When the Black Church Fails Women
One writer at the Crunk Feminist Collective explains why, when her pastor announced his support for mega-church Pastor Creflo Dollar, who was arrested late last week for committing simple battery and cruelty against a child -- in this case his 15-year-old daughter -- she got up and walked out.
It wasn't just that she was sickened by the support of Christians who came out in droves to defend Dollar ("What is this, Chris Brown and Ri-Ri 2.0?" she asks readers). She also argues that, although it's true that we don't know the whole story, what we do know raises some serious questions about "why black women are so ready to co-sign theologies that literally support us getting our asses kicked in our own house." And she offers seven points for those who want to change that to consider:
1.) Sisters have the power to change this thing. The Black Church is one of the few places where we do have this kind of power. And the tide won't turn, until Black women get fed up and then start to stand up, start walking out, and start taking our money with us.
2.) Children are not our property. It is not their job to confer upon us the worth and dignity denied to us by others. We do not get to violently beat them into submission, supported by terrible "spare the rod" theologies. Everyone wants children to obey, but what do we do with Ephesians 6:1-4 which clearly, after telling children to honor their parents, admonishes fathers not to "provoke children to wrath." Wonder why that's in there?
3.) Discipline is not synonymous with punishment or spanking. It was in church that I learned that discipline and disciple share the same root word. To disciple means to train up (usually in the ways of Jesus.) Aren't there more creative and effective ways to parent? Spanking is the easy-out option. It is the option that packs the "literal" biggest punch, requires the least amount of thought, and is designed to quickly redirect undesirable behaviors. But it is largely ineffective, and rarely about actual discipline. Spanking is used to communicate anger to a child for doing something wrong. They are used to remind the child who's boss. And the boss is the person who gets to mete out violence when the rules don't get followed. Interestingly enough, in the Black Church, I think far too many of us understand God in these exact same terms -- as the strict disciplinarian, who polices all our actions, ever ready to issue cosmic butt whoopings when we don't fall into line. Thank God for delivering me from such thinking.
Read more at the Crunk Feminist Collective.