A really long rant on race and the american christian church

I was just thinking to myself today about the glaring hypocrisies that plague the american christian church. Apparently I was thinking a little TOO much because I got a bit of bile in my throat and a nauseated stomach. I'm thinking most of that stems from the fact that I was in the thick of it.

The first problem is the most obvious: the race problem in american christian culture. If you ask a black believer and a white believer if they are christian, they would say yes. BUT, if you ask them why do they go to segregated churches you will hear the number of excuses as thus:

-white people just don't have any soul. we clap on the 2/4 while they clap on the 1/3.

-our services are too different.

-It's the way that it has always been, why change it?

And it is a bit more disgusting when you get to churches that claim a multi-ethnic mix. Why do I say disgusting? Because just like in grade and high school, the races segregate themselves. Sure, there are those "radicals" that friended everyone, but they were rare. Very rare. And you bring that up, and you'll have some very angry believers:

-I didn't say blacks were bad, I said that they scared me(I have heard that at the christian college I went to)

-I have black friends! Why are you calling me a bigot because I hang out with a mostly white crowd?

-I can go to church with them, but I don't have to talk to them.

-How dare you judge me!The bible said I was to LOVE them. I didn't have to LIKE them.

Delve deeper and the issue of marriage comes up. I remember when I was a teen, the pastor at the church I attended stated he was against interracial marriage. During a sermon.
The fucked up thing about it is that most of his congregants were from interracial marriages/relationships. And yet they did not leave, because of the fact he said he wasn't a fan for it when it came to his kids.

I fortunately wasn't there for that service, but sadly my mother was. And it made her pretty angry, yet she stayed because she thought I needed a church that was more...colorful(as she put it).

On various occasions people did say really bigoted things either around me or my mother. My favorite was when a minister named Jeannie told my mother that she could be her maid. That pissed off my mother(rightfully so). She was a black female doctor being told by a white female minister that basically all she's good for is cleaning up behind her. To which my mom said "I suggest you get one of your own. I have one."

In youth group I got rejected alot by the black teens because I was "white acting". That always confused me. White acting. I was myself basically. I didn't listen to hip hop(unless christian and that was RARE) I didn't listen to rap(unless it was christian..also very rare). I listened to Rebecca St. James, Jaci Valesquez and five iron frenzy. And when I did listen to secular music it was country. Which got the white teens going "you're so..white". And yes, a large amount of them were friends with me, or so I thought. I was the "safe" black person. I spoke proper english, desired to better myself, but was pretty serious most times.

The youth pastors wife denied me a role in a play because she stated I was an oreo. Just not black enough. Her husband tore her a new one, I can say.

When I became a youth leader there, I was informed by a white youth leader that I was more white than most white people(because a long time ago I wanted to go into country music as an artist).

My mom didn't know I had my own problems I guess.

But her feelings while there echoed a lot of upper middle class and upper class christians. The sentiment was that the church was too "rural" and not "urban" enough. That wasn't a slip. She honestly hated going to church being surrounded by "rednecks". I will give her this. She gave the appropriate term for urban being the city and rural the country. Her problem was she didn't want to be surrounded by so many bigoted poor people.

I guess what I am saying is this: if the Christian Family is so interconnected, why don't they act that way? I mean, they read the same damn book. They may believe different(very minute) things but..please. It is not that different when you get to the brass tacks of it.

I'm serious. A black pastor I knew personally actually PAID white people to come to his church, so he wouldn't look like a bigot.

I have heard on various occasions how interracial marriage was an unequal yoke. *facepalms*

The golden boy of the youth church I attended told me personally that blacks were extremely different. Medical books and his mother said so. Blacks muscles are like coils while whites are like ropes.

I wanted to vomit right there. And don't get me started with the Christian romeos who wanted to feel me up but not date me/marry me because I was the wrong race.

It was literally enough to make my head spin. And I rarely talked about it, like say the words "angry" or "pissed". Because in the non-denomination sect I was in, I was to be this perfect cookie cutter christian female. Which sadly included "there should not be any trace of ethnicity on you". They wanted us to dress alike, talk the same, hell...even have sex the same way. And I do admit that my low self esteem about being the big three which are implicitly talked about in church(dark, fat, and not even marginally pretty) made my desire to shove myself into that mold even stronger. I finally saw that the premium(aka best) in the american christian church was the thin, white, blonde female who can sing enough to appease the darkies.

The years of just..crap shoved down my throat finally caught up with me.

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Comment by Monica S. on February 24, 2011 at 5:06pm
Heh, someone called my rant coherent.

@Thomas Smith, I'd have to say it wasn't a manifestation of the "White man's ice water is colder" or what have you, she was just tired of being burned at predominately black churches. I'm sad to say, but when we attended Greenwoodacres, I literally had NO friends. My mom, who is in the best way to describe her...is a bit stoic. Well, she's a doctor, and at that particular church three things usually happened: 1) People tried to friend her only because of her social status, which pissed her off. 2) People refused to even talk to her because she was a "snob" and didn't mince words. She wasn't a mean person, but she wasn't a fan of the prosperity movement. And I know why. Instead of wanting to work, or just save a bit, people put all of their money into a pastor's hand, believing that when they were giving to him, they were giving to god. So when folks would say "that's okay God's gonna give me a benz" she'd say "Great! But are you going to work also?".
And the third group, they just didn't like people so they spewed their venom everywhere. My mom told me that she sent me to the multi-cultural church because she saw me getting bullied alot and really worried I wasn't 'clicking' with anyone. Little did she know, I wasn't clicking with anyone there either. I was just too "odd".

I will say that being raised as a missionary baptist, then full gospel baptist really screws with you and your view of the Black Christian Church. I mean, I was a missionary baptist yet we went NO WHERE. When I became charasmatic/non-denominational, I thought all the problems in the major denominations would be gone. I was pretty idealistic back then, because I took the bible as the literal word of god. And the pastor's words as the literal words FROM god.
When it was all said and done, my view of Christians of all races was just that they were just like the rest of us, maybe a bit worse because they are deluding themselves, and I should pay them no mind
Comment by Rob van Senten on February 24, 2011 at 12:52pm
That's one of the most coherent rants I've read so far on A|N!

We are just monkeys with shoes, as such we can still have thoughts that stem from our genetic past where in-group cohesion was vital for survival, perhaps more then it is nowadays for humans. We favor our "own" group at the expense of the "out" group, this I think can cause us to identify another person as an "out" group and as such declare a person inferior based upon (even minor) differences in appearance. 

We all share some of the basic instincts of our mammalian ancestors, we fight other species and ourself in our struggle for survival, being able to identify between friend and foe is a necessity for survival. Racism seems to me to be a consequence of these instincts, though being wired with mammalian instincts is no excuse to be an asshole.
Comment by Rob van Senten on February 24, 2011 at 12:52pm

That's one of the most coherent rants I've read so far on A|N!

 

We are just monkeys with shoes, as such we can still have thoughts that stem from our genetic past where in-group cohesion was vital for survival, perhaps more then it is nowadays for humans. We favor our "own" group at the expense of the "out" group, this I think can cause us to identify another person as an "out" group and as such declare a person inferior based upon (even minor) differences in appearance. 

 

We all share some of the basic instincts of our mammalian ancestors, we fight other species and ourself in our struggle for survival, being able to identify between friend and foe is a necessity for survival. Racism seems to me to be a consequence of these instincts, though being wired with mammalian instincts is no excuse to be an asshole.

Comment by Grace Fitzpatrick on February 24, 2011 at 12:38pm
I can't say I have had this same experience personally.  I have wondered about it though.  I have often wondered why black people picked up the same religion that threw them into slavery and tortured them for centuries.  I understand why whites are christians (it really worked out for them), but I have a hard time understanding why anyone else is.  Nothing succeeds like success, so maybe back in the recesses of their minds they think being a christian will somehow get them ahead.
Comment by thomas smith on February 24, 2011 at 11:25am

Your mom, like my mom seems to have been a victim of the "white mans ice is colder" syndrome.

We were a lower class Black family going to a lower class baptist church (sometimes) my mom wanted to improve our lot; so here in the colony of washington d.c. a step up was the catholic church. My esperiences were not as dramatic as yours because all the whites had moved away but there were the same types of institutional white supremecy at work.

I never did believe , but i was a kid so  you just go along with the program like you did.

you as a female black person have different prejudices  / hatreds to deal with because of the the white supremacy  ideals virus that is everywhere. there is nothing wrong with you, europeans have the power for for a moment to impose their ideas and that is all it is, power for the moment .big  Black women are beautiful and in my experience maintain their look much longer than thin white women. I know this from personal experience (lol)

Comment by Sentient Biped on February 24, 2011 at 7:25am
Every time I hear that segregation is over, there is a reminder it is not. I think religion is a place were people are especially into defining walls and boundaries, and don't want to get past their 'comfort zone'. For some that 'comfort zone' means nothing outside their own race. It's a shame. Race isn't even a biologically meaningful concept, but racism continues.

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