Conservative Christians in Trinidad remain upset over the court ruling in April that overturned the nation’s anti-sodomy law. But Anglican priest the Rev. Sean Major-Campbell says the Christian protesters misunderstand what Jesus preached.
Jamaica-based Major-Campbell wrote this letter to the editor of Trinidad & Tobago Newsday:
Getting Christian messages all wrong
It is with sadness that I reflect on the state of the Caribbean church as I look at the march staged by TT Cause against a minority group which belongs to the LGBTQ community.
At best, the march is an excellent affirmation of democracy being alive and well in TT. It is also good to see members of the church being confident in expressing their views publicly in a country that clearly protects religious freedom and the diverse nature of their plural society.
On the other hand, it is embarrassing to see fellow Christians getting so much wrong with regard to what were supposed to be Christian messages. Some of the placards betrayed the ignorance prevailing the church and the willingness of genuine believers who get led astray as they support messages which they have not critically assessed themselves. Let us have a look at some of these unfortunate statements.
“Protect children; keep the buggery law.” Even conservative thinkers would agree that this makes no sense. Children should always be protected whether or not there is a buggery law.
“Don’t remove the buggery law. Consider the children.” This is another excellent example of post hoc fallacy. It suggests that having the buggery law causes the protection of children. One does not have to be a progressive thinker to understand that correlation is not causation.
There was also one that paraded, “God’s law is truth.” Maybe it is time for the church throughout the Caribbean to appreciate that the role of democracy in a plural society is never to determine “God’s law” or “God’s truth.” Our governments do not do governance by theocracy.
I like how this provides an excellent example of yet again the post hoc argumentation used by TT Cause. “We are a nation under God. We cannot go forward without him … Keep the buggery law.” Anyone who is into church language and culture will readily find appeal in the first two statements. How many will however realise that the last statement has absolutely nothing to with the former two?
Then there is, “Protect the natural family. Keep the buggery law.” What is the natural family? Is it the extended family or the blended family or the nuclear family or the mixed family? What is this? How does “keep the buggery law” protect any family? By the way, which families produce a gay child?
By now readers would have gotten the trend of the fallacies. I will therefore not elaborate on “Family first. Keep the buggery law.”
“Politicians defend our freedom and our constitution.” Yes. This should always be promoted. Note though that this applies to all the citizens of TT. The call to “Protect freedom of speech” must of necessity apply to all citizens too.
Did the holder of this placard “No to cultural colonialism” make any sense of it?
The time has come for us to bring critical thinking to our Christian heritage and seek more to follow the early Jesus movement versus the crass fundamentalism being spread by American evangelicalism which has lost its way.
FR. SEAN MAJOR-CAMPBELL
Anglican priest and advocate for human rights
- Trinidad’s anti-gay leaders ‘have lost their way’ (
- RebuildTT not anti-gay: NGO defends right to protect traditional family but… (June 2018, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday)
- Trinidad court overturns anti-sodomy law (
- Trinidad protesters urge overthrow of sodomy law (
- Trinidadians protest as court ruling looms
- Foe of Trinidad buggery law gets his day in court (
- Trinidad suit could help undo Caribbean anti-gay laws (
- Seeking LGBTI rights in Trinidad, finding them in Canada (September 2016, 76crimes.com)
- This blog’s archive of articles by and about the Rev. Sean Major-Campbell