Categorized | National News

Josey: Church Counterpunching on Junkanoo Carnival

After Junkanoo Carnival was declared a successful event, Bishop Arnold Josey of Commonwealth Mission Baptist Church said the Christian church finds itself “counterpunching” over the festival.

As Bishop Josey pointed out the extreme vulgarity of the country’s now permanent annual festival, he said while there has been much discussion on the attire of the revelers, it should be acknowledged that with time acceptable dress has changed its meaning, and the goalpost continues to move “southward bound.”

He added that even church attire has come under forensic scrutiny and per our cultural norm, is highlighted by gospel artist Christian Massive with his depiction of modern day church dress as analogous to a restaurant displaying breasts, legs, and thighs.

“In the wake of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, where scantily clad persons of all strata jumped and danced along the center of what is undoubtedly black belt territory to historic Clifford Park, the country yet stands,” he said. “When we hear of the reports of vulgarity ‘hithertofore unknown in The Bahamas,’ it is to be either disingenuous or ignorant of Bahamian culture and its African heritage.”

“The ring play, ‘jump in dance’ and rake and scrape traditions were full of gyrations to the degree of deviant pornography,” he added.

Bishop Josey said just as those participating in the event have a “right to express themselves” through their attire, so does the Christian nation with their words.

“I have begun to hear colleagues berating participants, condemning the organizers and damning the country,” he said.

“The word heathenism or did they mean hedonism was even heard; truth is, God is no respecter of persons and the wicked shall be turned into hell. While it is everyman’s right to freedom of expression and free will, we must understand that just as you have the right to express yourself so do they.

“As to counterpunching, which is the art of following a punch with a punch, recent history would teach us that counterpunching is not necessarily a bad thing. Anyone that observed boxing champ Floyd Mayweather, the master counterpuncher, who reaped a healthy pay check for his efforts, would appreciate that benefits can be accrued as long as you do punch.”

Bishop Josey explained that when Christianity began to flourish through the Roman Catholic Church it was discovered that the indigenous people were deeply pagan and had created annual rites and festivals around the winter and spring seasons in celebration to their gods.

He further explained that they also soon discovered that their annual festivals were deeply rooted into the fabric of these cultures.

“Here is the initial counterpunch, the decision was made to compromise rather than uproot,” he said.

“This would take away opposition and suspicion and breed trust and friendship. The people could celebrate, but under a new name Easter, which merged with the Roman church’s interpretation of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which according to scripture occurred around the time of the Passover as opposed to Eostre the Saxon spring festival.

“The compromise would continue as the winter festivals in December Saturnalia and Brumalia became Christmas, merging with the Catholic teaching of the nativity. The fact is the recent Junkanoo Carnival has to be seen as a success. The incredible numbers of persons paying to see an event where they stood for hours on end was really unmatched with anything of its kind in recent memory. It was a unifier. Bahamians proved they will attend events that interest them.”

Bishop Josey said counterpunching only works when you punch and urged the Christian community to counterpunch by promoting other Christian festivals and revivals.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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