Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Why Christian Men Don't Date or Marry Christian Women

I recently read an article on BlackandMarriedWithKids that highlighted the 12 reasons why christian men don't date or marry christian women.

This particular article derived from an earlier post where the writer questioned why we were seeing several prominent male christians marrying women who wouldn't be considered "church girls" (e.g. Rusell Wilson & Ciara, Israel Houghton & Adrienne Bailon, Noel Jones and Lisa Raye etc)

Here are some of the 12 reasons. Go to the article for the full list.

- They don't feel valued by christian women
- Christian women are too busy
- Christian women are too sanctimonious
- Not feminine enough
- Two-faced
- Always preaching, never listening

There were so many things that bothered me about this premise. I would like to briefly relay them below:

#1 - Why are we presuming that these women aren't christians? Just because "christian" isn't part of their public persona does not mean that they are not christians who are plugged into someone's local congregation off the radar. This may sound like a naive point in the cases of some of the women mentioned in the first article, but I think it is important to make note of nonetheless.

#2 - Reading this article, one would think that the bible presents dating outside the church as an option for christians. In my mind, the BMWK article could have just been a tweet that read:

Professing christians often find ways to justify their sin - especially when it comes to dating and relationships

And that would be it. The bible is clear concerning why christians should only marry other christians. I don't think it is fair or responsible to just quote 2 corinthians 6:14 and say "that settles it -there's your reason why". There is a big picture reason why and it has a lot to do with God's intentions for marriage and what marriage is meant to reflect. If you're looking for a deeper answer, go here for a start.

#3 - From this article, you would think the difficulties mentioned in the list do not exist with women outside the church. "Oh - christian women don't value me, let me go on Tinder and find a woman who values me" Seriously, dude? Take several seats and put your phone down 😒

#4 - You would also think churches aren't FULL OF SINGLE WOMEN. One or two less than ideal attempts at a relationship doesn't mean "give up". If that is the standard, no one would date ever.

#5 - The only people that should get asked a question about why they're dating outside the church
(specifically within christian circles for the purpose of building up and maturation) are christian women. I'm not proposing this as a rule henceforth now and forever - just making a point. 

I would expect the responses to mostly hover around the fact that waiting on God to send a mate is hard and loneliness is a beast.

I don't remember the song, but I heard a female r&b singer sing "I have so much love to give" about herself (her context being "VERY SINGLE"). 
A lot of people have love to give and they want to give that love to another person but they feel like they don't have a chance of encountering that other person to give it to - or they're not sure when or if it will happen. That is a very difficult feeling to deal with. 

There is also a lot to unpack in the previous paragraph about looking to be satisfied in romantic relationships (in an ultimate sense, not in a "within the relationship" sense), but that requires its own post.

From a big picture perspective, I think that this is why it is important for churches to not neglect ministry to singles of all ages. Lots of churches make a huge pivot to focus only on marrieds and families (this is not the case with urban black churches - also another post) and in doing so neglect their singles. This cannot be.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Is Blackface Racist?

I stumbled across an article in the New York Times that sought to wokesplain (#wokesplain) to people why it is wrong for a white person to present themselves as a person of a different race - especially on Halloween.

In my mind, implying that it is inherently offensive for one to darken their skin for the purpose of a costume is itself inherently offensive...to sound logic.

Intention matters.

If the makeup wearer's intention is to revive minstrel shows or to show the world how stupid or worthy of ridicule a particular group of people are, then yeah - wrong, racist & offensive.

But if someone who has pale skin wants to show other Halloween revelers how much they appreciate Lebron James...or Eddie Murphy - why is that offensive or racist?

Such logic would be the equivalent of someone saying that use of rope is racist because rope played a critical role in lynchings. Is rope racist? No? Then how is darkening one's skin for a costume racist?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that wearing skin darkening makeup cannot be racist - I'm just saying that it isn't inherently racist. Again, intention matters.

Powerful words are robbed of their meaning when we use them inaccurately.

To say it another way: The ability to call *actual* racism racism is lost when we call things that aren't racist racist.

Tell me why I am wrong. Happy Halloween.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Google Knows Where I Parked My Car

I didn't forget, but it is nice to know #GoogleNow remembers where I parked #bigbrother?

(Google apparently also knows that I have bills due soon)

The really cool/spooky thing here is that Google was able to correctly guess that I drove myself to this rehearsal and discern what the parking to walking transition looks like using GPS data.

I'm interested to know why Google didn't think I caught a cab (maybe b/c I never take cabs) or rode my bike (maybe b/c my max speed was about 30mph and Google knows that I'm not Lance Armstrong - although I'm prob 20% of what he is w/o steroids...my hill climb game is strong).

It is obvious that I didn't take mass transit b/c I didn't disappear from location services while underground and my drive did not mirror a bus route at all.

But I feel like this trip could have been an uber pool ride taken with a friend or someone picking me up and dropping me off. I guess that since Google knows I'm a driver who never uses the uber app that there was prob a 97% chance that their guess was right.

Well...it was.

Nice work, Google

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lending Money to Friends?

A friend of mine recently expressed how lending money to friends has ruined some of his friendships

His post caused me to think about my experiences lending money to friends and what it has taught me. Here's what I've learned:

Short version: Don't lend money to friends. Give money to friends. If you get anything in return, count it as a bonus.

Long version: Here's my comment from his post -

I stopped lending after one friend never paid me back. At the time I felt disrespected, but I was able to get over it once I realized that the non repayment wasn't about me. We're fb friends now but the owed money has never been addressed again. Having the friend is worth more than the $2-300 or whatever the amount was.

It is always better to give with no expectation of repayment. If people are asking you for money it could be for any number of reasons, but it is usually because no other creditor will give it to them. And this is usually because they're really bad at managing money. Don't expect people who can't mange their own money to make and stick to a plan to pay you back your money.

Additionally, don't expect people who cannot provide for themselves to get to the point where they'll be able to pay you back - esp for 4-5 digit sums (6 digits if you're ballin?). Keep in mind that if the money was to help the person get back to "normal", normal wasn't a state where they were in debt for $10,000.

One last idea - give money in exchange for service. If the person is an artist, exchange money for some of their art. If they're a chef, have them invite you over to dinner for a few weeks over the next year. The exchange needn't be equal. Such an action allows you to speak life to the person. It says "You have something valuable to offer" to someone who may believe otherwise about themselves.

What say ye? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Mayor De Blasio Agrees To Raises For City Council Members - People Are Pissed

Lots of people are upset over Mayor DiBlasio's accepting a recommendation from an independent panel to give 23% raises for members of NYC City Council. This raise would bring their salary up to $138k from $112k.

In exchange for the raises, the City Council members will no longer be able to hold jobs outside city council.

In a news story that I watched on CBS this morning, the react quotes were from two people:

  1. An NYC citizen who felt the council members are do-nothings who probably don't deserve a paycheck in the first place
  2. The president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (the nyc police union) who said that this raise is a slap in the face of police officers who, by comparison, received paltry 1% raises.

After reading the comments in the online version of the CBS story I watched this morning, which essentially echoed the citizen and the PBA president (but in much more angry terms), I felt like I should quickly write down my thoughts.

Here they are:

1. It seems like the people who gave the react quotes and the comment section people completely missed the fact that these raises come with bans on outside employment.

The raise is an acknowledgment of new regulations that would be placed on city council members that would effectively lower their income earning ability.

The $50k/yr (or higher...or lower) consulting gig that they used to work is now replaced with a $25k raise. That's significant.

The public benefits because, in theory, there will be fewer opportunities for conflicts of interest. To me, this sounds like a reasonable compromise. But to those who cannot get past the announcement of the pay raise, this sounds like civil servants enriching themselves at the taxpayers' expense. Why are people only capable of seeing one side of the story?

2. It seems like people are bad at math

Why can't people do math? Why can't PBA president see that there's a huge difference between giving $25k raises to the 51 members of city council (+ a few other elected officials like the mayor, comptroller and DA) and giving a raise to New York City's 50,000 police officers? I'm not saying the cops don't deserve a raise, but we're talking a 3 orders of magnitude difference in the number of people affected.
Quick Math Aside: If 50k cops get an average raise of $500 in one year - that will cost taxpayers $25 million. $25k raises for 51 people will cost $1.3 million. 
If the argument isn't about money, but rather fairness and principle - we have to take into consideration the fact that police officers are allowed to work outside jobs (e.g. bouncers, bodyguards) while carrying their department-issued service weapons. This legislation takes away from council members the opportunity to be employed outside of their city job. So there's that.

In closing, the reactions I saw serve as another illustration of why I hate people (read my post on hating people here). People generally do not think critically about things and they often express their poorly informed opinions as though there aren't any circumstances under which they could be wrong. (Aside: with that said - there is a good chance that this raise could just be bad policy. Why hasn't the baseline expectation for NYC's elected officials *always* been "no outside employment"? Why does correcting a wrong, assuming it is wrong, require a raise?)

In the defense of the people who gave react quotes in the televised CBS NY story, there is a chance that the reporter baited them into giving nasty react quotes by omitting the information about restrictions on outside work (juicer quotes = juicier story). But even if that's the case, the people in the comment section have no excuse. The full story was presented plainly online - the article headline reads: "DeBlasio Agrees To Raises For City Council Members In Exchange For Reforms"

i'm done.