Friday, January 25, 2013

Why I Haven't Been To Church In Weeks...

So...this guy here is the reason I haven't been to church in weeks. Kind of. For those of you who don't know, this is Oliver North. His story is a long one, most of the details of which you probably won't give a fuck about, so I'll summarize. Oliver North was a big-time military dude when Reagan was president. He got involved in some shady shit the pres and his homies cooked up, lied to congress about it, took the blame, wrote some books and now he works for Faux I mean, Fox News, where his job is to disrespect the totally awesome President Obama and I think he does some stuff about war heroes and shit like that. For some strange reason, he's still down with the party that sold his ass down the river and that's that.

That being said, I'm sure he's a very  nice guy. At least, he seemed to be a nice enough guy when I heard him speak at church, which brings me to the point of this post. You may ask - what the hell was Oliver North doing at your church? That, my friends, was my question exactly.

The answer, basically, is that he wrote a new book.

Being an author myself, I totally appreciated the marketing genius of the whole thing. Put Oliver North in front of a typically Texan republican crowd, talk about war, guns, diss the president, throw in some Jesus, sell some books, stick around after service to sign some of said books and take pics. I can dig it. Mr. North has bills to pay too. The problem is that I didn't go to church to further his writing career or to support the republican agenda. And it's not because he's white. And it's not because he's republican (well, not entirely). I am equally disturbed by democrats who visit black churches around election time to politic and gather up the Jesus vote. It's just...tacky to me. But I digress...

Those of you who know me personally know which church I was attending when I saw the colonel speak. And I have to say that for the most part, it's what we black folks would call a 'white church'. Honestly, that's one of the reasons I chose it, although it's probably more accurate to call it a 'multi-cultural' church. And let me say, in this church's defense, that I don't honestly believe they (the body and staff) are racist, or anything like that, although the pastor has some views on gay marriage, welfare and women's rights that make my liberal spidey-senses tingle. The long and short of it is that for the most part, I have always felt comfortable singing along in the crowd, praying along with whomever is holding the mic, regardless of their color or ethnicity. It's actually a pretty cool place to be. Here's my issue...

I think it's safe to say that as black folks, we've all been in that situation at work, or school, or wherever, where you know the white people make black jokes and fiercely hate (and I do mean HATE) Obama, but they make double sure to not do or say those things around you. And then, somebody gets drunk at an office party, or has a bad day, or gets cussed out by some customer service rep or checkout person that just happens to be black and their true colors come out. And you're pissed, but you're also glad it's on the table. Finally. That's how I felt that Sunday, sitting in church surrounded by Texas, republican, righteous indignation. Like my presence had been tolerated, and out of politeness, they had tamed their real views and feelings, but when the colonel took the stage, there was a collective sigh of 'Finally! We can be ourselves!'. 

I felt like I was intruding on some kind of private meeting. I would have appreciated some kind of warning at the door. Something like: "If you voted for Obama, you might wanna turn around. Sit this one out. Go to the mall. This is not your Sunday." Chances are, I would have said something like: 'Thank you, kind white person. I think I will hit the mall. Have some brunch. Take a Sunday off." 

So...wrapping up...I am not racist. Some of my best friends are white people and/or republicans (not really, but that's what you say, dammit). I really like the church and all its awesomeness. I'm just having a really hard time bringing myself to go back. Not sure what that says about me or the church. I dunno. I'll let you know how it all turns out.


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