Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE...?


                                          

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE…?
by "The Urban Guru"
                                                  


The "Urban Guru" is one of the frequent readers of this blog site of whom I've corresponded with via email on different occasions. D' in Philly now better known as the "Urban Guru" asked me if I've ever written a post on this particular subject matter? Our conversation via email took-on a life of it's own. D' in Philly eloquently articulated so much unbridled-truth in our correspondence until I asked him to write the post; he so graciously concurred and he wrote a very stimulating piece.
Get ready ladies and gentleman for an amazing, bumpy and eye-opening ride of truth & reality. So I am introducing to some and presenting to you all the
 "The Urban Guru" who will be starting his own blog site very soon.  

                            
       WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE…?
by "The Urban Guru"

Although it has been a hot topic for a few years now, the subject of homosexuality among members of the "church scene" seems to meander from point to point, reference to reference, with no real direction.  This week, I became a little full, and felt the need to release my own frustration with the dialogue.

Because I have had down time from work, I've spent a lot of time online, following leads about people, reading about people I know and don't know.  What started out as an incidental landing on one minister's youtube video led me into an absolute whirlwind of facts, rumors and realizations.  It started with me learning of one young man who was a dynamic, up and coming minister in a Texas town.  I had no idea who he was and stopped in my tracks because of his picture.  The eyes said it all.  Then I found other videos of this man preaching and exalting God, yet saying so much more through subtle mannerisms and body language. Things that he probably wasn't even aware of, or thought he had under wraps.  Then I realized this man has been dead over twenty years now.  He was murdered by intruders into his home that he is said to have known.  The bells went off in my head.  Those bells many try to ignore.  There were other mentions that I began to read that led to the possibility that this man had been living another life, separate from what he displayed in the pulpit and that this life, had eventually caught up with him in a tragic way.

Then, during the same week, I got a text message from a friend letting me know that a popular musician and "Bishop" in my town had been found dead in his home.  A young man.  So sad, and such a loss of talent.  As I reminisced through his videos on youtube I ran across new ones I had never seen, those of him actually preaching.  And there he was, talking about people being loose in their morals and sexually unchaste.  Not that unusual, right?  Yes, if you take into consideration that this is the same man who has been seen, taking advantage of a particular clandestine location where one can participate in giving anonymous oral sex.
Having lived in several large East Coast cities over the years, I've heard many a story along these lines.  Even prominent ministers, out and about looking for chance encounters to ease their loneliness.  Often times, it seems they think they are incognito for some reason; that while going to the bath-house or traipsing about in the cruising park they won't be recognized.  Driving around in their cars late at night, looking for a chance hook-up with the trade of their liking; getting caught, locked up, having a revival to preach but needing someone to come to the jail to bail them out (in a semen stained shirt);  perhaps, joining a group of gay men for a stroll through New York City's Village, wearing clothing that the Saints would collapse in horror from if they saw the spectacle.  Even taking chances on having an encounter in the church itself, bringing a "date" back to the office or some secluded nook.  If memory serves me correctly, I think someone once told me he actually had sex on the pulpit, or at least in the sanctuary, of a church he didn't belong to.  If you ever have honest and revealing conversations with gay men, more and more of these stories pop up. 

In 2012, at a time when the ways of obtaining instant media are numerous, scandals and their resulting fallout are available to everyone.  Most people in the church are aware of the mega scandals...the Eddie Longs....etc.  Those types of men have been involved in scandals for years.  It just used to take a much longer time to find out about them and they were more easily hushed.  But there seems to be a lack of attention being paid to the very things that are occurring in one's own, every day, run of the mill congregation.  For example, how many churches (even the small ones) deal effectively with the obvious passing of HIV among the gay men in their midst?  Yes, there are churches where there is a core of gay men who tend to hang out together outside the sanctuary, forming a "supportive" sub-community that often becomes incestuous, and deadly, once the virus has been introduced to the mix.  But as the deaths come, one by one, the church goes on, continuing as if there is no real problem.  After all, they brought that judgment down upon themselves didn't they?  And the focus, the bashing, the calling out, most always seems to be directed toward the men.  What about the gay women?  Oh that's right.  They more easily blend-in and hide themselves.  So, it's mostly the men who get bashed from the pulpit, those "homa-sexuls".  And its these men who often find themselves trolling about the city late at night, under the cover of darkness, looking for temporary fulfillment. 

But this is nothing new.  We have all heard about these goings on.  The problem is that there has been no change in the way the church is dealing with it.  Obviously, there is a disconnect with the spiritual wellness of men who feel compelled to seek love in the wrong places.  Or to have a meaningful relationship, yet get into the pulpit and bash the very people they sought love from.  Or choose to remain single yet because of career goals, family commitments, even the hunger for recognition and power, play the role and appease the masses.  This more often than not, leads to a "hetero" marriage and even children; until the dust settles and the true yearnings become too great. The underlying issue has still not been dealt with and is psychologically maiming.  There is no way to live a well-adjusted adult life when there is such a huge burden to bear, day after day, year after year.  Then the irresponsible behavior starts.  How many gay people have been run away from the church and find themselves caught up in deviant behavior to ease the pain?  How many gay people have not turned to the church, when in need of spiritual care, because of the messiness of those in office? 

I am so done with Black church.  I really am.  And although there are problems in all denominations, Black and otherwise, I'm talking just about the Black experience now.  And the more I think about it the more I'm convinced that most Black "religion" is just a little understanding of the truth of who God is...combined with some nice stories to make sermons out of...and some iconography gleaned from European religion.  Take that and mix it with a never ending quest for identity and belonging...and there you have it.  But alas, this is not meant to be a bashing of the Black church.  In fact, I love what the Black church represents.  However, I believe there has come a time for stepping back and reassessing just what is going on.  The type of church that helped usher in the civil rights movement may not be the same type of church that needs to deal with this new civil rights issue; whether to allow people to be who they are, without guilt or shame while tending to their spiritual growth.  For those who see it as simply an issue of sin.....if it were as simple as praying it away, or making someone go to special counseling sessions, or having a Donny McClurkin give a testimony, then we would see change.  And if one wants to talk of praying away "sin" then let’s pray away obesity, which is rampant in the church.  Let's pray away divorce.  Let's pray away the mixing of fibers in our clothes.  Let's pray away the eating of shellfish (lawd, that would throw some people in a tizzy and ruin their after church dinners).  I have never heard a mass alter call for any of these wrongs.

The spotlight is usually always directed toward gays: What about people who call themselves "bi-sexual"?  It would seem they have it easier because they can perpetrate the hetero life and slip in and out of gay encounters when necessary.  To me, this is even worse.  Making a commitment to someone and betraying that trust, I would think, should call for a greater rebuke.  However, in the church there are probably thousands of seemingly hetero couples who have various types of secret "setups".  The husband or wife is sneaking out for same sex encounters, or they may even have an open relationship, whether or not agreed upon.  Most often you find the husbands having "special friends" that they travel with, go on vacations with, or help get positions within the organization.  These are adult men, often with individual families and careers, who are for all intents and purposes - lovers.  I'm not even mentioning the pedophilia tendencies of many in the clergy.  And with all the various other secret deviant activity that is actually stewing below the surface, the church still continues to focus on GAY, GAY, GAY.  I could see if one taught against the irresponsible and whorish activities that seem to be easily enjoyed by many who are gay.  However, the totality of the ranting is primarily a dismissal of one's actual orientation or identification as a sexual being.  Yet, men and women in church office or dedicated in the pews, must function as productive members of the organization and even the outside community, while harboring a broken spirit and psyche.  And for those whose lives are almost totally wrapped up in a church denomination, this can be nothing but devastating.

This one issue, of whether a person can actually be in love with someone of the same sex, is so ingrained in the dogma of the church that it continues to cause the destruction of men and women who are still, in 2012, wandering the dark streets, taking dangerous people into their homes, going to conventions with lascivious intentions, lying to their spouses, having unprotected and uninformed sex and even losing their lives violently.  It is time for the church to reevaluate it’s approach to this issue.  It is also time for gay men and women, especially those in the church, to begin to respect and honor themselves and their "temples" so that the thoughts of destructive behavior are quieted and their lives can be lived more authentically and without church theatrics to cover the hurt.

I would like for you to forward this posting to some of your Christian and non-Christian friends & family.

I  and "The Urban Guru" would love to hear your comments. 
If you have an experience that you would like to share and you would like to have it posted/featured on this site, email son_of_a_bishop3000@yahoo.com. Just click-on "Post a Comment" below to write your comments.

2 comments:

John Garlington said...

Urban Guru happens on a lot of ideas where the nuances are too deep to given have a dialogue in this format. In essence, he is calling out patriarchy and its implications on black male sexuality. The confusion in black male sexuality while being picked up on the streets having been released from a prison industrial complex of one’s sexual identity is confused where control and dominance determines one’s orientation. There is confusion from the person who is picking that person up. It’s our collective confusion about scripture and an understanding and conceptualization of God not reduced to an elementary education. Marginalized people grappling with perceptions and concepts that can’t be ideologically reduced to manageable proportions because we need new tools (i.e. education and knowledge) to understand.

D. Matt said...

Wow!!!!! He is a Guru on this subject matter…isn’t he ? His words are very powerful & I can see why U too see eye to eye on so many issues. I would love 2 b in the same room with the 2 of u @ the same time listening 2 u converse about these topics!!! It would B awesome!!! I admire his work!!

Much love,

D. Matt