I’m a married man and have been for 31 years, but if I were of the age to be seeking a wife I know where I wouldn't be looking. From my standpoint any woman centered on the church is the kiss of death for any serious relationship. I’ve been an equal opportunity dater all of my life, but for this article my focus is black women.

Black women are my target here as statistics tell me that in the United States they are the most religious individuals living in this country. As simple and unscientific test I scrolled through the pages of Face Book, Black Planet and My Space looking for black female unbelievers and I found some, but the number of women that started off their introduction to their site with Bible scripture was overwhelming. Some pages had a religious motif complete with gospel music and angelic pictures

From the beginning it was clear that religion was of prime importance in their lives. Visions of scripture discussions, going to church, meeting all the church family and lists of approved activities immediately popped in my mind. It was a turnoff 35-years ago and it is even more so now. I didn't care what church you attended, who your pastor’s name or what it says in a book written 2,000 years ago. I was just looking for a woman I could enjoy and one that enjoyed me with my obvious humanity.

Even today when I see those religious vines dangling, I see a woman with an agenda and one that is probably not to my liking in any time or space. I hear discussions that I don’t want to listen to why did I turn my  back on Jesus or why am I angry at God while all mention that they never were a concern goes in one ear and out the other.

It is difficult to argue with irrationality, unreason and illogic on an ongoing basis without reaching a limit for bullshit. I can't speak for other men, but when I saw the Jesus flag I ran not walked away. There were far too many other Christian girls willing to play along every Sunday and hook-up with you Friday and Saturday to party.

Interestingly, in my unscientific search nearly all of the women are single. Looking at the posted pictures, some are quite attractive and well educated, but as a man they all hold the kiss of death for me as well as many other men. So, speaking only for myself, I'd jump over a row of fine, intelligent religious women to get to that one woman with a mind of her own.

Despite protests to the contrary a true religious Christian woman can never be that choice because it is written that humans are not to rely on their own methods of discernment, rather, they are to follow scripture and to me that is a closed agenda and an unacceptable choice as a mate. I'm not looking to meet Jesus or any of his family. I've got plenty to deal with right here on earth. Contrary to current belief, I and thousands of other black men don't need to be raised again.

Speaking only for me, the pastor of any church is just another man, nothing special. For many men, the church is a large social event that keeps them in good standing or ends arguments. It is a place to be entertained and possibly talk with another brother suffering under the same yoke. Now, if you’re looking for down-low brothers? Go to church and you'll find them. Looking for gay men? Go to the church. Yet, the church treats gays and lesbians as if they don’t belong, especially if they have the nerve to be in the open.

I'm not knocking any group, but the black church encourages charades while detesting them at the same time. For me, a plain old woman is all I ever wanted with her main attachments being to me, our family, our birth families, friends and then the world. The Jesus story is barely a good fairy tale and since God sacrificed his only son, that makes the rest of us women. I don’t care where you’re from, that’s funny.

Humor is a trait that I find absolutely compelling in a woman. Mix that up with some smarts, independence and spice or some combination of that and that’s a woman for me. To me, the more freethinking the woman, the more attractive I find her and from what I’ve seen and heard a religious woman provides the oil to the water of the non-religious man

Sorry to be so long, but from a man's perspective, I don't think the damage is seen. Some would say good riddance to men outside the church, but at some point each and all must live life for themselves, not for Jesus, the pastor or the church and the sooner they recognize it—the better.


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Comment by Luara on June 10, 2013 at 2:54pm

I can see how religion would come up even if to the woman, religion is a matter of the community of people that help each other, rather than belief in miracles and the supernatural. 

I used to have a Jewish boyfriend who didn't either believe in supernatural entities or positively disbelieve in them, and he required that if I married him I would "convert" to Judaism. Apparently he meant somehow becoming culturally Jewish, becoming "one of us".  

The woman who cuts my hair is a black immigrant from Ghana, I've made friends with her a little bit.  She's Christian in a way, but I don't sense that highly personal involvement with Jesus, that wish to convert others that evangelicals have. I think it takes a certain psychological makeup, some kind of problems, to make a person latch onto religion in that very personal way. 

It seems like for her the church is more a community that helps each other, people she can trust.  She's a smart and sensible person, she owns her own business and people who can do that successfully, are generally smart and sensible. 

Perhaps in societies where almost everyone is part of a religion, fitting in is more a matter of not overtly dissenting and questioning - rather than actually believing those things. 

For example my heretical thought about Jesus is that he might have been like a young Jim Jones, but he was crucified before he got old and corrupt and paranoid, as Jim Jones did (he murdered/ordered to suicide 900 people).  I suspect that is a thought that might offend a lot of "cultural" Christians, even if they don't think Jesus was God.  Once you start thinking like that, you're not a "cultural" Christian any more.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on June 9, 2013 at 7:50am
Sentient, as a performing musician I always found the. Saturday night club behavior quite similar to the Sunday morning church behavior in nearly every aspect. I've written about it several times and played both venues, sometimes in the same 12 hour period. It was always interesting to see some of the same people I had seen at the nightclub several hours earlier at the church.
Comment by Donald R Barbera on June 9, 2013 at 7:42am
Laura--you are absolutely correct, but I believe most are quite serious even if their actions outside the church contradict their religiosity. Of course, black women aren't the only ones guilty of this as most American Christians don't follow the tenets of their precious religion. In fact, the PEW Research Center surveyed US pastors about problems in their churches and one of the top one issues (29%) was pornography addiction among women.
Comment by Donald R Barbera on June 9, 2013 at 7:32am
Debra! Wow! 41yearz! I'm not mad at you because I know what any marriage requires. All I know for sure about today comes from my three single sons and two single grandsons. They date whomever pleases them, but say that any woman with her mind "stayed on Jesus" is just too much extra baggage. Two of my sons have dated Islamic women and had no issues, but I suspect they weren't strongly attached. I go to the gym four days a week and I am often asked what church I attend. I don't object as for many it is an easy way to start a conversation and socialize. It's what happens when I tell them I am an atheist.
Comment by Luara on June 8, 2013 at 7:10am

Since the church is a social center for black people it's likely that many of the women there aren't that involved in the religion and don't particularly have an agenda to convert people.  They could be quite rational human beings. 

Comment by Donald R Barbera on June 8, 2013 at 12:42am
Brandi--been married 31 years to a black woman. I was speaking as if I was single and 30 years younger when I was an equal opportunity dater. Even then there were what we called "Holy Rollers" meaning woman that Jesus ruled their lives. I had my preferences and for different reasons. I avoided the Holy Rollers and for the most part managed to remain involved with progressive, independent women.



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