Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Jamaican Church all but Endorses Violence Against Gays

Timothy Kincaid

February 18th, 2008

jamaica-flag.bmpAs we have reported before, Jamaica is a violent, homophobic, dangerous place and ought to be avoided by all persons who care about civil rights. We were not alone in our observations.

The Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), a gay-welcoming denomination, has started a protest against the Jamaican government’s inability – or unwillingness – to crack down on anti-gay violence.

Rev. Nancy Wilson, MCC’s leader, and a contingent of religious leaders from the MCC’s Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale met with Jamaican Consulate General Richard Allicock and three top staff members for more than an hour in the consulate’s office in downtown Miami.

“We were encouraged,” Wilson told a group of about 25 protesters who came to Miami for the protest from Sarasota, Boynton Beach and Fort Lauderdale. “We had a frank honest discussion. We’re engaged in a long-term discussion and were not going to stop until gays and lesbians are protected in Jamaica.”

Rev. Wilson’s demands were neither extreme nor unreasonable

that the government launch an educational campaign to decry anti-gay violence in Jamaica, and that the Jamaican police begin sensitivity training regarding the GLBT community

One might suppose that a call for the cessation of violence was a campaign which all Christians could support. One would be wrong.

Not only were MCC’s requests reviled in the Jamaican media, but Jamaica’s Christian community did not take well to being told that they ought not murder gays.

The Rev Dr Merrick ‘Al’ Miller, pastor of the Fellowship Taber-nacle in St Andrew, said that Jamaicans generally deem homo-sexuality wrong.

He said the demands of gay activists who are attempting to force their beliefs on society will in no way influence Jamaicans to change their views.

“Homosexuality is wrong from every possible angle,” said Miller. “It’s immoral from a physical, social and spiritual standpoint.” He said that despite this, the Church was willing to help and support those homosexuals who are in need of counselling or assistance to change their lifestyle.

“I have no problem in supporting and helping someone who sees that he is going the wrong way and wants help in changing his life, but where I draw the line is when you say that it is OK and want to force others to accept your abnormal behaviour,” he added.

and

The Rev Dr Lloyd Maxwell, of the AGAPE Christian Fellowship in Portmore, said that Scripture takes a very clear stance on the matter of homosexuality and, as such, the Church would not sanction nor encourage the lifestyle.

Rev Maxwell said the idea of conducting a public awareness campaign to sensitise Jamaicans on the issue is ludicrous.

With the media and the church openly endorsing homophobia and refusing to condemn the murder of gay men, I have little hope that violence against gays will diminish in Jamaica.

Comments

POST COMMENT | COMMENT RSS 2.0 | TRACKBACK URL

Recent and Readworthy - “Church, Are You Listening?” edition « Crossing the T
February 19th, 2008 | LINK

[…] Church leaders in Jamaica have rejected a plea to their government by the International Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches to act to end violence against LGBT people.  One pastor called the idea of conducting a public awareness campaign to sensitise Jamaicans on the issue is “ludicrous.”  By failing to condemn violence, does the church not share in the moral responsibility for it?  (Thanks to Box Turtle Bulletin.) […]

Tom in Houston
February 20th, 2008 | LINK

Remember this isn’t about same sex marriage or condemning the Gay lifestyle. This is about mob violence, and murderous rage that borders on genocide. This is apparently tolerated by the police (no arrests even though the Jamaican press published pictures clearly showing perpertrators committing violence), by most ministers, and by most governmental authorities in Jamaica.

The MCC is thinking about a boycott. I already boycott Jamaican culture. Here’s a few things that we can do to stop feeding this murderous culture:

1) Stop buying Red Stripe or Myers Rum. If you patronize Gay bars, ask them to stop serving ‘murder liquor’. Extend the boycott to all Diageo products if they continue to sponsor concerts by artists that advocate genocide against LGBT persons (as Diageo subsidiary Guinness did in December 2007 in Portmore Jamaica – source Jamaica Star article on 2007 Guinness Sting concert in Portmore). Remember that Blue Mountain coffee is also from Jamaica. Tell your coffee barista to stop serving that as well.

2) Tell everyone about Jamaica’s murderous culture. Jamaican not only apparently tolerates genocide against LGBT persons, but also has the highest murder rate in the Western Hemisphere. It probably isn’t safe for straight people to do so either.

3) Ensure that major companies such as Hard Rock (source reggae concerts by murder music artist at Hard Rock owned 4th and B in San Diego) that host artists that advocate murdering Gay people that they are assisting in the propagation of murder advocacy within the context of actual mob murder going on.

4) Contact companies like Puma and Addidas and tell them that their glorification of Jamaica in advertising/marketing is not appropriate given Jamaicas current tolerance of genocide.

5) Remember to note that what companies do in the civilised world is irrelevant, their public condemnations of anti-Gay behavior should be held in Jamaica. For example, if Red Stripe wants to state that they don’t believe in discrimination or violence against LGBT Jamaicans, that they should publicize that prominently in the JAMAICAN press, where it can have an impact on the Jamaicans that keep committing these crimes and the police, ministers, and government officials that appear to be tolerating it.

Jone
November 1st, 2008 | LINK

who ever saying Jamaica is violent has got to be gaye. who do you think you are posting the flag with blood on it by the way depicting violence. Listen Jamaican will never accept nasty behaviour especially gaye people. Dont worry God will deal with ya’ll cases

David
December 20th, 2008 | LINK

Hey! I think this article is very one-sided and poorly researched. In all of the above the quotes I did not see one place where they (Jamaican Ministers) encouraged the murder of gays. All of the above comments where against the “public awareness campaign” that you people wanted to make Jamaican Society open to gays. Those are two different policies/topics. Jamaican Society has recognized the abnormality of being gay and will not accept it. As christian we will never say it is okay to hurt anyone because of their homosexual ideals because it just isn’t. However, we cannot condone the preaching or teaching that it is okay to be homosexual because it isn’t.

Yeek
December 20th, 2008 | LINK

Generally it’s the most corrupt, backward places on Earth that despise gays the most. The arab nations, the impoverished nations of Africa (South Africa is the most pro-gay and the most economically successful), the rust-belts of old communist Europe, the southern U.S., etc. etc.

Most of these cultures also have a problem with insight and finding new solutions to old problems, which is part of the reason they stay so impoverished to begin with. They react to unusual circumstances with loud declarations of absolute authority (“we will never accept it! abnormal!”) rather than the sense of amused curiosity that we see in more advanced cultures. These primitive societies are terrified of change and cling to stasis, mostly because rejecting change as “wrong” gives them an excuse for not having made any of the progress that they see in the rest of the world. It’s sort of an “I’m not a failure, I’m morally pure and those others are depraved” defensive philosophy that can only be propped up by a show of indignation and pious rage. Having an “enemy” or “abomination” to oppose gives them a sense of purpose that actually comforts them. So, when this enemy doesn’t actually exist, it must be invented.

When the imagination needed for change simply isn’t there, neither is the insight needed to advance your character. Civilization is about progress, not tradition. If Jamaica is still a hostile backwater in a hundred years, you will also find the same lack of curiosity and the same outwardly directed resentment and hostility of its people that we see today.

http://www.spectacle.org/0802/hogan.html

Jason
January 16th, 2009 | LINK

Regarding Yeeks comments, There is a difference between morality and tradition which I don’t believe you are aware of. The tollerance of gay/lesbian actions by Christians should not be accepted neither should acts of violence. The tollerance of gays and lesbians as people in need of a savior should definately be accepted. I find it amusing that your definition of the advancement of society involves throwing morals out the window which you label as “tradition”. Just because something has been established for a long time does not mean it is still in effect soley on the basis of tradition. If this were the case I am suprised that you don’t want to do away with the “tradition” of not murdering people without punishment. Part of progress is establishing a moral code and adhering to it otherwise you have anarchy. I am not bashing change, because change is a good thing so long as it does not compromise morals. My moral code and that of many Jamaicans is the Bible and for that I do not appologize and neither do they.

And to Tom in Houston, I suppose you think we should just attack every citizen in the country of Jamaica because they live in that country. Lets not support anything about the country because people have been murdered there for being gay. I have news for you, you better ban alot of american companies as well because there have been plenty of people murdered here in the good ole USA because of there sexual choices. Instead of doing something that fuels negative such as boycotting companies. Why not do something fueling positive such as developing a newsgroup that can present their concerns to the Jamaican government or to the US government. Instead your response is: If crimes against humanity are truly going on…lets boycott the beer company…yeah, that’ll work.

Priya Lynn
January 16th, 2009 | LINK

Jason said ” Instead of doing something that fuels negative such as boycotting companies. Why not do something fueling positive such as developing a newsgroup that can present their concerns to the Jamaican government or to the US government.”.

Doing both sounds even more effective.

Timothy Kincaid
January 16th, 2009 | LINK

Jason,

I’m glad we are discussing morality.

You have a “moral code” that requires that gay men and women only be tolerated as people in need of a Savior.

I have a moral code as well. And my moral code teaches me that all persons are precious in God’s sight, that loving your neighbor is the most important commandment one can follow (Jesus said that all of the law and prophets hangs on this commandment) and that all stand before God on an equal standing to be judged according to his measures.

Oh, and my moral code looks at yours and finds it to be abhorent in the sight of God. My code tells me to work for justice and for dignity. To protect the weak and expose the evil doer.

So that’s what I’m doing, Jason. I’m exposing the evil doer.

Here in the US, when someone is killed for being gay, society is angry. Police look for the guilty. Politicians denounce the hatred. No one – not even the most conservative and homophobic – seeks to excuse the behavior.

Jamaica condones violence and celebrated bigotry. So I denounce your moral code and that of Jamiaca.

I’m encouraging tourists not to go to a place governed by an evil “moral code” and I’m exposing the violence, hatred, and religion-based bigotry that is endemic in your nation and your culture.

Jason
January 19th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy I believe you are misquoting what Jesus said regarding your moral code. (which by the way you denounced my moral code which I blatantly said was the Bible). The primary commandment was Love the Lord God with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul. Then the golden rule is love others as you love yourself. This rule in itself which you adhere to produces a contradiction in your arguement since your defintion of the evil doer appears to be the entire nation of Jamaica. Remember you said yourself that you should love your neighbor and that all persons are precious in God’s sight. I have no problem with exposing evil but I do have a problem when someone makes a blanket statement about an entire nation thinking they all hold the same view. I do not merely tolerate gay people I to believe that they should be loved and that God loves them enough to send his son to die for them. I have a gay friend whom I consider a wonderful person but I do not condone her actions. The Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin.

YOu stated that my moral code is abhorent in the sight of God which I find comical since I stated my code was the Bible. Considering the fact he inspired men to write it your view may be flawed. (sarcasm intended)

And finally Jamaica is not my nation, I am living in the USA born and raised. I am proud to be an American citizen but you are blind if you believe that there aren’t people living here that are so anti-homosexual that they wouldn’t kill someone for their sexual preferance. I would be willing to bet that you or anyone reading this could google a news report in less than a minute that shows someone in the US killed for this.

Jamaica may have more of a problem with this than US i am not denying that but I think your expression against the entire nation is not going to help the situation.

jason
January 19th, 2009 | LINK

Pryia, when I am having problems with a car I have it fixed. I don’t go out and then shoot the tires because I think they are ugly.

When I have a problem with a child I build them up and love them. I don’t later get out a baseball bat and beat them because of their behavior.

When I have problems losing weight I go on an effective diet with healthy food. I don’t then go on a junk food eating binge and expect great results.

But if I am having a problem with Jamaica’s views on homosexuality I should Boycott anything that has to do with their economic system so they will change there minds? No this isn’t effective but speaking out in love is.

Me
February 13th, 2009 | LINK

What does that have to do with disrespecting our flag though jerk? Why not use an image of one of those hate mongering music artists.

Alan
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

This article is as disturbing as the acts perpetrated against gays in Jamaica. I am a quarter Jamaican, my grandfather is fully Jamaican and we are both in support of the gay lifestyle. However condemning all Jamaicans as anti gay monsters just because the overall society does not accept the lifestyle is equally as monstrous. Being part native and visiting on a yearly basis I can tell you that Jamaica is both a beautiful and a possibly violent place, yes. Why? Because it is a third world nation, and the poverty there is extreme. Is the society anti gay? Yes, extremely. Instead of reaching out your hand though your solution is to demonize the entirety of the Jamaican people. That is very very sad, and just as horrible as the reaction to gay culture in Jamaican society. Go to the island, see how friendly and happy most of the people are, then try and change their minds. Just because a majority of them have this one shortcoming doesnt mean they cannot learn. Fighting hatred with hatred is not the right way, from EITHER side.

Timothy Kincaid
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

Alan,

I agree that not all Jamaican people are monstrous. But, sadly, those who speak in positions of authority – from legislators to churchmen and community leaders and the media – all encourage and defend a culture of violence towards gay men and women.

Just as I would warn you to avoid some place where it is likely that you would be attacked for being of Jamaican descent, so too I must warn gay men and women – and their friends, family, and co-workers – to avoid Jamaica.

I’ve been to the island. I didn’t know the danger I was in. But now I do. And if gay Jamicans (like my friend Jonathan) fear to return to the island of their birth, how could I allow less informed tourists to go unwarned.

Yes the Jamaican people are poor. But there are many impoverished people (especially throughout Latin America) that do not engage in a campaign of violence against their gay children.

Let’s hope and pray that Jamaica’s society changes and that it too ceases to use financial difficulties as an excuse for barbarism.

This is your opportunity, Alan. You can either defend and justify violence and hatred or you can join us in bringing about change.

Alan
March 6th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy,

I understand where your point of view is coming from. Being a supporter of Gay equality myself I agree with your ideas about changing the attitudes of people, just not your methodology. You really do send an overarching negative tone here. I am not going to give our family name, but my grandfather is on the parliament, and was tapped to be prime minister before letting it go to another person who had the time to do what is needed of that position. He does advocate for gay tolerance as much as he can when sitting in chambers. We have even looked into starting an anonymous outreach program, so gays can at the least communicate with one another without fear of retribution.

Jamaica has many sad facets. There are bad places that no tourist should go (stay out of trenchtown after dark, and you probably dont want to walk through there anyway). But stirring up hatred and claiming that people who care about civil rights should avoid Jamaica is insulting to those of us who love it and care about civil rights as well.

Having knowledge of the Jamaican government, if you have ever driven the roads in any part of Kingston you know the road conditions are because the government is ineffectual. I am also slightly bemused at how you can claim I am trying to justify any sort of violence against anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. I am saying that you should understand where the attitude comes from if you plan on battling it. To say that Jamaica is the only South American country that perpetrates violence against gay people is really naive. To not want understand the truth of the poverty and how that reinforces cultural ideology mystifies me, you instead offhandedly say ignore the reason you are behaving in a barbarous way and overcome it anyway.

Does being so negative really accomplish what you are setting out to achieve? I would submit that perhaps it is you who needs to reevaluate how to react to situations such as this, and respond with empathy and understanding of another culture and conditions. Do you honestly think that the Jamaican people are somehow more anti gay than the anti gay people we have here, or anywhere else? It sounds through your arguments that Jamaican people are lacking some quality, since apparently every other South American culture treats their gay population so well when compared to Jamaicans. So here and now Timothy you can choose to battle this horrible affliction in a more empathetic and effective way. You can either demonize every culture this happens in, or you can begin to understand where these thoughts come from and what needs to be addressed to change a cultures mind.

Sashawn
March 14th, 2009 | LINK

I hate reading about how Jamaican’s are wicked and violent, etc. I’m a Jamaican and anyone else who is Jamaican knows that as much violence as their is in Jamaica that we are very biblical people and that is one of the reasons why Jamaicans are so homophobic. We are not going to conform to the world and accept homosexual relationships but at the same time i do not think its right for us to beat and hate someone for who they are and Jamaicans need to stop that. But as far as making homosexual marriages legal and pretending that we agree with homosexual behavior goes it’s not happening. The violence needs to stop but we will never conform to the rest of the world. By the way, in response to yeek’s comment only wicked people go against God and the way he intended for something as sacred as marriage between a man and a women and put their own twist on it. I don’t plan on arguing about this because God will judge all. I have sins too that I will be judged for but all you homosexuals will be judged for your sin as well.

Yeek
March 18th, 2009 | LINK

I stand by my words. Jamaica falls into the infamous club of the poor, religion-obsessed, violently anti-gay nations. And in all of these cultures, there is a confluence of fundamentalism, poverty, and failure to achieve when compared to the rest of the world. They limp forward while the others run, and they cling to their moral traditions as a justification and their lackluster progress as a sign of their inner virtue. There is much talk of God’s judgment, but in these hellish places God’s judgment isn’t good enough for the population. They want to throw a little of their own judgment in as well. Scream a few insults in the name of “reaching out in love.” Mutter a few disapproving words about beating gays to death, but don’t do anything about it. It is the same. Jamaica, Eastern Europe, the Southern U.S., the Middle East. So different, but so much alike.

As far as Jamaica goes – I doubt there will ever be a heterosexual person who will lead a campaign against anti-gay violence. It will never happen, because they know that same toxic, unthinking, pious rage will then be turned against them. Where there is hate, there is generally little courage or honor.

Boycott Jamaica » Blog Archive » Timothy Kincaid: Travel Warning - Stay Away From Jamaica - Promote Justice for GLBT Jamaicans
March 20th, 2009 | LINK

[…] – of violence towards gays. All of the voices of authority, be they community, political, media, or religious, are virtually unanimous in defense of the abusers and in condemnation of gay […]

Callum
March 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Jamaica is not violent at all except for one town, but all countries have one dangerous town; don’t they?

tammy
April 12th, 2009 | LINK

why are u disrespecting our flag when your just u a tourist who only VISITS JAMAICA and doesnt know the real jamaica and stays for what? 2 weeks! you have no right to judge our country

Marie
April 20th, 2009 | LINK

I just wanna say that in every country there’s good and bad, there is no perfect place in this world. I am a lesbian jamaican and there are plenty of gay jamaicans in this world. As for Jamaican ppl I’m not saying you have to accept the gay lifestyle cause everyone makes their choice in this world. But some of you need to look into yourself if you don’t like your neighbour I’m sure you don’t bang down their door and beat them to death. You can ride in a taxi with an old friend who you now hate and be just fine but you refuse to walk on the same ground as a gay person who you never meet in your life. I love my country I spent my best years there I actually found my way into this lifestyle while I was living there so its not just a “foreign thing.” I strongly doubt that things will change but it is not ok. NO ONE IN THIS WORLD HAS A RIGHT TO TAKE ANOTHER HUMAN BEINGS LIFE!! Leave it up to God. “you are a child of the universe, no less than the tress and the stars, you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” I wouldn’t give up being a Jamaican for anything in the world. We should all learn to respect one another we were all born into this world alone, we will die alone, and we will be judged alone.

The blood on the flag is drastic but look how quickly it got your attention.

Glen
June 11th, 2009 | LINK

Isn’t it amazing how the thinking process of some of these people. They must that think everyone is ruled by the dollar and if they boycott Jamaica then it will bring the country to it’s knees and the government of Jamaica will change the laws to accomodate you. Keep dreaming it is never going to happen, so take your gay dollar somewhere else. When you think about it and from what the gay community is trying to push, no one should disagree when their lifestyle and if someone disagrees with them that person is homophobic, oh please come off that high donkey. And to the ones who feel that boycotting Jamaica will produce the outcome they are looking for. In a world of billions of people the gay community is a few million. Now I have nothing against someone who is gay because we are not the same and we are all looking for happiness in this world and a gay person finds happiness with another gay person. My issue with this whole gay thing is don’t try to stuff that garbage down my throat and tell me that it is acceptable. I can live in a world where I can accept what you do also I have a right to disagree with you. And if I disagree with you it is not that I am homophobic, I am disagreeing with you because it is unacceptable to me.

Timothy Kincaid
June 11th, 2009 | LINK

Glen,

Yes, we will take our gay dollar somewhere else. And the dollar of our families, our friends, our neighbors and eventually our cruise ships and tourist agencies.

You will live in contentment knowing that in Jamaica you will not have garbage stuffed down your throat. In fact, considering the extent to which Jamaica’s economy is based on tourism, you may have nothing at all stuffed down your throat.

Glen
June 12th, 2009 | LINK

Timmy,
To you it still comes down to the almighty dollar and you think if a few million gay persons stay away from Jamaica it will crumble. Jamaica will continue to survive without the likes of you. And from what I wrote that was the only thing you felt was worthy to comment on, kinda sad isn’t it. Now Tim this is my opinion, I truly believe things will someday change in Jamaica but I think the way you guys are going about will make that change take even a longer time. There is a certain part of the population who refuse to change but our world is changing and if one does not adapt to these changes one gets left behind. Don’t think the outcome you are looking for is going to happen over night, don’t think boycotting Jamaica and Jamaica products will make the government and the people of Jamaica miraculously change their minds and welcome you with open arms. I think what you are doing will only make them not want to change. What you guys are doing may win a few battles but lose the war in the end. Take care Tim and I sincerely mean this I wish you all the happiness in the world sir.

Mee too
September 10th, 2009 | LINK

How dare you disrespect our flag! What if I did the same to yours?? You’re not even standing up for gay people getting murdered there because some of you think it is appropriate to just abuse us when you know f*** all about Jamaica and Jamaicans, because yes, the gay people getting murdered there are Jamaicans also! Good luck with getting people on your side, well done.

Oh and yes, I agree you should just take your gay dollar elsewhere, you people think anyone with a bit of colour you can just abuse, because yes I come under the umbrella you talk about, you are disgusting.

anyways…..Red Stripe anyone?? Good luck with your quest now

me
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

yall acting like America is any better and acting like its the best fucking place in the world no its fucking NOT>

Timothy Kincaid
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Actually, “me”, BTB is a site with international readership, not just American. And as for other places being better, well when it comes to violence against gay people, there may be worse places in Africa or the Middle East, but Jamaica is the worst in the West.

So, yes, not only is America better, so are all of the other Western nations.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.