Monday, January 18, 2010

Some Churches are preparing their Female Flock to Be Alone

Take a look at this response posted by a Sista on Aimees blog (see side bar 'Interlectual IR Discussion).

I recently attended a Bible study series that was very disappointing. The entire jist of the series was uplifting the black man and accepting that you as a black woman may be single all of your life. They brought God into it by saying not all people are meant to be married. But interestlingly enough, the people we were concentrating on, the ones meant to be single, were black women. We even watched this video with all this stats about how over 50% of us will never get married because of black men being incarcerated, gay, etc. To make matters worse out of the small percentage of us who are going to get married those women cannot not be educated and self sufficient. I could not believe they used Oprah and Condeleeza as examples of what happens when you pursue a career that intimidates the black man.

What this post highlights is extremely disturbing to me. I am very uncomfortable with it on so many levels, the more I think about it, the more I come up with disturbing angles!

I have so many questions? Why did the church have a very narrow view of bw prospects as restricted to bm, is it racism, segregation, chaining bw to the destiny of bm (many churches do not see women as free/independent entities but tied in some way to the directing, destiny/rulership of men), or are these church folks simply being realistic at bw prospects?

Had these church folk not heard of or consider that there could be some benefit to bw thinking wider than bm at this point or is Ir for bw an intolerable idea? Why blame bw for their fate especially achieving bw, is it that underachievement in the community is more tolerable than upseting bm ego?

Does this church feel bw do not deserve to rescue themselves but are bound to share a bleak future if this is what the bm option leaves them with? Did this church not feel it was of any use to apply themselves to thinking of a solution (the Jewish people gave us speed Dating in response to the needs of their community) ie helping bw out of the box of bm only, than just helping bw resign to their fate? Indeed is this another confirmation of the discussions we have had many times here, that bw are seen as nothing but support structures for the community and the community doesnt even feel it has any 'duty' towards the welfare of bw?

Is he church leadership suffering from an inability to be creative and think outside the the box (despite 'flash technology' employed to make the video say) but are still ingrained in outdated and harmful ideas? If this is the case should we bw be careful to look beyond the fansy, million pound, trappings and flashing lights of a church in choosing a place of worship.

On the other hand some could argue that the church is one step ahead of those who just let bw languish without saying anything about the reality of the situation. Indeed many churches are in the business of fobbing bw off with stories of the one in a million who made it, or preaching faith soul searching and self improvement for women(i could tell stories).

I guess the overarching question is, 'Is the church a site of oppression for bw?' Has it been there to simply make bw 'better' mules of the community? Do we thus need to begin to challenge the church on the issue of their devaluing of BW? Are BW willing to go there (or will the church be another sacred cow)?

Please comment on as few or as many points and even others, i am really interested in the views even from non-IRers. Maybe someone needs to set up a blog on the church and BW.

103 comments:

sprite said...

I attend a catholic church where generally there is little by way of involvement in peoples' personal lives unless you specifically seek advice. We need to bear in mind the origin of some of these predominantly black churches that operate outside of the traditional ones of the old - are many not black owned/run/attended? One could argue that since many aim to further and protect the interests of the bc it stands to reason that they will actively promote and support lifestyles and thinking that are at the core of the bc such as: the bw as the centre of the home and nurturer of children, bm and the elderly; selfless angels who's sole purpose on earth is to care for others and put aside their own very real needs. People need to stop buying into that nonsense which is yet another tool of control this time using God/sin/guilt/religion to shame bw into staying faithful to the so-called bc. Knowing how many black people have clung onto God and religion as their one solace during hard and bitter times it is shameful that some now want to psychologically use this as a tool of control. Never doubt that some church leaders have their own selfish interests in mind when they preach to their flock. We only need to mention Jim Bakker and others - yes he was white but here in England there have been quite a few "black" churches whose leaders have been exposed for engaging in un-christian activities ranging from fraud to sex scandals. At the end of the day these are mere human beings and they are NOT always right. I for one find it hard to blindly follow and/or revere a mere human being just because he is a (frequently) self-ordained man of God and if his speech makes no sense to me I will not hang around much longer. Now I cannot speak for all sistas but I used to attend some of these unorthodox churches(as some call them 'cos they are not the traditional mainstream churches instead are mainly "breakaway factions")and I would hear many women going "Pastor X said this" and "Pastor X said that". It was as if EVERYTHING the pastor said was the gospel truth, no argument, no criticism, no thinking for yourself; his word was law. I found it ridiculous and thats why I chose to attend the regular church (in my case catholic) where I could listen to Gods word given in a simple, calm manner with plenty of encouragment to reason for myself. In conclusion I must say that I am definitely tired of perpetuating the image of the hardworking, God-fearing, sensible "rock" of the family. I AM God-fearing but I am pretty sure He wants more for me than what the bc deems should be my lot. I now want to be loved and nurtured too, to have my own needs and aspirations become as meaningful to others as they are to me.

pioneervalleywoman said...

Halima,

I agree with Sprite. I do not come from a black church tradition. I was raised Roman Catholic, but I'm now Episcopalian (in Britain, it would be Anglican).

Many black churches come from very conservative traditions, ie., the Baptist church, which tends to stress male-dominance, and female submission, for example, in the ways Sprite explained.

Moreover, they don't all ordain women or support women ministers, which could very well provide an alternative view, provided women are not just following the traditional line without critique.

Add to that, the black church's historical role as representing the community's interests, it is not surprising that its mission might be to harness women's energies for what it believes the community's (male-dominated) interests to be.

The Episcopal Church began ordaining women in the late 1970s. I have liked it for that reason, and for the reason that people are encouraged to read and think for themselves: scripture, tradition and reason drives our interest in understanding biblical doctrine and the world around us.

I am on the adult continuing education committee, and we are always organizing programs to get parishioners involved in reading, thinking, and developing their critical thinking skills.

I started attending Episcopal churches in 1997, and in every church I have been in, there have always been women ministers, and these were women who were married. Some were the leaders of the entire congregation, others assisted.

Perhaps my experience might be aberrational—I have spent the last 12 years living in fairly progressive college towns, and I can’t speak for other communities.

The ministers I knew were not into this “male hero worship,” they saw nothing wrong with women as leaders, they saw nothing wrong with addressing women's interests, and they saw nothing wrong with supporting women of faith to be married and have families.

Last fall, one of the assistants, Susan, did a Bible study exposing how sexist interpretations of the Bible are really unbiblical and contrary to women's best interests. I had heard of feminist theology, but this was the first time I saw it in action!

When my husband and I married, one of the ministers, Margaret, ordained and married for many years, did the pre-marital counseling. She wasn't telling us what to do, and she wasn’t saying “woman submit to your husband” but she helped us ask questions we should think about and encouraged us to address any issues that needed to be resolved before marrying. She could point to examples from her own marriage.

So it boils down to the churches we choose to become associated with. Perhaps for some black women, the black churches that don't support our interests and deepest desires might not be the best answer.

grant said...

Halima:

When I read your post today, I just had to stop and take a deep breath--and read it again! I know that I heard the music from the Twilight Zone and Rod Searling's voice telling me that I had just "crossed over"-LOL. This is absolutely UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!
How could anyone possibly teach, let alone expect people to believe, such pure undiluted horse manure? If this is the type of drivel that BW are being exposed to in a church, what type of nonsense must they hear in their daily lives? And people wonder WHY BW are starting to re-examine their relationship options? SMH

Evia said...

I live in the predominantly white section of my area and it's a conservative area. However, I and my husband prefer to go to a black Episcopal church that is styled more like a Baptist church. It's about an 8-minute drive from where we live. The church is located in the "black" section of the area.

Although the black, white, and Hispanic sections of the area are not far from each other, there is next to no mixing between the blacks and whites socially. There is more mixing between blacks and Hispanics because they live right next to each other, though not together. Even though these groups are very near each other, there is not a lot of social mingling, though some "mixed" children are coming from whatever mixing that's taking place.

My church has lots of single bw of all ages and their children/grandchildren and maybe 25% of the folks in church on a typical Sunday are black males of various ages, some mixed males (black&Hispanic mostly) and maybe 2 or 3 wm.
The rest of the congregation is made up of 99% bw of all ages. The rest are mixed, Hispanic, and/or white females. Maybe 25% of the women are married. Many of the under 40 single women in the area share a man and there are lots of babymammas. The more "upstanding," more educated bw say they're celibate and they pray aloud for relief from sexual frustration and loneliness. They often talk about preparing themselves for their "good" bm.

The minister doesn't tell them not to date interracially, but he doesn't suggest or encourage it either. Privately, he told me that he doesn't have a problem with it. It's interesting how so many black people will say that, but actually do have a BIG problem with it when it's bf-wms. LOL!!

There are several bf-wm couples in the area and 2 of them attend my church. There's quite a lot of bm-hw and bm-ww dating and marriages or cohabitation relationships in the area, but they don't tend to live in the low-income area and don't attend our church.

I know for a fact that about 80% or higher of the poorer, less-educated black males under 40 are ex-cons and/or substance abusers or ex-substance abusers.

To his credit, the minister has turned some of these guys around and forced them to marry or become family men. He also is able to keep more younger bm in the church. Some of these former ex-cons and substance abusers have become ministers or church men. The minister is a "father" to many of these men, almost literally and some of the men stand up in church and talk about wishing they'd had a father and being happy to have the minister function as the father they never had.

Felicia said...

Your minister is a good man Evia.

Clarice said...

"Why did the church have a very narrow view of bw prospects as restricted to bm, is it racism, segregation, chaining bw to the destiny of bm (many churches do not see women as free/independent entities but tied in some way to the directing, destiny/rulership of men), or are these church folks simply being realistic at bw prospects?"

Halima:

This church is clearly a collection of scared and/or DBR individuals preaching what they know and that which serves their reality and furthers their own interest. The comforting thought though is that even though what they said may have struck a nerve. The response on your part was to think and filter it through your own truth. That is one of the good things about this blog and others like it - it fosters thinking. Instead of panicking and drinking the Kool Aid seeking comfort from the fear induced by their words. Words have power. The power to heal or harm, empower or enable, embitter and embattle or enlighten. Fear is a way of controlling people. These churches are twisting the "facts" to fit their agenda. People hear what they want to hear - what serves their agenda.

This is war and the battlefield is the minds and hearts of women. In war mind games are the norm. Do not get played. Fear is a powerful motivator and people will use it if you let them. These people are afraid. The world around them is changing and they are left out. On the outside looking in, they do not want their world to change and they do not want anyone to leave. Its crabs in a bucket time - run.

When analyzing the message from anyone - look to the messenger. What is the state of the speaker’s life? What is their end game? What is shaping their reality? How do they gain from having you believe the message?

Evaluate the message and the messenger - against your truth and your goals. Look at the big picture do these people - enable folks or do they call for responsibility for all people male and female? This church is in a community that is self segregating - more like separationists.

They are clearly not part of the mainstream that values BW and BM and interpret what they see based on their reality and filters. DO NOT let other people filter your reality.


V/r

Clarice

classical one said...

The more "upstanding," more educated bw say they're celibate and they pray aloud for relief from sexual frustration and loneliness.


That is very sad.


whitemenforblackwomen.blogspot.com

Trvlrgrl said...

Halima said
I guess the overarching question is, 'Is the church a site of oppression for bw?'


Well I have to start with the caveat that although I consider myself a spiritual person, I wasn't raised in any church and do not feel drawn to any traditional faith or religion.

That said, even though I recognize that there are LOTS of progressive churches, my overwhelming experience has been that traditional (e.g. Christian) churches in general are very patriarchical.

I think this is even more so in the black community where the church has historically been one of the few places black men could serve in positions of leadership.

I am regularly stunned at how many of my black women friends will repeat line and verse about how women should be subservient, quiet, and generally "below" a man because that how God intended it, and hang on some Pastor's words like it's straight from God, rather then rely on their own common sense and judgment.

Again, there are lots and lots of churches that don't send out that message, but I do think churches in the black community are far more likely to push patriarchy (which by the way, in this country is a pipe dream) at the expense of black women

Ms CPA said...

I find it sad that bw are encouraged to pray for relief from sexual frustration and loneliness. I can think of a few practical solutions to the former that may not make the church happy, lol.

The typical black church is too hidebound and outdated for my tastes. Four hour services, all-male ministry, and women doing all of the work and reaping no benefit just doesn't work for me. I'm not saying all black churches are like this but far too many are. While I do miss the music and the unique spirit of the black church, I worship elsewhere. I enourage bw to search for progressive houses of worship that welcome all races and ethnicities, have female ministers, and for those of us who are single, have an active singles group.

I would think most churches recognize it's in their best interest for parishioners to marry and have children but the black churches don't seem to think about who will be attending church in the future if bw remain single and have no children.

jacque said...

I do come from that oppressive black church tradion . I grew up in the southern United states and need I say more?
I got a great dose of misogyny with each sermon.i started attending mostly white Presbyterian churches with my white
ex husband. I truly developed a relationship with God there.
Some black tradional churches are run like mini dictatorships. What the pastor says is law. The pastor is the authority..Not God , not the Bible.
That is why many black males who can barely read, just out of jail and have no other professional prospects can go to a congregation and say God has called him. He is NOT questioned but is ordained on the spot!!!Give the man a collar!!
Any female who has the same claim is deemed blasphemous.
Out of the black church came the civil rights movement and strength needed to survive in American culture. However the color caste hierarchy and the sexism ran unchecked.
Little girls and women are taught to accept second place status because of what Eve allegedly did. Most of all they are taught TO ACCEPT SUFFERING. They are taught to accept the entire blame for the fall of man. Mary Magdalene was a prostitute
When I was a high schooler , the minister of the family church gave an enitre sermon directed at me for being the top student.
I will paraphrase for you.
"Education is alright but don't put it and career before God and his service. A womans place is a woman's place." Guys he actually mentioned my name during the diatribe..I'm sorry ...the sermon. I was hurt but it didn't really affect me.
I thought this was the WRONG message to give to a mostly illiterate,poorly educated, female congregation.
Church is a haven for black females and one of the reasons this is so is because usually it is the ONLY place bw feel accepted and safe to be themselves. I understand that.
But there's an insidious poison in the garden of Eden. We should be alert to it( misogyny, sexism, anti intellectualism, and unquestioning devotion to a charismatic leader in a suit and collar.... look up facism). Let's be honest God wants the best for all of his children ..and he didn't exclude black women!!

arthur said...

Any society that is going to survive over the long term has to be set with its main priority to protect and care for women and children, with the protecting and providing done by the men. All civilized areas of the world, of any race, throughout history, have that structure.

What I'm reading here is the description of a society (the bc) that is structured to protect and care for the men, with the welfare of the women and children being sacrificed.

This is wrong. It's crazy. It's evil. Words are failing me here.

What I want to say to twentysomething and all the other bw who want marriage and children is this: Run, don't walk, to the nearest exit. If half of what I'm reading here is true and accurate, it's not about you any more. It's about your children-to-be. Whether you marry white, brown or yellow, you will be linking your children's future to a society that values the welfare of children to a far higher degree than it seems the bc does. Even if the marriage desn't work out (men of any color are not perfect), you're much likelier to have support for the children's welfare ongoing; less likely to be stuck holding the bag, completely alone.

There are no guarantees in life; maybe a bw marries a bm and everything is jake, or a bw marries a wm and it all goes wrong.
But from the testimony from the bw on these blogs, that is not the way to bet.

Ladies: Save yourselves, save your children.

Evia said...

That is very sad.

Clssical, I don't want to give the impression that these sistas are sad or depressed. The minister encourages people to talk out about what's on their minds and to not have secrets. So this is why they talk out about this, but this is very typical for this congregation.

I constantly mingle with them and we always have fun together, except that our home lives are different. So they are "up" about their situation and ever hopeful that they're going to hear that tap on the door from Mr. Right Bm.
They're so happy that they've had the strength to resist being booty call, unlike some of the other sistas who've succumbed.

I've encouraged them to date out and we've talked about it at length, but they feel that they're leading the lives that they're supposed to live until they hear that tap. We never talk about the possibility that they may never hear the tap. I don't want to bring that up. I don't want them to think that I've jinxed them. LOL!

classical one said...

Well, Evia,

I guess each to his own. Thanks for the information, very interesting.

Anonymous said...

The separation of the church and black women

Should evolved black women separate from the black church?

Brenda said...

Anonymous said...

The separation of the church and black women

Should evolved black women separate from the black church?

7:03 PM
_________________________
_______________________
_____________________

No. The Black Church should evolve to meet their needs.

Halima said...

arthur said...
Any society that is going to survive over the long term has to be set with its main priority to protect and care for women and children, with the protecting and providing done by the men. All civilized areas of the world, of any race, throughout history, have that structure.


Bingo!

Arthur this is it. i recal when koffi anan drew attention to this point. any nation/group that is progressive knows this as a fact, but those that dont know their ass from their head continue to be moved by the agenda of men. Even if men are raising hell, progressive nations know that they must never loose focus on women and children. Thats a sign of any nation that will survive!

Anonymous said...

"Pastor X said this" and "Pastor X said that". It was as if EVERYTHING the pastor said was the gospel truth, no argument, no criticism, no thinking for yourself; his word was law."



Right on Sprite! That is the problem too much pastor not enough Bible and actual truth. That is sooo the blind leading the blind.

Aphrodite said...

"Last fall, one of the assistants, Susan, did a Bible study exposing how sexist interpretations of the Bible are really unbiblical and contrary to women's best interests."




I would have loved to see this. I think to tell women this crap that Halima posted is very unbiblical. And in many respects evil. It is harmful and the church's goal should not be to harm people.

Pamela said...

I was hoping a topic would be posted dealing with bw in the church. I am a committed Christian and desire to marry one of like faith. However I do not necessarily equate being in a 'church' and being a Christian. I also do not take everything I hear as the gospel. A lot of the mess that has been mentioned on this post is amazing to me. All one has to do is to read their Bible IN CONTEXT and know that God does NOT surpress women, DOES ALLOW female ministers, etc.

I attended black churches my entire life (47-years-young) until 1996. I stopped for the following reasons: (1) way too many were preaching the garbage mentioned in this post, (2) I got really tired of being treated like a ho just for saying hello to bm and (3) most importantly I KNOW that I have a call of God on my life for ministry and realized that I had a snowball's chance in hell of fulfilling it in most black churches.

I attend a church where the word of God is first and foremost. Their view of the people is God's view, that is, every person is important because God created them and has a plan for their life. The pastor and administrator are white. The ministerial staff is probably 30% black. The congregation is probably half married and half single. The congregation is mostly white but more and more blacks (single and married) are coming. I would say maybe 20% black. The age range is from babies to a 94-year-old gal that still drives her car:)

It is a smaller congregation (under 200) that probably would not have a singles ministry as such. However singles are valued there. The pastor's sister (single) has her own ministry. Another female (married) has her own Bible study. They could not care less about gender when it comes to who is ordained into ministry. They watch the gifts and character develop and then determine if a person is ready for ministry. They fast and pray and sincerely try to hear God's voice when ordaining people like they do in the Bible.

The races mix well from what I have experienced. Several interracial couples (bw/wm & wf/bm) attend there. I do not know these couples but from what I have observed they are probably not running into any stupid looks or anything like that from either race. I believe they are not because they probably would not stay there. I know I could care less.

I have not met anyone that I would be interested in at this point. However I'm pretty upfront in personality and speak with wm just like I would bm if I see a common interest. The wm seem to enjoy talking with me. I have NEVER had a problem with wm looking at me crazy. Unfortunately I have had many times when I said hello to a bm in church where they rolled their eyes at me and/or walked away from me in a huff. I have come to the conclusion that when it is time for me to marry that it will probably be a wm at this point. I could care less about his race. Never have. I want a relationship with someone that we have things in common, especially our faith.

I will probably never go to another black church at this point. I'm having too much fun. I refuse to on purpose go to prison. I'm sure I'll meet mister right. Just not sure he will be a bm. Again I could care less.

I will be sending this post to some sbw that will appreciate this topic.

Evia said...

The separation of the church and black women

Should evolved black women separate from the black church?


Hmmmm, do I smell a troll and a familiar one at that? LOL!

In the event that you're not a troll, I'll give my opinion.

One very important attribute of an evolved woman is that she is a CRITICAL THINKER. She doesn't just accept whatever people tell her without carefully examining it to determine who benefits and who looses.

IMO, the Bible is a great book in general, however I've always been convinced that some aspects of it have been altered by human beings--namely the men who translated it over and over down through the ages--and altered to benefit men. I think some of those men stuck all sorts of self-serving messages in the passages and imposed their biased interpretations onto the original text.

There are a lot of things in the Bible that don't add up and are totally inconsistent and convoluted, especially when it comes to the relationship between men and women.
For ex. I have never been able to understand how Eve could have been penalized for the eating of the apple since she wasn't even there when God told Adam not to eat fruit from the tree. Yet she is punished just as severely and takes the blame for convincing Adam to disobey when Adam is a grown, fully functioning adult!! And because of that, the daughters of Eve (all women) have been suffering ever since and reminded in all kinds of ways that we must suffer forever for simply offering an adult, fully functioning man a bite. LOL! She didn't force him, so why was her penalty so stiff? That, to me, is totally illogical, whereas most of the Bible is extremely logical.

I knew from the very first time I heard that story that someone had tampered with it and twisted it to favor men and make women seem "bad" somehow and feel guilty, thus enabling men to more easily manipulate and "rule over" women.

There are lots of illogical twists and interpretations of certain passages in the Bible that favor men and penalize women. So I believe those parts of the scripture have been corrupted by men during the numerous translations.

As far as bw and the church are concerned, AA women--more than anyone else in this entire world-- should ALWAYS exercise critical thinking and the church is no exception. It's obvious to me that lots of ministers use the church and the Bible to manipulate people. Women need to always keep in mind that the minister is just a regular human being like anyone else. None of the ministers have ever seen God, so what makes them better at interpreting the scriptures than any other human being who can read, study, and reason?

I don't want to discuss the Bible with anyone. This is just how I see it, but anything someone tells me goes through a critical thinking process, and I always look out for me and mine, first and foremost.

Aphrodite said...

Jacque,


I totally hear you! I had that experience too where a minister directed a sermon at me!


I grew up in the south as well.


I don't want to offend anyone- I try to respect people no matter their beliefs, but my experiences in the church were so damaging.


I was sexually abused for a long time in a religious context and religion was used to justify it and make my abuser appear ok.



By the time I was a teen I was so messed up in the head behind religion - I couldn't pray, I thought I was worthless as a human being and it made me suicidal and want to hurt myself all the time.


You spoke the truth when you said some churches preach that suffering crap. By the time I was 13 that was my mantra - I deserve to suffer and I believed God didn't love me.



It was only until a few years ago I began practicing a traditional African religion that I could begin to have a benign concept of God and actually pray again.



There is no way I can set foot in a Christian church again. I have some friends that are Christian and they invite me to so and so and I am like I will drive by and wave to you from the parking lot.


I can't even hear gospel because it makes me have flashbacks.





I think it is sad beyond sad- it is cruel that ministers are hurting black women by telling them it may be their destiny to be single. That is evil to me. That is not of God to me.


And to use Oprah and C Rice as examples make no sense to me at all. How many of those unwed single mothers are even going to reach Condi and O's level? They are barely making it I'm sure and to tell them to aim even lower is pathetic.


Wow why don't they just pass out the kool aid for real and be done with it? I mean that is what these ministers are encouraging - the death and suffering of bw and children albeit as a slower pace.

Halima said...

Pamela
2) I got really tired of being treated like a ho just for saying hello to bm and


I just wanted to say i hear u on this one pamela. The single men in my church have taken to wearing rings on their fingers! Most are extremely arrogant towards females as well and cant even hold a polite conversation with them. Its almost as if every interraction is our attempt to ensnare them. i guess they feel a horde of desperate BW will at any minute stampede them. even the teenagers are speaking to grown women disrespectfully and this attitude is communicated from the top!

Miriam said...

I think the church is definitely a place selling an idea. Is the idea a positive one for bw? Personally, I think its out to maintain the status quo.

That is, if the 'going dogma' is to oppress the bw, then that's what we'll hear at the peu (pulpit?) If things are different, then that's what they'll preach.

And for sure, i think there are preachers that rape people w/their own agenda.

Aphrodite, I am so angered to hear what you went through. It hurts too much to express it in words.

Also, I want to point out that many of the ideas promoted by the church are correct/ right / noble/ whatever but its the channel that's the problem LOL

If there is a place in which they promote women not being preachers for example, okay. But that place should also promote that women can /should be able to be housewives as well. i.e. if they should be out of the limelight,out of competitiveness, out of the part of the world that turns people into fighters or whatever, then they should promote the men to take care of the wives and provide for them so that the wives can raise the children wonderfully, make good meals, provide a more spiritual perspective to the working husband when he comes home with his 'competitive' ideas.

There is a story about a very young man whom the Sanhedrin wanted in their courts because he was so unbelievably wise, despite his young age. The young man wisely responded, "let me ask my wife first!"

Upon asking his wife. She said, "will they respect you? you dont have the white beard as they do. And she asked many other question.

Basically, while the man really wanted that position, because he had a wife who was not in the competitive arena, she was able to not 'grab at the opportunity' but to think it through to see maybe it could be that it isn't the best thing for us over all.

(the end of the story was he got the job. heheh)

That or the church should promote other things but in a wholistic way. Not just that only the bw must x,y, or z.

The church promoting sufferance doesn't work. Martyrdom is noble but if its a type of martydom in which the martyr (i.e. the bw) is still alive after the deed, then the martyr will get a bit frustrated eventually.

No one and no institution should ever degrade the beautiful black woman.

One of the highest prophet is Moses. And he had a black wife!

In the Jewish Oral tradition, when Eve was getting ready for her wedding with Adam, she made herself beautiful by.....braiding her hair!

(even the fact that she is CAPABLE of being that stereotypical strong black woman is its self a strength)

Just read the bible yourselves, all the women of all the great powerful men, were greater than the men.

Abraham gathered some guys to go to war with the nation that kidnapped his nephew Lot. Fierce in battle he got his nephew back.

However, when Sara saw that things weren't going well and decided Hagar must go, Abraham, powerful as he was, wanted to object but Gd said to listen to her voice.

(Abraham like Hagar because after Sara passed away, he remarried Hagar who carried the new name Ketura because she stayed faithful to Abraham like good smelling incense)

So why should a Gd fearing woman think she is lowly? (arrogance is not correct either though )

I think there are certain obligations a person is bound to (like not murdering, stealing, not eating limb from live animals, not worshiping false gods, not being sexually immoral, not cursing Gd, having justice done) but after that anything is game.

Instead of churches popping up on every street corner, i wish little institutions of black history would pop up instead. There is so much to learn, so much that will uplift, so much strength and joy in that!

(Imagine that, another Timbuktu- a former town of great scholarly knowledge.......*swooon*)

Miriam said...

*slightly off topic*

I just saw a movie i'd like to recommend:

THE SECRET

Its so positive and life changing! Its about trying to create a better life.

Miriam said...

Evia -you are right!!! about the bible. I wish everyone could obtain a Hebrew version. Its not at all the same!

Aphrodite said...

Thank you Miriam. I am slowly healing from that. It is challenging.


You raised a lot of good points in your post.


I am curious- do you all think maybe the mammy mindset can be related to some of the incorrect teachings from the church? Considering the influence that the church has always had in the bc and on black politics and culture?


Also I know that a lot of the DBRBM I have run into who bash feminism, BW and their accomplishments - call BW masculine etc often cite the Bible - saying that BW have gotten away from their original role as women.



I am wondering if this is an interconnected cycle of some sort?

Anonymous said...

I am not a church goer, my mother and father never raised us (my sister and I) in the church but I have attended various churches with friends. I have always noticed that the male/female ratios were out of whack and that men who would otherwise be considered low on the desireaability pole (under-educated, just plain physically unattractive, or troubles with the law and controlled substances) are something of a hot commodity. Makes me wonder why married women always tell single women to go church to meet men. I always found my time in these churches interesting, well not interesting enough to return lol. I think we place these church men in an undeserved place of honor in our views simply because they walked through the church door and had a seat. Someone who has a relationship with a higher power is a good thing but we still need to be discerning in who we let into our romantic lives. I have seen so many women settle for, well yuck, because he is there and asked. WOW that scares me. I am not big on marriage (don't see the point after a certain age) but if it holds such a larger place in some women's lives then shouldn't the type and choice of the potential husband hold an equal if not larger place? To many times I see bw settling for men who are just yuck. Sometimes I want to do like in those V8 commercials and just slap them in the back of the head. lol.

othergirl said...

The mistaken assumption is that unmarried bw won't have children. Even though the numbers have gone down, we all see that marriage has no bearing on childbearing amongst black people.

For many of my nonblack friends, procreating without being married is unthought of or a last resort. And no these people don't resort to abortion. They use birth control or abstain. For them abstinence is fairly easy since they live in cultures where marriage then children are the natural order and they have whole groups of people in their families and religions working to help them find mates. It's to the point where if they are past a certain age and unmarried, it's curious regardless of gender.

And unlike many black people, they are not encouraged to just randomly have children with anybody to just to have children and perpetuate the race. I regularly hear bw being asked when they are having kids een when people know they are nto in a relationship or married. An we are always told to hurry up before it's too late.

Trvlrgrl said...

Halima said
The single men in my church have taken to wearing rings on their fingers! Most are extremely arrogant towards females as well and cant even hold a polite conversation with them. Its almost as if every interraction is our attempt to ensnare them.


Ain't that the truth! Not to get off topic....but..I grew up and currently live in a predominately non-black community. When I was little, my mom taught me that it was only polite to acknowledge other black folks with a hello when you passed them since there were so few of us. I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about.

Don't you know that when I just nod a head or say hello in passing to the average bm, they start stumbling all over themselves as if I'm hitting on them. I feel like screaming out "get real!"

Just last week, I'm in the grocery store minding my business when this bm strolls up beside me and asked all sweet like, "excuse me, but how tall are you?". When I told him, he started looking at me up and down and smiling and so I asked him why he wanted to know and he says "well, my German girlfriend was just here from Germany and I miss her so much and I'm just wondering if you're the same height as her...you know she's German"....How pathetic!

Obviously I was supposed to be all torn up about the fact that his woman wasn't black....and all I could do is feel sorry for his girlfriend.

...back to the topic...

Anonymous said...

Not to mention I think the church does a really good job of running off black men with the pseudo alpha dog hierarchy that exists. That's one of the reasons many church have no men except for a select few who despite their alleged righteousness have no roblems sleeping with many of the congregations women.

The black church would suffer if more bw got married or devoted their time and money to themselves or their children (in my mind the only sacrifice women should absolutely countenance making is in regards to the welfare of their children).

Basically many black churches are falling whole heartedly for the prosperity gospel or for the do as i say and not as i do doctrine or being underneath politicans just so they can be on tv.

Like many have argued the black church is one of the few places where black men are guaranteed a top position in the hierarchy and no black man is going to turn that down and none of the sycophant women are going to risk the ire of a black massaking to point out obvious ills. This is the same reason why many criminals go free and those who protested vile filth of the black entertainers were shot down -- for taking jabs at the few places where black men could lead and make money even if it means they step on others bodies and souls to do so.


Many would rather follow a black person to hell than question a black man being in charge. That's why the church is losing respect. Everyone knows for a few bucks most of these ministers can be bought and sold like any other commodity.

In my opinion, the black church is far more responsible than rappers or a failing school system for many of the ills in teh black community because unlike the others the black church claims to be mandated by God and thus worhty of unquestioning obedience and loyalty.

Anonymous said...

And let's not forget how many of these ministers are sleeping with women in their congregaton...

Anonymous said...

If you study the whole context of the Bible, and what is says about people, you come to realize some basic things:

1. God loves all people equally.

2. He expects us to love each other equally.

3. He never says marry within your race, whatever that is....That idea, in fact, is used to divide, not unite Christians.

4. If God loves us and expects us to love each other, let us do that with enthusiasm!, and without regard to what color are skins are or aren't!

Comment: If you ever find a piece of Scripture that forbids, discourages, even remotely cautions against interracial marriage, you misunderstood it or took it out of context, or manipulated it to say something other than what it meant.

Anonymous said...

Basically many black churches are falling whole heartedly for the prosperity gospel

Not to offend anyone's religion, but the roots of corruption in the black church go waaaayyy back.

I can't tell you how many ministers I've seen throughout my life dressing sharp and driving nice rides on their congregation's dime while ish is going down in the community they are supposed to be uplifting.

roslynholcomb said...

I don't think this minister is preparing these black women to be alone. He's preparing them to be his own personal harem. Won't be the first time I saw it. I escaped from black Baptist churches when I was 17 years old and would rather chew off a limb than return.

jacque said...

Thank you all for the validation . I thought I was alone feeling the way I did.

Aphroditie, one minister tired to relieve me of my virginity at 15...I told him off..harshly. I understand and grieve for what you went through.

Roslynholcomb...I HEAR YOU LADY ...LOUD AND CLEAR . SAME SENARIO WITH ME BUT I ESCAPED AT 18. I WOULD CHEW OFF TWO LIMBS BEFORE I GO BACK!!!LOLOLOLOL!

grant said...

As one of the 2-3 wm that "hang around", as one of our "guest-anons" put it, I read today's comments with a constantly changing spectrum of emotions. I could not decide if I was more angry than amazed or more embittered than encouraged. Reading about the offenses that have been perpetrated against many of you ladies left me feeling numb. My rage was insufficient for the vileness of the deeds, but my astonishment at your courage was equally inadequate. Your strength against what seems to be an unrelenting hostility is truly inspiring. All I can say is-WELL DONE!

Kolbyirish said...

Well, my church raising was Methodist. We had a woman preacher for a longtime before she got relocated, and then it was my uncle-in-law. I've never noticed bw being oppressed in my church, but when I started going to some of the Baptist churches it was a total different story. Many things that ya'll have already talked about occured. There was no mixing of the races in the congregation, it wasa mainly single women, and the women really did do all of the work. In my methodist church we did have a little more women attending, but not a signiicant number. There were black and whites there, but no hispanics just because there weren't any in my town at that time. I don't know if it had anything to do with the church just being smaller. I must agree thought that I think that since the foundation of the black churches are still back in the ol' days, that yes it has become a form of oppression for the bf.

Ruth said...

I think that all religious practice comes from the greater social context. Many of the other commenters who mentioned that the Black church has historically been one of the only places bm could attain leadership are totally on point (preacher, teacher, lawyer, undertaker, doctor). Historically, whatever came from the preacher’s mouth was taken as the actual gospel – especially in the ol’ days when most everyone was illiterate. Historically, the church seemed to be the only place bm could practice patriarchy over bw – if you think about it a little the structure of the black church is very similar to the old plantation.

Before I go off on too much of a tangent, I must confess that I grew up (literally – we were always at church) in various Black churches, from Pentacostal to Episcopal, but haven’t attended in years. While I miss the unique enactment that constitutes worship service, I do not have four hours on a Sunday to devote to church. I do not have the patience to be just another grown woman in a congregation full of grown woman. I do not have the desire to keep my head down and not speak to or look at any one of the few men my age in church for fear of looking desperate or man-hungry even when I'm not. I do not want to deal with the self-serving/ complacent agendas that many Black churches cling to while people are going hungry, while women and children, the ones who make up the majority of the congregations, are being mistreated and violated (sexual molestation, domestic violence, poverty stemming from single-parent households). My bff is Baptist and we have discussed the need for socially relevant reform within the Black church. I have yet to hear a sermon or visit a church that deals with the realities of bw’s lives in concrete ways. So I stopped going. I sometimes feel a void. I have been visiting a number of other churches in my area to see if I can find a welcoming atmosphere along with an active, socially relevant agenda.

Off topic: This is my first comment. I have read many posts on a number of IR blogs and feel that the more people can understand that we as bw are individuals, capable of making decisions for myriad reasons, the better off we all will be. Lastly, the Bible is full of examples of IR relationships – if the reader chooses to look. You can tell my favorite by my name choice :-).

Halima said...

Addressing a few points:

Aphrodite
I am curious- do you all think maybe the mammy mindset can be related to some of the incorrect teachings from the church? Considering the influence that the church has always had in the bc and on black politics and culture?

Also I know that a lot of the DBRBM I have run into who bash feminism, BW and their accomplishments - call BW masculine etc often cite the Bible - saying that BW have gotten away from their original role as women.

I am wondering if this is an interconnected cycle of some sort?


I do think a lot of bw passivity in the face of neglect abuse, can be traced to being 'primed' by doctrines from the church. Someone noted in a past thread that bw seem to just cope with life. They have this 'passing through' mentality which i beleive is if not sown, is reinforced by doctrines in the church. bw thus begin to normalise pain and lack and fail to aggitate to get things changed because they are just 'pilgrims' remember.

i think bw can learn not to expect much outta life and just turn up every sunday to be reinforced and recharged to go back and take more 'punches' from life mon-sat.

given the key role the church plays in bw and the communtities life i think, they should be held extremely accountable but trust me, anything goes in many churches.

Halima said...

Just last week, I'm in the grocery store minding my business when this bm strolls up beside me and asked all sweet like, "excuse me, but how tall are you?". When I told him, he started looking at me up and down and smiling and so I asked him why he wanted to know and he says "well, my German girlfriend was just here from Germany and I miss her so much and I'm just wondering if you're the same height as her...you know she's German"....How pathetic!

Trvl lol! Some men seem to have very little going for them these days.

Halima said...

Ruth Welcome!

I know what you mean by by being void. and yes there is need for reform for me i am working with the teenagers at the moment (i have given up on adults), and in my work i am seriously incoperating female respect and competency because that is one area that has been seriously attacked in the church, the pastor continues to insist in subtle and open ways that the women are less competent than men though they are doing most of the work.

As an example, last year some women gave a presentation from the infant church, it was so excellent and well put together than what the men did on fathers day (which composed of posturing and strutting and declaring themselves as lord and head),

Men need to do very little in my church to be applauded and celebrated. and in a church that is 60% women there are only three female minsisters as opposed to 19 male ministers. sometimes i wonder ehy i am there!

Maybe u can start a blog as a way of beginning dialogue on church reform, and i can assure you that it is going to be a herculean task because the first thing needed is to wake women up and sensitise them to the various ways in which they are undercut or devalued and most bw in church are asleep and snoring untop of it!

BTW does any one know of a female-only church?

sprite said...

"say they're celibate and they pray aloud for relief from sexual frustration and loneliness. They often talk about preparing themselves for their "good" bm"

I'm sorry if I offend anyone but this is the most hilarious thing I have heard in a while..!!
"Preparing themselves??!!"

What century are they living in? No doubt there will be pastors who encourage them to continue this way, saving themselves for that mythical black knight in (tarnished) armour who will sweep them off their feet...
What about the very real issues of loneliness? Sex in a stable loving relationship? Why is noone addressing this realistically and honestly?
And "praying aloud for relief from sexual frustration"? The imagey that brings to mind. LOL!
I apologise again if anyone thinks I am being insensitive.

sprite said...

To afrodite..

I am so sorry you have had such painful experiences. I'm sure there are many who are better qualified to offer words of wisdom and healing but all I can say over and over is - sorry. And hugs...

In reference to your embarcing African religion - what were all africans practicing before the good white man came to our land and decided that we "natives" and "heathen" needed to be civilised (and contolled, naturally) by being force fed the concept of "God" as we know Him now....
You on the other hand are merely exploring your true roots...

Peace.

Miriam said...

Sistahs,

Every part of life is being explored on this blog. Its so refreshing -its like a newfound freedom.

Yes, there are alot of trash to clean out, but there is what to be grateful for, and happy for.

BTW.

Here's the website of the movie "The Secret"

Enjoy!

Miriam said...

Oops sorry. here's the website:


http://www.thesecret.tv/home.html

roslynholcomb said...

I strongly advocate that black women leave any church that's not fulfilling their needs. (That would leave most black churches echoing with emptiness.) And do your damnedest to take as many women as possible out of the congregation with you.

If your members are buying the pastor fancy cars and suits while the neighborhood decays around you, find yourself somewhere else to be. Find a church that supports foster children, scholarship programs, a women's support ministry, shelters for abused women, etc... Not one who has an uneducated pimp in the pulpit.

Its a goddamned shame that most of these churches are funded by women, yet there is nothing there to support and nurture women and children. They're just being indoctrinated into the melanin and a penis cult, a cult that in no way benefits black women and their vulnerable children. Get the hell out, and take your sisters with you.

Halima said...

Roz i think this is going to be another tricky one for bw. There is a whole load of rationalising for things that go on in church and scripture to quote for any kind of mind game tht a pastor/s might like to play. Unfortunaetly you know how it is with folk and never questioning the bible!

Miriam said...

why should questioning the bible even come into play? Isn't there a difference between being spiritual and being part of the church.

Halima said...

i dont know of any bw who has not been hurt in one way or another in church.

my own experince was not sexual abuse but some years ago a pastor set about breaking down my confidence. they said i was not 'yielded' and used all sorts scriptures and interprettions to support breaking me down.

i must say that, that experince really made me value my own voice and since then i never question my interpretation of events.

Also in the church they were so moved by the outward even when scripture expressly says not to be. the leadership were always looking out to see and note folks who cried during prayer and did all that emotional stuff, to confirm they were genuine in their love for God.

..and the women behaved accordingly, crying and shaking under anointing and all that! I was rasied a catholic before i went pentcostal, so for me loud worship and all that shaking was at most madness and at worst nusance.

i noticed that the women who were fast tracked into leadership were women who obeyed the stereotypical script of shame faced, soft spoken retiring, deferencial women. those of us who were outspoken and had an opinion, particularly if it showed up the men in some form or the other were placed on hold lol!. so you had all these air head (sorry) women in sensitive positions messing up stuff big time lol!

have you folks noticed that even these 'mighty' women evangelists pander to men in their preaching! There isnt one i know at the moment who doesnt toe the same ol line of major self-improvement for women while men have just little adjustments if any to do.

Halima said...

Miriam i think its about pastors quoting certain scrioture to support their perspective and people being discouraged from engaging their brain much over issues, to arrive at a different interpretation. Also people often and do feel that showing devotion to a pastor is expressing your devotion God.

i dont know that much about the jewish religion (though i should) and maybe there are standard interpretation of the Torah across board. in pentecostals its pretty much what ever the particular pastors interpretation is and while there is a kind of uniformity in teaching with pentecostals, there is still room for individuals to exploit peoples devotion to God.

Evia said...

I noticed that the women who were fast tracked into leadership were women who obeyed the stereotypical script of shame faced, soft spoken retiring, deferencial women.

But isn't this all a part of Eve's punishment for forcing Adam to bite the apple? We are all Eve's daughters and we must therefore share in her punishment, or so say the men of the patriarchy. Wasn't a part of Eve's punishment that ALL women shall forever cling to men and men shall rule over us?

This part is firmly drilled into lots of black women. I've heard this all of my life even from folks who don't even go to church. They may not know anything else about the Bible except for that part.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ya'll!

My friend and I use to laugh at the Adam and Eve story all the time. Something just doesn't sit well with me on that one. Could it be that Adam was the one who forced or decieved Eve and the sons of Adam keep this secret and continue to force and decieve the daughter of Eve. I rarely ever hear about Adam's first wife and if I do she is not described in a positive way. Could it be the men who first wrote this needed to try to control the women of their time also.

Trvlrgrl said...

Roslyn said
Its a goddamned shame that most of these churches are funded by women, yet there is nothing there to support and nurture women and children. They're just being indoctrinated into the melanin and a penis cult, a cult that in no way benefits black women and their vulnerable children. Get the hell out, and take your sisters with you.


Okay, I think I have to start the Roslyn Holcomb for President campaign! LOL.

I'm sitting her clapping because you've hit the nail on the head, it does feel like some folks are trying to indoctrinate us into the "cult of the black male". Churches are one of the worse offenders, but black pop culture and politics are huge too.

arthur said...

Amazing discussion. In my old church (Catholic), the Adam and Eve story is taught much differently; they were both at fault. Eve didn't have to listen to the Snake, and Adam didn't have to listen to Eve. Each one made their own choice, to disobey, and were equally punished, expelled from the Garden. That's pretty much the story in any mainline Christian church.

All this about how it was all Eve's fault ...how does that make sense? Adam couldn't have said no? Give me a break.

Grace said...

Hi,

Long time lurker, first time poster. :)

In no way am I discounting anyone's pain or awful experiences, but there are some good and progessive black churches out there.

I was lucky enough to have my family go to one as I grew up. While the church was primarily black and fairly middle class there was a smattering of other people and a few ir couples.

Not only was education valued, the church made a big deal of the accomplishments of all the children. A proud memory of mine is at the end of a school year being called up with other children and given a little gift card or something to reward me for having a high GPA.

One of the assistant pastors was a woman who preached on a fairly regularly basis. I can remember when she received her docorate and the church had a special lucheon for her.

In fact it never really occurred to me until I was much older and had been to a lot of different churches that it was a problem or any different to have a woman deliver the gospel.

People were encouraged to study the Bible for themselves to confirm the accuracy of what the pastor was saying. Not that the pastor was to be questioned or accused, but he wanted his flock to be discerning. The only way to gain discernment is to study and be confident in one's personal knowledge so one doesn't follow the pastor or anyone else blindly because what they say vaguely sounds 'right' or 'good'.

I'm sure my church had it's share of different problems; thinking back after I've read all the other comments, I remember that there were a lot of single women, some babies mama drama, etc. Also there were probably some underlying things that I didn't pick up because I was young.

However on the whole it was an excellent, nuturing experience.

When I was a teen my family moved away from the area. Several years later in my early 20's I moved back. I decided not to attend the church for a couple of different reasons: 1) There were quite a few people whom knew my whole family and remembered me as a kid. I wanted to create a new identity. :)

2) Once I heard or read a pastor say something that forever stuck in my mind. He called Sunday the most segregated day in America. I decided I wanted a church that really well mixed and made intergration a priority.

3) I wanted a church on the cutting edge of technology.

I ended up finding my church on the net. They had a nice, well laid out website which listed the tenements of the church, service times, programs, groups etc. Even before I set foot in the door,it was easy to see they were an organized, well oiled machine. And I was right.

To add to what anon said
If you study the whole context of the Bible, and what is says about people, you come to realize some basic things:

Not only does God love each of us deeply and equally, He has plans for each of us. In fact it's said that He knows how many hairs we each have on our heads. Everyone has different ups and downs in our lives, but no one is specifically meant to suffer.

For those of you whom have had rough experiences in the black church or any church for that matter. Don't give up on God.

Farily recently I happened to be flipping around on TV and I came across a preacher (and I'm using that word very lightly) who was selling a green 'blessing' handkerchief. You were suppose to hold it as you pray and God would shower you with blessings and wealth, etc. The only one getting wealthy from the handkerchiefs was the preacher. I was deeply angered and disgusted.

A lot of ugly things have been perpertrated in the name of God. People twist God's word all the times to fufill their own agendas. You only have to look at history to see that. Even when people mean well, we are still human--flawed and incapabile of being completely objective.

The only way to get to know GOd is to experience Him for yourself. A good church is a tool to help.

Sorry for the long post. God Bless :)

ps. Keep up the good work Halima!

L said...

It is very disturbing to me when I hear of all that nonsense that targets the bw and somehow implies that we should be content to be single. What utter DRIVEL.
No one should tell a group of people that something as positive as a marriage should be willingly given up. Why should anyone think they should do this? No where in the bible does it embrace singleness for the BW. I also think all the hoopla about the ‘gift of singleness’ is hogwash.
I will adhere to it as a plan if it starts with the pastor, and extends to the deacons and elders. They should all be single, celibate and childless then we can talk. LOL
Such blatant hypocrisy while watching them marry and populate the earth, is galling.

James Dobson and some of his radio and TV preacher-cronies are vocally against IRM.
In Dobson's opinion, on an interview script I read on line, "it is too hard."
These views, IMO, are an index of his own personal convictions and have no place in Christianity or the love teachings of Christ.
Most of Christianity is no walk in the park. You are not told to embrace the easy path. For egg. abstinence is hard, but it is strenuously advocated by Dobson and most Christian churches. "Love thy neighbor" and "Turn the left cheek", are not exactly precepts that are easy to do and yet are foundational messages of the church. Still, Dobson says IRD and IRM are difficult so should not be undertaken. How silly :)

I think that in cases where it has not occurred to these pastors that they are preaching in unacceptable racist jargon, someone should bring it to their attention.
As for others like James Dobson and his racist cohorts, I strongly advise that we, BW, abjure and repudiate whatever they say in totality because they are obviously preaching a gospel of vicious racial and sexist inequity.
The BW needs to tell naysayers where to put their mindless advice by doing what she needs to do for herself.

classical one said...

James Dobson is to Christianity as Louis Farrakhan
is to Islam. Fortunately, neither one of these guys has a future, their way of thinking is slowly dying off and good riddance, I say.

whitemenforblackwomen.blogspot.com

Miriam said...

(before I say more I must say even in the Jewish world there are the fundamentalists that I avoid)

Anyway, not to get too off topic, but if anyone wants to know: in the Hebrew version of the bible, Eve, and all women are called Azer (help) knegdo (opposite). A help-opposite. because when the man is on the mark, she is the sweet good wife, etc. When the man is not being Gd fearing,kind, proper, etc, or he's not doing good, then she becomes the "opposition".lol

Also, re: the apple business. Adam wanted to add an added restriction to Eve and told her to "not even touch the tree!"

Thus, when the snake encouraged Eve to just touch the tree and pushed her on it. She saw that nothing happened when she touched it and thus began to question everything else that Adam said. And so she was more open to eating from the tree.

(the problem w/the tree wasn't because it was knowledge of good or knowledge of bad, but knowledge of good AND bad. thus, eating it brought confusion. both good and bad dwelled in the same place -they didn't need the outside- snake- temptation anymore. it became within now.)

Unfortunately, even in the Hebrew version, it says that everyone got punished (the snake, the woman, and the man) and Eve's punishment was good ole Aunt flo and (because of her weakened state) her need to be w/a husband -i.e.dependence on the physically stronger men.

There is also the Oral tradition that says the woman is equated to the moon and the man to the sun. When the were created they said, "we can't both rule the sky" (figuratively speaking) and so the moon retracted itself. But eventually, the moon will become greater than the sun. (i.e. at some point, women will rule and they'll stop wars, stop fightings and have a more benevolent rule)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Back on topic:

If there's anything i learned most from my studies, its that anything that is very precious sometimes have to be hidden for a while before the gem inside the rock is cleared out, scrapped off and discovered.

Such was the case for Kind David. Everyone questioned his lineage because of how he was conceived. (who's the grandson of Ruth)

Such was the case for Ruth, who came from Moav (Lot and his own daughter)

Such was the case for Moses, who was raised by the Egyptians,etc

Such seems to be the case for the bw! Who went through so much, but is now emerging into something independent, beautiful, confident, sparkling!

If necessary, give up on the church, but please don't give up on the Higher Power, the Energy, the Source, or however you want to call it.

Stardusky said...

Not trying to get anyone away from Christianity, but I would like to point out that there are Black women who have embraced other religious avenues. For instance, Tina Turner, Bell Hooks and Alice Walker are Buddhists.

Back to the topic at hand. I too feel that most Black churches are not looking out for BW's interests. Not surprisingly as they are usually headed by a male. Black churches are not in the business of expanding BW's options, they're more concerned with what they see as the "Black community" as a group, and as such, they see BW and BM as inseparable siamese twins.

Ode2life said...

Its not just black churches that have no concern for the BW, make no mistake, it’s a lot of churches, period.

Sadly, there are many churches, televangelists, preachers and denominations that have very unprogressive views about BW and why we should embrace singleness.

In my view some of the rhetoric spewed on us should be 'actionable'. Ok, I wrote "actionable", I've always liked that word, so bite me LOL LOL

I did a research paper a few years ago on this matter and Almost left the church altogether but now I am a more balanced religious person.

It is best to search for a church that embraces all the positives the world has to offer for all its congregants.
Problems arise when churches start dictating who should marry whom, what races should meld and who should not marry anyone! Grr

Anonymous said...

Like a few of the other posters here, I was not raised in what some would term the "traditional black baptist church." Rather I was raised in a catholic church. As my name would suggest (prettyislandgirl) my church consisted mainly of black folks that followed the catholic tradition. As was mentioned before, the catholic church is really not much in your business per say. As far as my impressions go, in my experience I was more preached at then preached to. I don't know whether that is good or bad.

As a youngster and in my adulthood however, I have taken to attending black protestants and baptist churches though for the simple fact that I love the music and vibe. But I definitely notice a difference in my eyes between the tenets and principals taught in the black protestant and baptist religions and the predominately non-black churches.

Again, sadly, as Evia mentions the baby mamma issue is glaring in black churches. Any black church you go to and you will see that it is over populated with black women who are single parents. There are very few black families and black single men.

What I have observed over the years is that with all the issues bw have with out of wedlock children, the rising rates of HIV AIDS and the down-low brotha issues, no black churches that I have attended have ever preached abstinence nor celibacy. This is why about 2 years ago I came to the conclusion that most black churches are about preserving the status quo, keeping the pews filled and the collection plate flowing with that long green. Most don't care about the suffering, trials and tribulations of bw. If they did, they would be ringing the alarm because bw are at the edge of extinction. They are the last bastion of the black civilization. BW are the last passengers on a boat that no one bothered to tell them was the Titanic.

I believe black churches don't encourage bw to get and find love wherever and with whoever, regardless of color, they can find out of simple self-interest. If black women were to en masse wake up from this fairytale dream (or nightmare depending on how you look at things) of finding that mandingo black prince and find love with non-black men, there is a real fear on the part of the preachers, deacons, whatever, that black women would leave the church and take their resources (time, but most especially $$$) out of the black church and follow their non-black male mates to their non-black churches.

Odds are if they do marry non-black, bw would marry up economically and would therefore, move out of the neighborhood into less black or even mostly white areas. As Evia has stated most bm with $$$, marry white, don't live in the bc and don't attend black churches. The black church fears this would happen if black women got smart and started living for themselves and for the future of their babies. They don't want that because bw are for the most part probably about 55-85% of most black church congregations around the U.S. Black women are a captive audience in black churches and they don't want them 'escaping'!!

This is why I believe that they don't preach to better black women's situation. It is purely out of self-preservation and to keep those ministers pockets fat.

-Prettyislandgirl

Clarice said...

Stardusky said... they're more concerned with what they see as the "Black community" as a group, and as such, they see BW and BM as inseparable siamese twins.

This is an interesting point. This raises an issue. Are BW viewed as part and parcel of a "monolith" i.e. painted with the same brush as the video vixens? Tonight 60 Minutes did a re-broadcast of a piece on Snitching. It was clear from that - there are it appears two distinct BC's the street subculture (thugs, drugs and criminals) and the more mainstream progressive upwardly mobile law abiding culture. The unifying factor between these two cultures appears to be the church in many cases. Which is why regardless as to whether the church is a ghetto - store front church or a progressive black mega$$$ church in many cases the message to women is the same - i.e. uplifting men and self sacrifice.

Religion is the opiate of the masses. Religion is a quick feel good. It is clear in this case the churches people are fed that which matches their view of reality and that is comforting and meets the needs of these people to be reassured that their view of the world is correct and right. It also frees these individuals from the hard work of thinking and making choices and maybe making a wrong choice and taking responsibility for the results of the choice. Thinking is hard work, thinking is scary to some - being responsible is hard work and these folks clearly do not want to work that hard or take that responsibility

Karl Marx understood this and other leaders did as well. Religion in this context simply refers to a belief system or a system of beliefs. Simply put control the mind of the people and control the actions and the people. Churches that spew this poison are seeking to control the mind and thus the actions of the people in the church mainly women. The sad truth is these same churches could use that power to control the out of control, irresponsible males.

However this blog and those like it represent a largely silent subculture that pulls from both of the above. There are BW from both sides of the coin (poor or financially established) that believe in making intelligent choices, and quietly live their lives on their own terms.

This blog maybe the first place that these women find out that they are not alone and that the crazy self destructive messages they receive are also being given to others who choose not to listen and make their own way.

Clearly there is no monolith – but that distinction is not clear to the casual observer or folks who are not members of the culture or familiar – or is it? It would really be interesting to hear from WM or members of other cultures and countries?

Just call me curious

V/r

Clarice

Sandz said...

Well, First and foremost I sent this to my friend.
She called me one day to tell me the sobering news her pastor and eventually his wife told the BW in the church.
That most of them will probably not get married. And then they went on to give stats about BW versus BM.

They NEVER mentioned the possibility of marrying anyone else. THAT is really not fair.

I also never seen her marrying a BM anyway, so I was trying to help bring other stats in the picture to not make it seem so sobering.

I have come to find my options are WAAAAY open since I do thing a large number of BM do not do.

In the church to which I am member here (I usually only go during the late fall and winter months now since I spend so much time getting in group training sessions.) He doesn't talk about marriage per se. BUT!! I decided to attend a singles event and lo and behold; there were mostly BW there a couple of BM and no other ethnicities/races. I stopped going.

Yes I hope to get married one day. but I am not so desperate that I feel I have to settle for someone just because he is a BM.

After having plenty of BM tell me the things I do aren't Black and ask "Am I sure I'm Not White" well.. why have someone in my life who will even remotely think that.

As far as scandals and things. Well, they ARE human. But I gotta tell you one church infuriated me saying "if you don't meet your mate at [name omitted to protect the stupid], then God didn't send them" I was BPO (Beyond P*sses OFF).
Yeah I met my child's father there - and felt there was a certain level of brainwashing, or almost placing that Pastor at a level of a god, if not right along with God.
Once I got prego, he thought we'd get married to cover it. I saw 'aww nawww, we can have the child and be parents and THEN we can decide at a later time if marriage is for us'

I recently found out that same Pastor he has been idolizing is about to be laid out in a scandal. Yes he's human, but I think about how many BW and BM he has ruined in the church by telling them if they didn't meet them in that church then they aren't for each other.

Okay I'll stop here before I go off tangentially again.

Felicia said...

there is a real fear on the part of the preachers, deacons, whatever, that black women would leave the church and take their resources (time, but most especially $$$) out of the black church and follow their non-black male mates to their non-black churches.

Smart Black women are going to act in their best self interest, and that of their children. They are not going to stupidly wait for anyone inside or outside of the church to encourage them to do so. Because they're smart enough to know that will never happen for well known reasons.

As Evia has stated most bm with $$$, marry white, don't live in the bc and don't attend black churches. The black church fears this would happen if black women got smart and started living for themselves and for the future of their babies.

Getting smart, living for yourself and for the future of your babies. THIS is where it's at. Any person or organization - purporting to speak in the name of God - that sees a problem with this common sense philosophy practiced by most women on this earth, is a self-serving liar who doesn't really know the Good Book. GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES. It doesn't say anywhere in the Bible that God helps BW who sacrifice themselves, their youth, health, sanity, etc... for the betterment of DBRBM and the black community.

They don't want that because bw are for the most part probably about 55-85% of most black church congregations around the U.S. Black women are a captive audience in black churches and they don't want them 'escaping'!!

Black women MUST escape any situation that places them future away from their goals and aspirations.

Odds are if they do marry non-black, bw would marry up economically and would therefore, move out of the neighborhood into less black or even mostly white areas.

http://www.jewishaz.com/
jewishnews/050401/diverse.shtml

Zina Rhoad-Weinberger, a 40-year-old black woman from Chandler, said when she converted to Judaism in October 1995 she was "greeted with open arms."

A lifelong Catholic, the East Coast native began separating herself from the church after her father passed away in 1988. Approximately two years later, she began dating her future husband Paul and eventually began attending services with his family at their Conservative temple in New York.

"Everyone was so welcoming and warm and receiving and I just always felt so at home with the Jewish religion," she said.

Rhoad-Weinberger has since relocated to the Valley, and along with her husband and two children - daughter Rachel, 7, and son Alex, 5 - is a member of Temple Emanuel in Tempe, where she couldn't be happier.

She said they aren't the only Jews of color at the synagogue - Hispanic and Asian Jews and several interracial couples also worship there.

"I've never really experienced any feeling of being an outsider, even when I lived back east," she said. "I enjoy being a Jew of color and a Jew of choice because I have been so well received, as have my children."


Examine closely ladies, the beautiful joyful expression on this sista's face. The look of pride, confidence, and accomplishment on her husbands face.

Zina Rhoad-Weinberger is a SMART BW. She and her husband are living for themselves, their future, and the future of their beutiful babies.

This is obviously where it's at. And where it always should be.

Miriam said...

I'd like to point out a concern of mine.

Its for the male kids who were born out of the relationships w/DBR bm.

I pray that we give them lots of love and hopefully, with the new relationships we are in, try to raise them how a man should be.

Anonymous said...

Miriam said: "I'd like to point out a concern of mine.
Its for the male kids who were born out of the relationships w/DBR bm."

Again, I think that we need to stop focusing all our thoughts on BM because black young girls are being raised fatherless too. Being without a male role model, they have no idea what a real man looks like, what having a true loving relationship should look like. Too many young black girls have no idea what it is like to be protected and cherished by a loving father. Young black girl fall into the cylce of choosing over and over again DBR bm, having children too young and out of wedlock and continuing the cycle. Our young black girls are just as vulnerable, hell probably more so, then young bm. Because let's face it, the girls/women are the ones being preyed upon - physically, sexually, mentally, spiritually and economically. We need to raise better daughters with higher standards and self-esteem that know that they are beautiful, intelligent and desirable to all men. A little healthy competition would probably cause bm to up the ante, become better educated and learn what it is to be a man. As it is now, for bm - getting a bw is like fishing in a barrel.

I trully believe Oprah's reasoning behind starting that all girl school in South Africa despite all the protests. Her reasoning was that when you raise up women, you raise up the whole society and nation as a whole.

-Prettyislandgirl

Miriam said...

Right! the girls too! But what i mean is the children women already had before their eyes were opened to the DBR situation around.

Trvlrgrl said...

miriam said
I'd like to point out a concern of mine.

Its for the male kids who were born out of the relationships w/DBR bm.

I pray that we give them lots of love and hopefully, with the new relationships we are in, try to raise them how a man should be


I'm so glad you raised this Miriam. I think we are beyond the crisis phase in terms of what's going on with black boys.

Regardless of whether we partner with black men, many of us are raising black sons and its our responsiblity to do whatever we can to help them become the men their fathers often were not.

The challenge is how to provide our sons with good guidance when their fathers are either absent or bad influences.

In my experience I've found that race is not a determinent of being a good male role model, so perhaps another thread in the discussion we're having here is the capacity of non-black men to be either mentors, male role models, or potentially fathers for our black sons.

gatamala said...

This issue should be a blog itself!

You all have encapsulated so many of my feelings that led me to look away from the BChurch as the arbiter of culture, support, community. I grew up in NC in Baptist hell. I wasn't raised Baptist, but had plenty of church experience. You all have told the truth. I have always believed that the Black Church has become more of a negative than a positive for black folks - for all the reasons you all clearly articulated.

To the posters who were sexually or mentally abused, I am so sorry. I wish you all the success in the world. Sexual abuse isn't just a white Catholic thing.

I remember watching a talk show back in their heyday (mid 90s). A bm (reformed asshole) said the best source of desperate, needy women - the perfect victims- was church. He didn't tippy toe around or use euphemisms. He stated this clearly, honestly and plainly.

I am going to forward this to everyone I know.

****
About the Secret...please THINK about that. That mindset is very cultish and blames people for their situation (e.g., cancer, genocide).

Let's not exchange one drug for another.

Miriam said...

there were parts i also didn't with in the movie. I was hoping to talk to somebody about it. I did appreciate the positivity.

pioneervalleywoman said...

Perhaps this is something Classical One might raise on his blog? It would be interesting to hear a discussion on this.

Trvlgl said:

In my experience I've found that race is not a determinant of being a good male role model, so perhaps another thread in the discussion we're having here is the capacity of non-black men to be either mentors, male role models, or potentially fathers for our black sons.

nottinghillchick said...

hi there, I'm 80%-90% lurker...
y'know it takes time to just reading all these very active posts!

Anyway I was surprised to read comments made here...decided to do some digging, on Dr James Dobson's site.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/docstudy/

I scrolled down to the 'Marriage' link and in the search engine on the next page I entered interracial marriage. Here it is -
Q: What does Dr. Dobson think about interracial dating and marriage?
A: "Dr. Dobson knows of no theological or moral considerations that would prohibit interracial marriages and he disagrees with those who use the Bible to condemn it. As a matter of fact, he believes that all of us, as representatives of a variety of races and cultures, are of equal value and worth in the eyes of God, and that people of all races can fall in love and get married.

At the same time, however, interracial marriages may be subjected to unique pressures. This is an important consideration, as matrimony is a risky business under the best of circumstances. The failure rate of marriages in modern society is extremely high. It requires hard work to keep any marriage strong and growing. Many couples find it difficult to forge a successful relationship even when all the cards seem stacked in their favor. Today, multitudes of negative outside forces are working against the home, and families need all the help they can get.

In interracial marriages, there may be even greater strains on the relationship. Couples may endure rejection from some family members, and the strains of cultural differences in a community might be difficult. This could place added stress on the children and the marriage.

In the end, the decision to marry or not to marry must rest solely with the man and woman involved. If, through a process of prayer, seeking the Lord's will, and searching their own hearts, an interracial couple arrives at the conviction that God wants them together, then certainly they will want to follow that leading in spite of potential pitfalls and difficulties. But they should go into marriage with their eyes wide open, fully prepared for the special challenges they may encounter along the way."


Hope someone finds this helpful...

nottinghillchick said...

Afrodite and others, who have had their childish innocence stolen especially within the very church community that itself should be a sanctuary...words cannot express how I felt reading of your experiences. What wretchedness hides within us human beings to do such to another.

Having experienced molestation too (though briefly & not in church) yet not knowing how to report it, all I felt was that something 'wrong' had happened but I didnt know what...I know that such abuse can impact one for years, although I cannot claim to understand what you went through. Only you know.

So thank you for taking this as a safe & trusted place to share this, such sharing could itself be a proverbial milestone on the road to healing. I do pray for your healing in all ways possible.
Hope this makes sense

with much love

Evia said...

In my experience I've found that race is not a determinant of being a good male role model, so perhaps another thread in the discussion we're having here is the capacity of non-black men to be either mentors, male role models, or potentially fathers for our black sons.

I hear you, but I'm sure you're aware that many black people would be against getting a wm to mentor a black boy or step in as a father figure. Many black folks I've encountered would think that a wm wouldn't know how to teach a black boy to "keep it real." What saddens me is that so many black folks talk constantly about "black culture," but really believe that a version of "gangsta" culture is AA culture. It was gangsta culture that brought us "keepin it real" and "no snitchin." This is definitely NOT AA culture.

I think there's a pressing need for AA culture to be re-defined and the AA church needs to be put under a microscope!

In the meanwhile, more and more bw who are critical thinkers are going to put distance between themselves and those blacks who embrace gangsta culture as well as those who embrace the present-day black church.

Anonymous said...

I think a few good questions for the congregations are:

are they looking to be entertained or do they want to worship God?

If the pastor is not "entertaining" will the majority of the congregation go to another church?

Does the congregation know what theology is? Do they care?

Is the congregation into the "health and wealth" gospel?

If congregations are down with theology they will not be tossed about by every wind and know what sound doctrine is. Without sound doctrine the pastor could lead the Church in any direction. Even one you do not want to go down.

Rich

grant said...

Evia:

This idea that a wm could not "relate" properly to a black male child is not just confined to the black community-I know this from personal experience with the Big Brother&Sister Program. I went through the whole screening process to become a Big Brother" and was told point blank that I would never be pared with a black male child because they felt that the child would be more comfortable with a black male! I suggested to the interviewer that this was a rather narrow view since values like honesty, hard work, responsibilty and respect could not possbily be considered within the dominion of only one racial group. She wasn't impressed with my position, nor was she particularly found of my answer regarding what I felt the proper punishment for a child molester was-maybe it was the fact that my view required the use of a rather TALL building. Needless to say, I was not called back. I found it extremely insulting to suggest that I could not provide a proper model for a young black male because of skin color-still do.

Trvlrgrl said...

evia said
I hear you, but I'm sure you're aware that many black people would be against getting a wm to mentor a black boy or step in as a father figure.


I used to do research on the foster care system and this came up all the time. There are not nearly enough black families to care for all the black kids in foster care so many of them are placed with white families.

Those white families that did the best job, IMO, were those who recognized the dynamics of race in this society, but didn't buy into the more narrow notions of "blackness" as you describe below:

What saddens me is that so many black folks talk constantly about "black culture," but really believe that a version of "gangsta" culture is AA culture.

I think there's a pressing need for AA culture to be re-defined and the AA church needs to be put under a microscope!


Okay...I am jumping out of my chair again! You are so right on! When oh when did black folks start believing that criminal behavior, sleeping around, and other low-life behavior "defined" AA culture? In an effort to be inclusive of those amongst us who are struggling (which is an admirable goal) we've lowered the bar of personal and collective behavior rather than raising it.

And, this leads right to the self-destructive criticism of well-spoken, highly educated black folks as "acting white".

I've heard this criticism all my life. Neither my parents nor I were raised in black communities, so I have not had a "traditional" black upbringing in many respects. But make no mistake, we have always been proud black people.

This notion that black people need to speak a certain way, dance a certain way, eat certain food, don't do certain things, believe in certain faiths is self-destruction at it's finest.

classical one said...

Does anyone remmember the National Association of Black Social Workers condemned interracial adoption?
They said it would lead to poor racial identity! I guess they were happier with the kids rotting in an orphanage.

L said...

I know of an organization comprised for the most part of accomplished BW who were, at least to me at the time, first rate legal minds and even they repeatedly refused to take up the case of the black children. Preferring instead, to leave them rotting away in the foster care system.
The reason the elected officers of the org. always gave for their indefensible stance that blk children should only be adopted by blk families, was to preserve the culture.
Huh, culture? They chose to ignore the astronomical dropout rates in the system, ignored copiously documented abuse and molestation of 'unadoptable' older kids, glossed over the inevitable aging out of the system by these kids and other such ills.
These kids possessed grossly insufficient survival skills and inevitably returned to the system (jail) after aging out. One top officer of the org. admitted to me that they did not want to enrage the blk social workers. Keep the Social workers happy while the kids lives are ruined. Yeah, uphold culture just before they are cast into jail for some offense**sigh** How churlish it all seems.
If not for Clinton aka 'the baller', the law would still be in place enjoying considerable support from the black community.

BTW, I also got access to data which showed that even prior to that friggin' squalid law which 'destroyed' many blk children's lives, it was impossible for a black family to foster a white child in many parts of the country. I am told the situation has not changed to date!
***triple sigh***I just do not understand why everything in America has to be according to some racially motivated, barf worthy, vapid color scheme.

So all encompassing is the brain washing, that people you expect to know better would gladly support craziness-based on some US home grown, color code.

Anonymous said...

Only in America Ladies...
(and yes, a bm)

Married Man Sues Florist for Revealing Affair - Man Sues for $1 Million After Wife Discovers He Bought Flowers for His Girlfriend

http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3464095

Anonymous said...

"Only in America Ladies...
(and yes, a bm)

Married Man Sues Florist for Revealing Affair - Man Sues for $1 Million After Wife Discovers He Bought Flowers for His Girlfriend"

Oh No! Ha,that's as bad as the dbr brother in DC who filed a multi million dollar lawsuit because the dry cleaner had lost his pants.

Aphrodite said...

I wanted to say thank you for all your words of compassion.

Anonymous said...

"Married Man Sues Florist for Revealing Affair - Man Sues for $1 Million After Wife Discovers He Bought Flowers for His Girlfriend"

But, I bet he's a GOOD black man who is married to a strong sista! Insert tongue in cheek. :-)

Trvlrgrl said...

anon said

"Married Man Sues Florist for Revealing Affair - Man Sues for $1 Million After Wife Discovers He Bought Flowers for His Girlfriend"

But, I bet he's a GOOD black man who is married to a strong sista! Insert tongue in cheek. :-)


Oh yeah, I saw this "catch" on the Today show. Meredith Viera didn't try all that hard to be objective! Apparently bro is suing because now his estranged wife has proof postive that he was creeping and is asking for a bigger divorce settlement! LOL

And don't you know this brotha had a sistah lawyer defending him...coincidental? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Obviously fearful, racist, discriminatory, hateful, biased, resentful, ignorant, etc.

Anonymous said...

"I know this from personal experience with the Big Brother&Sister Program. I went through the whole screening process to become a Big Brother" and was told point blank that I would never be pared with a black male child because they felt that the child would be more comfortable with a black male! "

knockoutchick says:

I had heard the sad story about the Black Social Workers Org. being against black children being placed with white families. Just absurd and tragic so many kids had to miss out on an opportunity to be cared for in a family setting.

The strange thing I will say about all of this is... I am hearing of more and more situations through friends of WM raising black children anyway. The story goes WW dates or marries BM, has child, relationship doesn't work out, BM leaves, disappears or does not support child.

WW then meets marries WM, WM ends up raising black/bi-racial son. Happening as I type....

Chocl8t said...

I am a product of the black baptist church and I no longer attend a black baptist church. These institutions have problems with "independent thinkers" and especially women in particular. How much more "ass backwards" can you be to tell the women in your congregation that if they seek to be educated and successful they are "doomed" to spend the rest of their lives alone? It's irresponsible.

These institutions are set up to keep a woman "in her place" in order to make the weak minded man feel better about himself. To that I say, I scream...."GET OVER YOURSELF!!!"

I am currently a member of a non-denominational church that is predominantly black but has a growing Latin and White membership. It is led by a man who isn't threatened by intelligent women who can think for themselves.

Since I'm at work, I can't get into this the way I would like. Besides...it upsets me more than you know.

Miriam said...

i guess if someone has enough clout they can get pass this system. Steven Spielberg, I think, adopted a black child (among his many other adopted children).

Anonymous said...

Miriam said...

i guess if someone has enough clout they can get pass this system. Steven Spielberg, I think, adopted a black child (among his many other adopted children).

As did Michelle Pfeiffer, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, and Jane Fonda. Additionally, white Europeans and Canadians quite commonly adopt black children in this country.

While I oppose the position of the black social workers, that policy has not acted as a complete bar to whites adopting black children in this country--most white Americans don't adopt black children because they don't want to. Their choices are: (1) American white, (2) foreign-white (3) foreign-Asian, (4) foreign-other (5) American black, (5) foreign-black.

Anonymous said...

I've been to several black churches a few times and I'm glad I never heard them preaching that nonsense. I went to a white church for a good while, and encouraging women to remain single esp. single with children was unheard of. That goes for women of any race. The rules are that males and females abstain, find a partner (emphasis on the part), get married (more emphasis!), then had kids. If a woman did decide to have kids, you can bet your bottom dollar she was married.

Jude said...

Hello Ladies (and Gents esp. Grant)

Now I try to refrain from commenting on such serious topics w/o hard facts and stats to back my position, this time I cannot help myself. So please correct me if I am wrong.

While I oppose the position of the black social workers, that policy has not acted as a complete bar to whites adopting black children in this country...

The NABSW Inc. is a non-government entity that has no DIRECT authority and does not create or enforce policy. However, being a private organization allows them to pursue their agenda which would otherwise be unconstitutional.
Check this:
http://www.nabsw.org/mserver/Mission2.aspx?menuContext=743

Legally The NABSW Inc. can only influence policy makers in the social service agencies.

While I oppose the position of the black social workers, that policy has not acted as a complete bar to whites adopting black children in this country--most white Americans don't adopt black children because they don't want to. Their choices are: (1) American white, (2) foreign-white (3) foreign-Asian, (4) foreign-other (5) American black, (5) foreign-black.

This is just so cynical I had to comment. I don’t know where this list of preferences came from or if it is either factual or valid. Assuming this is true, we can judge group “most white Americans” who want to adopt babies that look the most like themselves. We can say these people should open their minds and hearts etc. But it seems obvious that there are many who do. There people waiting to adopt any child, and there are children who wont be adopted. There are people whose hearts are wide they will take in a child 1with Down’s syndrome, or MD or any other disability.

As for racial preference, studies may conclude that policy changes and review of individual arbitrary actions of agencies (public not private) would result in enough white families to adopt a majority of the black children who will remain in foster care. But who is going to initiate such a study? Not the agencies themselves.

So before passing judgment on people who choose to adopt, please remember that most of us never choose to do something so noble as to take in child. We need to understand that barriers do exist and how to overcome.

Because the commenter above mentioned American vs. foreign, I will first ask this individual to consider why so many Americans adopt from abroad? Why are there so many private adoptions?

There is at least one Israeli regular here. Maybe she will comment on the way the Jewish Agency handles interracial adoptions in Israel.

Jude
Ps Special thanks to Shirl and Steve. We loved your photo!

Bee said...

Hallos NottinChick:

Wow, this is a new position from Dobson. I dug in too and saw that he faced a lot of criticism on his position so this might be why his new official position is now more accomodating of IR's.
Dig deeper into the past! :)

Jude said...

“I went through the whole screening process to become a Big Brother" and was told point blank that I would never be pared with a black male child because they felt that the child would be more comfortable with a black male!”

Grant,

I don’t know what to say other than these things hurt.
I don’t know if there are other places for you to volunteer to mentor male children in your area.

But I can see that you are a good Big Brother so just keep going.



Jude

Shirl said...

Hey Grant--

A friend of mine (a white woman) tried to be a big sister and they told her that they already get too many white north side women volunteering. They rejected her completely. I was horrified when she told me about this. How tragic is that?! We are still so stuck on matching up skin tones!!

Can this organization get away with this? My friend was numb by the experience and refused to follow-up with any authority at this Big Sister place.

Shirl said...

Hi Jude!!

Thanks for the "shout out" about my picture with Steve on Evia's site! Although it's a small picture, you can see the big grins on our faces!

Anonymous said...

If this is true then God is a liar!
And the Bible clearly states: That HE is not a man that He can lie.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are writing about this. I spent most of my 20s devoted to a church that just kept me busy and used my time and money. I say "used" because in the end, there was very little fruit for me and a lot for them. This type of preaching went on at that "Factory" because if women were focused on the work of the church and not distracted by relationships...they would devote all their time and feel like they were doing something meaningful. It's a very relationship focuse church...with regard to christian groups, weekly meetings, etc. Lots of activity to distract you from your family, your work, and your potential love life. "If you have God, you don't need a man." is basically the message. And if you did find a man...they wanted you to only go out if you have an "accountablity couple" with you, not on your own. We are talking grown women, not teenagers, who live under these rules. They want community, to be accepted, loved...they find a family and a home in church.

Now that I'm gone and I have a different perspective I realize that I spent way too much time focused on the mission and vision of that one, singular, church and little on the mission and vision that God has for my life. I don't blame them, I just live.

pioneervalleywoman said...

Halima,

I have been thinking about blogging about questions of faith from a black female Episcopalian standpoint, and I set it up this evening:

http://episcopalienne.blogspot.com/

Enjoy!

Pamela said...

More and more Christians are relenting in their hardcore stance against interracial marriages. I have known of James Dobson for probably at least 25 years, soon after my college days. He was very strong in his discouragement of interracial marriages. I know at the time he had no clue about Christian singles. His children were young at the time. Both of them are grown now. I'm glad that he seems to be getting the revelation that his comments were probably interpreted as a veiled racist attitude. I also give leeway to his generation and older. I pretty much dismissed his comments when I heard them because of his generation. My parents are from that generation and those times were like I pray we will never see again. At least my generation (some--I'm 47) and younger generations realize that people are just people no matter the skin color. I think also whites realize that we will not keep quiet like our parents and grandparents were forced to not so many years ago. Some of it I think is because of the times we are living in. We have no problems discussing our problems and weaknesses. Because of that we say what we think when we want to, hopefully with wisdom.

It's one thing to realize that many singles might be alone because of not meeting people of like mind and purpose. It is another thing altogether to tell ONLY WOMEN that they might be alone. They do not need to be told that. A lot of them have already lived MANY YEARS alone. I pray I'm not one of them. However I plan to live my life to the full married or single. I refuse to let some preacher be condescending to me because I am a female. In my younger days I would just tell them off. Now I just quietly disappear hoping that others will do the same. If people ask me why I no longer attend I tell them. There is a church that I worked part-time for. I know that pastor and his wife very well. I boldly tell the pastor things that I see. I would NEVER recommend any female go there because they are subservient to man. Nice people but very deceived. I think you can imagine there are NO single adults at this church. They would not have a snowball's chance in hell of getting anywhere there.

I love this discussion.

Kay T said...

yes, the black church is often seen as the ones to "police" the black community and look out for the best interests thereof (keep the race pure and strong & to have black women to serve/nurture black men and children), and if I were to open my options and get with a white man and take him with me to church...the sneers and glares would be daunting! I have already seen this happen to another. It seems that the church would prefer the numerous young black females to fornicate with black men rather than to marry a white one. And in Atlanta, where I live and attend church and where the DBRbm problem is superbad...the black females of all ages in my church outnumber the males at least 7 to 1, and even the older ladies are mostly single and divorced. Also, most of the young and old black sisters are very professional and own their own businesses while only about 50% of the few males are similarly situated. I was raised to hate white people, and especially white men. But after growing older, leaving my parents' house, and becoming educated and more diverse, I realize that not all whites are terrible people. Dating a white person or a person of any other race is fine with me...and I have started to get my feet wet in this regard although it's more difficult to meet other races socially for obvious reasons. I know that if I do find someone of another race, my church will definitely not approve...but I'm a rebel and always have been...I can take on anyone who ignorantly challenges my personal choices, even the darn church folks! Besides, God's got my back.

Zindzi said...

I hate to generalize, especially when it comes to my people, but in these days, the Black church is doing little to really help Black people, period! They are too many pimps disguised as preachers who make it their business to make money, "in the name of Jesus." Look at T.D. Jakes. Making money off of the plights of BW with those ridiculous, "Women Thou Art Loosed" books and movies.

One of the main issues within the Black church is sexism. This sexism dictates that BW should not be placed in positions of authority in churches, and therefore, the "word" that the people receive usually has a patriarchal slant to it. Even though the numbers clearly state that BM are not lacking in options of BW, not many of them are going to actively encourage BW to date men other than BM.

I'm a Black Christian and attend a predominantly Black and very Afrocentric church (it's Barack Obama's home church). We have just as many female reverends and deacons as male ones. Our church has actively campaigned against misogynistic portrayals of BW. When it comes to romantic relationships in the Black community, the underlying messages in our teachings are to be true to God's word and true to yourself.

arfenton said...

aphrodite:

I was deeply angered and saddened to hear what happened to you. Sadly, sexual abuse in the church is not unusual and is still happening today.

I would encourage anyone who has had bad experiences with the 'typical' black church to at least visit a few non-denominational churches. Many of them tend to be more relaxed about gender roles and racial issues.

Like I mentioned in earlier posts, I come from a ministerial family and none of those maladies occur in our church. My mother is the co-pastor and we have a large number of women in high levels of authority, and most noteably in controlling the financials of the church.

It is by no means perfect (few adult single men, etc), but there are many, many married ones who appear to be good husbands and fathers. I will admit that several of their black SONS, however look like they are headed in the wrong direction.

Last night, I visited my brother (executive pastor) and vented about the failure of the black church to positively deal with the most critical issues concerning black women.

I think he was a little surprised by my anger and candor, but was respectful and genuinely listened. Let's see if this translates to anything 'actionable' (<-- homage to ode2life)

Deborrah said...

Back in 2010 I wrote an article that went viral entitled THE BLACK CHURCH: HOW BLACK CHURCHES KEEP AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN SINGLE AND LONELY. In it I suggest that black women get their tales out of black churches, stop listening to black men about what they should do to 'get and keep a man', and broaden their dating horizons by dating men outside the church and men of other races.

The bible study you describe is a shameful example of exactly what I wrote about.

I wanted to let you know that going to release a book which takes that discussion to the next level. Its called THE BLACK CHURCH: WHERE WOMEN PRAY AND MEN PREY and goes in on preachers, mega church, the prosperity gospel, and the mind games run on black women under cover of God.

Black women confuse their pastor and the church house with God and its screwing their heads up. Anyway, if you are interested I can send you an advanced condensed 'press version' of the book to read and review. Send me your email address and I will add you to the list.

Here is a link to my book trailer.

http://youtu.be/unSI597YsVs