EDITOR, The Tribune.
In a few days, barring divine intervention, the moral sensibilities of an overwhelming majority of Bahamians will be assaulted by the public nudity, brazen vulgarity, and unbridled debauchery of carnival.
Yes, thousands are planning to descend on our streets and in our public spaces, determined to be on their “worst behaviour”, as they debase themselves without any regard for the young or respect for the old. And once again, they will put on pornographic parades and shows in breach of our public decency laws, as the police look helplessly on.
What makes this state of affairs worse is that carnival is facilitated by government permits and funded by tax dollars.
Yes, I know the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Mr. Michael Pintard, has been saying that the FNM government is not funding carnival, but by that he can only mean that carnival is not being funded with millions of dollars in cash like the PLP government inexcusably did.
Because the FNM government is still in fact funding carnival with thousands of dollars in kind through free advice to the so-called private owners of carnival, free police security, and free clean up of the mounds of garbage that will be left on our streets and on Clifford Park and Arawak Cay — garbage that should be cleaned up by the so-called private owners of carnival.
While the Minnis-led FNM government can rightly say that it has separated itself from the Christie-led PLP government and its fiscal irresponsibility regarding carnival, the same claim cannot be made about the moral irresponsibility of carnival.
Regarding the moral irresponsibility of carnival, Peter (the Minnis-led FNM government) is no better than Paul (the Christie-led PLP government).
Both of them see nothing wrong with groups of men and women frolicking in our streets and public spaces and engaging in sexually degrading and lewd conduct. Both of them see nothing wrong with the government promoting and facilitating an environment of excessive alcohol consumption and disregard for public decency laws, where virtually naked women erotically wine, gyrate, and have virtual sex in public with characterless men inflamed with lustful passions. Yes, regarding the moral irresponsibility of carnival, Peter is no better than Paul.
No doubt, in a few days Minister Pintard will be gloating over the fact that the FNM has been far more fiscally prudent than the PLP in minimising the financial cost of carnival to the nation.
But what about the moral cost to the nation? I guarantee he will be silent on that.
Yet, the moral cost far outweighs the fiscal cost, because while we can recover from the fiscal damage of carnival, recovering from the moral damage of carnival is not so easy.
And both the Christie-led PLP government and the Minnis-led FNM government are accountable to God and the Bahamian people for the moral damage of carnival.
I have no doubt that there are some cabinet members in the Minnis-led FNM government who do not support carnival, just as there were some cabinet members in the Christie-led PLP government who did not support it, and I commend them.
However, since cabinet members have collective responsibility, they should all collectively hold their heads in shame for aiding and abetting moral and social decline in our nation through the introduction and continuation of carnival.
I say this because it is irrefutable that in carnival, the road parade especially, women are portrayed as sex objects for the pornographic gratification of men.
And it is also irrefutable that such sexual objectification of women increases the probability of the physical and sexual abuse of women and young girls at the hands of men and boys who see them not as persons to be nurtured and protected, but as objects to be used and exploited.
Yet, this is the type of moral and social decline that those who have been elected for good governance are facilitating and funding.
Then, like someone suffering from amnesia, they come to the church asking for help to address the very same moral and social decay that they themselves have helped to create in large measure.
Those of us who belong to Jesus Christ need to pray that God will give us and our leaders a true sense of national, godly shame that we should have about carnival and other evidences of moral decay in our nation.
And let us pray that God will grant us national repentance and thereby remove our national disgrace.
Yes, righteousness (not a good economy or anything else) still exalts nations, and sin still remains a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34). Let us pray that we will be a people who truly pursue righteousness so that we will be a nation that is truly exalted.
PASTOR CEDRIC MOSS
May 2, 2018