All Black Everything, Health + Wellness, My Life

God and Religion

I, like most other black millennials, was brought up in the church. I was told we had to go to church every Sunday for worship, and every Wednesday for bible study. I was told I had to be in the choir until I was 18 (church rule). I was told that I had to be baptized and asked numerous questions about Jesus Christ that all the answers had to be “yes.”

When I went off to college, I still went to church because I felt obligated to. Even after college because I was living at home, it wasn’t an option. If I lived at home, I had to go to church. Most Sunday’s, I’d sit at Starbucks until church was over. I didn’t belong to the same church as my mother (for that very reason. I didn’t want her checking up on me.). When when I moved out on my own, I would still sometimes go to church. That stopped 3 years ago.

Growing up, I always had questions about church and why things were just so. If you are a black millennial, or a black person of any age, more specifically a black womanizer, you were taught to be seen and not heard, meaning you question nothing. You sit there and question nothing. That didn’t work for me. I was quite the inquirer.

Growing up, anytime you asked question that went against what you parent said, you were always hit with the “becuase I said so.” That’s not the way to raise or teach a child: to just follow what someone else says. That’s why we are all in the rat race now, following what someone else says, doing what we are told and not thinking for ourselves.

When I would sit in church and listen to the pastor, I felt there were so many holes in their stories. For one, the day “Jesus” rose, changes every single year. Why? In the Bible, Jesus is described as having hair like wool, yet he has always been depicted as this tall white man woth blonde brown hair and blue eyes. There are these 10 commandments that we must follow, which I agree with all of them, but isn’t that more so common sense of things we shouldn’t do? Isn’t that something that is expected?

Jesus was born to a virgin. Be that as it may, why is it that woman cannot bare children today without a man? It’s said that when Adam ate the fruit from the tree, Eve was punished and that’s why women have periods and are made to carry and birth a child. So god punished female animals too, becuase if I’m not mistaken, some femal animals have periods, and they birth babies.

We are told that our bodies are temples. People worship in temples. So in essence, shouldn’t I worship where my body is? It’s also said that avid is within all of us. Doesn’t that make us all God? God is everywhere, so couldn’t I worship my God wherever I choose? So if God is wherever I am, then can’t I worship and pray at home? Is my own home not a temple?

I don’t believe in religion for several reasons. All of these religions apparently worship the same God, they just use a different name. So that leads me to believe religion is man made. Also, religions have these tiles of how things should go (rest on the sabbath, can’t eat certain foods, can’t indulge in too much of this or that, you have to worship this way, you have to come to church, you have to give tithes, etc.). Isn’t religion supposed to be about living a purposeful, righteous, fulfilled life, helping others and being an upstanding person? “Suppose” being the keyword.

I believe that God is within me, therefore, I am God. Do I feel people need to worship me? Absolutely not. Another thing, God created and brings forth life. Don’t women create and bring forth light? I believe in pantheism, in that God is everywhere and is everything that is good. I believe in my ancestors and praying to them for guidance to watch over Malakhai and me. I believe in the spirituality of my history.

I’m not willing to believe in something becuase someone else said so. Most Black millennials don’t attend church and here’s an article on that.

As for the Bible, I think it has good intentions, but much gets lost in translation. It’s like trying to directly translate from Spanish to English: it just doesn’t work.

I will teach Malakhai to believe in a higher power, and that he needs to live his life as a good black man. I want to teach him to have his own mind and beliefs. To know that there is always someone watching him and watching out for him to ensure his safety. If you don’t stand and believe in something, you’ll fall for anything.

I don’t knock anyone who is religious at all. I don’t think anything less of them. I love everyone, no matter their beliefs. I think that once we all find our purpose and live in it, we will lived and lead much happier, healthier, stress free lives.

Book Reviews

Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby

I just happened to be in Walmart one day and needed some new books to read. I stumbled across this one and thought it’d be intriguing. Little did I know that I was in for a real juicy treat. If I tell you this book was beyond scandalous. You hear about pastors in these mega churches and the sins they commit, but this one takes the cake. Let’s get into it. I’m going to start with the discussion questions first.

1. What do you think was the most important lesson learned in the story for Tanya? Curtis? Adrienne?

Tanya – She was holding on to something that didn’t want to be held on to. She tried really hard to keep her marriage for the sake of her vows and her daughter. I think she learned that sometimes, it’s best to let things go when there’s no way that things will work out.

Curtis – Greed will cause you to lose absolutely everything. Greed as far as money, power, and sex. He learned the absolute hard way.

Adrienne – A man will never leave his wife for you, no matter how many times he says it. She should’ve known that they weren’t going to be together when he made her get that abortion.

2. Why do you think Tanya went out of her way, trying to make things work with  Curtis?

She believed in the vows that they took. Also, she didn’t have real proof that Curtis was sleeping around. Alicia, their daughter, was her main focus. Despite him hitting and choking her out, she stayed because I think deep down, she thought that maybe things would get better.

3. Do you believe that’s Curtis’s corrupt way of living was a result of some childhood situation?

It’s possible, however, he did mention that what changed was when they moved from Atlanta to Chicago, the temptation became overwhelming. Had it been a childhood situation, I think he would have been reckless before then.

4. What are your feelings on Tanya’s reaction after finding such disturbing information in Curtis’s office? Would you have reacted the same?

I think her reaction was too calm and unrealistic of how a woman would’ve reacted. Had I found a lease for an apt my husband was renting with another woman, receipts from things he bought her and a receipt for an abortion, I would’ve lost my entire shit and somebody would be dead. That’s a lot to take in to not be outraged. How dare I let someone embarrass me in that manner and I not become psychotic. I mean I guess she handled it well, but it was too calm for my liking.

5. Do you agree with Nicole’s decision in terms of not wanting to advise Tanya about her marital situation, even though they are best friends? Why or why not?

I agree because it’s really not her place to say anything. Also, given that she’s not in Tanya’s shoes, she can’t advise on something she knows nothing about. She doesn’t even know the whole situation because Tanya didn’t tell her everything.

6. Do you think Curtis genuinely loved Alicia, and that deep down he wanted to be a good father to her?

Uh, hell no. As often as he cancelled on her, laid hands on her mother, and did all his dirt, his daughter was the last thing on his mind. Any man who loves his daughter, would be showing her the kind of man she should be looking for when it comes to dating and finding a mate. If he really wanted to be a good father, he wouldn’t have done what he did to her mother.

7. Why do you think Curtis became so consumed with money, power, and women?

Just like anyone who becomes consumed with these things, adjusting to things you’ve never had before can be hard for some people. He never had any of that before and now that he does, he’s letting it all go to his head. He’s letting it drive him.

8. Do you think Curtis is an example of many pastors throughout this country? Is Tanya typical of the pastors’ wives? Is Adrienne an example of many women in the church?

Hell yes, hell yes and hell yes.

9. Prior to reading Casting the First Stone, had you ever experienced a similar situation wth your own pastor?

Before I stopped attending church, there was a church that we fellowshipped with that had a similar incidence, which caused the church to dissolve and many members to come to my former church.

10. What do you think is happening to the moral values of Christian leaders in the country and why?

To be honest, I think it has a lot to do with appearances now. They are more concerned with how they are perceived. They are also in competition with other pastors. Another thing is because they are pastors and purportedly closer to God, many people put their faith in them and believe they can do no wrong. Many pastors take advantage of this feat. They know as long as they have followers, they can do as they please and no one will bat an eye.

11. Do you believe Curtis wanted to do the right thing, but really couldn’t help doing the things he did? Did he have a problem with sexual addictions, or was it that he simply just wanted more than one woman in his life?

I don’t think he wanted to do the right thing. He was very manipulative for example when he wanted Tanya to vouch for them to get more money from the church. He was playing nice with her to get on her good side so she could do something for him to help get him out of a sticky situation. I don’t think he had a sexual problem, I think that he just wanted someone to dominate and since Tanya wasn’t having it, he had to look elsewhere. I do believe he wanted more women which was part of his greed.

12. What do you think is the most serious problem in the church today?

Hypocrisy. Many pastors are preaching about what you shouldn’t do as they are doing it. There’s a lot of gossiping and people are attending church for all the wrong reasons. There’s adultery, infidelity, money laundering, hypocrisy, fake fellowship, etc.

Final thoughts:

This book was a lot more than I thought it would be. Did I think it was right for Tanya to be having an affair even though Curtis had his dirt? No. I feel she should’ve filed for divorce when she found all of those receipts.

Curtis is a lowdown piece of shit. He was cheating with a married woman and an 18-year-old girl who he got pregnant. He also had a threesome and was being blackmailed for it. He is greedy and deserved everything he got. When his daughter fell down the stairs, that should’ve been his wake up call and all the more reason for Tanya to have taken her and left.

The book started off dreadfully slow, but when it got to the good stuff, it became fast paced, one incident after the other. It was a really good read.