Homophobia and Sexism in Black churches push Black millennials away.

Dear Pastor, You're Not Filled With Love, Light And The Word of God, You HAVE A God Complex

...and I really mean that.

247
views

I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I stepped foot in a black church to worship, but easily I could say it was around twenty years ago.

I didn't stop going because I hated the people or the music. And I definitely didn't stop going because I lost my faith, although I do have major questions that no one has been able to answer. I stopped going because it occurred to me that I would get more out of reading scripture myself than I would listen to "lessons" interpreted through the lens of someone who held their own major biases and traumas.

For many of us, at least the ones who don't follow Pastor Joel Osteen, the first time we heard Pastor John Gray speak was when part of one of his sermons was Instagramed by singer, Ciara. Well, this was the first and the last time I needed to hear anything this pastor had to say.

The sermon, or at least part of the sermon, was supposed to be on how lonely, single, women could get a keep a man. *side eye* As if there aren't enough men going around informing women that we are the problem in relationships that don't work out and how we are "womaning" wrong because we don't cook, clean and bare-foot Contessa enough like the good ole days when we didn't have the right to vote and had to put on pantyhose before going out in public.

Anyway, after playfully intimating the pain felt by lonely women, Pastor Gray's offered his answer for why single women can't get a man and how coupled women DID get their men. It was simple, yet completely misogynist as usual. After offering his interpretation of Proverbs 18:22, he went on to say, "a "wife" is not the presence of a ring, it's the presence of your character," and "too many women want to be married, but you're living in the spirit of girlfriend." Ask the Lord to deliver you from that spirit [of 'girlfriend'], and carry yourself like you're already taken, and I promise you, when you carry yourself like a wife, a husband will find you," he said. Meaning, cover up your tits, watch your tone, be a good girl and then a man will come. Not necessarily the right man for you, but surely a man who thinks you might-could-be the right woman for him. Because women shouldn't have preferences, types or individual needs like men do, so a man that says he's a "good guy" should be enough.

And once this man comes, be monogamous, even if he isn't, cook for him because a mans hands should never touch a pot or a pan, clean for him even though a grown man should know how to clean his own damn house, be his emotion support for all of his traumas even when he is too emotionally stunted and manly to do the same for you, sacrifice your wants and dreams to help him achieve his, do all the things that a "wife" should do for a husband who is giving those things back to her, and maybe he will marry you. But if not, come back to church to hear me repeat this sermon about how you are "womaning" wrong.

He completely mocked and then manipulated the experience felt by women who are hurting, while also arguing that married women have somehow found a way to make themselves more "worthy" to a man, and that being a single woman is "less than."

"There is no such thing as having the "spirit of a girlfriend," or carrying yourself "like a wife." It's just another iteration of the sexist dichotomy and hierarchy of women, the same tired Madonna-whore complex: the good kind of woman vs. the bad kind."

But I guess the sermon to men about the "spirit of a boyfriend," or how to carry themselves "like a husband" is coming sometime in the new year.


Youtube comment on Pastor John Gray


Pastor John Gray recently and unfortunately caught my eye again while on "Sister Circle." Apparently, he wrote a book about how he became a man despite having a shitty dad and loving his mommy too much. While talking to two of the ladies on the panel who were uncomfortable gobbling up everything he had to say, Gray went on to talk about how his wife helped him become the man he is today. Which could be sweet, however, what he described was, in fact, the age-old tale of men emotionally abusing their wives in order to use them as stepping stones for the own personal growth.

Now, let me say that I myself have never been married, but I suspect most people go into marriage seeing it as a partnership. So how is it that Pastor Gray can say on national TV that his "wife has endured more pain birthing me than both of our children" and how he has caused his wife emotional suffering for the last 8 years, and we applaud with "awe and go "what a strong woman she is!" How, sway? Let me say this, a black woman's worth is not based on upon how much pain she can endure. Her ability to be a "good wife" is not dependent on how you can nearly kill her with your untreated mental illnesses, emotional shortcomings, oppression, self-servingness, failures, lying, cheating, instabilities, and toxic masculinity.

He then went on to say that he married a woman too sizes too big and that he needed to grow into her. No, sir. You needed to grow into a man and come correct before you got down on one knee. It is not a woman's job to finish raising you. It's is your own job to pick up where your parents left off. When is the last time you heard of a man "birthing" his wife? Never. When is the last time you heard a wife speak about how much she had put her husband through emotionally while she lived with untreated traumas and he didn't leave her? Never. Because men don't do that shit, and for good reason.

If you were confused, women are human beings too. And in the words of Janet Jackson, what have you done for her lately?

Another servant of the Lord caught my eye recently. Pastor Antonio Rocquemore. Pastor Rocquemore seemed to have misinterpreted his calling. In reality, he was asked to preach the word of God to the masses using love, light, rainbows and all that, but I think instead of filling out the resume for "pastor," he actually clicked on "bouncer." For some reason, this man of God found it his duty to kick a trans-woman out of the Lord's house. Granted from the footage it is clear he mistook the Lord's House for "[his] church."

Now, to be fair, most Black people don't necessarily see homophobia or transphobia as a bad thing. In fact, most see queerness, in its many forms, as a government conspiracy aimed to destroy the black family. (The previous sentence was not a hyperbole) That being said, wouldn't black clergymen feel even more inclined to pastor to the queer? Of course not, because we live in a twilight zone, where we alienate people based on their sexual preferences that aren't our business, to begin with, and then humiliate them in front of a community who pretend they have lived their lives for the Lord.

Forget the bit where the Lord says, "come as you are" in his various ways. The argument again is that you shouldn't be welcome in a church for living the way "some people live," but when did we start ranking sins? If the queer shouldn't be allowed in church, then neither should the divorced, the murders, the thieves, the fornicators, the liars. Oh, but then not only would the church be empty, but there'd be no one to preach...

Over the centuries, many people have perverted the word of God. The Christian religion has been stolen, interpreted, re-written, and manipulated. And if Black people think they have had no hand in this, they are wrong. Black churches are sexist and homophobia af.

Dear Black Clergy, Ya'll ain't shit.

Popular Right Now

48 Of The Best Catholic Mass Songs

Check out this list of some of my favorites!
247029
views

I love to sing.

But, I am very bad at singing. One thing I love about Mass is that I get to sing as loud and as terrible as I want, and that is a beautiful thing. I've compiled a list of what was originally going to be 10 of my favorite songs to sing at Mass, but as you can see, my list quickly became 5 times longer. Enjoy!


1. "All are Welcome"

A great reminder that we are to love our neighbors, no matter how different we are.

2. "All is Well With My Soul"

A refreshing reminder that God forgives our sins, and we are in good hands.

3."Amazing Grace"

A classic, powerful song that shows just how much grace means to us.

4. "Ave Maria"

A beautiful song honoring the Virgin Mary, a role model for all women.

5. "Be Not Afraid"

A reminder that no matter what we're going through, God is with us through it all.

6. "Blest Are They"

A guide on how to live out the Beatitudes.

7. "Canticle of the Sun"

A joyful tribute to God's Creation.

8. "Center of My Life"

A reminder to put God first, a reminder which is always necessary in this materialistic and egocentric world.

9. "Change Our Hearts"

An uplifting song reminding us that God saves even the most disobedient of his people if they give their hearts to Him.

10. "Christ Be Our Light"

A classic song that reminds us even in our darkest of days, Christ will light the path.

11. "City of God"

A song inspiring the building of God's Kingdom- something we should strive to do as Christians.

12. "Come Back to Me"

A song all about repentance and forgiveness- God is waiting for us with open arms every time we fail him.

13. "Companions on the Journey"

A reminder that we are not alone in our journey to spread the Good News, and we can work together to spread His Word.

14. "Eye Has Not Seen"

A reminder of the joy and happiness that awaits us in Heaven.

15. "Fly Like a Bird"

A comforting song reminding us that we will always be in God's care.

16. "For the Beauty of the Earth"

A song that captures the essence of how wondrous Creation is.

17. "Glory and Praise to Our God"

A song full of thanksgiving and praise to God who showers us with blessings every day.

18. "Go Out Go Out"

One of the favorites at my school- essentially a "pump up" song to go spread the Gospel.

19. "Here I am Lord"

A encouraging song, inspiring us to serve the Lord with all the talents we have.

20. "Here I am to Worship"

One of my all time favorite gathering songs that inspire me to give all the glory to God.

21. "How Can I Keep From Singing"

A reminder that God's works are wondrous and He is deserving of all our praise.

22. "How Great Thou Art"

A classic song inspiring us to look around and see God in everything and everyone.

23. "I Am the Bread of Life"

A comforting song telling us that if we live our lives in Christ, we will be reunited with God when death comes.

24. "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"

A song that tells us Jesus is alive, and He has redeemed us by his death.

25. "I Will Choose Christ"

A song inspiring us to recommit ourselves to Christ each and every day.

26. "In Every Age"

A reminder of the timelessness of God- He has always been there, and He will always be there for us.

27. "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today"

An Easter song which joyfully celebrates the Resurrection and the defeat of death.

28. "Lead Me Lord"


A reminder that if we seek God, He will lead us.

29. "Let There Be Peace On Earth"

Always a song that inspires us to act for justice and peace among all people.

30. "Like a Shepherd"

A reminder that God cares for us as his own because we are his own.

31. "Litany of Saints"

A beautiful song, often sang on Easter, in which we ask the Saints to intercede for us.

32. "Lord of All Hopefulness"

A prayer asking God for the strength to get through the day.

33. "Loving and Forgiving"

A reminder that God is always wanting to forgive us of our wrongdoing and heal our pain.

34. "Only a Shadow"

A reminder that we have seen just a glimpse of the love God has for us, and there is much more in store for us.

35. "On Eagle's Wings"

One of the saddest, yet happiest songs of all time- although we die, we will be raised up and be with Him forever.

36. "Our God is Here"

A reminder of the true presence of God in all things.

37. "Prayer of St. Francis"

A beautiful song that makes the prayer feel even more powerful.

38. "Rain Down"

A reminder of the endless love of God.

39. "Roll Away the Stone"

My favorite Easter song of all time. HE IS RISEN!

40. "Shepherd Me O God"

A popular song serving as a reminder to put our wants aside and follow God's will.

41. "Sing to the Mountains"

A song of thanksgiving to God for the abounding gifts he has bestowed on us.

42. "The Summons"

A great song for those who are discerning their calling.

43. "Ubi Caritas"

A song all about the love of Christ.

44. "Unless a Grain of Wheat"

A reminder that without God we have no life.

44. "We Are Called"

A call to service and justice.

45. "We Are Many Parts"

A reminder that although we are many people, we are all part of the Body of Christ, and we all need to work toward peace together.

46. "You Alone"

A reminder of how although we are undeserving, God still loves us and should be praised.

47. "You Are Mine"

God has called us each by name- He knows YOUR name, and you belong to Him.

48. "Your Grace Is Enough"

A necessary reminder that God IS more than enough for us! We don't need to be consumed with this world because we have HIM, and an eternity of happiness awaits.


Singing, although I am terrible at it, has really improved my prayer life. It could do the same for you!

Cover Image Credit: Allie Daniel

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

and that's okay!

566
views

I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

As I grew up and have become an activist for the things that mean a lot to me I have stopped attending church and have begun to see that I do not want any part in ANY religion that takes part in shunning anyone based on how they identify. I have been vocal about this to many people some more excepting then others but regardless I will never again take part in something that I myself am not 100% accepted within

Related Content

Facebook Comments