Congrats are in order for Catherine Samba-Panza. This beauty has been elected as the first female president of the Central African Republic. Previously, Ms. Samba-Panza was the mayor of Bangui and became the interim president after beating rival, Desire Kolingba, son of the ousted president. President Samba-Panza is tasked with ending the sectarian violence that has been plaguing the Central African Republic for nearly a year.
Those are some pretty big shoes to fill, but President Samba-Panza is up for the challenge. During her acceptance speech, President Samba-Panza said, “I call on my children, especially the anti-balaka, to put down their arms and stop all the fighting. The same goes for the ex-Seleka – they should not have fear. I don’t want to hear any more talk of murders and killings.”
Seleka militia, a Muslim group, went on a killing and looting spree that led to revenge attacks by the anti-balaka, a Christian militia. President Samba-Panza is a Christian, but seen as politically neutral because she does not have ties to either group, said she would try to bring the country together. “Starting today, I am the president of all Central Africans without exclusion.” Many now hope that the election of Samba-Panza will help to bring calm to the nation of 4.6 million people. Here’s hoping President Samba-Panza has what it takes to lead her nation into a peaceful future.
In light of the all the media buzz about Good Morning America host Robin Roberts publicly announcing her same-sex relationship (here), and in the wake of the Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson controversy (here), I wondered to myself: “why are we as a society so fascinated in who’s f*cking who!?”
There are numerous media outlets, from TMZ to Bossip, which feeds our cravenous appetites for such
information gossip. Although there is nothing constructive, let alone enlightening, by nurturing and feeding this addiction to spy into other people’s lives, celebrities or not, these latest round of media stories did conceive this question for my consideration: “what is more detrimental to the Black community: gay marriage or interracial marriage?”
In an effort to legitimize their cause, one of the arguments proponents for gay marriage use is to compare their struggle to the fight for the legalization of interracial marriage. This is a similar tactic used by those who are fighting for gay rights, to compare it to the (continuing) struggle for civil and human rights of those with black skins. I discussed my feelings on that issue previously: “Is Gay the new Black?”
I recently had this discussion with a friend who was ranting that about how one the main ways the morals of society was being undermined, was by the cultural shift that has become more accepting of homosexuals. We’ve also had numerous discussions on a variety of strategies to empower the Black community. We both agree that everything starts with the Black family. Ironically, this is a black man who is married to a white woman.
Me: How many gay couples do you know?
Him: A couple maybe
Me: How many black people do you know who are in interracial relationships?
Him: Too many to count
Me: What more undermines the development of the Black family and the progress of the Black community: gay marriage or interracial marriage?”
Regardless of my personal and political beliefs on gay and interracial marriage, both in their owns ways, undermines the development of a strong Black family, which is the foundation of a strong Black community. However, the latter being more prevalent and acceptable, makes it more detrimental to the progress of the Black community.
What we need to do as a people is not spend our time and energy focussing on “who’s zoomin’ whom”, but on building, nurturing and developing, positive, respectful, life affirming relationships among and between black men and women, so as to lay a solid foundation of the Black family, upon which the Black community can firmly stand.
“Family, is it politically incorrect for a Black man to say that Black men should marry Black women and that we should be deeply concerned about the effeminization of the Black male? Is it strange to be alarmed about the erosion of whatever values our communities once possessed that held those communities together even in the worst of times? If so, I suppose that I stand on the outside looking in. When I see so many prominent Black men sporting non-Black women on their side and see a strong looking Black man in a dress with high heels and curlers, to me it is a cause of disgust and alarm. And I am not shy about saying it. Is that what our Ancestors survived enslavement and colonization for? My god, what is happening to us?” Runoko Rashidi
I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.
Bob, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.
‘And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said,
‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d see you
Traditionally, the Christmas season brings out the best in people… or it’s supposed to at least. This is the one time of year that differences should be put aside, between individuals and within families, between and within communities… regardless of religious and political beliefs, despite one’s social standing. Whether you are a Christian or not, whether you have any religious beliefs or not, the hope of “peace on earth and good will towards all men, women and children”, if not something you care about during the year, it should at least be at the forefront of our minds (if not hearts) this time of year.
However, today we live in a society where being callous, cold-hearted, judgemental, mean-spirited and self-righteous is celebrated and revered… AND nowhere are these attitudes celebrated and revered more than among those who claim to be politically “conservative” and profess themselves to be “christian”.
The comments of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson in the January GQ magazine about homosexuals (here) is one case in point. He and his supporters claim that his comments are based on biblical principles. I’m a Christian, but Robertson’s Christianity isn’t my Christianity. The Jesus I worship and who is the example of how I should treat others is shown in the biblical story of the woman accused of adultery and brought before Jesus by the religious leaders of his day. By the law of Moses, which was the religious law of the day, her punishment was to be stoned to death. Jesus who knew the law, didn’t dispute what her punishment should be. He simply told the religious leaders that whichever of them where “without sin among you”, they should cast the first stone. After they had departed and He was left alone with the woman, Jesus… who was without sin… stated to her: “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”. (here)
Phil Robertson and those professed christians who think like him, are much like those religious leaders in that story. What they have failed to comprehend, due to their self-righteous arrogance, is that the Law or Word of God is not to be used to condemn or judge others, but to be used as a blueprint for our lives to be a testimony of the compassion and love of God.
Canada isn’t immune to these callous, mean-spirited “conservative christian” types either. Recently federal Conservative minister James Moore was asked what the government planned to do about the high rate of child poverty in his home province of British Columbia. He answered: “Well, obviously nobody wants kids to go to school hungry. Certainly we want to make sure that kids go to school full bellied, but is that always the government’s job to be there to serve people their breakfast? Empowering families with more power and resources so that they can feed their own children is, I think, a good thing. Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so.” (emphasis mine)
Canadian conservatives are proud to profess their unapologetic and unashamed Christian beliefs. Moore obviously missed this message of Jesus when He was asked by the religious leaders what was the most important commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (here) Would Moore allow his own child to go hungry? I would say, “not!” Then why does he feel no obligation, as a government leader, or as a Christian, or even just as a human being, to ensure that his neighbor’s child doesn’t go hungry!?
I believe if Jesus was around today, he would be demonized and accused by so-called “conservatives” of being a liberal, progressive, socialist radical. If todays so-called “christians” like Robertson and Moore were around in Jesus’ day, they would be among the religious leaders leading the people in their chants for Pontius Pilate to “Crucify Him!” Jesus constantly referred to the religious leaders, not the sinners, as hypocrites, vipers and the children of the Satan. This was due to their callousness, mean-spiritedness and judgemental attitudes towards those they considered “sinners”, which included the poor and the sick. Jesus stated clearly that His ministry was not for those who considered themselves religious, nor was it to judge or condemn sinners: “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (here).
In the GQ article Robertson paraphrases 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, in which he lists those who will not inherit the kingdom of heaven: “the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers…” More importantly, both Robertson and Moore… and other professed christians of their ilk… should study in their Bible Matthew 25:31-46, where Jesus himself identified those who will inherit the kingdom of heaven… the compassionate: those who feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, give shelter to the stranger, cloth the naked, care for the sick and visit those in prison. Hopefully during their bible study, they will also be enlightened that Jesus doesn’t mention any rewards for those who condemn homosexuals or are so callous that they feel no responsibility to feed a hungry child.
During this season, we hear those who profess to be Christians say this phrase: “Remember the reason for the season”. I always wonder what this truly means to them. Speaking for myself, the purpose of the birth of Jesus was to bring all people into a relationship with a compassionate, loving and merciful God. We Christians are suppose to be an example, a “light to the world”, of this compassion, love and mercy. Robertson would be more an example of this light, if his biblical beliefs led him to spend his time and money supporting a hospice for people suffering from AIDS, instead of making disgusting comments condemning homosexuals.
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Ghandi.