Proper education is the only way out of the abyss of decline
Stabroek News
July 11, 2001

Dear Editor,

I knew my letter defending moral freedom would prompt a response from those who stand to lose the most if this freedom became a reality. Pastor Vanrick Beresford's reaction in his letter captioned "Will moral freedom bring with it a curse or a blessing to the nation" (5.7.2001) was therefore not a surprise. He decided to refute my letter even though he said he was "not too clear" about its contents.

Dogma and reason do not share the same seat and I am indisposed to a debate regarding Christian "morality." Even though the good pastor and I do not know each other personally he, twice in his letter, and in true fire and brimstone fashion, sought to pass judgement on my being. Hence my response.

Pastor Beresford picks and chooses what to believe and what to ignore. He says I chose to convince this nation about homosexuality. I guess he missed (or ignored) my earlier letter in which I stated explicitly that I do not support homosexuality.

My non-support was not based on religion. I wrote that "in the evolutionary scheme of things it serves no purpose. A homosexual species cannot exist as it would not be able to perpetrate itself thereby negating the very purpose of existence. Sexual intercourse evolved to enable gene shuffling so as to ensure, through the conception of a baby, the continuation of a healthy human race."

Beresford's letter was sometimes confusing. For instance he wrote that sin was not invented by "man," but then in the next sentence said that sin came about because "man" transgressed against God. How does one respond to such conflicting statements?

The pastor believed we need more of God to stop "producing a depraved, demented and demonized society." I disagree. I say we need to rebuild our basic educational system. Moral decay is a symptom of growing ignorance.

Beresford knows fully well that we have never in our history had such a high number of Pentecostal churches

as we have now. And I dare him to provide a time when we had more pastors than we do now. I'd say the proliferation of Pentecostal churches and pastors is at an all time high. We now have God like never before; yet moral decline continues, apparently unaffected by threats of eternal punishment in an everlasting inferno.

Logic suggests then that more God will not re-inculcate virtue in Guyana.

Proper education is the only means out of the abyss of decline and social retrogression.

Pastor Beresford said that I should take with grace and love his accusations that I have a "darkened" understanding in my "blinded heart" because I am "alienated" from his God and that "sin will always torment" me. All this Christian "love" from a man I have never even met!

Well, I not only take it with grace but I also take it with a good deal of humour. Cheap psychological tricks do not work on my mind. I do not indulge in self-flagellation. I do not consider myself sinful. Pastors would therefore be disappointed to learn that they do not have an opportunity to take advantage of my guilt and try to "save" me. I do not need a "make over" from magical beings which would cost me 1/10th my earnings for the rest of my life.

The truth that sets you free comes from clarity of the mind and the knowledge that everything that exists is a manifestation of the supreme. Perhaps, Pastor Beresford, you are yet to learn that the truth is not just any uttered phrase which is followed by the words: "thus saith the Lord."

Yours faithfully,
Justin DeFreitas