    To each his own!!!

  2. Sunshine Sunny Shine May 5, 2016 at 3:30 am

    Lady, you really ain’t serious what you here propagating. You are saying that the churches who are willing to uphold the word of God, who are preaching that homosexuality is wrong, that divorce is wrong, that abortions, outside of spontaneous or selective abortion base on medical complications, is not acceptable in the eyes of God are all wrong and deserving of being called right wing over zealous zealots? What give you the right to challenge what people are doing according to the word of God as a big wrong in your eyes? You would have to be an atheist or one of these new age thinkers who think that every perversion under the sun should be accepted. Soon you will be saying there should not preach against those who love being penetrated by the big sticks of animals.

  3. jrsmith May 5, 2016 at 4:32 am

    Is she really wrong, religion and the bible hasn’t done anything for black people looking back to 50 years. The 2 worst things in the history of the black man, slavery, bible religions.. Look at the religious poor in the world, large countries 1% owns the wealth then look further ,10 pastors amongst them 800 millions dollars scammed from the poor all in the name of God.. Its ok for poor people to have 6 bibles in they home and not have a glass of clean water..

    Something isn’t right, why did God/Jesus allowed the black man so suffer in slavery for centuries, all in favour to the white man..
    Why every time the black have an idea , its God tell me to start a church its it because God see the black man is not capable of anything else. And this goes on and on.. 100 churches and not one business, this is what the black man offers generation after generation..

    For me its time black people have they own Jesus.. for me we have him..( NELSON MANDELA).. black people do yourselves a favour, take down the blue eyed blonde haired picture and put in its place picture of (NELSON MANDELA)..the great one…..

    What ever the white control world wants they gets and black people just have to like it or lump it .

    • Donild Trimp May 5, 2016 at 10:27 am

      Right on jrsmith, I am with you on this one.

  4. Sherlock Holmes. May 5, 2016 at 5:35 am

    This is pure drivel these persons for some reasons believe that they are demigods and see themselves above God,well let me say to lady leave the churches alone ,i know exactly what is going through your shrivelled mind and please let it stay there a title of professor means crap to me you are described to a T by the same God you want to decry in 2nd Timothy chapter three,read it if the bible does not scare you,i am tired of your ilk,who have your hidden Gay agendas and all manner of other evils that you want to foist upon us. be mindful we are not prepared to accept it at least not me.

  5. Johnathan May 5, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Where they rake up this old mother harlot from to talk so much drivel..

    • Olutoye Walrond May 5, 2016 at 7:10 am

      And then you would be the first to quote the bible. Imagine that.

  6. Johnathan May 5, 2016 at 6:51 am

    An insignificant unknown Zealot looking for attention. Nothing intellectual to say so speak the same way her face looks..

  7. Don Morris May 5, 2016 at 10:06 am

    LOL LOL LOL! Amazing the amount of tongue lashing, insulting words and comments aimed at the professor, coming, I assume, in the name of Jesus! I guess these “attackers” never paid attention to the Apostle Paul’s exhortation, not on his own behalf, but on the behalf of Jesus who is Lord and Saviour of all, that followers of this same Jesus — Christians — should speak the truth “in a spirit of love.” (GNB Ephesians 4:15).

    And for what it’s worth, let me add some words from the Master Himself — Jesus. They’re found in the Gospel of Matthew 7: 1-4:

    1 “Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, 2 for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others. 3 Why, then, do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? 4 How dare you say to your brother, ‘Please, let me take that speck out of your eye,’ when you have a log in your own eye? …”

    My interpretation: In other words don’t come with no “holier-than-thou” attitude if you are trying to correct someone unless you took a bath with “Squeeze” and are yourself “squeaky clean.”

    So the next time you want to use your employer’s printing paper and printer ink, to print a document for your Church, without asking for the boss’s permission to do so, remember Exodus 20: 15 (go and read it for yourself) for that verse carries the same “weight” as the one immediately before it (verse 14) and indeed ALL the other verses that come before and after. May you be inspired and enlightened in your reading of these words — Exodus 20 verses 1-17.

  8. maxjustina May 5, 2016 at 10:57 am

    All I would state here, is that satanism is rampant in the USA particularly. Anything goes – no problem but be aware that your will reap the just rewards of your deeds. I have no intention to get into that which some person hold fast. I have my own personal convictions as to what I will or will not do. I will not judge anyone but I am quite sure that I will not tolerate certain situations that others are readily embracing. What I will say is that all actions have their consequences.

    We talk much about the churches and what they are to uphold but what many of you are not aware of is that many leaders are schooled in theological arenas that uses snakes to prophesy to persons – but are unable to offer solutions to people’s probems; many people go to church and find themselves thinking only of how much money they can give to the church; many of them sit in their seats after church feeling somewhat tired and have no idea why they are feeling tired, some of them are told that if they look in their wallets and purses they will find instant money but are not told that if they do no spend that money in 24 yours it will turn again to tree leaves, some of them do not realise that if they enter church late that they are asked to go through another door instead of the one that they were going to enter.,etc We have to be careful when we talk about the church. There is definitely more than meets the eyes. What ever you do, always remember, your deeds will find you out – be your own judge but when your calamities begin to fall on you, do not look for others to be at your beck and call.

  9. islandgal May 5, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    The Christian Taliban is alive and well in Bim ! The professor is very correct and it is a shame that many of you “Christians” fail to understand her. Many of you allow your myopic vision to blind you.

  10. john moore May 5, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Well said professor Christine Barrow. It should also be pointed out that many of the famous evangelical voices are also very racist. It is no accident that as a block evangelicals vote for the most racist and conservative politicians here in the USA. For many years Dr. Billy Graham was popular among black Christians but behind the scenes he was working with Republican politicians to destroy their rights. His son Franklin Graham has taken the racist themes even further with his torrents of abuse against President Obama.

  11. Craige Campbell May 9, 2016 at 9:43 am

    So happy that someone has said something, these religious nuts will believe anything they are told. We will soon be chasing witches again !


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