One of the headlines in the March 14th edition of the Amandala – “BISHOP WRIGHT FLOGS BFLA, UNIBAM, NAC AND THE RED CROSS” (even the Red Cross?) – left me saddened and a bit bewildered, the way I usually feel when encountering ignorance and superstition. As he exhorts the reader to “be vigilant” against the manifold threats loose in the land, threatening Belize’s moral foundations and family values, the good Bishop neglects to mention what is the greatest threat of them all to the well being of Belizeans – A CORRUPT POLITICAL SYSTEM!
Instead, he weighs in with quirky observations – distractions, really – such as viewing AIDS workers with suspicion, as though they had some kind of hidden agenda; vaccinations for children are maybe better off left alone, he says. Planned Parenthood also cannot escape the Bishop’s moral certitude as he equates making condoms available for the asking (goes a long way in preventing AIDS, for one) with proselytizing for promiscuous sex. Oh, I almost forgot, homosexuals come in for their usual thrashing too: is it true there’s one behind every tree?
I think the Bishop might do some good if instead of his somewhat paranoid fantasies he preached about something REAL – something REAL like the number of pedophiles in Belize. And no, these are locals and not “sex-tourists.” For a country with a relatively small population, and presuming the number of reported cases couldn’t be all of them, there’s a lot of children’s lives being ruined.
To clear up any potential confusion let’s remember that a homosexual is someone who is sexually attracted to people of the same sex (a persuasion as old as time) and that a pedophile is a person who has a sexual interest in children … two very different things.
The following list, Bishop Wright, is only what was printed in the Amandala since January. Over the years, I’ve noticed, this sort of thing happens with mind-numbing regularity. Belize has a problem here that should not be swept under the rug. It’s endemic ….
1. Father, 44, convicted on two counts of incest with daughter, 10 (the convicted man is already serving a three-year prison sentence for another sex-related offense).
2. Minors, 12 and 8, molested by trusted adults (Police search for brother-in-law, who is now on the run; uncle arrested for raping and sodomizing girl, 8)
3. Belize City man remanded for allegation of rape on Long Caye
4. Female child, 8, raped by uncle, 28 (Stann Creek)
5. Toddler, 3, sexually assaulted by neighbor, 15, at her home in Bullet Tree Falls
6. Schoolteacher charged for sexual assault of stepdaughter (a 51-year-old teacher is presently remanded at the Belize Central Prison after he was accused of sexually assaulting his 12-year-old stepdaughter.
7. Stepfathers molesting stepdaughters, ages 12, 16, and 18, have been reported. None of the stepfathers can be found by police.
8. Young female horse dies after being sexually exploited and severely injured
9. Ian McNab, 26, gets 3 years for fondling girl, 5
10. Man, 49, sentenced to 3 years for indecently assaulting girl, 12
11. Girl, 15, told police that father began raping her from age 11
12. Toledo police are seeking a man, 25, of San Antonio on charges of carnal knowledge of a girl, 14.
… and on and on it goes …
… and you’re worried about sex between a couple of consenting adults who happen to be of the same sex ?