SILENCE = CONSENT

Posts tagged “church

Stay Woke w/ Tuan N’Gai feat. Kevin E. Taylor

Pastor Kevin E. Taylor is one of the most exciting preachers I’ve ever heard.  He’s an author, activist, teacher, inspiration and overall genuinely great person.  Listen to our conversation and find out for yourself.

Stay Woke 004 – Kevin E. Taylor.

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Stay Woke w/ Tuan N’Gai – Ricc Rollins

 

Stay Woke 002 – Ricc Rollins.

Author/Publisher Pastor J. Ricc Rollins from Tampa, FL discusses Race, Religion, Sexuality and Church Politics on Stay Woke.


False Witness

I would like to report our progress to you.  I was supposed to be hand-delivering the 1000+ signatures we’ve collected on our petition to William (Bill) Owens and the Coalition of African-American Pastors this weekend.  Unfortunately, plans have changed.  Over the last couple days, I have gotten some information that exposes Rev. Bill Owens and the Coalition of African-American Pastors as nothing more than a fraud.

First, we’ve discovered that Rev. Owens’ “Metropolitan Institutional Church” does not exist.  He isn’t a pastor.  There’s no church to where we can deliver the petitions.

His claim to have been a civil rights leader is false.  There is no evidence nor personal remembrances from long term Nashville residents that he participated in any civil rights demonstration in Nashville from 1958 – 1961.

Rev. Owens’ claim that CAAP has 3800+ members can not be substantiated.  Research has shown that there are only 20 members of this so-called organization.  Most of the members are independent churches that aren’t affiliated with any reputable denomination.

Rev. Owens’ reported ties with the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church are false.  The AME church disclaimed any knowledge of Rev. William Owens, and alluded he was not a real pastor by publicly stating, “Contrary to the report, neither the AME Church nor its leadership is involved with or partnering with the Coalition of African-American Pastors.”

CAAP’s claim that they aren’t affiliated with any political group is false.  Not only is CAAP funded through such organizations as the National Organization for Marriage, but they are also tied to The Arlington Group, who describes themselves as “a coalition of leaders from the pro-family community, that develops and executes national and grassroots strategies to: protect the traditional institution of marriage, increase respect for every human life, limit judicial activism, and act on other moral issues of concern.”

Other questionable information given by Bill Owens is whether or not he truly earned his degrees in education and theology, and if so, from where?  Lastly, exactly how much money DID he and other black pastors get paid to LIE to the American people in effort to split the vote?

This new information does not change our goal to continue reaching out to refocus our collaborative energies toward healing the divide in the community and not allowing our diversity to be used as a wedge issue. Operation: REBIRTH will be sending a letter to all the ministers involved with CAAP with every signature on the petition attached.  This letter will ask all of them to participate in a meeting with LGBT leaders from across the country. We will also be sending a hard copy of the petition to the post office box listed on the CAAP website via Certified Mail, requiring signature confirmation.  That way we’ll know they have received all the signatures.  We will keep you updated on our progress.

 

Tuan N’Gai is Co-Founder of the Operation: REBIRTH Movement.  He’s the author of “Will I Go To Heaven? The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma,” “Little Brown Boy’s Blues,” and a contributor to the New York Times Best Seller, “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living.” He lives in Chicago, Illinois.


About to Get My Head Cut Off

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I’ve been trying to figure out a nice way to express what I’m feeling inside. I’m once again facing the fear that I won’t be liked if I say what I truly feel, the way I truly feel it.  I’m afraid of being harshly judged, or even worse, not being heard at all if I dare to set myself free from this prison of silence.  I guess, I’ve lived here so long, it’s become second nature.  I’m used to having to compromise my own feelings so everyone else can be comfortable.

But if I’m going to grow, and conquer the fear, I have to confront it head on.  It’s not going anywhere any other way.  Sometimes I feel like I’m John the Baptist, and it’s only a matter of time before I’m beheaded for speaking the truth… or at least the truth as I see it.

Since moving to Chicago, I have heard daily reports of young Black men killing people.  One weekend, more than 40 were shot.  More recently, 15 shot in one day. We are being exterminated by our own sons, brothers, cousins, uncles… and for the young ones, our fathers.  I mean, what the fuck has these kids so angry?

I understand poverty is a bitch.  The economy has everybody in a vice grip but, REALLY?  It’s so bad we kill ourselves?  These young, misguided warriors are killing each other over “turf” they don’t even own!  They have no mortgage, or no deed to ANYTHING.  They “feel disrespected” because someone accidentally bumped into them in the store or at the club.  Here’s one… “someone disrespected they bitch.”  Or, someone has a pair of sneaks they want, and instead of getting a fuckin job, and working so they can buy them for themselves (like real men do), they bust someone over the head, or kill them.  Just for the latest Jordans.

This makes me angry. I’m angry because it seems nobody is doing anything to stop it.  Those with the resources to provide services to our community are doing nothing!  And those of us who ARE trying to do something, we speak truth to power only to be written off as heretics.  When we present possible solutions to our problems, we are barely taken seriously if at all.  We are told that our possible solutions will not work without even giving them a try.  I guess if someone other than the “leading blacks” can get any attention or credit for doing something good in the community, is too much of a threat to their non-profit salaries.

Instead of doing something… ANYTHING, it’s easy to just pass the buck and place the blame.  It would be easy to blame the mothers.  We know where they are right?  In the club with THEIR mothers, seeing who can twerk the best. When they get drunk, their “men” instigate fights so they can proudly post their ratchedness on WorldStar Hip-Hop.  I mean, who doesn’t want to be on WorldStar?

We can blame the absent fathers too, right?  When “thug” is what it means to be a real black man, and when little boys are being beat (some to death) for the simple human act of crying, what do we expect?

How about we blame “the man” or “the system”.  We all know that the United States of Amerikkka is set up for blacks to always be second class.  Oh no, wait… i forgot… blacks are too lazy, shiftless and trifling to get up off their asses and do whatever it takes to help themselves.

LET’S BLAME THE CHURCH!  We have churches on every corner in our ‘hoods and they are POWERLESS.  We have MEGA CHURCHES!  Beautiful, pristine, gated, prosperous, state of the art MEGA CHURCHES that have all this Holy Ghost, and all this faith and power, but can’t do ANYTHING to serve the ‘hoods they sit in.  All this “good news” being preached, and our elderly are afraid to sit on their own porches.  We have al this anointing, and power to cast out devils, but our daughters are undercover ghetto porn stars.

I guess it stands to reason the churches are powerless when Qua’shawn is giving $100 or more of his dope money to his grandmother every week, she puts it in church every Sunday, and the pastor (who doesn’t live in the hood) is using said money to pay for his Escalade and to send his kids to college.  I mean, who gives a fuck that Qua’shawn, Malik and Pookie, who paid for the new church building, will be a convicted on drug charges, will NEVER be able to vote again, will spend time in jail, and will have no opportunities to do anything differently if and when he gets out?  But, Praise the Lord for the new sanctuary, right?  And the church doesn’t see this as a problem. The black church’s REAL problem is gay people wanting marriage equality.

What I’m saying is, instead of asking, “Who is gonna do something?”, we should be asking “What can I do?” Each of us has the power to do something.  We can call for more police patrols in our neighborhoods.  I mean, it works for the rich white people.  Are WE not paying more taxes than THEY are?  We can use the power of our vote to put pressure on our elected officials to do more on behalf of our neighborhoods.  We can organize neighborhood watches.  The church and do much more than than pray, like open their doors for youth programs.  The church can be a meeting place for the community organize and educate the community on how to preserve our neighborhoods and save our children.  We can do something constructive to get our kids off the streets.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  We cannot afford for any more of our people to senselessly die.

Okay, I’m done. I put it as nicely as I could without editing out my passion.  I feel I’ve grown up a little bit.  I’m a little bit less afraid.  It feels good.  I finally got that off my chest.  I’m even putting some anti-violence programs together to propose to local churches and the police departments.  That’s SOMETHING, right?

 

Tuan N’Gai is the co-founder of Operation: REBIRTH, the author of “Will I Go To Heaven?  The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma”, “Little Brown Boy’s Blues”, and contributor to the New York Times Best Seller, “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living”


I CALL BULLSHIT!

Now that the warm and fuzzy “Kum Ba Yah” moment we had while remembering those who perished in the 9/11 tragedies is over, maybe the United States of Amerikkka can get back to the sexist, classist, racist, homophobic, divisive culture we know and love.

I call bullshit!  Amerikkka’s “we’re all one nation under GOD” pseudo-sentimentality during a national remembrance of 9/11 is about as sincere as knocking little old people over at Walmart during a black Friday  sale.  One Nation Under GOD me ass!

That is all.


Nature or Nurture (Romans 1)

It’s been argued that the first time homosexuals, or homosexual acts are addressed in the New Testament is in Romans the 1st chapter (mainly verses 26 and 27). That is if you disregard the two occasions that eunuchs are mentioned (sorry, that’s another Bible Study). And like other scriptures, this one has been misinterpreted, taught in error, and caused much spiritual and emotional harm to same gender loving people.

The thing most people who erroneously teach this scripture seem to forget is, when interpreting scripture, you cannot just take one or two verses of a chapter, build a sermon, teach it as “God’s Word” and live it as a doctrine. You have to carefully see what the scripture (and all others relating to it) is saying. It’s been advised that we read the chapter before, and after the chapter we are studying so that we can get some type of contextual view of what the author was talking about. In this case, we are dealing with Apostle Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome. In fact, the text in verse 7 says it…”my dear friends in Rome” (New Living Translation). Since that’s who he was addressing, we have to infer that he was dealing with their situation. Am I saying that he couldn’t have any relevant truth for 21st Century America? Not at all. I AM saying that if we are going to correctly interpret what is being said, we need to understand that first and foremost, who Paul was addressing was 1st Century Rome. Let’s take a closer look and find out what that truth is.

The first thing we need to address is the cultural climate of biblical Rome. It was a societal norm for people to be bisexual. And with that being the “normal” sexuality that society ascribed to, it was expected for everyone to be that way. Since now we know that all people aren’t bisexual (in fact most are heterosexual), we can understand how pressured a heterosexual or homosexual person would be to engage in acts that weren’t “natural” for him or her. The definition of the word “natural” in this text comes from the Greek word “phusikos”, meaning instinctive or native disposition. If a person is a native to some place, they were born there. So, a native disposition would be how a person is born. The word “nature” in this text likewise comes from the Greek word “phusis”, which means production or lined descent; growth by germination, or native disposition. Just keep “instinctive/native disposition” in mind.

When Paul talks about the “natural use” of the woman, he is coming from several different places. First from a place of male dominance that thought that the only use a woman has is having babies to continue the man’s lineage. That’s all. A woman was a man’s property (paid for with a dowry)…his “baby maker” per se. So any sexual deviation that would produce offspring was not looked upon favorably. In fact, not until this century did some in the church start teaching that sex had more that just a procreative purpose.

Secondly, Paul was coming from a sexual orientation angle. He was not making a blanket statement of what is and isn’t “natural”. He couldn’t have been. Science has proven that in all species of animals, homosexuality is present (ref. “Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity” by Bruce Bagemihl). So, since homosexuality occurs in nature, it cannot be considered unnatural. And since most people are instinctively heterosexual and that is their native disposition, it IS highly unnatural for one to do otherwise. In this scripture, Paul is telling the Romans that it is unnatural for a person to go against their “native disposition” or what is “instinct” for them and do something else with their bodies to fit in. Now, we can jump on the ex-gay and DL thing right here, but we don’t have the space or time. But do you get the point? If your nature is heterosexual, be that. If you are born homosexual, be that. If you indeed are bisexual, then that’s you. Don’t try to change who you are to fit societal norms. It’s like telling God that He made you the wrong way.

Next, Paul was dealing with some religious issues as well. Paul in fact is saying homosexual activity is not a sin, but a punishment for idol worship and faithlessness. It is a result of heterosexuals not worshipping God but His creation. Turning the truth into a lie. Denying God. His argument is, if a man (being straight) is SO confused and faithless that he cannot discern who God is when creation even tells of His existence, then it’s not so far fetched that that same man (being straight) would be confused sexually and do what is unnatural for him to do. These verses couldn’t be an blanket indictment against homosexuality in that most of the most highly anointed, profound, gifted, talented, and FAITHFUL Christians are homosexual people.

Finally, Paul was dealing with what was going on in Rome from the standpoint of a Jew. There were just some things that were not customary or “natural” for a good Jew to do. Not to say that there are no homosexual Jews, there are. But one must remember that Paul was a very well educated and respected man in his time. He was a good Jew who knew and tried his best to live by “the law” according to the Torah. So to be in another land (not native to Israelites) and submerged into another culture (Rome) trying to live according to how Jews “customarily” or “normally” lived, it must have been hard to do since the society was so different.

So, is Romans 1.26-27 a blanket indictment against homosexuals? With the information we have, we can say no. Paul was more than likely addressing cultural, religious, and orientation issues in this scripture. Contrary to popular opinion, the theme of this text isn’t homosexuality. In fact it isn’t about sexuality at all. It’s about people keeping in mind who God is. It’s about understanding that humanity is without excuse when it comes to reverencing God in that creation itself tells of His glory. It’s about understanding the truth and the fact that it comes from God. And lastly, it’s about not being judgmental or hypocritical. Remember when we said that one should study the chapter before and after the text being focused upon? Well, Romans Chapter 2.1-7 Paul gets on people who are pointing at those who have forgotten God and saying how wicked they are, yet are doing the same things. Bottom line, God judges sin. It doesn’t matter who you are. Make sure you are right with God for yourself. Let God handle the rest in His own way.


Open Letter to Pastor Xavier Thompson in Support of California SB 48

September 1, 2011

Southern Missionary Baptist Church

Attn:  Pastor X. Thompson

4678 WestAdams Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90016

Pastor Thompson,

I am writing you and the entire Southern Missionary Baptist Church family to express my concern about the misinformation that is being spread about California’s SB 48, the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act.  This act is important to everyone as it gives our children the opportunity to learn that every community has contributed to the greatness of our society in diverse ways.  Without this piece of legislation, we are all subject to our future being misinformed about the beauty of diversity.
When I look back over my own life and remember how in the public school system, I was taught that slavery “wasn’t all that bad” and being made to feel the contributions my ancestors made to our society weren’t really great, it makes me sad to think that there are African-American people like you and those you lead who would support the repeal of a law that makes that travesty the norm for our kids.  It’s reprehensible that African-American people would support this immoral and racist agenda under the guise of standing up for morality.

As for “sexualizing history”… sir, nobody has said anything about sex but you and those who support your crusade.  This law is CLEARLY about diversity in education.  It’s important that our children know that our African-American ancestors who were slaves were NOT savages who were saved by the good Christian white people.  They should know that the very Christianity you
preach and teach was forced upon our people after they were stripped their identity, language, culture, and religion so they could be controlled and enslaved mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  It’s important that our children know that their Blackness, their Latin heritage, their Asian culture, and any other culture they may represent is not something that should divide us, but it’s what makes us beautiful and it should be celebrated. NOWHERE in this law is sexual behavior mentioned.

Contrary to your statements about homophobia, your stance on this issue IS homophobic.  Homophobia is an irrational fear of homosexual people and the things related to theirlives.  It is also a fear that one may indeed be homosexual.  What’s so wrong
about our kids knowing that the organizer of the Civil Rights March on Washington, Bayard Rustin, was not just black but a same   gender loving man?  What’s wrong with our children knowing that people who are different from them can also be good people who do great things that change the world?  Fearing that reality IS INDEED homophobic.  Not only is that, to think and perpetuate the notion that all there is to same gender loving people is what they do in their bedrooms ridiculous.  How dare we reduce an entire community to sex!  It’s like saying all black people do is play sports, eat fried chicken and watermelon, have children out of wedlock and drain the economy of its resources with their laziness.  Please remember that during the Reconstruction Era, black men were considered to be the greatest threat to white women, and black women were categorized as highly sexual.  Black people as a whole were once reduced to sexual stereotypes.

Your act of asking those who support SB 48 to leave your church meeting was not only bigoted, and irrationally fearful, but
anti-Christian.  When did Jesus (the one you are supposed to follow and imitate) EVER send anyone away from being close
to Him?  I can’t find that in any Bible that I read.  When did Jesus ever treat people that way?

My prayer for you is that GOD would open your heart and mind to see that what you are doing will have horrible consequences.  Without SB 48, what’s to stop the government from mandating that ALL education relating to anything other than “American”
(or white) people is inappropriate and should never be taught in the classroom?  What will that do to Native American History, Black History, Latin History, Asian History, being taught in the classroom?  Whether or not we believe it, or accept it there are gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, transgendered, queer, questioning, intersexed and same gender loving people within ALL those
cultures.  We all contribute greatness and beauty to our society.  Who are we to rob our children of knowledge of that reality?

As co-founder of the OpREBIRTH movement (www.operationrebirth.com), I would like to invite you to further discuss this issue.  We at OpREBIRTH are more than happy to have this conversation (not debate) with you in an effort to bring peace, heal this
divide, and to let the community know that we are more alike than we are different.  At the end of the day, we all want the same things… to be loved, to be respected, and to be treated with fairness and equity.  The only way we are going to grow as a people is if we stop being afraid of people who are not like us in every way.  Now is the time that we stop being manipulated into letting our differences be used to divide us.  We must stand together on the things that make us the same.  It would be foolish for an entire generation to perish due to lack of knowledge, as a result of the fears and prejudice of people who should be teaching them how to love.

Sincerely,

Tuan  N’Gai

Operation: REBIRTH