Posts Tagged ‘ Gospel Music ’

Oprah Winfrey’s Double Standard on Domestic Violence

bebeoprah11 I am not an Oprah fan…..

I used to be one of those big Oprah fans and dedicated supporters who loved the show and everything else affiliated with Oprah Winfrey. I was proud to see a strong, black woman rise up from a troubled childhood and climb the ladder of success, but in recent years my support of Oprah has dwindled tremendously. I don’t watch her show and I wouldn’t even consider picking up an issue of  her magazine. But this blog post is not about the various reasons I no longer support the Big O. This blog post is about Oprah’s continued support of singer BeBe Winans even after he was accused of physically assaulting his ex-wife in February of this year. It is about Oprah speaking publicly about her disdain for Chris Brown after his altercation with Rihanna, but still remaining bubbly and friendly with BeBe Winans as if one abuser is better than the other. Abuse is abuse regardless of who the abuser is.

BeBe was arrested, as was Chris Brown. Both men were taken to jail for a physical act of violence against a woman. Oprah, in my opinion handled the Chris Brown situation from a judgmental point of view. She not only spoke her opinion on the situation, but she also did an entire segment on Domestic Violence; a subject that the Big O didn’t appear to give a damn about before the Chris Brown and Rihanna incident.  Yet, in the case of BeBe Winans, who is one of Oprah’s favorite singers and close friends, she seems to have a innocent until proven guilty view of the situation. Even after the arrest and a pending court appearance, BeBe Winans will be hosting Oprah’s Karaoke Challenge which will air November 5, 2009.

Of course Oprah can befriend whomever she likes. She can have anyone on her show that she chooses, but I seriously do not believe that Oprah would allow Chris Brown to host a podcast, nonetheless a portion of her show.  Her actions when handling both of these situations just seems hypocritical and biased. Whether it be a push, which is what BeBe Winans was accused of doing, or a full out attack as in the case of Chris Brown, domestic violence is wrong.

If you are going to speak out on domestic violence and take a stance against it, do so without being biased. Do so without approaching the situation as a victim supporter and an abuser trasher…unless the abuser is your close friend. Don’t  look at it with a different set of eyes and speak on it with a different voice just because he is a gospel singer and a close friend.  That, Oprah is hypocritical.

 With the celebrity status that Oprah Winfrey has, she of all people should know that there are three sides to every story. Neither Oprah nor the rest of the world was in the car with Chris Brown and Rihanna, neither were we witness to the incident that occurred between BeBe Winans and his ex-wife Debra Winans. With that being said, we are not aware of the full details of either incident.

Oprah is quoted as saying in relation to the Chris Brown & Rihanna incident:

Love doesn’t hurt. And if a man hits you once, he will hit you again

If that is your belief, apply that to every abuser Oprah, not just Chris Brown. Please don’t get me wrong, I feel that the show was very beneficial. It not only gave the issue of domestic violence a louder voice, but it spoke about and to a group of people who are becoming victims of domestic violence far too often, teenage girls.

I just feel that efforts to end domestic violence should; provide awareness of the issue, assistance to victims and help for the abusers. You can’t have one without the other, if the cycle of violence is to be broken.

Has the church gone too far?

I attend a small Baptist church. You know, one of those small churches that sit on a hill, the ones that make you think of the Color Purple when Shug and the juke joint folks ran down the dirt road to the church where the choir was singing Speak to Me.

didn’t that chile sing that song!

My church is based on what I like to call old time religion. No pop locking because the choir is singing your favorite song, no huge bands playing R&B mixed with Gospel, no songs that straddle the line between secular and gospel and last but not least, no pretense for participation. My pastor will not wear fancy suits and buy a new car every year just to get attention. It is a bible based church and that’s the way I like it.

I say all of that to ask a question, has the church gone too far?

First let me say that this post is in no way meant to offend anyone or personally attack any specific person’s religious preference, place of worship or religious beliefs.

Not too long ago, World Overcomer’s Outreach Ministries Church here in Memphis, TN caught quite a bit of flack for a statue they had built in front of the church. The Statue of Liberation Through Christ cost the church a whopping $260,000.

05liberty_large11

The 72 foot statue which is a replica of the Statue of Liberty holds a cross in her right hand and the Ten Commandments in her left hand.  You can find the complete breakdown of the statue’s attributes and symbolism here.

Some were outraged by the placement of the statue and called the statue a form of idol worship and proclaimed that the church should be ashamed. My first thought was wow $260,000 that money could have built some low income homes or provided home placement or other necessities to families in need or even a shelter for the homeless….

The same church also came under heavy scrutiny when the pastor and his wife put on a play which sought to teach husbands and wives about their sexual relationships and how to keep your spouse interested. The stage where the pastor normally preaches was set up as a bedroom and the pastor and wife entertained the members of the congregation.

At this point many people felt that it was no longer a question it was true, the church had gone too far!

Then there are the churches that proclaim that the youth must be reached. These churches seem to be willing to bring anything into the church to get the youth to feel welcome and comfortable during worship. They allow things like this to take place in the church:

True, the youth do need to be reached, but is the only way to reach them is to let them lean wit it rock wit in on the church platform?

Along with sex plays and hip hop dancing there is also the lavish lifestyles of many of the pastors that have the eyebrows of many raised and wondering.  A while back WLMT Memphis news anchor Jeni Diprizio covered the story “Preacher’s Pads”  (which I cannot find the article anywhere, still searching though) where she investigated just how large pastors were living. After the research, the conclusion was that preacher’s were living VERY large. They had huge homes, multiple cars and many of the home’s mortgages were paid by the church. This was no surprise to many because they were members at some of these churches were the preachers drove Escalades while the members struggled to pay utility bills. However for some this was even more proof that church is no longer based on religion and worship but for the most part it is just a paycheck for the preacher and an entertainment outlet for the congregation.

Then there is TBN….

It has been around longer than I can remember and honestly the network does nothing for me. I know that they have a very faithful audience, some who contribute dutifully and others who tune in just to hear the word, but personally some of the stuff broadcast on TBN rubs me the wrong way.

There are a list of reasons TBN doesn’t provoke a Hallelujah from me, a few of the reasons include the prayer cloths, trinkets for donations and astonishing healing services I have an awkward feeling towards the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Remember this is the same network in which scandalous Jimmy Swaggart  proclaimed to heal souls and live by the word

did he say he would kill a homosexual????

AND the same network that allowed adulterous Jim Bakker to preach the word for so many years.

With the lavish living, sex in the pulpit and the uncountable number of Unholy Rollers, many people have given up on the church. They no longer believe that it is a place to worship or profess their love for God. These are the people who crinkle their noses at you and quickly say no thank you when invited to worship service. These are the people who believe that religion is overrated and most church services are artificial.

Has the church gone too far?