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Christian Council Denounces Carnival: 'Immodest Costumes Will Lead To Sins Of The Flesh'

Julien Believe and a member of the Eden Carnival group at its launch last year in the lead-up to this year’s inaugural event.

Julien Believe and a member of the Eden Carnival group at its launch last year in the lead-up to this year’s inaugural event.

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

THE government’s inaugural Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival has drawn more controversy, with the Bahamas Christian Council denouncing the “immodest” costumes for the planned event, saying the scant attire could lead to “fornication, promiscuity, rape incest” and other “sins of the flesh.”

The stinging remarks came days after three members of the carnival’s commission resigned when the government refused to sign off on a nearly $2m deal for Janet Jackson to perform during the controversial event in May, according to Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe.

In a statement released yesterday, Christian Council President Rev Dr Ranford Patterson said the group has concerns over the “immodest” costumes for women being promoted for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.

While applauding the government for seeking ways to boost revenue, Rev Patterson said it appears as though Bahamian women’s sexuality is “being overtly exploited for monetary gain”.

He said in the current atmosphere of promoting gender equality, the carnival commission should not display women as “mere objects of lust”.

“We do not share the view that our women should be on display as objects; accordingly, we call on all concerned to resist the push to treat our mothers, daughters and sisters with such gutter-like disrespect.”

He added: “We are of the view that the promotion of immodest costumes, such as those displayed for use in the upcoming Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, will not only promote promiscuity, but fornication, rape, incest, and other sins of the flesh as well. Such immodest and immoral body displays could well become the breeding ground for the premature sexualisation of our children as they will not be immune from these perversions.”

The church leader urged the government to “be careful of the gates they are opening” to increase the country’s revenue, saying once open they will be hard to close.

Resignations

On the issue of the resignations from the event’s commission, Mr Wilchcombe said there was some “concern” that Ms Jackson, an American pop singer, would not be able to draw enough people to the Bahamas to warrant such a huge investment. He also said the focus of Junkanoo Carnival should be and will be on the Bahamian acts and entertainers and international artists should be secondary.

“Three members resigned over a disagreement concerning about $2 million for Janet Jackson as well as some other issues,” he said.

Mr Wilchcombe was contacted after a report surfaced in a local daily, claiming one of the commission members, Freddie Munnings, resigned due to “bureaucratic interference by political operatives and certain ministers of the government.”

“They presented a proposal to us and we reviewed it and they were concerned about the length of time we took to do our research and due diligence,” Mr Wilchcombe added. “I can admit that was my fault and the communication was off. The prime minister gave me a role to play and at the end of the day we have to be accountable. Two million is a lot of money, especially when there are artists that we can get for considerably less. We also have to consider whether she can draw people to the Bahamas and more visitors to our shores. We cannot spend that much on a international artist without investing in our own Bahamian product.”

Mr Wilchcombe said yesterday now that Prime Minister Perry Christie has asked to become “more involved” in the event, he will ensure that more Bahamian culture is added to the mix.

“It is a Bahamian affair and we have to make sure that comes first. We have to get as many Bahamian groups and Junkanoo artists as we can. We have to be proud of and showcase our own culture. We want to use this as a platform to spread it around the world,” he said.

Along with Mr Munnings, Ed Fields and Inga Bowleg have also resigned from the commission.

The event has also attracted political criticism.

Yesterday former Free National Movement Chairman Darron Cash said news of the resignations just months before the planned event shows that “the much heralded bastardisation of Bahamian culture called Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is unravelling due to failed political leadership.”

“The mass resignations from the Carnival promotion commission reflects failure on the part of the prime minister,” Mr Cash added. “If this is what he is doing with our VAT money then God help us. The disaster that is Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival reflects a divided Christie government in crisis.”

Also yesterday, Bahamian entertainer Dillon McKenzie sounded off about disparity between what international performers will receive compared to local acts.

In a post on Facebook, he said Bahamian entertainers are collectively receiving $50,000 for their performances in the planned event.

Junkanoo Carnival will be a series of cultural events starting on Easter Monday and ending on May 9.

Officials have said it will cost $9 million to stage the event.

Comments

PKMShack 3 years, 7 months ago

I will not attend nor support another country festival in my own country. What the hell! I love being Bahamian at all cost and shame on anyone who will pay their hard earn money to support this GARBAGE. When will we put US first? To think about paying an American artist or any non Bahamian artist that kind of money and pay our own local singers peanuts is an insult. Thanks to all who support putting others first in our own country! I for one will not support it and I truly hope it fails. I believe in the Bahamas and we need leaders and organizers to believe in The Bahamas and Bahamians also. I wonder if they would use their own money to make this type of investment!

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

I looked up and down and prepared vouch Da Comrade member of the Eden Carnival group, sure looks Christian enough to Tal..

Comrade Preacherman's there is a lots Bahamas 'Junkanoo Carnival raise natives eyebrows but a extremely lovely lookin bikini clad woman's ain't even make it onto da top 40 list problems. Have you Preacherman's not seen some them men's things pro·trud· right out they own bikini bottoms? Want pack your church pews, invite her shake her thing from pulpit in front your Sunday morning congregation. Now, that's packed da church pews pro-active thinkin. I only wish Comrade Tal could have made up the following statement:

"Mr Wilchcombe said yesterday now that Prime Minister Perry Christie has asked to become 'more involved in the event, he will ensure that MORE Bahamian culture IS added to the mix."

Da churches could sure use a new vessels of da Lord!

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 7 months ago

The Christian Council is 4 months late.

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Economist 3 years, 7 months ago

This is the same Christian Council who some years ago (mid 2000's) objected to "numbers" being legalized in order to provide the then Government with more revenue. When the Government reduced the subsidies to the Church Schools, those same Christians gladly upped the school fees on the same parents they told to go and multiply.

Having said that Numbers were sinful, the Christian Council members did not protest outside the Numbers Houses in order to draw attention and have this sinful activity stopped. Instead they stayed in their palatial homes and drove around in their luxury cars. Most importantly, they gladly accepted portions of any winnings (from playing numbers) that parishioners put in the plate.

The Christian Council should be ignored.

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TheMadHatter 3 years, 7 months ago

Correct. If only all Christian Council people could be deported to Uganda or Tazmania or somewhere, the Bahamas could begin to enter the 21st century.

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bahamalove 3 years, 7 months ago

This just shows how disorganized and out-of-touch some of the members of the planning committee are with regards to this rubbish! I'm sure Janet Jackson may be a nice person, but the fact is her career has never recovered from the Nipplegate fiasco at the 2004 Superbowl. In fact she attempted to do a concert tour in the United States in 2008 which got canceled due to poor ticket sales. Of course, they stated at the time it was due to some illness she had, but it was just a roundabout way of accepting the fact that she was not relevant anymore. She has not produced anything notable since then. Now we have some Junkanoo Carnival committee members still living in the 1980s trying to spend $2 million of our (Bahamian people) money for someone that may not even draw a crowd??!! This thing is becoming less Bahamian by the day and is looking like a bad idea. I would rather see our Bahamian artists get that money for real Bahamian cultural offerings. I do not wish failure for this fiasco because it would be $9 million of our money wasted, but I do hope they get it together real fast!

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asiseeit 3 years, 7 months ago

With the high level of maturity and self control Bahamian males display there should be no problem. Sexual harassment is not an issue in the Bahamas. Our well educated and well mannered males can handle seeing these provocative costumes without loosing their minds. Sarcastic smirk upon my face.

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duppyVAT 3 years, 7 months ago

Most Bahamian men think with the wrong "head" ...... Carnival will making their thinking abilities worse!!!!!

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duppyVAT 3 years, 7 months ago

Imagine couple thousand of bare flesh gals like one that on Bay Street ......... a blacks man's heaven on Earth .... SIGH

Where is is the male version for the black Bahamian woman??????????? SMDH

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm baffled as to why a group intelligent men and women sat together for months on a committee and planned the perfect strategy to divide a nation. What street festival in the WORLD, relies on tourists for support over the support of the native population? That parade does not exist. All of these trips these people went on under the guise of "studying other celebrations", how did they miss that fact? Or were they too busy enjoying their all expenses paid vacation?

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duppyVAT 3 years, 7 months ago

The Carnival is not Bahamian ............. it is an imported festival to make money for the government. That is why it is an insult to attach Junkanoo to that ................ Junkanoo is a musically oriented African cultural event. Carnival is a costume oriented visual quasi-religious event. These two things are like oil and water .............. we fuse them at our peril

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PastorTroy 3 years, 7 months ago

This is amazing sad IMHO for 2 reasons. (1) Where are the AUTHENTIC Bahamian talents? Not Bahamians singing rap, R&B, reggae etc, Where are the AUTHENTICALLY Bahamian genre of music? Rake & Scrape etc Why are we so excepting of other countries genres but 'look down' on our own? I personally enjoy many types of genres, however, THEIR stories being told in their music about Compton, NYC, Portmore or Kingston is not really mine or my experience, but they are entertaining to listen to. Rake & Scrape the old 'storytellers' from Cat Island, songs of pride of a people from Inagua and Harbor Island. It's so sad that so many of our young people try to mimic what its like living in Jamaica and the USA, sadly, not even the positives of these countries but the ghettofabulous, hood and Jungless mentality, WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS! (2) To The Rt. Rev. Doc. His Majesty Ruhollah Khomeini Patty, Dear Sir/Madam I humbly ask you to feel free to elaborate if these scantily clad human bodies (created in the image and likeness of your god) were men instead of women, what will it eventually lead to, since nakked women leads to fonication, I am aware this is the reason why Youtube and other porn websites are banned from being accessed in the Bahamas (sarcasm off) What do you want? money? sadly you seem to have become nothing more than a shake-down-artist, a fraud, a hypocrite, The Bahamas is NOT a theocracy! Who give you the authority to choose what The Bahamian nation should see or not see? (Date, Time and location) How could you sleep at night, this is not only reckless but irresponsible for someone who is head of an organization that SADLY have such political and other influence on our country, this is embarrassing! especially when 90% of Bahamians either know or assume who/what you are. The politics of using religion to control the masses is rapidly backfiring, especially when there are so many DOCUMENTED hypocrites! Maybe you and fellow member of the cloth should attend these events, it may help you DECREASE the amount of homosexuality among men in the church, if that's something you're interested on putting a 'plug in'. Am just sayin'.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 7 months ago

Authentic Bahamian? Ancient Man, Ancient Man, Ancient Man. Phill Stubbs, Phill Stubbs..OMG I love their voices.

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

"Therefore, if Comrade PLP cabinet does confess your Carnival sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed." - James 5:16

But how can the natives begin heal those Comrades in PLP government involved Carnival, who do not want to be healed? Our only condition is that the healing we natives offer will be received by all PLP's who burning inside be set fee from their Carnival sin, that you go and never mention Carnival again - until after PM who lead you down his Carnival path, does be forced, like his former law partner, rung General Elections bell in 2017.

For sure $1.5 million dollars for a has been member of Jackson family, could sure perform some serious financial healing miracle her deleted bank account.

I'd think every native MUST be told by PM, the name of the Comrade(s) who offered this amount 'taxpayers' money to Janet? . Was there a broker involved and if so, who are they and their percentage cut?

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pablojay 3 years, 7 months ago

For once in a long time the Christian is saying something that most of the Bahamas agree with.! HOORAY! My suggestion is for them to lead a boycott and demonstrations throughout the country NOW against this charade,(even though this might be difficult for most of these PLP revs,who serve two masters,God and the PLP). We all know that carnival brings out the carnal nature of men and women. I for one will readily admit that when i saw clips of Carnival in Trinidad all i wanted to see is the scantily clad women,TO HELL WITH THE COSTUMES! Let it stay in Trinidad and wherever else.

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Economist 3 years, 7 months ago

You mean lead the boycott as they did with the Numbers? And how they are active in stopping crime? You know, getting us to "live" the message.

Maybe some one needs to remind them that they are responsible for being examples to us as to how we should live.

Think how prosperous a "truly Godly nation could be. No murder, no theft.

No they just like to "grandstand", in reality a do nothing group.

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

You know tis true cause government have confirmed it happen. Comrade PLP cabinet please before the natives head explode, do review and discuss in cabinet meeting, who in in the hell who be in their right set minds, would pay Janet Jackson $1.5 million dollars? It smells stinky bad around that cabinet table, that anyone of sound mind, could possess balls attempt pay a has been singer $1.5 million taxpayers money.

PLP Cabinet one telephone call Atlantis Resorts and they can tell you right down red penny, exactly how much you could have booked Janet Jackson to perform at Carnival. In fact you could have kept her two weeks pennies on dollar.

How Much Do Famous Singers "ASK" Get Paid For A Single Concert? The Answer Will Surprise You.

http://news.distractify.com/culture/book-your-band/

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GrassRoot 3 years, 7 months ago

ok. here is a better plan. get a bunch of DJ's in for a week. Markus Schulz, Avicii, etc. They need a break from Vegas and convert the Bahamas into a big freaking Winterfest (Miami can do it, why cant we?). 1.5 Mio USD will get you every DJ you want for a week. They have fun and the island will be packed.

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

Comrade if you were in PLP cabinet would you push for funding to encourage and support our Bahamaland's own future Calypsonian's?

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henny 3 years, 7 months ago

Why in the world would you want Janet Jackson to perform at a so called Bahamian carnival? She is not a carnival performing entertainer. Keep it Bahamian with all Bahamian culture. I could understand more if you wanted Rhianna or Nicky. At least they can do carnival music!!

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

PM begs three come back Carnival? Comrade Tribune is it true that the three Carnival committee members who just resigned have in fact been approached directly by the PM to return? That the PM is scared stiff of Carnival collapsing right in front his eyes? If true, maybe the three need respect natives by calling press conference explain, why suddenly their change over reasons for resigning? Does it still leave Obie and his man Major in charge? What happened to Minister Danny? PM you people can't be serious it is going cost $9 million for a small island nation put on a Carnival? More so, tell natives how much has been spent/committed to date?

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 7 months ago

Yes, I'd like a detailed breakdown of what has been spent, not 1 million on "marketing", I want to know who, how much air time, which magazines, readership/viewership , how much for each, these people are too disingenuous.

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TheMadHatter 3 years, 7 months ago

The Christian Council is way out of control in this country. Bahamians help them every Sunday by putting money in the plate.

The article says "saying the scant attire could lead to “fornication, promiscuity, rape incest” and other “sins of the flesh.”

These things you mean will JUST START to occur in the Bahamas? What planet have they been living on? These are the same people who opposed the protection again rape of a married woman by her husband - like they are some kind of Muslims?

If they are so upset about the appearance of the human body they should complain to the manufacturer.

TheMadHatter

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Economist 3 years, 7 months ago

These guys are just grandstanding. It is a way for them tot divert attention fro the fact that they are a do nothing mean nothing group.

They sit on the movie censor board. Don't show sex in the movie theater but it is ok to show graphic murder.

These guys are morons. They don't know the meaning of Christian

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ohdrap4 3 years, 7 months ago

Janet Jackson. how apropo. Her brassiere gonna fall off on Bay Street.

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Honestman 3 years, 7 months ago

Forget the sins of the flesh comments from churches that are totally hypocritical but for the love of Jesus why is The Bahamas selling its soul for some tourist dollars? The type of Carnival being proposed will not promote Bahamian culture. Why do Bahamians have no pride in their own heritage? Why must we copy other countries' culture? Carnival is a Brazilian, Trinidadian thing. They do it well, let them continue to do it well. Let Bahamas promote Junkanoo and improve the product for tourists and participants alike. Let's promote Bahamian artists and our own culture.

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

A Carnival that has and will not excite the natives. Not today, not tomorrow or by 2017! Comrades the PLP cabinet advances lots Carnival ideas but although this is all to be in place in like 78 days, where is the evidence they have sprung into action? Where is the promised equal matching of funds to any group to match their costumes investment? 78 days to go and the PM only 3 days ago asks his minister of tourism become involved. Where are all the much talked about advance ticket sales? Find me any native, not PLP connected who is so far benefiting this $9 million dollars? Why was minister Danny sidestep just 80 days from Carnival date? How much as been spend/committed to Carnival? Why has there been no judging of costumes? Is it thew PM, Obie, minister Danny major now running da Carnival show? Why has PLP not released a set budget amount to host Carnival? Should idea 2015 Carnival be canceled - for damn good, ever again be mentioned by this inept PLP cabinet?PLP Cabinet are you that embarrass about natives own culture that you will spend millions taxpayers dollars import foreigner cultures? I tell you something. You people ain't exactly demonstrating anyone home up in ya heads. Is this damn PLP cabinet, even familiar with the huge success and tourist acceptance Rake N Scrape up in Cat Island? Have they been invited to participate in Carnival? When was last time Cat Islands Rake N Scrape was featured in a ministry of tourism print ad or TV commercial?

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goodone 3 years, 7 months ago

I pray this is over and done with quickly. It's just pure garbage and nonsense all over. 2 million to Janet Jackson? Those people who wanted that in the first place are extremely confused.

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