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Yesterday, I caught up on one of the few reality tv shows I can still stand, Mary Mary. Some folks were very skeptical of the show because the sisters,  the stars of the show, Erica and Tina, are gospel singers. I guess people didn’t want to see these two acting a fool on tv. I was skeptical too, but only because I thought it was going to be boring. But that’s not the case. The show, though it lacks the drama we see on Basketball Wives and The Real Housewives of Atlanta, is still very entertaining. Kind of like the Braxtons but with a lot less foolishness and infidelity.

In one of the more recent episodes Erica and Tina decided they were going to have a girls getaway with their other sisters and sisters-in-law. (They come from a large family.) Erica, the more mild-mannered sister, who was also pregnant at the time, suggested that while they were away in Palm Springs,  they take a pole dancing class. Well, Tina, who is kind of hot-headed and feisty, was not having it. Despite Erica trying to convince her that it was just a workout with she and her sisters, Tina couldn’t get past the sexual connotation and even more importantly, she didn’t want to deal with the fact that the Christian community would throw major shade.

I remember watching the show and thinking well “gospel singer” is another career I can cross off my “occupations I couldn’t do” list. Really, the list is full of all types of jobs that would require me to be too much in the public eye because people, and for some ironic reason specifically church people, can be too mean spirited and judgmental.

When I was younger, I got to see the good and the bad when it came to church. I went to one where the message wasn’t fulfilling, the people were unwelcoming, petty and insanely judgmental and the church wasn’t meeting the needs of the community. And then when I got older I went to one that was the complete opposite. The latter church and the people in it, nurtured me and instructed me in a kind and loving environment. So I know how church should and shouldn’t be. Which is why it always saddens me when I think about the reputation “the church,” and let’s be real, “the black church” gets just because the people who rep it so hard, don’t know how to act like the Jesus they claim to worship. It breaks my heart to hear people claim that they’re done with church, although they believe in God, because the people inside the building have no act right whatsoever.

It breaks my heart because 1.) I know they’re telling the truth and 2.) because I know not all churches are like that and 3.)because God does not want his people out here dissuading others from entering his house. If any group of people are supposed to be accepting and warm, it’s supposed to be Christians; but far too often, that’s not the case. And that’s a shame.

While I could understand Tina’s reasons for not getting on the pole, it’s a shame that she, as a gospel artist, a woman who makes a living glorifying God, would even have to consider what other religious people might have to say about her working out on a metal bar. Sometimes…no a lot of times, it’s people’s own perversion that make them condemn others. If you’re the type of person who can’t look at a pole and not think about a woman taking her clothes off, then it’s not something you should be burdening other people with, that sounds like more of a personal problem.

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