Pastor Defends Rolle Over Comments On Marital Rape


Cedric Moss


Tribune Staff Reporter


PASTOR Cedric Moss yesterday defended Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Lanisha Rolle over her recent controversial comments on marital rape.

In a 16-page paper called “Marital Rape - The Past and Present Discussions” which summarised the 2009 discussion on the issue and includes his thoughts on the current debate, Pastor Moss said Mrs Rolle’s statements were “measured and balanced” and said he believes she was “unjustifiably attacked”.

Last month, when asked outside a Cabinet meeting if martial rape should be criminalised, Mrs Rolle said the country does not support violence against women in any form but added: “In relation to marital rape, I have always said it is an issue that is private. It can become public, but we want to start where marriage is sacred and marriage is private.”

Her comments drew rebuke from social activists, women’s rights groups and community leaders, some of whom called for her immediate resignation.

However, Pastor Moss said he understands how Mrs Rolle feels, because he has also been attacked for his views on marital rape.

The senior pastor of Kingdom Life Church said while he believes that forced sexual intercourse within a marriage should be criminalised, the act should not be called rape because he believes “there is a difference between forced sexual intercourse outside of marriage (rape) and forced sexual intercourse in marriage (spousal sexual abuse) and that there should be separate laws to cover them.”

“Overall, Minister Rolle’s statement is measured and balanced, and she said two very important things which her critics ignored as they berated and bullied her and called for her resignation,” Mr Moss noted.

“First, she said she does not support any form of violence against women. On that point, she and her critics share common ground, but they ignored it. Second, Minister Rolle said that she believes that if government is going to pass legislation to affect married couples, it is proper to consult with the wider community to get their views on it. I would hope that Minister Rolle’s critics similarly support a consultative approach so that all interested parties might make their views known on any proposed legislation.”

Pastor Moss said if a wife does not desire sexual intercourse, it is wrong under any and all circumstances “to override her will and force upon her that which she does not desire.” He said the current discussion on marital rape should also serve as a reminder “that abuse, be it sexual or otherwise, and whether in or out of marriage, will not be tolerated.”

Nonetheless, Pastor Moss said calling forced intercourse within a marriage rape “is unhelpful and misleading because it departs from the entrenched practice of naming the offence to describe the crime.”

“The name of the offence needs to describe the crime, not confuse the crime,” he said.

“I believe that it is right to distinguish between an act of forced sexual intercourse perpetrated on a woman by a man to whom she is not married (rape) and an act of forced sexual intercourse perpetrated on a wife by her husband with whom she cohabits (spousal sexual abuse). Again, in the case of rape, both the sexual intercourse and the lack of consent are to be punished, but in the case of spousal sexual abuse, only the provable lack of consent through force, threat, or fear of bodily harm is to be punished, not the sexual intercourse.

“Therefore, if the government moves ahead to criminalise provable forced sexual intercourse within non-estranged marriages, which I believe should be done, I believe the offence should be called something like ‘spousal sexual abuse’ and ‘aggravated spousal sexual abuse’ that would cover cases where battery and/or sadistic treatment are involved.”

Pastor Moss made the following recommendations: The government should pass legislation to make forced sexual intercourse in non-estranged marriages a crime; the punishment for forced sexual intercourse in marriage should range up to life in prison to cover heinous acts; complainants in cases of forced sexual intercourse in marriage should not be allowed to drop the charge and it should be made an offence for a spouse to fabricate an allegation of forced sexual intercourse in marriage.


CatIslandBoy 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I used to have some respect for this member of the clergy, but recently each time he opens his mouth, or picks up a pen, my respect level has diminished. This is the dumbest rhetoric that has attached my ear drums in a very long time. Either he is kissing up to Lanisha Rolle, or trying to outdo Palacious. These guys will say almost anything, no matter how outlandish, to grab the headlines. Sad!


sheeprunner12 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Please explain HOW will you will monitor and prosecute marital rape.


ohdrap4 10 months, 2 weeks ago

that cannot be printed in this family newspaper.

i recall when some pastors went to investigate the availability of porn movies by cable programming. they visited an elderly woman's house to watch the porn!!!


CatIslandBoy 10 months, 1 week ago

It will be monitored and prosecuted in the same manner it is done in over 50 Countries that have enacted such laws. Most states in the U.S. have such laws on their books. England, since 1991, France, Germany, Australia, South Korea, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, just to name a few. Even Nepal has successfully prosecuted husband rapist. So, why can't it be done in the Bahamas? Why do we always have to lag behind the rest of the civilized world in everything?


bogart 10 months, 1 week ago

WHAT NONSENSE FROM THE PASTOR UTTER CRAP,!!!! RAPE IS RAPE, NO MEANS NO , no matter if it happens to any french, spanish, black, white, short, tall, female inside, outside, on top or insode the hoise, married, unmarried, divorced etc female who refuses. Its the same mentality hyprocrites pastors who went to get help for their fellow pastor who raped the young girl he was counselling and semen was on the church carpet, dey all want to help him and do nothing for the pore young girl who get raped. SINNING IS SINNING !money or influence cannot buy a pass, go read MartinLuther.

Rape is rape. Its the hhyprocracy of some religeous leaders sucking up to the politicians like saying church and state is separate snd then to see the sucking up when politicians come to church the church and the dedicated congregation is pushed back and the pastors make seating arrangement for the politicians in the front pews.

Rape inside a marriage should be even a worse crime as it is likely not a first crime and other crimes are likely involved like mental abuse, physical abuse, threats to life and also involve children and cpmmitted for some time before it is reported. Much worse and why it seems some postors want to downplay its severity is thay were likely the ones who married the couple and seeking absolution.


jamaicaproud 10 months, 1 week ago

Based on this and previous utterances from this Man Of God,, I am almost sure he will require a third category for illegals, or claim they deserve it.

Guys ike him dont study the facts. The same guy who said Bahamian men who commit adultery with foreign women did not deserve kids being citizens, but could not explain why women who commited same fornication deserved same. Shame


joeblow 10 months, 1 week ago

Marital "rape" is not as black and white an issue as many believe. Time will prove this!


bahamama 10 months, 1 week ago

“the act should not be called rape because he believes “there is a difference between forced sexual intercourse outside of marriage (rape) and forced sexual intercourse in marriage (spousal sexual abuse)“

You’re just playing word games at this point. And I know this has everything to do with his religious POV. The bible essentially says that any sex outside of marriage is a sin. Therefore, just because his religious text deems sex within marriage righteous, he doesn’t want to call a spade a spade. Let’s make a euphemism for rape.

In my personal opinion, I don’t care what they call marital rape as long as the punishment is the same for rape. Regardless of your religion, taking someone against their will is rape. No religion should be allowed to sugar coat that.

Dear parents and teachers, may we please start teaching our children critical thinking skills? Our country desperately needs that. No more swallowing whatever a religious person tells you just because they say they were chosen to represent god.


bogart 10 months, 1 week ago

Who can tell just by looking at any vagina alone in darkness or light whether it is a married vagina or an unmarried vagina, a religeous or non religeous vagina that is being penetrated by an unlawful, unauthorized married or unmarried penis??


sheeprunner12 10 months, 1 week ago

I want CatIslandBoy to explain to us HOW a marital rape case will be investigated and tried in The Bahamas ............. And do not tell me just by passing/amending the 1991 Law is the solution, because Bahamian cultural mores are totally different from the OECD dem. Just because it is done in Scandanavia does not mean it can be done in The Bahamas........

Don't they smoke weed and have sex in public over there?????? ........ Do we want that too????


CatIslandBoy 10 months, 1 week ago

A marital rape case would be investigated like any other rape case. The victim makes a complaint to the Police, and the police investigates. Based upon their findings, the police brings a criminal complaint against the accused, who is then charged before a Magistrate/Judge. At trial, the evidence is presented, and a Judge/Jury will determine if the accused is guilty or innocence. It happens in the courts every day.

Ignorance is really a terrible thing, and should be a sin in this day and time when knowledge is only a google away.


bahamama 10 months, 1 week ago

@sheeprunner12 - The more comments I read, the more I agree. I’m no longer sure if changing the law will actually do anything. As long as there are people in this county who think that a woman is a man’s property once she says “I do”, no law is going to change a belief. And the law is only going to help those who come forward. You’re right. It’s not a legal issue, it’s a cultural issue.


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