1

Cancel Not Privatise The Carnival

EDITOR, The Tribune.

Some time ago I drafted a letter to the editor to commend Bahamian musician and producer Fred Ferguson for withdrawing his support from carnival, but in the business of life, I did not finalise and send it. Recently, I saw Mr Ferguson at a funeral and was reminded of my unfinished task, hence this letter to you.

Mr Ferguson said that after listening to the music produced for last year’s carnival, he decided he could not support it. I commend him for his courageous and principled decision, and I’m elated by it. But more than being elated by his decision, I’m encouraged by Mr Ferguson’s reason for withdrawing his support from carnival. He said carnival does not support anything that we are as Bahamians.

However, despite Mr Ferguson’s brutally honest statement that carnival does not support anything Bahamian (a view that is widespread among Bahamians), the official carnival website is trying to sell a different story by describing carnival as “a destination event for Bahamians and visitors to immerse themselves in the music and culture of The Bahamas”. That statement, coupled with the reality of what carnival is, can be an iconic case study in false advertising and misrepresentation.

Is it truly Bahamian for groups of women with barely covered breasts to erotically wine, gyrate, and bang their g-stringed bottoms and their scantily covered genitals on the bodies of characterless men, virtually having sex in the streets? Is it truly Bahamian to demonstrate no regard for the young and no respect for the old in outrageous pornographic behaviour in public?

No, carnival is not Bahamian. It is a foreign festival that celebrates public indecency and debauchery, and the organizers and participants don’t even attempt to represent anything Bahamian. I have heard some of the carnival songs written by Bahamian artists, and I grieve at the vulgar lyrics and depraved ideas that are common in the songs, almost all of which are sung with a poorly imitated Trinidadian accent. How can that possibly be Bahamian?

There is no denying that carnival and what it promotes and produces are like jet fuel to speed us along the road of national disgrace and moral and social degradation. That road is marked by increased public sexual indecency, crime and lawlessness, more broken families, more children born outside of marriage, more violence against women, increased sexual abuse, a failing educational system, lower productivity, and increased laziness, etc., as more and more people embrace the “live and wine” and “worst behaviour” culture of carnival. And all this takes place in a context of cultural confusion, where many of our people are increasingly ashamed to be Bahamian and demonstrate it by writing and singing vulgar songs influenced by another culture. Is this the kind of Bahamas we want to build? Right thinking Bahamians would say no.

While I commend the FNM government for its decision not to fund carnival, I urge them not to privatize it. Privatising carnival is not a real solution because the issue is bigger than protecting public finances; there is also a need to protect public morality and public decency, especially for the sake of our children. Carnival needs to be cancelled altogether, especially the pornographic road parade. Again, in the words of Fred Ferguson, carnival does not support anything we are as Bahamians. And the words of Fred Ferguson represent the view of an overwhelming majority of Bahamians, so I pray that the FNM government, unlike the PLP government, would listen. Towards this end, I and others are praying.

PASTOR CEDRIC MOSS

Nassau,

July 4, 2017.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree with the sentiment, privatizing it and saying you're free to do what you want is not the solution. This is a festival that could get out of hand very quickly. In two years we could have naked people with body paint parading in the streets and God only knows the societal fallout of that as time passes.

In addition to removing all subsidies, concert and parade, while the country tries to get its finances in order, they need to put in a strict framework to describe what is NOT allowed. Our problem is we always sell the good things that will happen but we never analyze or plan for the risks, just look at the blight of regularized gaming on the country, especially the out islands. now we want to hand this festival to those same gaming people???

2

Pastor_Cedric_Moss 1 year, 10 months ago

I fully concur, ThisisOurs. And the so called carnival band owners want a protected oligopoly just like the few who operate numbers gambling houses. The whole thing is a recipe for disaster and further moral decadence, and both the overturning of the gambling referendum and the introduction of carnival are bankrupt ideas of former PM Mr. Christie and his PLP government, all intended to enrich a few at the expense of the country, and an attempt to try to give legitimacy to what is and will always be illegitimate.

4

TheMadHatter 1 year, 10 months ago

Before you know it - we will have teenage girls getting pregnant in this country, if this Carnival stuff keeps up. Oh Lord.

0

Economist 1 year, 10 months ago

We have had a major problem of teenage girls getting pregnant for the last thirty years or more, long before anyone thought of Carnival.

To blame Carnival is ridiculous. Go and check the statistics.

The churches have failed to keep up with the times by preaching abstinence when they needed to be teaching other forms of prevention. Prevention would enable the church to get the confidence of the teenage girls and teach them how to steer a more moral life instead of having three children before they turn 20.

1

TheMadHatter 1 year, 10 months ago

Economist - of course you know my comment was tongue-in-cheek. I've been on here long time, you've seen many of my comments about teenage pregnancy and our most common disease of bellyswellitis. I agree with you completely. Hopefully the church will grow up some day.

0

Economist 1 year, 10 months ago

Thanks, I thought you had lost it for a moment.

0

AbacoMH 1 year, 10 months ago

I also agree with the writer's comments. The government is right about re-evaluating how public funds are spent and funding for Junkanoo Carnival should be eliminated from the budget. There are, as the writer has stated, larger issues at stake which speak to the morals of Bahamians and what we are teaching our young people; these are equally important considerations for our country. The Bahamas that I grew up in certainly did not promote public nudity. Junkanoo Carnival should be cancelled.

4

AbacoMH 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree with the writer's comments regarding Junkanoo Carnival. I agree that the government is right to re-evaluate how public funds are spent and should not use public funds for this event. As the writer has stated, there are moral issues at stake; what message are we sending to our young people by promoting public nudity? Junkanoo Carnival should be cancelled.

0

Economist 1 year, 10 months ago

" That road is marked by increased public sexual indecency, crime and lawlessness, more broken families, more children born outside of marriage, more violence against women, increased sexual abuse, a failing educational system, lower productivity, and increased laziness, etc., as more and more people embrace the “live and wine” and “worst behaviour” culture of carnival"

Pastor Moss, why did you and your church allow it to get this far? Why do you continue to allow sweethearting? Why have you not taught the people about the 10 Commandments? People follow the example set by their leaders. The Pastors and Reverends with their sweethearts, their big houses and expensive flashy cars, the latter two at the detriment of their members economic survival, have set the stage for Carnival.

I say privatize it and let the fun continue.

I think that we should do it more like Brazil with body paint as a major part of the costume. Let us enjoy the beauty that God has created in its purest form of beauty. We are much closer than Rio and cheaper to get to. We could be the second Rio.

0

Pastor_Cedric_Moss 1 year, 10 months ago

Economist, you are certainly entitled to your views. In a democracy, if a majority of people feel the way you do, then we should have carnival as you proposed. However, it is quite obvious that an overwhelming majority of Bahamians oppose every aspect carnival, especially the live pornographic parade in our streets.

We live in shared space, therefore we need commonsense rules about how we should conduct ourselves. That's why we have public decency laws. And more specifically, the reason we have such laws is that it is generally accepted that displaying private parts and sexual conduct should be done in private, not in public.

Regarding your question about why I and my church allowed it to get this far, I can say that we have spoken out repeatedly, but our former prime minister, Mr. Perry Christie, and his government were on a reckless path to destroy our nation as much as they could, and they degraded our nation morally as much as they did economically. From a moral point of view, the road to moral recovery, in part, includes the need for the government to refuse to aid and abet morally degrading activities like carnival, in any shape or form. Those who are so determined to enjoy carnival might wish to travel to Trinidad and/or Brazil.

Regarding your reference to 'sweehearting', the correct name is adultery. And yes, there are some who are called pastors who commit adultery and lead adulterous lifestyles. But by the grace of God, I'm not one of them, and by the grace of God I will never be one of them. November of this year will mark 30 years of marriage to my one and only wife, to whom I've been entirely faithful, by God's grace.

And about the 10 commandments, learning them is much easier than keeping them. Without the transforming work that Jesus Christ does in a repentant sinner's heart, none of us can keep the 10 commandments, in letter or spirit. And the purpose of the 10 commandments is to drive us to Jesus Christ, the only one who has kept and will ever keep them perfectly.

And yes we have some pastors who live in big houses and drive flashy cars, and yes in some cases they fund their lifestyles by fleecing sincere, innocent people. However, again, by the grace of God, I'm not one of them. I do live in a large house, but those who know me know that I made my money in the international financial services sector. For some pastors, the most money they ever made was when they became pastors. That's not the case with me. Although I have been a full time minister at our church since 1998, I continued from that day to this day to earn the bulk of my income from my minority share ownership in the international financial services business which I founded back in 1994. I became a full time pastor knowing full well that my income would be drastically reduced, and I'm not complaining, just explaining. I have no regrets.

1

ThisIsOurs 1 year, 10 months ago

You een want see Bahamians in body paint. You'll be just like Paul Major, concept vs reality. Let's get the weight loss program going first

3

sheeprunner12 1 year, 10 months ago

Pastor Moss has the right point of view .......... Just review Pintard's Budget address and you will get the answer ........ Paul Major and Roscoe Dames can start up their Carnival company and get started on the next Carnival

0

Economist 1 year, 10 months ago

Dear Pastor, my point is tat the church is failing us.

With the exception of one or two of the more progressive community churches, the churches have been unable to attract a majority of the young.

Maybe you are one of the few who can make a difference. Most churches have lost their relevance. Our crime rate of theft and murder proves that.

The fact that the churches came out, in the constitutional referendum, in favour of having children out of wedlock and condemning Bahamian mothers who had them in wedlock indicated that the churches had lost their way and did not follow the Lord's teaching.

Yes, that is what the churches said when they encouraged people to vote no on one of the questions.

If the church can't follow the Lord then how do you expect anyone to follow the church?

0

ThisIsOurs 1 year, 10 months ago

Most churches don't have Christ., they're frauds and give the few real ones a bad name. They've become businesses and take your money gimmicks. I never see Jesus spend so much time and effort on getting money from people for a physical structure "building the kingdom" my afterburner.

1

UserOne 1 year, 10 months ago

Economist, I don't think you should blame the church. Each one of us is responsible for our own behaviour.

1

Economist 1 year, 10 months ago

The church is supposed to lead its flock.

0

OMG 1 year, 10 months ago

So true ThisisOurs, there are so many churches with all sorts of new fangled names springing up daily and in competition with one another for how many AC units or trinkets they can display. Church in many instances has become a business and well paying at that. As for promoting the Christian ideology so many of these church goers simply attend on a Sunday as a social event and who can dress better. And so many so called pastors etc are self taught or passed a postal course on "becoming a pastor" which makes a mockery of the sustained and comprehensive training that Catholic or Anglican priests have to go through.

0

CatIslandBoy 1 year, 10 months ago

Thank you, Pastor Moss, for your well-written, and timely, letter, as well as your vigorous defense of your character. For whatever reasons, Bahamians have abandoned their true Bahamian heritage in pursuit and acceptance of other Caribbean cultures. We have idolized the Jamaican artists (like Bob Marley, etc) and their life style of Reggae music, promotion of marijuana use, Rastafarianism, and even dialect, to the extent of claiming some of them as being Bahamian. Many of young people are unable to differentiate between what is Bahamian, and what truly belongs to other Caribbean countries.

Carnival should be abandoned. Junkanoo and Goombay festivities should be strengthened, and promoted. Our Independence Celebrations could be improved and promoted. Carnival goers will go to Trinidad, Rio, and New Orleans, while tourists will still come to the Bahamas for something different and unique.

2

sheeprunner12 1 year, 10 months ago

But do these charismatic, fire and brimstone, looking for a seed pastors really want to help the government???????? ........... Well do something to clean up the culture of corruption and laziness in the society ......... Do more than look for more Crown Land to build churches, schools and investments on ............. Pastor Moss take your voice to the Christian Council cartel who are sometimes just as bad as the worldly Cabinet

0

AbacoMH 1 year, 10 months ago

Pastor Moss has certainly started an interesting dialogue with his letter but why attack the messenger? The real question is whether Junkanoo Carnival should continue and this is an opportune time for meaningful dialogue on this subject. Thank you Pastor Moss for raising this question as I've been privately wondering about the same thing.

0

sheeprunner12 1 year, 10 months ago

Moss is not been attacked ........ institutional parasitic religion is (now if he fits that group, I will include him)

0

ThisIsOurs 1 year, 10 months ago

Not attacking Pastor Moss, I actually agree with hi on carnival. A separate topic came up about fraudster churches.

0

Gotoutintime 1 year, 10 months ago

Ain't enough body paint in the world for some of these ladies I see out there!

1

Sickened 1 year, 10 months ago

Do they have barf bags at our carnival?

0

ARWallace 1 year, 10 months ago

Thank you, Pastor Cedric; and Happy Independence Day to all the citizens of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Our country is blessed with God-fearing men like yourself who place the wellbeing of our fellow Bahamians above politics and economics. Your words echo the wisdom of Proverbs 14:34 -

"Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people."

Although there are many who try to justify such wicked practices like Carnival either by:

  1. Pointing the finger at the church because of the moral failures of so-called pastors who are really just "wolves in sheep's clothing", or
  2. Citing some economic benefits that might might be gained,

I believe any right-thinking Bahamian would agree with what you have shared. We would all do well to remember:

Proverbs 10:22 "The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it."

Proverbs 15:16 "Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, Than great treasure with trouble."

0

Economist 1 year, 10 months ago

Proverbs 15:16 was a good choice. Now add Mark 10:21 for the Pastors to follow. The Country will then see them as true men of God, but not before.

Let them lead by example and show us the way to the Lord and the teachings in the Bible.

Anyone can select a verse few can live by the Bible.

0

birdiestrachan 1 year, 10 months ago

Pastor Moss in the Bahamas it is called sweet hearting and not adultery that is Bahamian now Pastor you can tell roc with doc to cancel all web shops. Cancel web shops and cancel Carnival. I* am sure you saw the Web shop boss and Sarkis at Government House.

You have paid much attention to be able to describe the carnival in such Vivid terms, Perhaps you should practice if your eyes offend you. It is the mind set that forms the character of people. there is the internet that young and old has access to and they can watch what ever they please. .. roc with doc is your man and the FNM is your party, Tell them what you want. Honesty is not common in the churches, there is too much politics and not enough of Jesus who died for all. Like the great Paul preach Jesus Christ crucified.

0

Economist 1 year, 10 months ago

The only reason that Pastor Moss and other clergymen are talking about Carnival is to distract Bahamians from the fact that as clergymen they have failed in getting the Lord's word across to the people.

After they opposed the Numbers Houses, when Hubert Ingraham talked of legalizing them, they did not go and protest in front of the Number Houses and get them shut down. That would mean that they would have to do more than talk. Yet, they had the example set by Christ when he turned over the tables in the Temple.

They are all talk and no action. This is why people continue to commit acts of adultery, rob and murder. The clergy have failed, and continue to fail because they are not true men of God.

1

UserOne 1 year, 10 months ago

No, Economist, do not blame the church for people committing adultery, robbery and murder, as that gives them a free pass. Hold people accountable for their actions.

0

Economist 1 year, 10 months ago

I am. I like to see people who have something to say actually stand up for what they say they believe in. These churches say a great deal but do very little.

These pastors have little or no substance which is why very few of our younger generation follow them.

They have failed to lead. I blame them for their lack of real leadership.

0

SP 1 year, 10 months ago

Pastor Moss is entitled to his opinion, however, he is not entitled to cast his opinions and moral beliefs on the whole country based on his own personal convictions.

Nobody is forced to watch or participate in Carnival. It is a personal choice albeit easily considered risqué especially to certain individuals considering themselves as having high moral character.

I personally have no interest in the carnival, have never attended a carnival event and probably never will, although I have watched carnival clips from various countries and do find it aspects of it vulgar, that does not mean I am right and Carnival has is without merit.

Firstly, the PLP in their usual lousy fashion failed to educate Bahamians what Carnival is about and why they thought it would be a badly needed addition to the Bahamas failing tourism product.

Carnival has absolutely NOTHING to do with Bahamian culture, should never have been introduced as something Bahamian. The words "Carnival" and "Bahamian culture" should have never been uttered in the same sentence and that is where the former deceitful, smoke and mirror specialist administration made their biggest irreversible mistake!

Carnival is not just a Caribbean event. It is held in 90 countries globally and a proven profit center for countries tourism bottom line.

https://tenandlee.wordpress.com/world...">https://tenandlee.wordpress.com/world...

The Bahamas is desperately short on attractions and Carnival, if promoted honestly and properly, could become a major event for drawing tourist to the Bahamas as it has in dozens of Caribbean, Latin, American, Canadian and European cities and countries.

It is all too easy for Pastor Moss and others to grandstand, point fingers and find fault with Carnival. However, these people have never suggested any alternative solutions to help reverse our downward spiral in tourism!

It time for all of us to stop all the whining and start chipping in with the heavy lifting

A serious look at Miami, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Cuba's calendar of events should be studied to determine possible additions to, or replacement for Carnival.

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/...">http://www.frommers.com/destinations/...

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/...">http://www.frommers.com/destinations/...

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/...">http://www.frommers.com/destinations/...

http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/events...">http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/events...

0

ThisIsOurs 1 year, 10 months ago

Carnival as is don't help tourism. Not until they realize that all those countries you cite have a "native" festival that they call "carnival", and the locals are the bread and butter of the parade, not the other way around.

Oh, my solution, cancel carnival and expand the Junkanoo season. But not with that scrappy thing they throw together and call Junkanoo summer festival, the groups don't even take it seriously, they come out in the same beat up costumes from Christmas. One group looked like they come out in bra and panty. Suck teeth...Make a high quality Junkanoo season a real greatest show n earth, THAT would help tourism

1

SP 1 year, 10 months ago

I certainly wouldn't think anyone could characterize Latin, American, Canadian and European cities and countries Carnivals as "native" festival that they call "carnival".

However, you are unquestionably on point that Junkanoo has always been substantially way underutilized. With proper funding as pumped into Carnival, the Bahamas can easily create, and possibly have already unwittingly created a unique event to encourage and attract the huge Carnival followers to a one of kind Carnival type event by seriously incorporating more aspects of Junkanoo and Bahamian culture into "Junkanoo Carnival"!

Thanks for your input. If politicians would learn they are not instant geniuses after winning seats in Parliament and would LISTEN to people on the ground for a change, and we focus on putting our collective heads together, we WILL find the best-suited solutions to our problems.

1

sheeprunner12 1 year, 10 months ago

Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival (a moronic conniption) will die a natural death ...... because Major, Dames and the other cronies will not invest THEIR money in it ........... so long, bye, bye!!!!!

1

DDK 1 year, 10 months ago

We have our Boxing Day and New Year's Junkanoo for which we are world-famous. We have our Royal Bahamas Police Band, for which we are also world-famous. Who needs this junk carnival? The People certainly don't want to pay for it!

0

Emac 1 year, 10 months ago

Yes, cancel it!!! Sometimes I am flabbergasted by the attitude of the people who are elected to represent the people of this great nation. Firstly, let us establish, officially, that Goombay is the national music of the Bahamas. Not "Junkanoo" Or "Rake 'n' Scrape". The two latter forms of music were once a part of other Caribbean islands, with Junkanoo even being a traditional festival of North Carolina. Goombay, however, was a part of the repertories of great Bahamian musicians like, George Symonette, Blind Blake, Joseph Spence, Charlie Adamson and Eloise Lewis,Maureen Duvalier, just to name a few. People came from all over the world to listen and or record these musical giants! The trend should have continued to today. But anyway, to make a long story short, simply promote our music, food and crafts through the Goombay Festival. That way hundreds of artistes and food vendors are employed during the slowest months and at the same time,our culture will be available to both local residents and visitors alike. This is music appreciation 101. Government, please think out of the box or try to at least be sincere about the welfare of the Bahamian people!

0

Pastor_Cedric_Moss 1 year, 10 months ago

I have a few questions for those who feel that the debauchery and sexual immorality of carnival should be allowed in public in The Bahamas:

Would any of you object to your neighbours having sex their yard where you and/or your children are able to see them doing so?

What about women walking around in their yard or in the street in a g-string or in the streets, in full view of you and your children? Would you object?

What about loud, blaring music? Should people be allowed to blare music in public at ear drum damaging levels?

All of these questions are relevant for carnival.

My point is simple. We live in shared space, and we have to be considerate of each other. I don't believe we should allow people to block up our streets, intoxicate themselves, and be on their worst behaviour, half naked and virtually having sex on the street, while blaring music. And it is simplistic to say that I don't have to watch it. That's not the point.

If everyone gets to do what he or she wants to do in public space, we will have anarchy. We need commonsense rules to govern how we live in shared space.

1

themessenger 1 year, 10 months ago

Pastor Moss,I wasn't aware that the carnal carnival participants were having sex in the streets, if this had been widely known ticket sales would have far exceeded Paul Majors expectations, I might even have considered buying season tickets myself, LoL.

0

Economist 1 year, 10 months ago

"....should be allowed in public...."

Well at long last we see where the problem is. Thank you for your clarification.

If we don't see it then we don't have to acknowledge that it is happening is what you are saying.

That is why your churches don't do much about the other matters like the Sweethearting or the numbers, or much of anything else for that matter.

By the way what are you doing about the other matters? How are you solving the underlying social ills of our country?

The thirteen and fourteen year olds who are having babies, what are you doing to make sure that they don't have any more children until they have graduated with a High School Diploma?

You rant about an event that will last a week. What a waste of time when there are some real problems you need to fix.

0

Sign in to comment