A certain Carrie wrote this bitch asking why I have not spoken out more about "fiery" rhetoric in the black church.
Well, since it looks like conservatives are tossing rocks wrapped in this topic despite their glass houses (can you say Hagee?), a rather timely one too.
A bitch grew up attending a rather conservative Missionary Baptist Church that was predominately black. We were big on social responsibility but not as heavy as some other churches on fiery rhetoric. Many a Sunday I listened to sermons that preached the Gospel and instructed members to give of themselves, try not to sin and build a forgiving heart. I also sat through several sermons that didn’t agree with. I remember asking my father how to handle that and him telling me that God gave us free will, pastors aren’t divine and part of being a Christian is developing a personal sense of faith.
When I grew up I became distant from the black church but did take a step back in during my 20’s. By then I lived in Dallas and attended another Missionary Baptist Church there where the sermons where equal parts social responsibility and fiery rhetoric. Once again I sat through some amazing services but I also sat through a lot of “oh, hell no…I don’t think so!” sermons that made me question my membership. The final straw came when a visiting Pastor spent over an hour blaming black women and our lack of faith for the dismal state of the black family in America. He went so far as to spend 30 minutes explaining that women need to submit to the will of men or we women will be offending God.
Yeah well I never went back.
The thing is I miss church. I miss the music and the fellowship and the weekly reminders that we humans can and must do better by each other.
My father found his activist mission in the black church. Many a Civil Rights era person went to church for courage, strength and spiritual fuel. The Movement was often organized in the black church, Mamie Till confronted a nation with its injustice in a black church and one of the greatest tragedies of it took place at a church.
Mayhap that is why some seize this moment to attempt to humble the black church?
I’ve worked hard to not blame Catholics for the words and actions of Archbishop Burke here in St. Louis. Some of the fiercest human rights activists I know are Sisters within the Catholic Church…many Catholics are pro-choice…and many a Catholic has openly allied themselves with the LGBT community despite the positions expressed by the Catholic Church.
See Carrie, I know that attending mass and blindly following the leadership of Archbishop Burke are two different things because I’ve been there (on a Protestant tip) sitting in a pew disagreeing with a lot of shit but also feeling my soul lifted up. Everyone has their own limits and needs…everyone must decide whether they still get something out of fellowship…everyone has that free will stuff (wink). All of that explains why every black person isn't a member of a "fiery" black church and every black person is not a Christian.
In all my years of attending black churches I gained far more than I disagreed with and I disagreed with plenty. Honestly, I gained the most from learning that I disagreed with certain things that I first heard sitting in a pew in a black church!
I hope that the same is true for the thousands of people who attended churches where Falwellian rhetoric is preached or the words of Pat Robertson were repeated as instruction.
As for the tone and volume of Rev. Wright’s sermon…well, you may want to go to a black church some time. That’s style and tradition, not some random freak out rage-based incident.
I’m confident that you will be made welcome, but your ass may fall asleep because black church services are not a one hour thing. And Gawd help you if you forgot to eat breakfast (wince)…