OFFENSIVEMany saw as offensive, the views being espoused on National (apparently Christian) Television. How dare these atheists/secularists ask:
1. That their voice be heard, too
2. That we countenance that for them, "god" does not exist
3. That Jamaica moves away from privileging one particular religious view if it ought to be considered truly democratic
4. That we respect the right of those who are not religious to not have religion IMPOSED on them in public spaces (just as we ask for smokers or homosexuals not to impose their practice upon the rest of the citizenry).
5. That they not be forced to abide by laws that are religious in their application and interpretation. (You may watch the programme here.) Many took to social media to repudiate the explicit views and insinuations by those who sat with Ian Boyne on the programme. The overwhelming feeling was that Jamaica is a Christian nation and that those who dare to oppose Christianity not only were they offending god; they were NOT, in fact, being Jamaican. They were committing treason. This interesting assignment of patriotism and citizenship on the basis of religious affiliation is subtle but one that ought to be interrogated. Some went as far as accusing the two youth of being angry and "if dem nuh like it, why dem nuh gweh" (If they do not approve of religion/Christianity, why don't they leave [Jamaica]). This is quite instructive. We celebrate the silencing of other points-of-view. We say, if you do not think like, believe like, act like us, then you are not suppose to be here; there is no space here for you! no wonder TVJ could have highhandedly refuse to rebroadcast the programme on Wednesday, September 19, at 10:00 a.m.(even though that is the time every other episode is rebroadcast). They claimed it was offensive and not fit for morning TV. It was offensive because it was different...oops... correction...it was non-Christian.
HYPOCRISYThe outrage is startling though. The many Christian "sympathizers" running out from the woodwork to defend god (who supposedly is not potent enough to defend 'himself') and Christian orthodoxy, revealed a nation in a paralytic state of dissonance. Said christian apologists are NOT adherents of the dogma they defended. many are not even regular church attendants; regular party goers, fornicators, adulterers perhaps. Here were these sinners (by the standards of the views they defend)defending something they could not live up to in real life. So what really are they defending? They thought that those positing anti-theist views were angry. And what if they are angry. When since has anger become terrible? We all become angry when we feel that we are unjustly treated and are being oppressed and SILENCED. If you think I am lying ask Nanny, Kudjoe, Tacky, Paul Bogle and those who felt the oppressive licks from colonial ideologies. It was their anger has brought the rest of us "black" folk to this place where we have enough power to turn around and oppress and silence those who disagree with us. The thing is, when the Christian majority spreads its exclusionary message with great passion, it is called anointed preaching... when atheists/anti-theists do same they are being hateful. It is just they way things are and donkey affirmed it in her now famous quote, 'di worl' nuh level" (there is no equality in the world). Who ever said donkey is an ASS, lied.
AUDACIOUS HOPEDespite appearing on the programme with the knowledge of the institutionalised silencing of non-Christian views in Jamaica (citing refusal to publish articles and comments of same sentiments), Javed & Angeline were audacious enough to HOPE that their views and voice will find expression. And it did!!! Despite the attempts by TVJ to muzzle them, social and new media have given them the platform to decry the TVJ's blatant attempt at censorship all in the name of protecting christian privilege. So far, I have read blog posts by Jaevion Nelson and Annie Paul, saying to the two, "we heard you even louder by the attempts to silence you." There is a cacophony of such injustice and intolerance of the other and people are hearing and are paying attention. Yes, Donkey, despite the undulation, there is audacious hope that will create CHANGE!!!