Religion: Black church keeps Black women single, lonely?

Written by admin   // June 25, 2010   // 0 Comments

Comprised by MCJ Staff

Dating expert, advice columnist and author Deborrah Cooper blasts traditional Black churches and charges that they are the root cause for the high numbers of single Black women in the U.S.

With all the media coverage (CNN, Nightline, NY Times, ABC) of the “plight” of the single Black woman, and the blaming of Black women for being single, this author felt it past time to examine other reasons, which could be important contributors to this sad statistic:

Cooper writes: “Black women have an inordinate amount of faith in both Black men and Black churches. My position is that such blind and unwavering faith in either is misplaced.

“It is my belief that the Black church, structured around traditional gender roles which makes women submissive to and inferior to men, greatly limits females.

“Single Black women sitting in church every Sunday are being subtly brainwashed, soothed and placated into waiting without demand for what they want to magically come to them. Who is doing this to Black women? The male standing at the front of the Church in the role of spiritual leader, that’s who!”

Cooper goes on to say that the true reason that there are so many single, never married Black women in the United States is because of the Black churches.

“Black women should abandon Black churches and focus more on themselves, their needs and those of their children than those of Black men or a religion which Black men use to castigate and control an entire race of women,” Cooper writes.

Cooper goes on to cite a recent study conducted by the PEW Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life to support her notion that while Black women have been the “cornerstone of their families and churches,” they have paid a hefty price.

The study, “African Americans and Religion,” found that “African Americans are markedly more religious on a variety of measures than the U.S. population as a whole.”

Almost 90% of Black Americans express “absolutely certain belief in God” compared to just over 70% of the total U.S. population. Two other important statistics gleaned from this survey: (1) 80% of Black Americans report that religion is “very important” in their lives as compared to 57% of the general U.S. population; and (2) 55% of Black Americans report that they “interpret scripture literally” as compared to 32% of the general U.S. population.

The PEW study also reported that: “Men are significantly more likely than women to claim no religious affiliation. Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation, compared with roughly 13% of women.”

Cooper analyzes the results of the study to determine that: “Going to church makes you a sheep, blindly following the mandates of a small group of men you have placed in your life in a position of power. Going to church makes you malleable and predictable, and narrows your thinking and thus limits your options. Going to church for single Black women is a waste of time.”

She also says:

  • Following the tenets of organized religion is not going to get you anywhere because men are generally not religious.
  • Going to church is not getting you the husband you seek.
  • Going to church is not making you more attractive and interesting to men.
  • Going to church is not where you are going to find eligible bachelors to date.
  • Going to church is not going to teach you to be fiscally responsible, investment savvy, or empower you to achieve greatness as a woman.
  • Going to church is not going to broaden your horizons, make you more tolerant and accepting of all God’s children, nor is it going to encourage you to be free of the chains of patriarchy and oppression of your feminine energy.”

In her article, Cooper also acknowledges that there are some single men in church, however, they are all grouped into one of four categories: “A loser working a 12-step program;” “openly or in the closet gay men, neither of which is interested in marrying;” “opportunistic players on the prowl;” or “elderly reformed players” who are looking for a free nursemaid and bed warmer before they die.

Cooper suggests that women who are striving to live a “sanctified lifestyle” should try some other tactics like frequenting night clubs, bars and sporting events to find a man.

While Cooper’s article is an interesting read, it is clearly written from a place of hurt and despair masked by a sense of female empowerment. To politely sum up Cooper’s article about Black women, the Black church and dating:

1) The spirit of God and goodness is something that isn’t just found in a church. It is ultimately found in your heart. You can’t judge books by their cover.

2) When God sends you true love, he may not send it to you in the package or location that you feel to be most appropriate. If you are not prepared to receive the love in that package, then you are going to miss it completely.

3) If your current dating strategy isn’t working, you might want to try something else.

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