The Black Church is Exploiting Our Community and Robbing Us Blind

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Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis city. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His project The Hero Killer was released on January 21 and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For the Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get The Hero Killer here.

I'm going to start this off by saying I abhor Pastor Kerney and Peter Popoff.

Kerney is the preacher who apparently can cure AIDS just by speaking in tongues. And In my opinion, Peter Popoff is the devil himself, seeking comedic relief by going to church every Sunday.

Black people eat this mess up and Peter laughs his way to the bank. My father kept the TV glued to Benny Hinn despite the fact that he was blatantly full of crap. Hinn grossed $100 million a year in his prime.

I was raised in the black church. We went to church most Sundays, and when we didn't we had some form of church at home. Spirituality and practicing our faith was very important in our household. My father was as close to being a preacher as one could be. My youngest brother Mario attended seminary school and even preached a sermon at our church at the age of twelve.

I remember my father would spend entire days praying sometimes. There was always some sort of religious theme in home. In the car we heard nothing but gospel music and recordings of televangelists. I even grew up listening to nothing but Gospel rap until a certain point. But I've matured since the days of my childhood and somehow managed to become a fairly civilized adult.

My problem with being raised in the church lies in the lack of free thought and self expression and freedom to formulate an unbiased world view that wasn't color-coated with undertones of religion and lack of experience. This might be the real reason I became a musician: freedom. Freedom to create and be yourself even if you are flawed. Freedom to not judge other people based upon their downfalls. I enjoy the fact that music unites people more than it separates us. Religion, on the other hand, has caused (at last count) a gazillion wars and murdered people throughout every generation of mankind's history.

The Vatican can silently influence a politician to bomb a country right now if it wanted to. This has always been one of my personal problems with structured religion, and people always seem to close their eyes to the fact that greed and modern day Christianity go hand in hand. It's a problem that has been unchecked for centuries, and now it has grown totally out of control. The black Christian is often the least educated because we are the main people that place the mystique of Jesus in any slot that is open to our lack of understanding. If we don't understand something or aren't educated on the topic, we have zero problems with "placing it in God's hands" instead of being a logical human being and actually finding a sensible answer. My lights are off, I need a job, I'll just sit here and pray because God will indeed figure it out. Meanwhile God is yelling back at us, "I already did figure it out: You need a job."


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