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Makes Me Wanna Holler

By NYdiva ~

Sometimes the hardest thing about being an African American businesswoman is keeping my mouth shut when religious Black folks drag religion into the public square. Unlike my outburst in my last story (I just couldn’t take it anymore), I constantly fight the urge to speak out. “Is this a business meeting or a prayer meeting?” Or “I thought this meeting was about real estate?”

Having been religious once, I understand how much faith influences a believer’s worldview. But being bombarded with faith talk at Black business meetings all the time is annoying. More often than not, a minister is asked to pray and soon people are shouting, waving and shaking as if they were at a revival meeting.

I once sat through a business meeting where a woman told the story about how she was engaged, but her fiancé had left her for another woman. She was heartbroken for years. But on the news, she just heard that her former fiancé had killed his wife, their two preschool children and himself in a murder-suicide rampage.

This woman almost fell to her knees praising Jesus for saving her from such a horrific fate. Dozens of women joined this sista’s “Praise the Lord” chorus.

I wanted to shout, “Why didn’t God protect this mother and her two children?” Yet I held back because I didn’t want to lose potential customers. Questioning the goodness of God was a big no-no with that crowd.

I’m not a complete coward, though. I have questioned the practice of praying at business meetings. I was shouted down, however, on several occasions. “This is why we have school shootings. Christians can’t pray in the public anymore.”

They just don’t get it. In the public square, religion divides people and makes those who don’t share the same beliefs uncomfortable. When my concerns were met with angry denials, I almost shouted back, “Why don’t you bring in an Iman or Buddhist next time then?”

I’ll admit sometimes the god talk is just “God wants you to fulfill your god given destiny”. Still it makes me wanna holler, “Enough already.”


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