Church cannot fix violent youth

Letters to the Editor

Church cannot fix violent youth

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Print this page Email A Friend!

Dear Editor,

The following is an open letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness:

Sir, your narrative regarding the Church reaching the hearts of our people in an effort to curb the spiralling level of violence within our society is flawed and unsupported by data.

You ought to have known better.

Ever since Nicolas Cappernicus, honest educated men have found it gravely difficult to attribute any natural or social functions to the Beloved Abrahamic God. And since Spinoza it has become unforgivable to even attempt to seriously build a case for theism. Ask the founding fathers of America.

A case for any meaningful social functions of the Church cannot be made without using some degree of dishonesty or ignorance. The Church, as an institution, has been around for thousands of years, and I am having great difficulty in finding a single case in which the Church has been on the right side of history. The Church supported slavery and racism. Catholic clergymen and Protestants men of the cloth have consecrated swords that butchered millions of innocent victims in the name of conquests and colonisation. Please do not forget the witch-hunts, the killings of gays, atheist, heretics and the Jews. Also, remember the Crusades.

Sir, even if you attempt to cut the umbilical link between our contemporary church and that of its antecedent we will still have a huge problem. The idea that increased religiosity correlates with increases social health is a fallacy. In fact, the opposite is more likely true.

The most secular societies today include Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Czech Republic, Estonia, Japan, Britain, and the Netherlands, just to name a few. These countries fare way better on key indicators like violence, teenage pregnancy, infant mortality, and education attainment. The non-profit organisation Vision of Humanity publishes an annual Global Peace Index, listing the 10-safest and most-peaceful nations in the world. These are also some of the most secular and least-God-believing places in the world.

The United States of America is also an important case study on how religion poisons everything. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which lists the 10 states with the worst/best quality of life after having looked at a number of important indicators for societal well-being, including violence, it states with the worst quality of life tends to be among the most God-loving, such as Mississippi and Alabama. While, those states with the best quality of life tend to be among the least God-fearing such as Vermont and New Hampshire.

It is my belief that religion and religious beliefs distort morality. Religion teaches us to remove our moral obligation from each other and to distant deities. Within the religious systems it is not wrong to steal because it deprived your neighbour of his property, but because it's a sin against God. This permits religious adherents the liberty to do all manner of evils and whichever guilt can simply be erased by the prayer for forgiveness.

Mr Prime Minister, please consult with our bright minds, listen to our experts. Let's look at what other successful countries have done and seek to learn from them. Another thing, we must also attack a culture which seemingly aids and abets the continued creation of self-hate, as well as glamourises thuggery, hypersexuality and coarseness.

Ricardo McKenzie

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon