That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

As John Mayer said, “Keep me where the LIGHT is!”

So, let’s see… In a span of two weeks we have a congressman heckling the President in hallowed halls, Serena Williams gets all un-Jehovah’s Witness on a line judge, and Kanye interrupts a live broadcast to demand a recount.

And now everyone’s lamenting the loss of “civility.” As if it only JUST broke the surface! I was angry at Joe Wilson, ashamed at Serena, and ready to re-break Kanye’s jaw. But these latest incidents are not what we should be decrying. We lost our minds a lonnnnnng time ago! These people are just ratifying what this society has been lobbying for for years.

We wanted fewer restrictions on what was considered “normal” behavior. We wanted to be free to say whatever and hear whatever we wanted on the airwaves. (Remember when, “Frankly, my dear…” was controversial?) Now, you can see a naked butt and have it accurately described at 7 PM. No biggie. In fact, no sexual organ is off limits as to the basest description of it. I’ve heard pretty much all of them. Every few years another of those forbidden words — thirteen of them, I believe — is knocked off the list and available for my three-year-old to perfect. Yeah, I can turn the channel and turn the other cheek, but after a while there will be no channels left, and I’m out of cheeks! And I can’t disappear.

We wanted to be like France, Amsterdam, and other progressive European countries. We got it. We are in the process of being given over to our collective desires. They have legalized drug use and whorehouses set up like Macy’s (I’ve seen them). They have affairs like we have lunch in the afternoon. They have no sexual hang-ups. They have soap commercials with lathered up boobs floating on the water and no one gets uptight.

“If France jumped off a bridge, would YOU?!?”

We’re on our way, though! We have daycares in schools for all the students’ babies, we throw them baby showers rather than counsel kids on the seriousness of the problem they’ve created. Little girls dance like strippers, and every month another leader has to drag his haggard-looking wife in front of a phalanx of cameras to apologize for hooking up with a co-worker! 

 And rather than deal honestly with the growing issue, we laugh at Christians and call them sexually repressed. The deck is stacked.

 

When I was a kid, if we accidentally cursed in front of an adult somewhere, we could expect to get snatched up quicker than the Rapture! Now, kids cuss in front of me and anyone else with impunity. They know their little butts are made of gold. Thanks, Oprah! Your work here is done!

Marijuana and ordinary cigarettes have switched places. Weed is cool, but if you smoke nicotine, folk look at you like you’re fondling a kid!

You can’t tell a child in school his answer is wrong anymore. You can’t even frown at them. You surely can’t spank them! When I was a kid — we used to call them that. Kids — we didn’t have car seats. You put the baby up in the back window, the middle one in the front between Ma and Pa, and the other four or five were in the back somewhere. We could even ride in the back of pick-up trucks (I loved sitting on the hump or the toolbox!)! Now, if you have to get gas and you have more than two children and no debit card, be prepared to haul all those suckers into the Mapco! If Li’l Johnny’s nose starts to run, we rush him to the doctor. They can’t ride bikes in the street or play out of our line of sight.

My point is that we enact surface rules to seem as though we care so much more nowadays, but we poison their minds and make them weak and soft. We give them everything they think they MUST have, but we let them talk to us any way they see fit. (not MY kids!!)

We deify celebrities. They know they are unassailable. They can be on camera in a hot tub screwing around with the wife and the nanny, and it is all good! Cover of “People” magazine the next week! They can leave a heartbroken spouse, shack up with the co-star, adopt a couple of Cambodian babies and be labeled “Humanitarian Power Couple.” We are SO stupid!! They can get married and divorced like we change pants, and we rush to be just like them.

Things which used to be hands-down egregious wrongs, which were debatably errors recently, are now just fine — in fact — laudable! The only sin nowadays is to notice one. We’re eVOLving!

Don’t get me started on that! As if, just because a monkey has thumbs, we used to BE monkeys! Chairs have legs, too! Was my great-grandmama a Queen Anne?!?

The word “Stigma” has been stigmatized. We are ashamed of the word “Ashamed.” It’s wrong to say, “Wrong.” Saying “No” is a no-no.

But we want to have conferences and panel discussions because Serena cussed a heffa out in the heat of battle and denied saying what she said thirty seconds later!

Why should she edit herself (like I do!)? We gave her the license to do it. She re-invented the booty.

Why should we scold Kanye West for running up in an awards show choking a bottle of Hennessey like it was a lifeline and snatching a little girl’s moment away forever? He’s Kanye, fool! He makes the heads nod!

“Don’t judge me!” you all said. And NOW, you wanna judge what these folk did?!? On what basis do YOU judge? Your own  sense of right from wrong? Your own  standard? But don’t you remember, you’ve spent the last few decades stripping away  at that standard so you can say a$$ on teevee! Don’t start trying to make judgements now!!

These folk — and Joe, and Roger Federer,  and the town hall criers and the sexual lobbyists and the teenyboppers on stripper poles and the rest — are but acorns on a giant oak tree of iniquity that threatens to darken us all with its shadow.

Prince pushed the envelope back in the eighties, but now the IS no envelope. We got e-mail… And one heckuva virus!

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September 16, 2009 Posted by | Celebrities, Celebrity, Christ, Christian Life, Christianity, Civility, Culture, Current Events, Glory, God, Joe Wilson, Kanye West, Rant, Serena Williams, VMA's | 3 Comments

Speak now, AND Forever Hold Your Peace!

I really don’t care about beauty pageants. I used to care about the swimsuit portion, but I’m somebody’s husband now. I know that they integral to the lives of many, but I don’t care about them any more than beauty pageant lovers care about the current NBA playoffs.

I DO, however, care about issues of religious freedom and theological accuracy.

And this past weekend crystallized the problem I have with the — existent — gay lobby. A judge in the Miss USA pageant, Perez Hilton, openly gay, asked the contestant from California a loaded political/religious question about her view of gay marriage, and she responded gingerly in the negative.

All involved say that her answer cost her the crown since she was in the lead at the time. Since that moment, she has been the pig at the luau. The judge — whom I never knew till now — went on-line and excoriated her, calling her a dumb bit&h, as well as, I’m sure, other spicy epithets.

How dare she?!? he exclaimed. This was a non-political show, and she should have just given a non-political answer! (Ignoring the fact that HE WAS THE ONE WHO ASKED THE DOGGONE QUESTION IN THE FIRST PLACE!!)

 I know that some who read this will write me off as hating gay people and being pervertedly concerned with what people do in their bedrooms (and in nightclub bathrooms and airport stalls and at rest-stops and in Overton Park here at home), but I insist that I cannot be a Christian and hate ANYbody!

I am concerned that my faith is being challenged and attacked in attempts to change it as people change. I am concerned that I am not forced to sell God out and endorse any behavior that He forbids. God invented marriage. HE invented the parameters, and regardless of the concrete fact that heterosexuals make a mockery of it, I — and Miss California — should not be forced to give approval to people like the militant Hilton.

You can do what you want to do, but you can’t make me like it. Any more than I can make YOU like the Christian faith practiced in full strength. Why do you even care if some Christian doesn’t think that you doing that stuff is proper? You will still do it, won’t you? I have friends who do drugs, and they know that I think drugs are stupid, but they don’t ask my opinion. I’ve got friends who have babies out of wedlock, who have one-night stands, who drink and drive, and who talk like women. They don’t ask my opinion or permission. So, don’t you, Hilton, Rosie, and the rest of you militants, ask me whether I think it is cool that you do what you do. Just do it!

I don’t look at a gay person any differently than I look at anyone else in terms of behavior. Sin is sin, and it is sin. You sin, I sin, all God’s chillun got sin!

But this is what they do… they call people “bigots” — a joke— and call them gay-bashers, and phobes for simply disagreeing, which is a basic. human. right.

If gays are so much more caring than other people, as a group, why is it that the gay powers that be move so swiftly to destroy those who disagree with them? Just let a straight actor or musician say that homosexuality is sin! Watch what happens! You’ll find their careers next to Amelia Earhart’s luggage!

Why are they who shout “tolerance”ironically so INtolerant? What they mean is, “approval!” What is that word for those who would force one to think the way THEY think…?

We Christians are expected to not waffle on tough matters. We should not be mean or harsh or disrespectful, but steady and firm. We can be caring and sensitive to those in alternative lifestyles of whatever type without okaying the behavior.

We have been — historically — burned, eaten, and relentlessly assaulted for taking strong positions, and God didn’t relax His Standard. Miss California did just that.

No, God doesn’t NEED me to defend Him, He EXPECTS me to!

April 23, 2009 Posted by | Christian Life, Christianity, Culture, Current Events, Gay Rights, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy, In The News, Marriage, Miss USA, Perez Hilton | 9 Comments

Contra Diction

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who, almost arrogantly,  pronounces each and every letter of every syllable of every word she speaks, grates on my nerves sometimes.

We know you’re smart. We know you’re Ivy League educated. But do you have to go out of your way to elocute even the soft sounds at the ends of words? “…spiked(a) the punnncchh att my best(a) friend(a)s graduation(a) parttee.”  She sounds as if she is spitting out fish bones when she says words like, “terrorrisstss.” Gotta get that darn, tricky “ess”  in at the end! Wouldn’t want to appear ordinary.

If she just spoke like the rest of moderately educated humanity, she could save about fifteen seconds of dialogue per every minute of talking. She could winnow her show down to a half hour!

She sounds like a COGIC preacher.

It’s like listening to Niles Crane recite Shakespeare while gargling marbles. I feel like the next thing she is going to say to me is, “turn(a) lefffft in two pointt threee my-uls.”

Maybe it’s just me… I’ve been ill-tempered lately.

January 8, 2009 Posted by | Culture, Current Events, Entertainment, Humor, Language, MSNBC, Pet Peeves, Political Humor, Politics, Rachel Maddow, Rant, Television, TV, Words | 2 Comments

What’s so Amazing about “Amazing?”

Why do some people use that word so much? Especially in reality shows like “The Real World,” “The Bachelor,” “Rock of Love,” and any other show where people who don’t know each other and are thrust together for the sole purpose of hooking up while we voyeuristically watch? Celebrities wear it out, too! “The director was amazing.” “This movie was an  amazing experience!” “Angelina was just so amazing that I just had to leave my first wife — who used to be amazing. Not so much now…

Overkill indeed! And it’s always spoken with three “a’s” in the middle of it for emphasis and extra amaaazingness. “I had an amaaazing time.” “You’re an amaaazing woman.” “Your body is amaaazing!” You would think they were juggling chainsaws and baking a cake while breastfeeding twins and bathing a cocker spaniel while looking super-hot! Now THAT would be amaaazing!

It is so awkwardly obvious what is going on. It is the verbal equivalent of buying a woman a drink in a club. As subtle as renting a porno movie.

They can’t ALL be amaaazing, can they? If they are, why are they lined up to do reality shows? If they are all amaaazing, where are the regular people? If every thing, situation, and blonde, and brunette is so amaaazing, why is the world so jacked up? If every parent, every child (mine are!) and every relationship is amaaazing, what do we say when we see a nine-month-old who can read, or a savant who can’t speak but can play Chopin, or Stevie Wonder, or Ben Carson, or that father who pushed his paraplegic son through an entire marathon because of a prior wish? Nope. Can’t call it amaaazing because you guys totally, literally diluted the uniquity — if you will — of that term to make some floozy think you were intense!

Save the superfluous superlatives for superlative situations. (I had to sit back and admire that one! Sorry.)

That goes for “miracle,” and “genius,” too!

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Advice, Celebrities, Celebrity, Culture, Current Events, Food for Thought, Humor, Hyperbole, Language, Relationships, Sex, Sexuality, Shallow People, Show Business, Stuff I Hate, Television, Things That Make You Go Hmmm, Words | 3 Comments

Are We Who WE Say We Are, or Who GOD Says We Are?

I’m just saying…

This is not to be insensitive to those who are gay, but can a Christian pleeeeze be allowed by you to rightly, sincerely practice his faith?!? Would you, who strive so ardently to exercise your rights, seek to deprive someone like me from expressing mine?

I was just watching Rachel Maddow — an openly lesbian show host — lambasting, or just basting — Obama for daring to align himself, however tenuously, with “controversial, immoderate, Falwellian” pastor, Rick Warren. “He believes in a LITERAL interpretation of the Bible! He believes in Creationism!! He’s an extremist bigot! (just like all the rest of those Christians!)”

Warren has done such abominable things as uphold the Christian sanctity of marriage and compare abortion to the Holocaust!!! What horror. How dare a Christian PASTOR, allied to the word of God, actually uphold what that Author prescribed and proscribed!

They have (gay organizations) been up in arms since election day about Proposition 8, and have been angry with black folk for voting against it. In essence:

“We voted for your thing (Obama), so we expected you to quid us pro quo on our thing (the right to change the God-invented definition of marriage from one that can actually PRODUCE MORE HUMAN BEINGS to one that makes us feel good on the inside).”

Hmmm… Funny how they are cool with that exchange, but on fire about Blagojevich…

The left have been just as angry at Obama in the last few weeks as the right. Maybe he IS going to shake it up.

He says he is a Christian, the President-elect, and as such shouldn’t he be allowed to practice his faith? I mean, regardless of his job, a man can not — and by law MUST not — cast his faith out the door, be it Christianity, Hedonism, Islam, or Atheism! And the bottom line is that any plain, honest, and un-convoluted understanding of Christianity says that certain behaviors are wrong.

And gays, being the sensitive and caring people that they are would not, I KNOW, ask someone to change the way he thinks in his own mind and heart just to have him say “I am of the opinion that whatever you do is fine, and I will assent that opinion with my vote.” I know that the warm and loving gay community would not force a man to — in that man’s mind — sin willfully, stage a mutiny, against the Captain of his very soul just so they can engage in sexual intercourse in whatever way they are lead.

I am not insensitive to the desires of the human heart. I know those words will not lessen the anger of any gay person who will read them, but I mean them. Of course I know people who are gay, and who are in agony. I have family members who feel sexually attracted to the same sex. And I love them. I am not, by that same Christian edict, permitted to cast a soul into loveless oblivion because I disagree with their way of life. But my arm will not be twisted to make me say that what I, I, believe to be wrong is now right. I think I am, doggone it, mature enough to disagree with a behavior and still like a person! Goodness!

Just as I know that you, gay community, do not dare suggest that you HATE those with whom YOU disagree. “Hate.” Ever throw that word around? Can we just stop tossing gasoline on a fire and quit using such an extreme word for a difference of durn opinion?!? You guys have the whole nation punked! Scared poopless. It is almost admirable!

Obama claims to believe the Bible. As such, he will be allowed by the gay community — I KNOW — to believe that way in his heart. “Thought Police?” Ever used that term, Maddow?

In my opinion, you can do whatever you do. You can drink till you pickle yourself, take every drug known to man, hook up with prostitutes, lay up with men or women, wear long dresses or short skirts, dreads or braids, or smoke Camels — you can pinch my nose, tie my arms and feet and pour the Kool-Aid down my throat — but you can’t make me like it!

Man ain’t even got a toothbrush in the White House yet, and he’s gettin’ killed on every side!

This is, though, the other side of the coin of this momentous election: While it is great that this country has taken so great a step, certain groups of people were dancing in the streets because they thought — or knew — that the lid was off that girl’s box and anything is about to go!

December 19, 2008 Posted by | Abortion, Barack Obama, Christian Life, Christianity, Civil Rights, Culture, Current Events, Evangelicals, Faith, Gay Rights, Morality, Obama, Political Correctness, Politics, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, Prop 8, Rachel Maddow, Religion, Rick Warren | 8 Comments

Got a Brand New Funky PRESIDENT!*

Here we are. The world has not cracked in two. The stars have not refused to shine. Life is as it was. But…

NOW, as I shake off a headache from so much unexpected, hard crying, I feel that after two hundred and thirty two years the final missing piece has been found and placed into this American puzzle.

The long cracked foundation has been sealed. A black face is the face of America!

I had never felt fully part of the American family until now. I had always looked at history from the perspective of a mistreated child. I had always wondered how the words of that founding father, Patrick Henry:

         [ “It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace–but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” ]

could be so hypocritically immortalized in light of the fact that these very men themselves owned human beings! I could never fully reconcile the brutal irony.

Tonight, though, it has been made manifest that no more American doors are locked to me and mine. As I held my son as he held me and asked what was wrong, I told him that I was happy. Happy that now for him greatness not only included intellectual achievement or financial success, but also the highest office in the most powerful nation on the earth.

I was happy that now his maternal great-grandmother, who fought the Klan for the right to vote, and who hid freedom riders in her home on “Number 8” in Jim Crow Mississippi, had not fought in vain. I was happy that his paternal great-grandfather, who genuflected and called eight year-old white boys, “sir,” and lived a life of menial servitude while raising seventeen kids to honorable adulthood, had finally won.

I was happy to know that the last time black people collectively cried this hard was when, forty years ago, a bullet burst open the face of the face of the search for equality, and that now his sowing bore African fruit.

African! An African name! After so many African names went unremembered and changed. An African man who came to America not in bondage to anything but hope. The way it should have been. The way it is. An African man willingly cleaved in a Godly manner to the hand of a white American woman and produced a descendant not steeped in the brew of oppression, and destined to caulk that fundamental crack. 

I did not know this would mean so much to me.

I care about the plight of the unborn, and about the tenuous religious freedoms we have. So, how can I be happy knowing that innocent babies will continue to die?

I can do so the same way I did it the last eight years when “immorality” and infanticide increased in the last eight years. I can do so by praying to God that He work through His body, the Church, to effect change in this culture a heart at a time.

Obama’s election does not for me signal the end of all hardship. His election does not mean that all problems will be Divinely washed away.

What it DOES is symbolize the fact that there is hope that in this country, with its keloid scars and twisted sinews, people of ALL races — primarily black and white — can grow past ingrained adversity and see each other as the same. But different!

We have loved and desired to be loved in return. We love those who love us. And those who don’t. We embrace the white guy who plays basketball like we do, or who dances like we do, or sings like we do, or swaggers like we do. All we wanted was to make it known that we are worthy of humanity, and the fact that so many NON-black people had to come together and lift this symbolic individual to the highest human height, means that we are getting it!

I remember when, in 1988, Doug Williams lead the Washington Redskins to the Superbowl championship.  was so proud to be black that day. His win meant that we could do it, whatever IT was. There have been a number of those moments, where door after door is knocked down, and this is the last one.

Some racists have said things like, “I’m scared if Obama wins, the BLACK gone take over!” I submit that this sentiment comes from those who know that they have not done right with the power they have had and are projecting their own unGodliness onto us.

Obama’s election does not mean that white folks have to stay out of the fast lanes on the highway, and give up their floor seats and fifty-yard-line spots in sporting events. We will not raid your country clubs with booming music, spinning rims, gold teeth, and chitlin’s. We have just been allowed an invitation to the American house party, and are glad to not have to any longer stare through the window.

So, rather than be defined by the thug image, the gang lifestyle, we have President Obama — cool, dignified, brilliant, clean-cut, erudite, straight, true to who he is, and in love with one dark-skinned, kinky-headed woman, and living in the same house with his kids.

50 Cent, you don’t define me! You never did, but I shake you off! P.Diddy, Pacman, T.O., O.J., Li’l Wayne and the whole Cash Money crew, Flava –Lord hammercy!- Flav! Snoop Dogg, American Gangster, drug dealer, dropout, deadbeat baby-daddy, you are not who I am. You never were, but you never will be.

Get off the stage! Put the mike down! Pick up a book!

My son will not emulate YOU. My daughter will not desire you!

‘Cause we got a brand new, funky, President!!* Gimme Five, America! On the Black hand side!

 

*James Brown

November 5, 2008 Posted by | Abortion, Barack Obama, Black Life, Conservatives, Culture, Current Events, Democrats, Elections, John McCain, Obama, Politicians, Politics, Race, Racial Reconciliation, Racism, Religion, Republicans, Sarah Palin | 10 Comments

I Don’t Get It.

There are things, entities, and people whose popularity I just don’t understand. As there are too many things vying for the attention God deserves, I suggest that we be more discriminating with our adoration.

Here are a few. I will add more as they come to mind, you may do so as well. I hope I don’t burn any more bridges! I already can’t go back to where I was when I started this whole venture. This post is a little bit on the carnal side.

It’s all in fun, y’all, just jokes…

“Boomerang” era Robin Givens. Don’t get it. Never did. Her affected elocution sounds as though she has a mouth full of greazy marbles, and she looks like she’s pressed up against a force field. Totally two-dimensional face… Mike Tyson was too good for her!

T. Pain. I get the PAIN part. In my eyes and ears. “Buy ME a DRANK” and put some strychnine in it!

The fineness of Paris Hilton. Where? WHERE?

Keith Sweat. Come ON!

While I’m there, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, the “genius” of Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz,  and — yes — Jimi Hendrix.

M.A.S.H. Boringest show ever!!

Madonna. My goodness! Never was sexy, never could sing. Just nasty. I guess nasty is provocative. The emperor is nekkid, y’all.

Janet Jackson.I know I’m alone here. I was able to be mad at her for pulling her bress out on tv ’cause she never appealed to me. Un-fine.

Lil Wayne. This is why we need to re-program our daughters as to what “cute” is! Sets black folk waaay back. We need three Obamas to make up for one Lil Wayne!

  Twins. One is a parasite. The other one sucks your blood.

Steve Harvey. Pryor you ain’t.

David Caruso. (CSI Miami)I guess the definition of “sexy” is being the first man to show your butt on tv, no matter how you look. Arrogance on HGH!

Star Trek. Ughhhhhh! I like C-Span better!

Beer. Who tasted this first and said, “YEAH!! THAT’S the taste I was looking for!”?

Watching poker on television. Read a book. Or play poker!

Tyler Perry. I’m not mad at his effort, just the end result.

Woody Allen movies. Ambien without the fear of overdose.

Other movies; “Citizen Kane,” “The English Patient,” “My Left Foot,” and ANYthing Meryl Streep did.

Allen Iverson. As much heart as missed shots.

And Emmitt Smith (very good, but not the GREATEST), Bill Parcells, and Jim Rome (bullies).

Pecans. HATE ’em! Taste like bark.

Runway Fashion. No one ever wears the cardboard evening gown with the birdcage hat in public.

Horror movies. They never end. I like my monsters DEAD!

Fraternities. I know I’m stepping on toes here. “Hey, let me beat the blood out of you, and humiliate you for weeks, and I’ll let you call me ‘brother’, and then I’ll wreck your car, and borrow money from you that I’ll never pay back!” Stupid.

High Fives. Stopped doing it when everybody else started doing it, along with, saying, “bling,” “shout out,” “chill,” and “da bomb.” Do YOU.

Sagging pants with the drawz showing. Don’t y’all know that is prison chic? The ones who do it are the “woman” in prison.

Hip Hop award shows. Personally, I’m em-burrassed when I run across it. I’m sure God hides His face when they give Him props for Best Song for“Three Hoes an’ a Bottle o’ Criss.”

Spoken word. Pretentious for the most part.

Monique. Wake up! She ain’t deep! Even if she DOES frown seriously with every word! Can’t y’all read Ghetto?

Dr. Pepper. Is this not what anti-freeze tastes like?

Diet anything. Just drink water. I can actually HEAR the aftertaste! That can’t be good.

Bell Peppers. Who said this was FOOD?

ANGELINA JOLIE!!! The Piece of Resistance indeed! Where? Where the sexy at? Come on, folks, speak up. I know I ain’t the only one! If a set of lips made you fine, goldfish would be in Playboy.

This is just the start. I got a lot of them. I’m sure you do, too. I can’t talk Bible all the time…

November 4, 2008 Posted by | Culture, Entertainment, Humor, Hype, Overrated, Pet Peeves, Pop Culture, Rant, Stuff I Hate, Style Over Substance | 11 Comments

A Few Words About the WORD…

Last week, on that feminist staple, “The View,” a big dust-up broke out about the use of THE “N” WORD. The thick-tongued titan of civil rights, Jesse Jackson was caught saying it in an off-air moment. The black cast members of the show were trying to explain to the white ones why there is an acceptable double standard in the usage of that fully loaded word.

Off the subject, are we still looking to Jesse for guidance? For what to do or NOT to do? That’s like me trying to get my butter from the milkman. I was through with him when he went on Bill Maher’s show and talked about “the mythology” of the Genesis account of creation!

I have a few hairs I have to wax off my chest…

Who is really surprised that some — many — most — black folk use it in their speech? Is it really that , “OMG! I can’t believe the Right Reverend would stoop to say such a vile thing!”? Or is it that, “If HE says it, why does the world stop when someone white says it?”

I posit that it is the latter. By a landslide.

The truth — that only God (and I) know — is that many white folk use the word, too. At the very  least all those white kids who buy up all the hip-hop can’t help but use it! More on that later. White folk, represented here by Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Barbara Walters, imply, “If YOU use it, why can’t I?”

I will tell you why, and in the foregone words of my parents, “Don’ asss me no moe!” I’m tired of this!:

The reason you can’t say that word is the same reason you can’t come into MY house and call My kid ugly. (My kids ain’t ugly!) The reason is that there are certain things that can be said in certain environments by certain people at certain times that are unacceptable for others to say. That’s the way it is, and you know it! There are certain things I would say to my own that YOU had better not say. They are the benefits of having a shared experience. People who have been through the same stuff have a fraternal bond that anyone outside that group cannot share. Football players, holocaust survivors, Italians… That is life.

Listen, people are crude. All of us. That’s why we need a Jesus. We do and say rough things. Two old friends greeting each other after a long separation; “Hey! Howya doin, ya tub a’ lard?!? Who’s ya’ barber? God?” Guys talk to each other like that when they are close and are sure of the affection of the other guy. That is key!

Women regularly use the infamous “B” word, a word almost as loaded as that other one. I used to work for the blues singer, Denise LaSalle. She used the word in reference to her self on her album cover. But had I called her that (I love her, but she used to make me really angry when we would stop for her to eat an hour away from home on a twelve hour trip!), I’d have been fired like a Saturday Night Special! Like a cop’s gun in the ghetto. Too rough? I haven’t been what she is, and I haven’t suffered what she has. And I don’t sit and freekin’ long for the right to call her a female dog!

Women can call each other, “girl,” “honey,” and “sweetie” without issue. A man can’t. I’m cool with that.

There are disparaging terms for every racial group. Who sat and thought up these words? The popular ones? Ask yourself that one… And every racial group has within it people who regularly employ those terms in reference to each other. To NO offense! I have heard it, and so have you. I don’t cry about why I can’t use them.

It is funny that the most innocuous racial terms are the ones used in reference to white folk. Shoot, you can still hear them clear as day on Nick at Nite, for goodness sake! “The Jeffersons,” “All in the Family”… Incidentally, the word, “cracker” is NOT a reference to white folks’ skin color. It refers to the fact that in slavery, the white man was the “whip cracker.” Dig that! That makes it a whole ‘nother kind of slur.

When I hear Barbara Walters ask why she can’t say the word, I ask myself why she would want to.

This is what black people have to do; When we meet white people, we have to figure out whether they are genuine or not. When we get overlooked in a store, the added element of, “I wonder if it is ’cause I’m black, or are they just absent-minded” always factors in. We have to add an extra step to most of our inter-racial interminglings. That’s the way it is. And when white folk whine about why “the blacks get to say it and we can’t,” it makes our Spidey Sense tingle. It makes us wonder “You mean, ‘the blacks get to say it, and we can’t in public’, right?”

And when I hear Mrs. Hasselbeck suggest that no one be allowed to use it, I say that if you are saying that on the basis that all crude speech is wrong on a Christian level, I agree. But if you are saying that I cannot, by your edict, refer to myself or a member of my “family” in a certain way, you are out of your yard and need to hit the brakes. Black folk didn’t invent the word anyway. I submit that it is not wise to go around trying to tell those at the bottom of the pile what they can and cannot say.

To be honest, that word is a rope that pulls every bit of centuries of shed blood, broken families, hacked-off limbs, raped women, forced labor, disconnected heritage, “Christian” hypocrisy, castrated bucks, burned and lynched bodies, subjugation, segregation, disenfranchisement, misrepresentation, beating, terrorism, third class education, and intimidation with it, and rather than deal with it, many would simply wish it away than hear it.

White people, in spite of the rantings of The Angry White Man, have all power — Obama notwithstanding. And just as television makes the daddy the buffoon and comedians make endless jokes about politcians, the person on top has — or should have — thicker skin due to having all the control and all the privilege. Black folk have pig knuckles and chitlins ’cause that was all that was left. All the little people have is a joke or two. Do you have to say the word, too?

It is the same reason that it is more acceptable to mock a white person’s vocal inflection than a black, asian, or Mexican’s way of speaking. They have more likely had the benefit of a high-caliber education. It is hard to slur someone who has all the stuff!

And all that stuff about “we took the pain out of the word” is a bunch of Bug Snot! (Can we still say bug snot? ) That word still has pain. Black folk never had a meeting and said, “How can we take the pain out of that word? I know! Let’s take it from white folks and use it among ourselves all the time and on records and in various media, and soon it won’t hurt no more and white folks will have no power!” The fact is that people often say rough things. That is why folks aways want to learn the curse words when visiting a foreign-language-speaking country. The “N” word is no different. There was no conscious effort to take the sting from the word.

The entertainers and rappers I her parroting this nonsense make me as angry as the folk who want to say it do! It is a cop- out. A one-legged rationalization! (No offense to all the one-legged folk out there…) You say it because it is fun to cuss, and that is all. There is no artistic, scientific reason behind it. Quit trying to be DEEP! (Richard Pryor was a genius, I think. He took authentic black life, language and all, and made it political satire)

I am ashamed when I hear the word used around white folk. And with the devolution of hip-hop, we have critically injured ourselves artistically and are probably being laughed at by many of those who hear it. I am a musician, and I think that hip-hop is very close to being the black face, Jim Crow minstrelry of the new millennium! Being a musician, I can say this without repercussion. I’m in the group…

A lot of times when black folk see other black folk engaging in embarrassing behavior (house shoes and rollers in the grocery store) that word is uttered in shame. “They makin’ it hard on the rest of us!”

A lot of the white folk who use it in secret will say that they only use it in reference to those who make trouble, King, Malcolm, Sharpton, Jackson, Ali, etc. In other words, those who holler when they get hit! In still other words, black folk they see!

Interesting dichotomy.

My kids will be taught not to use that word. But on the basis that God doesn’t accept crude speech. Not because it offends white people.

I wish the word didn’t exist. I wish rappers would stop using it. I wish that I didn’t KNOW that some of my neighbors mutter it when they see me outside. But I also wish that leaves wouldn’t die and that milk didn’t turn sour.

July 22, 2008 Posted by | Barbara Walters, Black Life, Celebrity, Civil Rights, Culture, Current Events, Entertainment, Race, Racial Reconciliation, Racism, Rant, The N Word, The View, Whoopi Goldberg | 18 Comments

“What about if…if ya FAMOUS???”

…Uttered that well-known bigamist songster, Dewey Cox, in “Walk Hard.”

Those words must have been also said by R. Kelly upon being charged with videotaping sex acts with a minor child. We are a culture which deifies our celebrities.

“You can’t pee on a fourteen-year-old child, Mr. Kelly.”

“You can’t have sex with young girls, Mr. Kelly.”

“You can’t marry them either.”

“What about if… if ya famous? What if you write songs that make people think they can fly? What if we did it for love, with a Chicago two-step groove? What if… if you write bumpin’ tracks that make booties shake? Ain’t nuthin’ wrong wit a little bump and grind! Even if the grindee is fifteen. Age ain’t nothin but a number. They be feelin’ me in tha hood, feel me? I re-invented Ronnie Isley, n’umsayin’?! I created the twelve part song/video! I got a movie deal for the idea now.

“Ain’t nobody gone convict me! I’m gifted! My lawyers will delay this thang so long that all the witnesses will be in the AARP by the time we go to trial! And those who do talk won’t have nothing to say. A little Velveeta goes a long way! Besides, that wasn’t me! I don’t care if the cops came in and caught me in mid-stream… Deny deny deny! Nope! Wuddn’ me! That was my brother or somebody… I got a mole. He don’t. He ball headed, I got a afro. You can’t grow moles and afros in eight years. What? My history of having ‘relations’ wit all them other minors is immaterial! (Learned that one from my counselors) The wheels of Justice turn slow enough for me to get out the way first, playa.

“I’m famous. We get off. On tape and on trial. Where my parade at?”

I guess it’s NOT illegal, then. I tell you what… Bett’ not be MY daughter!

June 14, 2008 Posted by | Celebrity, Culture, Current Events, Entertainment, Music, R. Kelly, Show Business | 2 Comments

“See How They Love One Another!”

This post is lonnnng overdue.

I want to — need to — tell you about my church.

I grew up in a Black Baptist church. I began going there when I was a pre-teen. I got baptized at fourteen years old. My church experience was the typical one: get up early,  go, listen to many songs, some shouting and crying, many announcements, stand for the entrance of the pastor, give tithes and or offerings, turn to my neighbor and say, “naaybuh…”, listen to some more songs (an “A” and a “B” selection), listen to a sermon, more shouting and crying, some falling out, watch the “urshers” attend the fallen, watch as “the doors of the church are opened,” listen to testimonies, sit through still MORE announcements, hear the benediction, wake my baby sister up, go home.

The service was replete with emotional outpourings. I, being a complete introvert, often felt uncomfortable with the displays, and was usually made to feel that I somehow did not love the Lord enough because I did not jump, shout, dance, and fall out like some of the others did.

Even though I knew that the Lord made me that way, this way, it took a long time for me to understand that there was more than one way to worship God, and that they are acceptable. I never thought the dancers were wrong (except for those I “discerned” were doing it for show), and I never once gave in to the crushing pressure to be untrue to my own character and worship Him in an insincere fashion.

But as I grew and learned, and visited, or played in, many other churches, I discovered two disturbing things.

1. While the adoration for God was ever on display, there simultaneously existed a frustrating absence of intellectual balance in the congregation.

2. The Church in America is painfully segregated.

People at my church, and others that I attended were sorely lacking in the knowledge necessary to love God “with our minds” as well as with the heart and soul as we are told to do. False doctrine was rampant, especially the prosperity teaching. Folk would break out in “tongues” with the impunity of knowing that no one had the information to challenge them for interpretations, stuff was being named and claimed, blabbed and grabbed, and legalism not unlike that of the Pharisees ran throughout. People were easily misled, and spouted the many disjointed Scripture verses they knew woefully out of context. No one seemed to be learning anything at all except how to shout like sister Davis, and “hoop” like the pastor.

And I rarely saw any White people. Unless some judge or prospective city councilman stopped by to ask for a vote.

I had always thought that if one were a true Christian, prejudice could not exist. I foolishly thought that racism was hatred and that one could not enter Heaven if he hated anyone. Stupid me! I live in, what I understand is, the second most segregated city in this country, next to DEtroit. That fact plays itself out in no more vivid way than on Sunday. I pass Methodist and Presbyterian and Southern Baptist churches and see NO Black people! There are churches here that I remember being White years ago that are now Black, not because they were outgrown, but because the neighborhood went Black and the Whites went away. Far, far away.

It always broke my heart that it appeared that the Christian life wasn’t being lived out because we could not open our hearts and truly allow God to reallychange us. The same people who denied me jobs, clutched purses when I walked by, ignored me when standing in line, pulled me over for no good reason, called me “nigrah”, and moved out when I moved in went to — go to — these churches. I am not fooled. Heck, the Klan burn CROSSES! Crosses, not pentagrams or some other symbol of racism, but the very emblem of suffering and shame by which God saved His people! Some of the people in my all-White-but-for-us neighborhood who never speak to us go to church, too!

Even the music is segregated! Go to a Christian music store and notice the “Christian” category versus the “Gospel” category.

After years of frustration over these two issues, I left my church (not the Lord, though) in the hopes of eventually finding a place where God was both worshipped AND known, and where people of all races felt welcome.

By the time I got married five years ago, I wasn’t even going to church. I was sick of all the empty, clanging emotionalism that was void of even the basic hermeneutical understanding necessary to avoid falling into the trap of materialism and cult worship. My wife grew up in the Church of God in Christ (Which is the Baptist church on Red Bull and amphetamines!I certainly wasn’t going there!), and I didn’t want to take her to my old church and expose her to the status quo. Many Christians today, yes many Black people, get caught up in false teaching because of the charisma and style of the speaker. They can’t see why Oprah is not a Christian. I am speaking in general, of course, but I have spent most of my life being Black. I have seen these things first hand. The “Black Church” is largely driven by emotion, and the congregants often don’t know God the way they need to. This grieves me.

While in Lifeway Christian Bookstore one day a few years ago, my wife and I ran into one of her co-workers. Their conversation eventually led to the church, and after hearing Kathy’s friend talk about hers, I told Kathy in the car afterward that that was our church! It was doctrinally sound and it was run by people who had moved here (Memphis) from all over the country to specifically reconcile the races here! Sold!!

We have been members of Fellowship Bible Church, Memphis since July of 2005, and for the first time in my life, I love church. It is not all of one thing or the other. There are those who are (politically) liberal, and those who are conservative. There are those who throw up hands and sing, and there are those who don’t. There are doctors and there are African refugees. There are Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians, and just about any other race you can think of. And there is this…

They LOVE!  Hard! All the way! They break open their lives like biscuits and share them freely without pretense or prejudice. I have never in my whole life experienced the openness and acceptance evident there. From all sides. It is Christian life in HD, 1080i, one billion megapixels, on a two mile screen. Believe me!

There are three teaching pastors, (Bryan Loritts, John Bryson, and Ben Parkinson) the lead teacher being Black. We don’t shy away from issues of race as many do in diverse environments, and they don’t give lip service to injustice. The idea is to take people from the comfort of the common ways of thinking and force them to live as Christ demands: loving thy neighbors as thyself, even the ones who look funny, dance off beat, or laugh loudly in theaters!

Growing up in Memphis has afforded me the opportunity to experience racism on a first-hand basis. I know what it looks like, which is why I hate and confront it here. I know what it feels like to be left out, unwanted. I know what the stares and the codewords mean. I have spent time away from Memphis, and have interacted with those of other races. But I have never had the wonderful fellowship I have now. We love each other like family! We spend time together, in each others’ homes. We use each others’ bathrooms!

I have stories of selfless acts of love that made Kathy cry (I don’t cry!) and that amaze us. I can’t recount them all. This church has shown me what I suspected but never witnessed; that God has true Christians of various hues who love each other unconditionally. And be sure that this love extends like climbing vines beyond the church and into the community in a tangible way. We give money and time to schools, and certain members have sought to live in rough neighborhoods in order to be change agents.

Maybe you have seen this but I, and those I know, never have. When Kathy gave birth to Max, we were amazed to find that every day women were coming to bring food until she was well enough to get around. Just the other day, one of the members, Megan, brought her son to the house and spent hoursputting our sunroom together. (Kathy is eight months pregnant, and we have never cleaned that room out) Wendy, (these ain’t Black names, you see…) came to the house last week to measure the windows in the kids’ room in order to hand make some curtains. Much, much more could be said. Much more.

Some of them read my New Year’s Eve post and chided me for not letting them keep Max when I was in a tight spot. These people take actual time and serve one another. Without seeking anything in return. I have never met so many affluent-yet-unpretentious people, White OR Black, in my life! (It was a whole year before I knew that “Eddie” was a freekin’ doctor! He was just Eddie to us)
These folks love us to death! And not as pets, which used to be the case back in the day. We are all equals. I don’t have to dilute my “Brotherness” in order to be seen as viable. And we love them! I would not trade this church for any other. And I tell my Black friends about it all the time.

We Black folk have a comfort zone, too. We like our food seasoned a certain way, our chitlins cleaned just so, our Gospel music sung a certain style, and our preachin’ hooped at a particular point in the service. I wish that we all could open ourselves up to the fact that God is not an American, that He made us all, and that we all find our reflection in Him. But we have been burned. Rejected and relegated. It is hard to break old habits. Not ALL White folks hate you.

Lest you think I am unwittingly in some CULT, understand that this church is populated by those who seek a full-orbed relationship with God. They know why they know what they know. And if they don’t, they are being taught by those who do. Our leaders are schooled, educated, and qualified. And they are humble. There are no titles, and we do not rise at their entrance. They stress servant leadership, not forced exaltation. They expect us to check their biblical work and are not offended by being questioned.

Of course there are differences in non-essential issues. No human-run organization is perfect. There are dispensationalists, amillenialists, charismatics, cessationists, Calvinists, and Arminians. But we all agree on the essential points of the Faith. And the spiritually sick are ministered to.

We are not taught the Bible in bullet-points, but by books. In context! We just got through with Ecclesiastes.

There is no Word of Faith doctrine or Prosperity pimpin’ going on here. No focus on the accruement of stuff. Rich and poor, sick and well alike, all enjoy the true prosperity of real life and Heavenly hope. Money is a tool and not a goal.

We worship individually and collectively in the way that God designed us to, and there is no peer-pressure. Some answer with “amen” and some nod quietly. Some stand and sing, and some simply stand.

Of course, there are problems that arise, but they are handled in a measured, Godly fashion. I truly feel that I have, in Fellowship, a small glimpse of what Heaven will be like in terms of our interaction with each other.

I know that some of you feel the same way about your place of worship. I hope you do. I know that some feel that if you are not of their particular denomination (CoC?) you are lost. This is in no way my assertion. It is just that in the course of writing my blog, the impression may be that there is a level of displeasure and despair, and that I don’t experience true Christian fellowship. Not true.

I just wanted to introduce you to my Family. The people I love.

January 15, 2008 Posted by | Christian Life, Christianity, Church Life, Culture, Diversity, False Doctrine, False Teachers, Hypocrisy, Love, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Race, Racial Reconciliation, Racism | 24 Comments

A Link In the Change…

My best friend and I were talking about the “Dog, the Bounty Hunter” dude, and I said something to him that he insisted I put down here.

A lot of people who don’t come from those enslaved in this country like to tell us, when something like what Dog Chapman was just caught saying comes to light, “Just get over it!” This incenses me! But I am learning that peoples’ minds sometimes cannot be changed by the facts. Hearing that oft-repeated phrase just lets me truly see who I am dealing with. We should, they say, just get over the anger we feel at hearing that Notorious term hurled about in reference to us. Just get over slavery. Just get over second class citizenship, brutality, educational inequality, and discrimination of any sort. “Just Get Over It!”

That term is, to me, the new version of, “Some of my best friends are colored.”  I SEE you.

 “Actions ALWAYS have consequences.” This is what I told my friend. Like the Bible says: the father eats bitter grapes and the children get that stinging pain in the glands behind the jaw. I think that’s a direct quote…

By way of analogy, I told him,

 “Let’s see, there are, what, a hundred and forty-two years since slavery ended? How ’bout this: how ’bout I get one of those folks who say we should just get over slavery since none of us were slaves, how ’bout I get one of them to hold the end of a chain with a hundred and forty-two links in it, and I get a live wire and shoot about 50,000 volts through the other end of it! I bet they’ll feel the effects of it! I BET they won’t just get over that!

Every action that has occurred between the races in this country has had a consequence, positive or negative. My grandfather had to call a ten year old boy “Sir,” and as a result, I will not make my children say “Sir” or “Ma’am,” because I didn’t have to say it because my mother saw it happen and vowed that her kids wouldn’t go through that when bused to schools run by White teachers who didn’t want them there.

While we’re talking, why doesn’t God “just get over it”, too? I mean, by that same logic, why should I, or you, Mr. Insensitive Conservative, have to pay for what some guy named Adam did countless thousand of years ago? Right? Yet, WE all have to bear the penalty for his sin, right?

Discrimination is the thriving spoiled brat child of Slavery and Racism in this country. Wishing it away will not make it GO away. Dog, the Bounty Hunter just pulled back the curtain and let the light in. That uneasy feeling you have right now? Just get over it!

November 6, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Culture, Dog Chapman, News, Race, Racism | 7 Comments