When the mob goes marching in. (Homophobia, alive and well in Jamaica)

When the mob goes marching in

Friday, April 13, 2007

THE MOB is on the march again "cleansing the temple". The report that on Easter Sunday, of all days, when the Church Triumphant celebrated One who exhorted others to love neighbour as self, the Mob struck.

Barbara Gloudon

According to Biblical history, the Mob action is more associated with Good Friday than Easter Day but our JA Mob either doesn’t read the text too well or is evolving a new theology of its own. (Both theories have validity, I believe.)

So off they went to smite b-man hip and thigh on Resurrection morning. And it came to pass that they descended on a little church in a rural district where a funeral was in progress and where, in their estimation, some of the male mourners looked womanish. And the Mob proceeded to do what it does best – wreak havoc on the just and the unjust, alike.

They smashed the windows of the temple, and in keeping with current custom, had media on hand to record their ignoble deeds. The police were called and, according to reports, put down the insurrection. Note, however, that not a soul was arrested and no one was charged. Pilate had washed his hands long before. The police authorities tut-tutted, issuing a ritual word of caution and the Mob returned to anonymity, till next time.

"The police are still investigating a criminal matter," said Sgt Rowan Salmon of the Constabulary Communication Network. "There are damages to the church’s property, so we are asking for assistance from anyone who saw what happened to come forward." Yeah. Right. We hear you, Sarge. Your friendly neighbourhood cops will be on guard, waiting for anyone who saw what happened to come forward. And if they don’t, we’ll wait.

The newspaper account of the "temple attack" contained a reprise of previous incidents occurring not too long ago, one in Montego Bay, another in Kingston, wherein the Mob decided to wreak vengeance on transgressors – men who were trying to look like women, they say. In all the reports, the police were/are investigating.

REV MILLER…. and now here he comes urging us that at election we should not just vote but choose candidates who indicate their personal morals including the issue of homosexuality

After every incident, silence falls upon the faithful, the protectors of the Word. Not one church as far as I know has been heard to issue the admonition along the lines of "vengeance is mine (not yours), said the Lord". No decent, God-fearing soul has reminded the mob and the rest of us that if we’re going to defend the word "love of neighbour" it’s an injunction which came from the Highest Authority.
No protector of justice, no advocate at the court of human rights has paused to observe that mauling and maiming people we may not like, or whose lifestyle offends us, still carries penalties under the law. The worst thing we could do, apparently, is to be seen giving comfort to b-men. So the law awaits our coming forward with the evidence, that justice may be done.

In what century are we living? What vision do we have for this country? Will we be better off when every b-man is beaten to a pulp and driven from our shores? God help us!

And now here comes Rev Al Miller, urging us that when election comes we should not just vote but choose candidates who indicate their personal morals including the issue of homosexuality.

Rev Miller and his fellowmen of the cloth are well within their rights to uphold Christian teaching. There is a huge debate now going in the church in the United States (the centre of all wisdom) on the issue of homosexuality and Christianity. The Jamaican church – or some sections of it – has embraced the current cause and are speaking out. The battle of sin and sexuality rages. Out in the streets, the Mob, never slow to go into action, seems prepared to assist. Witness the growing campaign to prove that "b-man fi dead".

From time to time, we see a quote from some crusading minister reminding us that the Christian mandate is to love all men and help them to overcome their weaknesses and sinful practices. The voices of the church also take care to point out that "we do not, will not, condone their immoral practice as a lifestyle. In any case there’s also the mob to beat them into shape" (my words).

We would wish to be convinced that the police do not have one law for crimes against people regarded as pariahs and another for the rest of the society. It cannot be that justice will only come about if some bystander comes forward to tell the police what they saw the night or the day that the Mob struck. Can the police do more than that? Until that time, we are all in danger. What if someone labelled your son, your innocent son, while the Mob was passing by? What’s that again about… Love of neighbour?

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