I am not here to speak for the Church, but I can share my observations as to its work as someone who worked in broadcast media for more than seven (7) years in St. Vincent.
I have seen and heard expressions of disappoinment by some regarding the church’s decision to come together in a huge way, to stand up against a challenge to a law which the Church feels could adversely shake the moral foundation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
This post is not to discuss that law, or the Church’s position on it, rather, it is an effort to respond to some positions that the church in St. Vincent has stayed silent on other social ills, while finding the courage or the strength to unite against this recent buggary law issue.
The truth is, the Church never stopped standing.
Several church groupings, including Harvest Bible Chapel have lead the way in hosting conferences on fatherhood with projects like Project Men 2020, which inspired men to do fatherhood the right way and take up their roles as leaders in their children’s lives.
Others have been very vocal on issues such as child sexual abuse. Preachers such as Reverend Adolph Davis of the Methodist Church, Veral Blake of Harvest, pastors from the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies and others have constantly raised these issues.
The Church, as a whole, has been the silent nurse, providing psychological, material and emotional support to victims of unjust acts, while some others have stayed silent.
The Church has been at our schools, through Inter School Christian Fellowships, Secondary Schools Bible Quiz, provision of financial assistance and emotional support, trying to keep God in the Schools and providing support to students.
The Church has been at our prisons, trying to implement and strengthen rehabilitation programs for inmates, so that upon release, they would not be inclined to be repeat offenders.
The Church has and continues to address tough issues such as the playing of lewd, violent lyrical content on public transportation, because of the impact it can have on our students.
The Church has been in the broken communities, providing counselling to families and working with state departments and others to rescue those being sexually and physically battered by gender-based violence. Some others who are condemning the church have not.
The Church has stood up, through prayer and through action for the neglected on the streets, people who others have passed and continue to pass each day without lifting a hand.
The Church has, through provision of shelter, clothing, food, emotional and spiritual support, been the rock for those in society left in the quicksand; victims of HIV/Aids, the Shut-ins, and the abused.
The Church has always been standing in mightier, more strategic ways than a rally. It has gained more results in that regard as well.
It is true that the Church can do more and can be better, but it is still only one of several institutions and several actors whose efforts are needed to bring real change.
The people who protect perpetrators of sexual crimes, at the expense of the victims should not criticize the church for what they feel is inadequate action.
The people who stand on the sidelines and refuse to report crimes of one kind or another or cases of abuse should not criticize the church, which tries to help victims who trust the Church to share their stories.
People should look into the matter well and join the church’s efforts to make a positive impact in society, as opposed to condemning the Church whenever they feel it didn’t stand up in the way they wanted the Church to, or when it stood up publicly on issues they feel it should not have stood up on.