With the recent spike in reported cases of rape in Saint Lucia, outspoken Catholic priest Fr. Linus Clovis had his say on the matter. He blamed the incidents on easy access to pornography by young people and children. Clovis said this problem may be prevalent among young boys who are now developing their sexuality and who can’t distinguish between an “imaginary woman and the real woman.”
On Thursday the priest appeared on Rick Wayne’s TALK show on DBS Television. Wayne, who has been famously accused by certain politicians of publishing pornography in the STAR, quite possibly shook his holy detractors to the core with what he had to say to Clovis and the nation on the subject. The episode began with the host recalling boyhood days in Laborie and the times his teacher held classes under a eucalyptus tree near their school. In particular, Wayne referred to a book read by the teacher entitled ‘Bible Stories’ that included ‘Daniel in the Lion’s Den’. Wayne underscored the point that the readings from the particular book were never offered in the name of religion.
“It was just a story book with interesting tales,” Wayne recalled. “It had nothing to do with religion. Not directly, at any rate. Sometimes the same teacher read from Aesop’s Fables.”
Agreeing with his guest that things had changed radically since his days growing up in Laborie, that today too many teachers are ill-equipped to provide students with a proper foundation for moral and social growth, Wayne took a sharp and sudden turn.
“Father Clovis,” he said, “I think pornography is horrible. I am not saying this because I am trying to sound holy. But there can be no denying porn has a horrible impact on kids, especially. It teaches them sex, as sex is not supposed to be; the sex it teaches them is degrading – to them and to the woman. I am saying porn is very, very dangerous, particularly when viewed by kids in less than wonderful circumstances who see things kids are not equipped to deal with. I’m referring to kids who live in one-room shacks . . . who see their mothers or fathers in circumstances beyond their understanding. Come to that, bad housing is at the core of most of our social problems.”
He paused before continuing: “On the other hand, Father Clovis, I disagree with the view that kids watch pornography and then they want to rape somebody in consequence.”
Without any sign of discomfort the priest said: “I don’t think pornography alone is responsible for rape. I think it is a contributing factor. Especially the kind of porn that is so easily accessed these days. Most of the content amounts to violence against women. Kids see this and they naturally seek to imitate what they have seen.”
Wayne seemed not to agree. “A hundred years ago, when I was a kid,” he said mischievously, “we did not have pornography. But we had the UK Daily Mirror with its Page 3 topless model pictures. What we, as kids, did was take the paper to the nearest bathroom. And I can tell you, for purposes that had nothing to do with reading. Masturbation was what those pictures inspired.”
Again he paused, smiled. “I put it to you, Father Clovis, that even now what porn inspires, regardless of age, is masturbation. Not rape. And that goes for women too. Rape has nothing to do with pictures, stills or movies. I believe rape is a consequence of other things like corporal punishment. Kids see their mothers being battered; they imitate what they see, as you said earlier. I believe rape is committed by people rendered inferior by the way they were brought up. Inferior people with a sick need to control others via brutal sex, sex without consent. Rape is far less a sexual thing than a need to exert power over the vulnerable.”
Clovis: “I agree. All of these things you mentioned contribute to rape. But let us not forget that the rape issue is not related only to Saint Lucia.
U.S. campuses have this problem . . . studies have shown that on U.S. campuses males said they would more than likely commit an act of rape if they thought they would get away with it. They have a justice system that functions, though. Unlike here.
Host and guest agreed on another point, proffered by the priest: “Our people do not care anymore, people are not thinking anymore. The country is altogether without leadership.” Presumably,
he also included the collective church!
A final note – asked yesterday to elaborate on his porn statement, Wayne gave the writer this assurance: “I insist that pornography and sex are harmful to kids. But I hope I did not leave the impression during my time with Father Clovis that I do not enjoy porn. That would be like saying I do not enjoy good food. But I’m not so crazy as to be sitting around all day stuffing my face. Great food enjoyed in moderation is as good for the body as soul. So is porn.”
Now that sounds more like the Rick Wayne so many love to hate!