reading through the bible

I’m going to read through the Bible in historical order. feel free to join me on this journey. it’s going to take a while. in my understanding, the Bible is divisive; just look at how many denominations exist in christianity alone. I’m sure it’s the same for every religion founded some couple hundred years ago. you got christians in the kkk as much as muslims that are terrorists; both are the same and an embarrassment the world over.

so, as I said, I’m going to read the Bible in historical order. I’ll probably read about 3-5 chapters a day and really dissect the mess out of it. I realllllyyyy wanna know what’s going on. the first time I read through, I noticed that someone (a hell of a lot of people) lied about who God is. The first time I read through, God has a lot of compassion and a hell of a lot of patience for His creation. Let’s see if that’s the same the second time around; rumor has it that God is the same yesterday and today.

I’m a black woman, but that will be removed in my reading; in other words, I’ll try to be as unbiased as possible. I know my ancestors had to listen to their slave owners talk about some “slaves, obey your masters” and not being able to hear the rest of that passage and probably wondering how their slave owners were men/women of God but raped them throughout the night and sold their children like it was nothing. so I’ll keep my bias minimal when I come across passages of justice and mercy. cuz let me tell you how I cried during Jeremiah 29 and how that resonated with being black in America.

the Bible has been used to refine as much as tear down, and I just want to get to the heart of the matter. who were the people who wrote these books? what was the climate and context of the time period in which these books were written? is it applicable to today or are we really reaching in some aspects? how is the church to face injustice? how did racism find its way into the church? who is God? what is the role of the one who serves God? what happened in Egypt that it had to be written that sexing up your sibling is wrong? How often did Egyptians commit incest that it was condemned from many angles? did Jesus look like Idris Elba, Steve Kornacki, Hasan Minhaj? what about abortion? what about women: property, human, both, neither? an apple, a banana, or just a mess?

join me and let’s answer these questions.

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We Hate the Truth.

I mean we really do. how many times have you gotten in your feelings when someone decides to tell you about yourself? we get upset, moan, and groan. but at the end of the day, what that person said (if they cared about you), you reflected on it, and said, “well damn, they were right.” yeah? it sucked at the moment, but you’re better off when someone told the truth. and it was up to you to change and grow or be gross and get worse.

MLK. man, what a guy. he had his shortcomings, but that didn’t take away from his message. he was a prophet of his time. America, he said (and in the shortest paraphrasing I can do), is sick. and she needs to repent of her racism and treatment of the poor in order to receive healing. oh boy did the nation not like that. this nation hated that message so much, MLK was murdered. and do we still have those problems today? absolutely. why? because we hate the truth. and what we tend to do is create our own truth based off of the situation we’re in until we are comfortable. and when our comfortability is challenged, we run amok.

Jesus Christ. man, what a guy. he was a prophet of his time and even more, a Savior. he didn’t have any flaws, but man was this guy hated. I bet 60 years after his death, the very same people who wanted him dead said, “oh that Jesus guy? I was his biggest supporter. ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ yes, he was good.” but where was that when he was on the earth? Israel, he said (and in the shortest paraphrasing I can do), is sick. she has taken the simplicity of loving my Father and turned it into a mockery of His name. A den of thieves this is. and what happened to Jesus? he was murdered. yes, he died for the sins of humanity. but if you remove that, Jesus was murdered for being honest. he spoke against the establishment of the day. render unto Cesar, sure. but the earth is the Lord’s footstool, so who really owns everything? and more importantly, he challenged humankind to change their hearts, just as MLK did. but change in the heart requires change in the mind. and until we are willing to do that, no.

see, the government can say segregation is illegal. ok it’s law. but is that law written across our hearts? no, it’s not, and you can drive through any major city and suburb and see that. it’s illegal to steal, but if that law isn’t written on your heart, you won’t obey it. and it goes deeper than that. stealing. you can still someone’s innocence, their childhood, their wellbeing. when you kill someone, you have stolen someone’s right to live. Jesus tried to tell us that his Father’s laws were deeper than the physical; that’s why we worship God in spirit and in truth.

This post was inspired by the fact that NFL players will be charged for kneeling during the anthem. This country is so adamant about first amendment rights, and here we are, violating them. Either do what we say or face a penalty. I’m sorry, but isn’t this the exact reason Daniel and his friends were thrown in the lion’s den? Isn’t this the reason they were thrown in the furnace? They said, we’d rather do what God wants than what man demands.  Maybe it’s different and my argument is flawed. but seriously? These men kneel because of the mistreatment not just of black people, but of all humankind. and now they are getting fined for that? for declaring that America needs a Savior? for kneeling out of respect for our veterans who are treated like shit? for kneeling in response to the deaths at the hands of police brutality? they’re getting fined for that?

I want to scream into the void.

Life in the Womb: do their lives matter?

I am always turned off by people who say that “all lives matter” because they don’t believe that. Truth be told, no one was saying it until people started saying “black lives matter,” forgetting that too comes after that phrase and not only beforehand. I just couldn’t understand how uttering the phrase “black lives matter” was so hard for some people to say and why they thought saying “all lives matter” was a rebuttal. Well, if indeed “all lives matter,” does that include black lives? If so, why can’t you say “black lives matter?” I rate those mental gymnastics a 4.672/10, and suggest you condition a little more. The history of this country alone would tell you that “all lives” haven’t mattered; need I remind you of the history of Native Americans, Black Americans, Mexican Americans, poor white people and white women, and how even white immigrants were seen as trash unless they gave up their Polish, Danish, Italian (WOPS), etc. heritage and how all that hatred has been passed down through generations at the dinner table, pulpits, and Sunday school? Hey, all lives matter though, right? I mean we can’t even worship God together. The history behind the segregation of American churches, and the bombing and terrorizing of black churches by white “christians,” alone dismisses “all lives matter,” so y’all can miss me with that.

That being said, I turn my attention to the womb since life outside of it seems bleak.         I, too, am turned off by those who say they are “pro-life.” I respect your efforts in trying to reduce abortion rates and am not here to speak against that. What I am here to write about are the policies in place that have women going to these abortion clinics in the first place. I live behind an abortion clinic, and thanks to “pro-life” protesters, I had to learn at the age of 8! what an abortion was. Try being a child and seeing a mutilated fetus while riding your bike trying to enjoy childhood; although what some children go through in their childhood, that wasn’t that bad, just annoying. They get on my nerves when I see them. They have their signs and White Jesus™ on the cross, which I thought he was removed, but I could be wrong. One time I went up there when I was 16, and asked why they do this. One lady proposed that I could pretend to need an abortion and gather intel for them. I politely declined and walked home, and that was the end of that for me.

What really makes me tired is God being used in all of this because words are empty when actions are fake. “Turn to Jesus not abortion!” “God will sustain you through this pregnancy!” “Don’t you know He fashioned you in the womb?!” “BLACK BABIES ARE KILLED MORE BY ABORTION THAN ANYTHING ELSE!” Ah yes, now black lives matter. Why do we propose to know what God’s ways and thoughts are? I’m tired of everyone expecting God to do every.little.thing. “Oh just wait for the sweet by and by.” “Only when Jesus returns will this world be set right, amen.” “The world has fallen, and only God can pick it back up again.” My good sis, God already showed us what is good, so why aren’t we doing that? What policies protect the women who carry these children? How do socioeconomic factors affect pregnancy? What roles do Planned Parenthood and Crisis Pregnancy Centers play in the lives of the unborn? Which is better: abstinence or sex education? What politicians are truly about protecting life and not their pockets and votes? How have Christians affected policies in women’s health? That brings me to the title of this page, Life in the Womb: do their lives matter? What I’m really looking to find is: rights for the unborn, comfortability for those uncomfortable with abortion, or the love of money truly being the root of all evil?

Let us take a look at these questions by analyzing child birth rates in this country, infant mortality rates, abortion rates, socioeconomic factors, education, and governmental policies and how that affects life in the womb. Lastly, is there a moral requirement to follow unjust laws? You know me: unbiased reporting followed by my very biased opinion.

 

 

 

Race In America: the results of my survey.

Thanks to all 49 of you who participated in my survey! Below are the results.

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and as for the responses? For now, either you’re tired of racism, you don’t care, you wish you could do more, or you don’t know what to do. most of the white folks, y’all don’t know what to do, you couldn’t care less, or you do know what to do, and opposition comes from those you love most. and black folks, other people of color, y’all, we, are tired of racism obvi. And now my personal thoughts.

i don’t know what to tell you if you fall into the category of denying other people’s pain to retain your comfortability. i was reading the comments under an article (never do that), and i saw this quote: “no longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from.” so, i’m done with racism and trying to tell people what it is and why you shouldn’t do it. seriously? you need a reason not to be racist? and it is not up to the oppressor to decide when justice has been met for the oppressed. that’s like a rapist saying that the person they raped will be alright after a while. you don’t get to decide when someone has healed from the pain you caused. until you change your actions, your words are hollow, fickle, fake. i was going to do a series on racism, but i’m not the one who needs to do it, and i won’t. those who are recovering racists need to, not me. you, recovering racist, know how racist people think and ought to challenge that. i can’t. i don’t know what it is to oppress people because of who they are and feel good about it, but you do. you know what it is to have privilege and see it work in your favor. you know what it is to have a government that has your best interests in mind. i don’t and can’t speak to those who do.

people are stuck in their ways of thinking. but when you come to know God, you are no longer of the world, just in it to do His will. and, he transforms and renews your mind. my mind was transformed when i was 23 years old. i got baptized when i was 7. but i promise you, ever since that day in september 2015, my life has never been the same. finally, i felt God’s peace and presence surrounding me, and i wish i could explain how it felt, but i do know it surpassed all understanding.

and that’s what i want for white people who hate me because i’m black or think they’re better than me because they’re white, or are just scared of what to do with a system they don’t want anymore. Let God transform you, let Him have your heart. Fear not what will happen when you renounce a system that has taken your spirit from you.  whiteness is one hell of a drug. it gives you privilege and rights not afforded to others. but is it worth it to gain the whole world and lose your soul? I rebuke that stronghold over you in Jesus’ name. I pray over you that your eyes would be opened to the evil that white supremacy is and why it truly may seem like it benefits you but only destroys your soul in the process. it breeds apathy and a dismissal of your brothers and sisters who struggle under a system that only helps you. I want you to be free from that, to be free from that burden of sin, to be free from the fear of those who aren’t white! but you have to want it, too.  and i know some of you may be seething right now, becoming angry at these words i’ve written. if you are, i want you to reflect on that emotion; what triggered it? what caused it? why are you angry?

and that’s what i want for black people and other people of color who think they are less than or not worthy of humanity because of a lie told one day that who you are is unworthy. your skin radiates, soaks up the sun, resists aging, and you think that’s unworthy? Your hair defies gravity as it grows towards our Creator in praise! and you think that’s unworthy? Satan, this planet, has tried to steal, kill, and destroy us for so long, but I declare in Jesus’ name no longer. in a system, a country, a world, that looks to do work against you, your very existence is resistance. You are smart, you are capable, and you are enough. all of our lives, we have been told our noses too big, return to where we came from, our hair too unruly, our existence too much. There is so much man can do to the body, but he cannot touch your spirit.

the best way to overcome your hatred, your fear, is to reject everything that feeds those things and start over. will you do that with me?

 

 

giving up your birthright for a better life?

oh. hello. your eyes are currently reading what i’ve typed. fascinating that you may even be reading this in my voice, huh? what was your day like today? before you answer that, i’d like you to ponder on some bullet points below:

  • would you abandon your family for a better way of life?
  • where would you have to move for people not to recognize you?
  • if caught, could you accept the penalty of death?

those questions come off weird, maybe off-putting, but these are questions wherein some answered yes, right here in america. i’m talking about people like this (hover over for captions):

you guessed it; they’re all black americans; at least one parent is black, and here in america that’s all it takes (outside of the “one drop rule”). so, they’re invited to the cookout.

one of my favorite films is Imitation of Life, which explores this social area. seeing as black people come in all shades and hair textures with both parents being black as well, what is the basis of discrimination if not just skin color? when you think about it, people (read: black people) are honestly hated because of their skin color, which is why, black people who looked like the people above back in the 1700s-1970s?, passed as white. by passing as white, they forwent discrimination and entered into a life of privilege, if they didn’t get caught. if they got caught, more than likely they would’ve been lynched and their body parts sent off as party gifts, kept as souvenirs, or a postcard with a lynching would be sent to dear old dad’s house.  i wish i was making this up.

npr did a podcast on this with author, Allyson Hobbs. In her book, A Chosen Exile: A Hsitory of Racial Passing in American Life, she chronicles stories of black people who passed for white in hopes of a better life. one family they talk about is the Johnston Family:

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the patriarch, Dr. Johnston, passed as white so he could practice medicine. the navy picked him up but withdrew their commission on reports that Dr. Johnston had “colored blood;” on that basis, everyone has “colored blood” because it’s red.

and personally, this hits home. my great-grandfather could have passed for white, but when he registered for the draft of wwI, he recorded “negro” as his race. in connecting with a cousin of mine, because many of my family members could pass for white in the 1900s-1940s, white people felt comfortable around them and would speak to them. however, some white person would slip up with some racist rhetoric about black people and find themselves out cold by my family members, not knowing what they’d done; just because some could pass for white didn’t mean they forsook being black.

in Black Like Me, authored by John Howard Griffin, he darkens his skin to understand for himself the perils of institutional discrimination and state-sanctioned violence. from this article, Griffin said:

“What is it like to experience discrimination based on skin colour, something over which one has no control?” No white man could, he reasoned, truly understand what it was like to be black, because black people would never tell the truth to outsiders. “The only way I could see to bridge the gap between us was to become a Negro,” Griffin writes. “I decided I would do this.”

this dude lasted six weeks before it became too much being black, not being able to take the “hate stares” white people gave him. on top of that, a group of white men almost beat him to death for writing this book.

what i think the problem is, is denial. the people on earth now, we aren’t necessarily responsible for the problems of yesterday, but have you heard of inheritance, where the sins of the father can fall on the children? your dad/mom was an alcoholic, and you find yourself gripping the bottle in hard times when you’re their age, as an example. do you pass that on to your children, or does the buck stop with you? parents, more is caught than is taught by children if you didn’t know.

in conclusion, racism is satanic.

stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Damn Millennials!

I guess I fall into the category of a millennial (generation 1980-1995? Although, I’d like to include 1977-1979 cuz technically your peers are the people born in the early 1980s??) Currently, being a millennial is a drag because everyone hates us, but in doing this I think I am whining about how everyone despises us, which makes everyone abhor us even more.

My parents are baby boomers (1946-1964). It’s interesting to me that all the social and judicial unrest in my time happened in theirs(‘?), except they were children. They weren’t as aware; by the time it all ended, it was in the history books, probably whitewashed to make the history more palatable. And my generation, we’re in the middle of it, some of us raising kids through it: marriage equality, racial justice (still ongoing *side eye*), gender equality, immigration laws, judicial reform, etc.

It’s tough, you know? Every generation has complained and nagged about something. People in the 1950s-70s complained about civil rights corrupting our “good nation” and going against the very god (not God cuz I just can’t find where in God’s word that He hates people like we do) ordained social order structure. Then in the 1980s-1990s, you had Reaganomics (was that coined like “Obamacare,” or was it endearing?) and AIDs and the crack epidemic. In the 1990s, all I remember, since I was but a babe, is Bill Clinton cheating on his wife and my parents having to explain to a 6 year old what adultery was, so then there was the whole complaint about morals going into the trash. Then in the 2000s, it was all about the Muslims, especially that “Muslim” Obama… And that my friends is how you normalize hate; too many people of the faith of Islam were murdered or mistreated (still are, irritatingly) in that time in America. And now in the 2010s, besides millennials and those wretched one-kneed protestors (my fave coined term is thugs and or miscreants lol), I don’t have to type out our complaints since we’re living in it.

Tl;dr: every generation has complained about something, and I guess it’s our turn; so can we have this moment? I’m sure 10 years down the road, we’ll complain about those kids born in the 2000s when they’re our age. And instead of guiding them, offering help or instruction when asked or needed, we’ll just yell at them too.

I would encourage you, those of you who aren’t too fond of millennials, to grab lunch or coffee with us one good time; talk to us so you can see what’s going on. It’s so easy to sit on your throne and look upon us with contempt, but why don’t you come off your high horse for a bit and reconnect? After all, we are your siblings, children, cousins, nieces and nephews, employees. Besides, you were our age once, trying to forge your own path in life; have you forgotten that quickly?  Don’t lord over us, but be examples to us; surely we’d at least listen.

 

 

 

Wu-Tang is for the children, but racism is not: a case study. 

I hope you found that title hilarious because this post, and those forthcoming, won’t be as humorous. “They” say to keep people from becoming upset with you over serious topics, you have to make them laugh. But nothing is funny about racism as it permeates through every aspect of society; it’s that yeast Jesus talked about. I’ve come to set the captive, and maybe the oppressor, free. And especially with the future president coming into office, racism may become worse, only because of the rise of hate crimes since he won (1,2,3,4).

But what is really heartbreaking is the amount of Christians who are nauseatingly silent on such an issue. Or if they aren’t silent, they indirectly perpetrate, perpetuate, or better yet, ignore the whole bit with stupid clichés and how we live in a fallen world and blah.blah.blah. In the Bible, God says that he created everyone in His image. So, to not love your neighbor as yourself is a grave mistake; that’s the second greatest command. So, when I say #blacklivesmatter, and you sit on your hands and say that #alllivesmatter, how can you believe that if you march and are adamant against abortion? All lives matter to God of course, but they don’t to people. Did all lives matter when American citizens, who were Japanese, were interred at camps and German POWs were treated better than them and African-American veterans, some of which were lynched? Do all lives matter in Flint, Michigan? The problem with this statement is that people say all lives matter but don’t prove it; you say it to shut people up. “Blessed are the poor […]” What about those who aren’t poor, Jesus? You gonna bless them too, or…? What’s up; what’s good?”

Racism is a spiritual disease that causes the oppressor to live in a fantasy, a bubble. And when you pop that bubble with truth in love, all of a sudden, they try to chase you off a cliff (5). “Racism isn’t going to go away if you keep talking about it.” Oh, is that so? Maybe you’re just uncomfortable and should admit that then. Race is a societal, man made construct to keep one group in power by any means necessary and another oppressed. Racism is anti-God. It causes you to see your neighbor as less than. And when you do that, the problems they face because of you are insignificant for they just “need to get over it.” And for the oppressor, it spiritually binds and blinds you; you aren’t as free as you think you are. This system becomes your faith, and somehow God supports it.“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

Racism is a spiritual disease that causes the oppressed to feel and live as if they *are* less than. When you’re told all your life that your skin is too dark, your hair too unruly, and your natural body too sexual, your spirit becomes downtrodden, and society, in conjunction, agrees. The closer you look to the oppressor, the worse off you’ll be because you won’t be accepted. Bleaching my skin to be lighter won’t help; straightening my hair won’t help. Who I am is the problem, and my existence should cease. And, you can’t be what you can’t see. So, if I don’t see someone who looks like me being an engineer, a producer, a writer, a doctor, how can I become that? And the sad thing is that, we who aren’t considered the majority, people of color, have always achieved, but that history has been cast to the wayside; why? Take the movie, Hidden Figures, for example (6). It is a movie about three black women, there were more, who are the reason NASA is NASA. They live/lived right here in Hampton Roads, so why wasn’t that in the history books, especially since we were so obsessed with beating the Russians to the moon (7)? ABC ran a drama about the astronaut wives (8,9), but why not about these women engineers who happened to be black? These women were scientists in a time when women were “supposed” to be homemakers, fighting not only sexism, but racism, and the intersectionality therein.

White people, racism does exist. It is not just personal prejudice, but institutional and systemic. Racism is prejudice + power. Everyone has reserved prejudice, but in this society, only white people have had their prejudice put into law. Don’t believe me (10)? And you have privilege; it is unearned favor. It’s that favor when you walk into a store and are asked if you need help, instead of being found suspicious and followed (11). It’s that favor that gets you a better bank loan (12). It’s that favor that you won’t be mistaken for being a criminal when you’ve lost your key to your house in the suburbs (13). It’s that favor that gives you the benefit of the doubt in criminal cases; you get maybe a year, while a black person gets the mandatory minimum (14). The system is built to support you, whether you want to believe it or not. It supports you so much that God himself is white! And it sucks because you might be poor and white (15). Or it sucks because you think people are taking away from your hard work, and if you did it, why can’t anyone else? I will address how racism affects you (oh yes it does! 16) and how it benefits you the most, and why supporting white supremacy, whether directly or indirectly, is detrimental. And I will come with receipts out the ass; don’t worry. I am here to challenge your comfortability in the status quo, to smash white supremacy; may you be freed.

Black people, People of Color, I don’t have much to say because the majority of you already know what’s up. We all got that talk about how to act around police, to work twice as hard to maybe be considered half as good, etc. Yet, I can only speak to issues I face being a black person/woman; I can’t speak to the issues of the Asian or Latinx/Hispanic Diaspora, but I can shed light on them and be an ally. So if you want to send something my way, please feel free to do so! On a personal note, let us not internalize the hate we receive for who we are. We face systems of oppression everyday, and it can be tiring and draining. Keep the faith in God. Loving those who persecute you is not weakness, nor is it acquiescing to their whims. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?”

Finally, I am not silent on these issues. If I haven’t spoken with you about it, it’s because I knew you wouldn’t receive it well. I speak about it all the time with my black friends and other friends of color, and very few white friends. But I have reservations with my white friends because, for those I have spoken with, you tell me it’s in the past, to get over it, ignore it, or you make light of a situation that has cost people their lives. Or you think it’s a personal attack when I’m speaking in general, but maybe it is a personal attack if that is your heart. And I speak on this because of Ezekiel 33:1-11:

The Watchman and His Message

Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?”’ Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’