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J'cans have lost interest in road marches - pastor - Carlyle pours cold water on Christian street parade

Published:Monday | March 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Reverend Astor Carlyle

He was clear on his stance against carnival activities, but the Reverend Astor Carlyle believes the Church's stance to host a massive parade will produce few results in yielding behavioural change.

Some sectors of the Church last week announced that a parade would take place later this year as a direct counteraction to the annual carnival road march.

The pastor of Webster Memorial United Church on Half-Way Tree Road in St Andrew said a march alone will not be sufficient.

"Whereas a march for morality has visual impact and may stimulate initial consideration, I sense that Jamaica is becoming apathetic to the concept of marches, especially when such marches seem to lack continuous transformative conversation and action," he told The Gleaner.

"Maybe our people should be taught, using various media, those things we deem morally undermining. Just as our children and youth are being creatively recruited into various lifestyles that contravene the Christian ethical code, we as a Church need to be equally creative and invasive in helping people understand the reasons we take the moral stance we do," said Carlyle.

"We can't escape the truth that generally we need a moral revolution because immoral behaviour, in any sector of society, demeans our humanity and society."


Welcome initiative


The Reverend Dr Lenworth Anglin, pastor at the Rock Hall and Cavaliers Church of God in Jamaica, on the other hand, believes the parade is a welcome initiative to combat the many ills that continue to plague society.

"I don't know the organisers (of the church parade), but, in principle, we would support any protest against carnival, especially with the type of lewd, outlandish themes that we have seen in recent years. Carnival has become openly immoral and so the Church would be opposed to it, especially with regards to the timing (Easter)."

"My understanding is that we have had conversations over the years, and I have been a part of conversations over the years, so it's nothing new. I'm agreeing with any parade, once it's legal," said Anglin.

"I have been a part of delegations with organisers having discussions about carnival over these many years. So I can speak personally about attempts to peacefully discuss the issue."

Not all carnival organisers endorse slackness, says Lee

Julianne Lee, director of Jamaica Carnival, said the Church is free to do what it wants to do, but noted that it was important that people know that not all organisers endorse slackness and lewd activities.

"Clearly, I am not unfamiliar with their objection, because in 1989 and 1990, when Byron Lee (her father) took the first staging of carnival to the streets, it was almost like a political campaign. People were strongly opposed to it," she said.

"We are a free-speaking society and they will have their concerns. I think they have to be fair, though, and not blanket everyone. We (Jamaica Carnival ) push for our costumes to be covered. We did not encourage daggering and we had a code of conduct that we gave to our artistes before it was in fashion to do so," she declared.