This blog explores and examines the intersections of rhetoric, race, and religion.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
The Sisterhood Episode One Recap: Bougie Christian Edition
One of the many complaints I get about Christians is the prevalence of believers who think they are somehow better than others. These folks just hate “bougie”Christians. An urban term derived from the French word “bourgeoisie,” you can spot a bougie Christian from a mile away. You can’t hold a conversation with them without feeling like they are preaching at you. They speak Christian-ese, using words that only folks “in the fold” know. They’re the Christians who make it seem like they’ve cornered the market on what it looks like to be a Christian. They hold fast to black and white, and diametrically oppose gray; there’s no gray with God. These Christians know all the answers.
This week, on a national scale, we encountered one of these folks in living color. With both consternation and fear, I sat on my couch Monday night and fired up my DVR to watch TLC’sThe Sisterhood. From the creators of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, the show’s concept is to take an in-depth look at the lives of a group of pastor’s wives in the city of Atlanta. Usually, I’m not a big fan of reality television shows. There are better things I can do with my time (like watching paint dry), especially when it comes shows that tend to exploit the African American community. Now TLC comes up with the bright idea to enter the African American Church—a sacred space. As someone who loves the church, and particularly the African American Church, I decided to watch at least the first episode. I’m not too excited about the concept. Besides the fact that not one first lady appears anywhere in Scripture, the whole concept is paternalistic and makes me cringe when I see gifted women in church described in that way.