Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Sometime ago, the Moose and I were having a late breakfast at one of our favorite spots in town. Nothing out of the ordinary, just one of our usual weekend outings. As is the norm, along with our brunch came a side of deep conversation.  It is not unusual for this to happen. Because of our schedules, we rarely get to engage each other in “intense” conversation during the week. So, whenever we get a chance, we take advantage.

This particular day, the conversation centered around faith, spirituality and church. At this particular time both of us were struggling with each and were looking for support and reinforcement as we continue to improve and grow spiritually and in life. As the conversation progressed, she asked me something to the effect of why it is I am reactive versus proactive when it comes to church. Basically, she wanted to know why I always wait on her to mention church and seemingly only go when she suggests it.

Admittedly, there are times when I get like a cat in a corner and get defensive when I feel like I’m being attacked. Especially when I feel strongly about something. And while I have good intentions and only want to express my point of view, sometimes when I respond, my approach is not as appropriate as it could be.

Nonetheless, I expressed to the Moose that I did, prior to meeting her, did go to church on the regular and that she nor our relationship impacted my church going. Whether she brought in up or not, in the end, it was my decision to go or not to go. She understood.

I grew up in the church. In the words of Steve Harvey, it was church all the time. And, as a child, I had no choice. I was exposed to church and after a while, I got used to it. It wasn’t until I left home for college that it was truly up to me whether I attended or not. It wasn’t until then when I really became able to realize and decipher my opinions on church with out feeling the “pressure” of family to make it feel like I HAD to go. This is not to say that I stopped going altogether, because I tried and still do try to attend and worship on the regular.

But on this Saturday, I opened up to the Moose that where I am now, it’s just as important that I live my life in way that people I encounter on a daily basis will see something positive in me and will be impacted in a good way. To me, that’s just as important as being in church every Sunday morning. There are some in church all the time, yet I see no sign of Jesus in their daily walk. To me, that’s the challenge of my ministry. I want to be able to show through my life, that there’s something about me that some people may want to emulate to make their lives better.

If I can help someone or be a positive influence on my brother or sister, that’s spreading to gospel in my opinion. So when I laugh, joke and am being happy-go-lucky, yes I’m being myself, but also I’m hoping others will try what has worked for me. Because when I see others blessed, I want to find out their secret as well.

 

For years, it’s been well-documented that one of the most segregated hours in America is around 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings. For as much as we’ve made racial progress in the country in the past 40 years, when it comes to religion, particularly the Christian faith, there remains a distant separation between black and white. As someone who grew up in church, I can testify to the fact that black folk love themselves some Jesus. Those who grew up in the black church, whether Baptist, Pentecostal or Non-Denomination can back me up. This not to say that those of other races are equally, if not more, religious, but black folk “worship” a tad bit different. And if you’ve been to a “white” church and a “black” church, you know what I’m talking about.

The black church with music, testimonies, praise dancin’, altar call and the list goes on and on tends to be more lively than our caucasion counterparts. Sometimes, if we’re not careful, we can lose sight of why we’re even in church because we’re distracted by the “show” that’s going on. Our preachers and pastors are not only leaders of the congregation, but widely recognized as leaders in the community. 

 In the pulpit, sermons are lively. Black folks are familiar with this. It’s part of our culture.

So when the whole Jeremiah Wright thing went down, there were mixed emotions, for me at least. As I watched clips, he appeared, on surface level to sounds like a “regular” preacher. While I think it’s safe to assume most black folks had heard other black preachers speak about and in the way Wright has, it baffled me and others to listen to some of the news outlets present Wright and his “preaching style” as something unorthodox. As time went on, it was clear the lack of exposure to what goes on in the black church would lead to the Wright situation being overblown, which wouldn’t be good for Barack Obama.

My issue wasn’t witht he media coverage of Rev. Wright, although I wonder how many black producers sat in on meetings at FOXNews and MSNBC. If so, would this have been brought to light as much as it has. My beef landed directly on Wright. When the spotlight was on him, in my opinion, he has milked his 15 minutes of fame and has been seeking more attention than need be and, in the process, hurt the Obama campaign. In the past couple of months, Wright has been seen on every show, read about in every publication and has been flying all over the country to speaking engagements. From the sidelines, a lot of people, both black and white wishes he would just sit himself down somewhere. Obama is embarrassed. Black preachers from all over are ashamed and apologetic.

It’s sad on many levels. It’s just a shame when the mainstream media gets a peek inside the black church, this is what they see. I just hope it doesn’t cost Obama the election.