The Trinidad and Tobago Council of Evangelical Churches last Friday attended the National Faith Leaders Consultation, hosted by the Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) in collaboration with the National AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC) in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Issues discussed included the removal of barriers to stigma and discrimination, how the Church’s response to HIV/AIDS can be strengthened, the resolving of the tension between the Church’s value system and the recent court judgement in the Jason Jones’ case, human rights and the Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) curriculum.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Public Relations Officer for the TTCEC and Chairman of the Faith Based Network of Trinidad and Tobago (FBNTT), Reverend Winston Mansingh, celebrated the work that the Church has already done towards assisting HIV/AIDS victims.
He said that “Church will continue its work in assisting HIV/AIDS victims to the best of its ability, but will do so without compromising its doctrinal, spiritual and moral values.”
According to the statement, during the discussion on the resolving of tension between the Church’s doctrinal stance and the recent Jason Jones’ judgement, the council, in agreement with other representatives of the Christian faith, maintained that while the Church is always open to counselling and assisting members of the LGBTQI community who acknowledge the wrongfulness of their behaviour, it cannot and will not condone LGBTQI behaviour.
“On the topic of human rights regarding to the LGBTQI community, the council disagrees that there was any legitimacy to the demand of the LGBTQI community for human rights, since scientifically and biblically, no such gender categories exist”
And while while the council acknowledges and applauds some of the initiatives of the government towards eliminating the scourge of HIV/AIDS from our nation, it feels that the government is somewhat misguided in its approach, particularly as it relates to its consideration of the inclusion of the CSE curriculum in schools and its suggestion that the Christian community should sanction the behaviour of LGBTQI individuals so that they no longer feel “discriminated” against.
Regarding the CSE, the council said it believes that sex education should begin with parents.
“Where the Church’s relationship with the LGBTQI community is concerned, the council feels that given that the highest rate of HIV/AIDS infections is among the MSM community, the government may do better to educate the population on the medical dangers of this behaviour and discourage it. In fact, the rate of infection among that community is an indicator that there is a high rate of hypersexuality among members of that group, suggesting that LGBTQI behavior is a manifestation of underlying psychoses. The U.S. National Institute of Health supports that assertion. According to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, “Sexual addictions are behavioural addictions.”
According to the council, for the well-being of those who engage in that behaviour, and the wider population, the better course of action for the government to pursue is to join the Church in its stance against that behaviour and offer counselling to LGBTQI individuals.
Regarding helping to change improper sexual behaviours nationwide, said the council, one initiative that the government can take is the banning of certain songs from the airwaves to discourage the immoral sexual behaviour that many of our local songs promote.
“Of course, this would apply to foreign songs as well. Therefore, the council would like to advocate that the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) begin to give serious consideration to banning certain songs – those containing lewd, vulgar lyrics and that promote immoral behaviour – from our airwaves” said the council.