No Country for Weaves: A Pastor’s Right?

[I’m writing so quickly; here’s the short of it:]

Today, the site AmericanPreachers.com posted a story about a pastor in Waco, Texas who wants to ban weaves from his church. He notes that weaves “presents a false image of themselves and are associated with women who have low self-esteem.” Additionally, he says, “I lead a church where our members are struggling financially. I mean really struggling. Yet, a 26 year old mother in my church has a $300 weave on her head. NO. I will not be quiet about this,” according to the site.

Sir.

Can I say a brief word about this?

Lissen.

If you’re banning weaves because you feel like women who wear them have low self esteem and need to accept their “natural selves” should men stop getting hair cuts, too?

I mean, if we’re going to take the focus on the “inward man” approach, men need to embrace their natural self and stop getting haircuts, no?

Furthermore, if you would just focus on PASTORING instead of trying to tell women what to staple to their scalp, then you wouldn’t have to be concerned about not having the financials necessary to care for those in your congregation who don’t have enough to live.

See, when a pastor is effective at doing his/her job, then the people freely give. The church then has the means to reach the people in and outside of the congregation and do the work of Christ.

Period.

Someone’s Remy weave ain’t hindering you from doing YOUR JOB.

And this is why folks don’t take Christians seriously. How divisive, busy, and distracting this is to the work the Body of Christ as to do.

Jesus wasn’t worrying about the headdresses women had on their heads, man.

He just taught solid principles about how to live this life and get to the next. That’s it.

What if I’m rocking a weave because I suffer from Alopecia or growing my hair out from chemotherapy?

Great way to make me feel welcomed to the body of Christ. (sarcasm)

Because when we offend people over stuff like this, it’s not the church or pastor that gets the bad rap. It’s Jesus.

It is difficult to separate between the works of man (read: people who are “working” in the name of Jesus) from the redemptive works of Jesus because for so many, those entities are one in the same.

So, if you offend me, pastor, for wearing my weave — I’m mad at more than just YOU, I’m mad at Jesus/the Christian faith.

And you will have to answer for that person leaving the faith or never coming to Jesus over a 22″ Remy.

You see how petty that is?

I don’t wanna have to answer for turning someone away from an opportunity to receive or live for Christ because I’m nitpicking the mundane. Nah.

But, I’m natural so I’m good with that pastuh. Hmph.

What do you think about this pastor’s demands? Is there any truth to his claims or is this another way to further divide the body of Christ? Post your thoughts below!

On the Chase,

Alisha L.

For Colored Girls Who Are Okay With Being Colored.

This weekend was the opening of Tyler Perry’s film adaptation of the critically acclaimed For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange. There was much buzz around Perry, a Black male, taking on such a resounding chorus for Black women all over the world. We wondered, “is he capable?” “is he going to feature Madea as one of the ‘colors?'” “who the hell told him that he could tell our story?”

Even I was on the you-are-not-the-right-one-to-tell-this-story bandwagon early on. Guilty as charged. I always thought that Tyler Perry left his viewers hanging with unresolved plot lines  and rushed character development and, for someone who has gone from slap-stick comedy in his stage plays to million dollar movies, I just didn’t correlate the Tyler Perry I see in my head (who looks and talks like Madea) to such a important piece of text like For Colored Girls.

Many of my friends and college classmates  gave varying degrees of opinion. From the “my-feminism-will-not-allow-me-to-agree-with-anything-a-man-does-even-if-it-is-good-makes-sense-and-I-can-relate-to-it” to a resounding cyber-applause for Tyler Perry, the movie, and the realness of the characters.

I took all of these thoughts, feelings, and opinions into the theater tonight and realized that this movie isn’t about Tyler Perry and his previous cinematic efforts. It’s much, much more.

It’s about the bravery of the women who portrayed a differenct facet of Black womaness, many times, a side of our Black womaness that we want to keep hidden in the shadows and foggy mist of our imaginations.

We don’t want people to know that we are broken, abused, hurt, forced on our knees to serve as the trodden path of those who “rule” over us.

We don’t want people to know that we mistakenly love the wrong ones and let go of the right ones.

We don’t want people to know that the facade we put on as Super Black Woman (fly your cape!) is many times just that: a fake.

We don’t want people to know that beyond our academia and righteousness that we genuinely just want to love as hard as we can, without letting go, with out apologies.

We don’t want people to know that sometimes we make mistakes and our most valuable selves, including our children, suffer at the hands of our refusal to let go of love.

We don’t want people to know that the men we love sometimes do not love us back. Not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t.

We don’t want people to know that those same men who do not love us are worthy of forgiveness and we spend every waking hour trying to help them receive that same forgiveness.

We don’t want people to know that despite the front we put on, we want to be fucked. Yes, fucked. Without rhyme or reason.

We don’t want people to know that we have the desire to be fucked because our daddy’s fucked us first.

We don’t want people to know that there are tons of pieces that have been left behind, scattered across the Diaspora and without them we’re a mess.

But with them, we are resilient, brilliant, and worthy of every thing we secretly desire when no one is watching.

We are everything Shange and Perry expressed in that film. No matter how far you try to remove yourself from it, that’s you. That’s me.

Dirty bitch. Glorious woman. His whore. His wife. Their mother. Their aborter. A thief. A giver. Afraid. Brave. Killers. Life givers. Jealous. Selfless.

We are. And that’s okay.

Who are we to shy away and be afraid of our pain? Our joy? Our failures? Our triumphs?

Who are we to not reach the end of our rainbow?

On the Chase,

 

Alisha L.