All Articles Tagged "children out of wedlock"
A couple of months ago, I signed up for this app called ROHO. Basically, every morning ROHO, which was created by a Black man, texts me the link to sermons from ministers all over the country. All of them are good, quite good and a great way for me to start the day off with my mind focused on the right things.
One morning, after clicking on the link, I saw that today’s sermon came courtesy of Pastor Jamal Bryant. Immediately, all the stories we’ve covered about Jamal Bryant flashed through my head. Adultery, alleged sex with a minor, “these hoes ain’t loyal.”
I didn’t know if I’d be able to enjoy a message from Bryant with all of the scandal I associated with his name. But for one reason or another, I decided to listen anyway.
And the sermon was better than good, it was excellent. Titled “I Am Significant,” it was about knowing who you are in God and allowing that knowledge to shape your life and help you follow your dreams. If you need to hear a message like that, I would suggest you listen.
After I listened, I understood why after his scandal, people were still flocking to his church. I understood why the women in his church were literally running when he said “These hoes ain’t loyal.” (It wouldn’t have been me but I understand it.) As church folk say, he’s anointed. And I thought, you know just because he messed up, doesn’t mean he should no longer be allowed to exercise his gift. As Christians we’re supposed to see ourselves in everyone else, love them in spite of themselves and forgive. And it seems like Bryant’s congregation was able to do just that. That’s Christianity in practice.
But according to recent headlines, and a few seemingly credible receipts, it would seem that Bryant still needs to put some other Christian principles into action, particularly if he’s going to continue standing in front of his congregation and Christians across this country, representing God and His word.
If you haven’t heard, Bryant allegedly fathered a child out of wedlock.
According to The Christian Post, Bryant had a sexual relationship with 34-year-old California woman, Latoya Shawntee Odom. Odom told Obnoxious Television that during the course of her relationship with Bryant, she got pregnant. She claimed that when Bryant learned of the pregnancy, he asked her to get an abortion but she refused and gave birth last July to a now 10-month-old John Karston Bryant.
With Bryant’s past, there are a quite a few women who could be persuaded to step forward with these types of allegations. But Odom also came forward with paternity test results from LB Genetics.
The last page of the results said:
“The alleged father, Jamal Harrison Bryant, cannot be excluded as the biological father of the child, John Karston Bryant, since they share genetic markers. Using the above systems, the probability of paternity is 99.9999%, as compared to an untested, unrelated man of the Black population…”
With his name swirling around yet again, Bryant took to his Periscope to address Odom’s allegations.
The broadcast has since expired but the words were recorded and continue to live on the internet. After saying that his lawyers have advised him not to share details with the public, he said:
Over the last week, a lot has been said and a lot has been suggested and like you I was thrown into a tailspin. I had to shut down for a minute so that my response would not be that of a man but be priestly as a man of God. To that end, let me say to you I am one of those rare people who are flawed with character. That with all of my issues I don’t run from them I stand right next to them. Those of you who have been with me you are fully aware that some eight, nine years now, I went through a divorce and claimed all of it my responsibility. The worst mistake you can ever make is to repeat the exact same mistake.
The last time I went through something, I shut down, wouldn’t talk to anybody, tried to in fact deal with it all by myself but I understand that there is strength in numbers. The issues, pertaining and surrounding the allegations are in the middle of a legal discourse that preclude me from going into any depth to talk about it. But let me say to you, while many things have been said about me, running is not one of them, I stand on God’s word that he is my battle-ax and my butler and I bear witness His grace is sufficient and his mercy endures.
Thank God He’s merciful for Bryant and for the rest of us too. I’m not here to sit low and still have the nerve to look down on others. We all fall short. Still, I believe God’s messengers are held to a higher standard because they bear the greater responsibility of fostering spiritual growth and development. If Pastor Bryant is as anointed as I believe him to be, there’s no doubt that God has been speaking to him about his temptation. And since it’s something he hadn’t dealt with yet, it might be time for him to retreat from the public eye and spend more private time with God, getting stronger in his spirituality.
Every time Bryant’s name has been in the news for something less than holy, he’s attempted to defend himself in the public eye, calling out news outlets and whatnot. Years later, it’s evident that there was more pressing, more personal, spiritual work that needed to be done and apologies he needed to offer instead of being so concerned about public opinion and “rumors.”
I don’t say that to mean he should never preach again. Because he does have a gift from God. And the Bible is full of people who’ve messed up and have gone on to do great things for the Lord. Jamal Bryant could be one of those people. But it would appear that there are some steps that need to be taken before that reemergence can happen.
‘I Want Kids— Just Not Out Of Wedlock’: Laz Alonso Talks Love, Marriage and Fatherhood In The Latest Issue Of JET
It seems as if actor Laz Alonso gives us another reason to love him with each passing week. Not merely because he is amazingly attractive and intelligent, but also because it’s hard not to take notice of his great personality and the constant humility that he unknowingly exudes. Considering all of this, it seems quite fitting that the 38-year-old Washington D.C. native would cover the February issue of JET that will be hitting shelves just in time for Valentine’s Day. According to Necole Bitchie, he confesses in this issue that he doesn’t have a special lady to spend Valentine’s Day with this year. Flying solo for Vday wasn’t his only revelation though. He also discussed being considered a “heartthrob”, his desire to have children and what he looks for in a relationship. Check out what he had to say.
On being called a heartthrob:
“I don’t take it too seriously because looks fade. We all are going to get older and that whole heartthrob label will go to someone else… Regardless of how you look, the way you make a person feel, that’s eternal.”
“When dating somebody, I like to see them laugh and make the times we spend together more fun than they could ever imagine.”
“I want kids— just not out of wedlock… Because my father died when I was young, I’m extra cautious about not creating a single-parent home.”
It’s hard to deny that Laz has a pretty decent head on his shoulders and his desire to wait until marriage to have children is pretty admirable. Just last week he expressed how much of an inspiration Deception co-star Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin’s relationship has been to him. He even entertained the possibility of pursuing celibacy in his own life.
You can check out his full interview in JET‘s February issue when it hits shelves this coming Monday.
What do you think of Laz shying away from being labeled as a heartthrob?
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
For some women, there is nothing they wouldn’t do for their man. Although love should be unconditional, many women feel the need to prove their love to a man, even if it means compromising their beliefs, safety or even their freedom to show them what a “down A$$ chick” they are. However, a man who truly loves you will never ask you to do anything you’re uncomfortable doing in order to prove your love to him. Your love and devotion should simply be enough, and couples who share true love will never have to prove anything to each other. However, if your man begins a sentence with, “If you loved me, you’d…,” run because most likely, nothing good can come of it. Showing your love shouldn’t be shameful, painful, humiliating or illegal, and while you may think you’re assuaging his insecurities, you’re actually just allowing him to manipulate you. Think there is no limit to showing him how far you’ll go to prove your love? Think again. Here are 10 things no woman should do for a man, simply because he asks her to.
I was lying down with my mom in the middle of one of our late night chat fests when she made a comment that stuck out to me. When I was a baby, she said all of the women that she was surrounded by—with the exception of maybe two—had children and husbands to go along with them. Unlike this generation, mom dukes continued, where young girls are just popping out babies left and right with no ring or stability. And boy, she ain’t never lied.
Every time I turn around, somebody I know is pregnant. Old friends from school post pictures on Facebook holding their protruding bellies or I hear through the grapevine that so-and-so and her new boyfriend are about to drop a bundle of joy in a couple of months. I can’t even step foot outside my door without seeing a young girl pushing a stroller or yanking a baby’s hand down the street. It seems like there are more children being had than weddings being planned and it makes me wonder if marriage is at all important in today’s society anymore.
Have we lost that sense of tradition? Does having kids minus the rings, white gowns and horse and carriage signify a degenerate, moral-less society? Or is the fact that so many women are giving birth out of wedlock really not that big of a deal (I mean divorce rates are sky high, so marriage really doesn’t guarantee anything, right?). For you good ol’ Bible-abiding Christians, there’s probably no question about what’s right and what’s wrong. But I believe that marriage before babies is more of a traditional thing than something we’re obligated to do, nor should we expect everybody to put a ring on it just because they have a bun in the oven (nor should we look at them crazy if they don’t care to get married to one another after the fact). Sure, it’s nice to walk down the aisle and have the whole shabang before you have children, but if you’re in a committed relationship, financially secure and emotionally ready to take that step, then hey, why not?
Now, for the young girls out there whose noses are wide open, chasing after irresponsible, immature little boys, that’s a different story. If you don’t have the funds or the mentality and are still living at your mother’s house and know you’re going to more dependent on the resources and help of family and friends, simply put, you’re just not ready. So bringing a child into the world is probably not the best idea.
I can’t count how many females I know who’ve given birth to kids with no ring and didn’t have anything to offer but an unhealthy environment for their children to grow. My own grandmother was a teen mom. She always stresses to me the importance of waiting until you find the right type of man and circumstances to have a child so that you don’t have to struggle to provide for your family. And I couldn’t agree more. But there are also married women out there who battle with stability and find themselves raising children on their own or in unhealthy, unhappy environments, even though they have husbands. So when it all boils down to it, it’s really not about being married or single, but creating a safe, secure, loving environment for your seed before you decide to bring them into this world. Real rap.
We are currently in the midst of a crisis and are facing a decision: whether we are going to choose blindness and live in a Christian dream world surrounding sex, or open our eyes to the dire reality and follow the Christian calling of love, non-judgment and compassion.
The crisis does not surround whether Rihanna is dating Chris Brown again or whether to side with President Obama or Bristol Palin on the issue of gay marriage. The crisis is HIV/AIDS.
Christian leaders may point out that in their ideal version of the world, the HIV/AIDS pandemic would be greatly limited because no one would “fornicate,” commit adultery or engage in “sodomy.” In such a world, HIV/AIDS diagnoses would primarily be found among people who were accidentally exposed to infected blood and used medical needles — or in a worst case scenario their lawfully wedded spouses (who did not know they were infected). But we are not living in that world.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson’s extramarital affair which resulted in a child, allegations of Bishop Eddie Long’s sexual acts with underage boys, gospel singer Kirk Franklin’s admission of a past Adult Videos addiction and Sunday Best winner Le’Andria Johnson’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy demonstrate that even those who believe that they have been called to minister God’s word through sermons, counseling and music struggle with their own interpretations of the Bible’s commands. It should therefore come as no surprise that the followers and fans in the pews are similarly struggling.
Chevonne Harris’s Ebony article Single, Saved — and Having Sex discusses this struggle and the decision that many young Christians have made to engage in extramarital sex while still expressing a steadfast devotion to their faith.
Read the rest of this article at theGrio.com.
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Studies show that individuals who make the effort to maintain quality, long-term relationships enjoy greater levels of overall happiness. Proving, the grass is greener where you water it.
However, according to Cristen Conger’s Huffington Post article, married couples tend to report being happier than singles. Since married individuals also drink and smoke less, statistics show they are healthier and live longer than unmarried people. Very interesting data considering we live in a divorce-happy society.
An escalating divorce rate has deterred many from marriage with a growing number of long-term cohabitants, who feel their relationships are just as substantial as legally-binding unions. But research from Nancy Wartik’s article “The Perils of Playing House” published in Psychology Today suggests these “trial periods” double the likelihood of divorce in a subsequent marriage. Researchers suggest people with more positive views on relationships simply go ahead and tie the knot before moving in together and discover greater happiness. Those with more risk factors (i.e. baggage) are more hesitant to take the plunge and often find themselves less satisfied after marriage.
Marriage is more than a piece of paper. Emotionally, it’s a sigh of relief. Marriage means you can’t just wash your hands after a big fight. It means you are completely vulnerable. It means you have given up the “I’s” for “we.” Unmarried couples are two “I’s” standing side by side, unwilling to sacrifice the freedoms of single life. If one person is suddenly unfulfilled and wants to leave, they can. In a marriage you can’t just go whenever things get rough. It is a character-building journey that forces husbands and wives to mature. There is a much higher level of commitment. Plus, break-ups don’t come with alimony, insurance policies and child support.
Among stability, openness and potential monetary compensation, married couples also experience a higher level of sexual freedom in their ability to reproduce. Unplanned pregnancies within marriage are much different than those outside. Often viewed more as surprises than life sentences, the abortion rate amongst married women is drastically lower than that of legally single women. According to 2005 statistics, single, never married women account for two-thirds of abortions in America. African-American women lead the way at 37 percent. Additionally, less drama surrounding paternity makes for less stressful pregnancies and healthier babies.
If you’re over 25 and you have been with the same guy for over two years and he’s still playing the we-don’t-need-a-piece-of-paper-to-validate-our-commitment card, move on. Unless you want to turn 30 just in time for him to tell you he’s leaving or eventually have a baby out-of-wedlock only for him to consider marrying you after the child turns 18.
Want to know more about LaShaun Williams? Follow her on Twitter @itsmelashaun.
Reality shows are known for all things salacious yet lacking the one component it markets itself on representing- reality. On Sunday’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” reunion part two, viewers witnessed a dose of reality that was almost heartbreaking to watch. Even with the ladies supposed status and money, they were not exempt from the harsh reality of single motherhood.
An entire segment was dedicated to the trials of parenting alone as the women discussed how the fathers’ absence has affected the children. All of the women, with the exception of Phaedra, are or have been single mothers. It is unfortunate single parenting had to be addressed on the one season of the Real Housewives franchise with the predominantly Black cast.
The women of Orange County, New York and Beverly Hills are not without their own familial drama: including a son in and out of jail, foreclosure and raising children alone (Kim Richards and Kelly Bensimon). A number of the women from the other seasons have been married more than once and aren’t technically married to the father of their children. But whites are judged individually. Black folks aren’t afforded such luxury. Sadly, the single mothers of RHOA are a replica of what is occurring in our communities. I’m not sold on the idea that single parenting is working for black women or children.
I’m no secret advocate of the No Wedding, No Womb campaign. I actually totally disagree with the premise of NWNW for a number of reasons, but mainly because marriage is a band-aid solution to a problem that needs surgery. But at what point do Black women and men realize the decisions they are making in regards to parenting, or lack thereof, are creating a community of hurt children?
Kandi’s daughter Riley, at seven years old, is numb due her father’s missing presence in her life. Kandi’s heart was broken as she listened to her daughter express that she didn’t care if she had a dad or not. Black men have to do better. Much better. In every shape, form and fashion, deadbeat dads are unacceptable.
However, black women have to take accountability for the outcome of the situations they land themselves in with sorry men. I’m not in the business of vilifying black women for their sexual choices sometimes resulting in an unplanned pregnancy. In fact, I was raised by a single mother and I’m awesome. Thank you very much. I do though find it hard to believe the men impregnating some women showed any promise of being a good father prior to the pregnancy. Something women have to take a long hard look at is why they are having a child by a man who had never proven to be reliable or responsible. This is not to let men off the hook for dropping the ball, but women aren’t complete victims with no control over the choices they make.
As proof marriage does not guarantee a woman the benefit of an involved dad, one needs to look no further than Kim and Sheree, who were both married to the fathers of their children. Being married did nothing to protect them from the scarlet letter of eventually becoming single moms. Cynthia on the other hand is the antithesis of the former wives who struggle to even receive child support. Cynthia was never married to her daughter’s dad, actor Leon, but he has a great relationship with his daughter and Cynthia. You never know which way the dice are going to roll. But black people need to stop gambling with the lives of kids.
Black people have to wake up before the denigration of our communities is signed, sealed and delivered. The dismantling of our family structure certainly is contributing to the other ills plaguing our communities at higher rates than any other group in America. It’s imperative we begin examining the repetitive circumstances we have control over. From where I’m sitting, single parenting is not working for us. The reality is that the highest percentage of black women living in poverty are those raising children alone. And that reality freakin’ sucks.
You all are about to be recipients of a rant, so brace yourselves.