FAMILY FUSION: The ‘sacredness’ of mothers
IN THE CARIBBEAN, mothers are considered sacred.
If you express anything negative about an individual’s father, sister or even brother, you may get away without encountering his or her fury. However, if you say something undesirable about the same person’s mother, the reaction may not be very complimentary.
I thank my mother that when I was a child she taught me values such as honesty, obedience, respect for myself and those in authority. I fell short in all of them as a youngster, but as I got older those principles have kept me buoyant on the unchartered waters of life. I still consider my mother sacred.
Today however, looking at the “sacredness of mothers” in a broader context is my focus.
Let us turn our thoughts to our island home and its mother. Barbados was under its mother country, England, for over 300 years and had adopted the name “Little England”. In recent years however, there seems to be a gradual shift from the original mother with her many influences both negative and positive, to an adopted mother, the United States, with its captivating charisma and compelling culture.
This new mother began to influence our thinking and behaviour in such subtle ways that some of the fundamentals we have held so dearly, are now gradually being merged into the liberal sea of her beliefs and behavioural systems.
One such belief is that of her changing concept of marriage, which has come as a result of strong, sustained, internal pressure from special interest groups whose aim is providing “true alternatives to marriage and radically reordering society’s view of reality”.
In the United States constitution, it is documented that “marriage means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife”.
That is the position of God, as outlined in the Holy Bible, from the very beginning of time. I believe that it is the only social bedrock on which the society will successfully and securely stand. All alternatives to the blueprint may work for a while, just like a non-genuine part for a vehicle may, but will eventually collapse under the pressure for which it was not designed.
The good thing about God’s blueprint is that it has its origin outside of public law. It comes with divine laws for its effective running and reliable troubleshooting sections in case anything goes wrong with the marriage operation. I am yet to read the manual that comes with the man-made marriage alternatives.
History tells us a lot. It educates us of our past and helps us to understand our present so we can plan more intelligently for our future. Reading the statements of some of the leaders of our island’s adopted mother put some things in perspective for me.
Thomas Jefferson, third president of the US, a founding father and author of the Declaration of Independence said: “The studious perusal of the Sacred Volume (The Bible) will make better citizens, better fathers and better husbands.”
Abraham Lincoln the 16th president of United States, said in 1863: “It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God . . . and to recognise the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
In 1909 the prophetic words of the 26th United States president, Theodore Roosevelt, were: “I believe that the next half-century will determine if we will advance the cause of Christian civilisation or revert to the horrors of brutal paganism.”
Ronald Reagan, the 40th president, said: “Inside the Bible’s pages lie the answers to all the problems that mankind has ever known. I hope Americans will read and study the Bible.”
In June 1962, the United States Supreme Court ruled 6-1 to stop the reading of the Bible in public schools and in 1963 ruled 8-1 to remove the Bible from public schools. The “brilliant brains” of the United States Supreme Court dismissed the Holy Bible from their institutions of learning because it was no longer considered relevant for laying further moral principles for their future generation.
Now five decades after that decision, the honest questions pertaining to the moral, social, spiritual and other benefits, or lack thereof, cannot be ignored.
The substitute teachings of evolutionists like Charles Darwin; psychoanalysts like Sigmund Freud; paediatricians like Benjamin Spock; psychologists like Carl Rogers with his humanistic approach, and others in diverse areas of discipline have now been greatly influencing the United States society. Rogers once said in one of his writings: “As no one else can know how we perceive, we are the best experts on ourselves.”
I believe that the insightful words of Archie B. Carroll, professor of management, University of Georgia, are worth more than a cursory glance.
He said: “As religion and faith are being driven out of the public square, the Judeo-Christian ethical foundations that have sustained our country since its beginning, are being lost and are being replaced with a humanistic amorality, a self-centred, pragmatic indifference that will ensure that our moral compasses will fail to point us in the right direction in the future.”
He could not have put it more profoundly.
Sound advice from my elders over the years has been: “Never kick down the ladder that helped you reached the top.” Our newly adopted mother seemed to have done just the opposite in her legal and other actions against the Bible.
But in the eyes of some, she may still be “sacred” and therefore criticising her may be a serious error. If anyone also disagrees with her, especially in the area of morality although one may not be disagreeable, look out! One may be called a “religious bigot”, “stupid”, “ignorant” or some other degrading name, because our adopted mother is “sacred”.
Preferring our adopted mother’s clothing, films, music, food, hairstyles, gadgets and her general way of life, good or otherwise, is healthy in the opinion of many; after all, our mothers are “sacred”. We all know that even mothers make mistakes, and one of the greatest mistakes this island’s adopted mother made was to throw aside the sacred text, the Bible, and its fundamental principles for family life.
I believe it is okay to say to our adopted mother in this regard, thanks for the alternatives, but no thanks.
• Reverend Haynesley Griffith is a marriage and family life consultant.
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