HAPPY Easter to all Jamaicans who celebrate this holy Christian season that marks the significant events that inform the Christian religion. The belief in the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus forms the core of the very foundation of Christian doctrine and this even surpasses the season of the birth of Jesus.
This is the very cornerstone of the largest religion in the world today, and millions will share the suffering of the Saviour on the cross, and also the exhilaration of victory over death.
Few, if any, major religions of past and present have no concept of a better world beyond our earthly existence. Most think that like Jesus, we will ascend to a better place, "our Father's house has many mansions (rooms)", and often we choose to forget that other admonition of a Judgement Day where our works on Earth will determine that final destination. By that omission, we fool ourselves into the hope that by doing nothing we may yet earn the ticket to Heaven, and therefore we accept the "win the lotto" mentality without having to purchase a ticket.
So many of us choose to do nothing good, and yet we hope to succeed through the sacrifice of "the blood of the Lamb" while keeping our blood intact. It is a mentality of selfishness that is not really compatible with the principles of Christianity. It is that I take all and that is all that really matters. It is a misunderstanding of the allegory of the talents and many of us hide behind the concept of a Sabbath. We choose not to remember the words of Jesus to the Pharisee who asked if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath.
So, coming closer to home is the voice of a brave woman who, as a doctor, could no longer stand in silence in the face of the horrible abuse of children that seems to be widespread. Yet the voices of our women leaders in Parliament are quite silent in decrying the criminal acts performed on these children and fail to enforce justice, but I am sure that they too will celebrate in churches across this island and praise Jesus for His sacrifice, and pray for their own souls.
Ladies, please remember your duties to the people and pay attention to St Luke's Gospel Chapter 23 verses 28 and 29. "But Jesus turning to them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves; and for your children. For behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps that never gave suck."
No, I am not a minister of religion, nor even a regular church attendee, and yes, like all of us I am a sinner, but I do read the Bible and yes, I believe in God, and that reading suggests that we should try to do something good during our brief sojourn on Earth. To be silent in the face of wrong is also a crime, and keeping silence in fear of your life is a mockery of Jesus and is of little consequence if you really believe that a better world awaits us "where pain and suffering will be no more".
So the next time you see children being abused, mentally challenged persons asleep on the sidewalks, hungry people burrowing in garbage cans, then think of all the things that are right but which we choose not to pursue, and decide if this is really a Christian country or simply a collective of unbelievers. Please remember that there is no religion practised in Jamaica that condones the abuse of persons of any age or gender.
The building of a nation takes much more than prayers and even money. It requires a dedication to a course of action that is consistent with the good of society. It does not subscribe to the notion of ownership of the people by any political party. It cannot condone wrong over right simply by expedience, and it cannot condone murder in any shape or form.
My hope for the end of corruption and violence now rests with our women, as we men seem to be failing in containing our desire for the fruits of wrongdoing. I look at the charges and counter-charges levelled in cases of public corruption and I see mainly men.
So my personal prayers over the season will be for our women to give us the encouragement and support that will allow us, the male of the species, to rise above the temptations to do wrong, and by so doing allow Heaven to have a gender balance. I have some difficulty in contemplating spending eternity in a very hot sauna room filled with sweaty and smelly men! I live in hope (but may well die in Constant Spring).
In the wider world it would seem that the inability of business leaders to stick to principles of integrity may have spelled the end of the Murdoch "Empire" in forging a media dynasty. Just a few wrong steps with regard to personal privacy rules will deny the would-be "King" of his throne. So the mighty are fallen and an opportunity arises for others to grow in the industry.
So perhaps integrity is returning to the "First World", and standards for corporate behaviour in regard to human rights are again taking centre stage. Where will this lead to in Jamaica where rumour, scandal, criminal association, and fraud are commonplace?
Can our corporate leaders step up to the plate and lead the community back to an adherence to the norms of good citizenship and the rule of law? Can we all step beyond the confines of corruption and self-indulgence and make Jamaica a better place for all?
The answer lies with you and free will, and the ability to choose is an important philosophical tenet in the belief in a Supreme Being, so think about it this season and do the right thing.
I wish you all a blessed and peaceful Easter.