By Walter Rutledge
Once again a Bible Bigot, this time Kim Burrell, has misused scripture to preach hate and exclusion. The article below originally appeared in Harlem World Magazine in the summer of 2010 shortly after the Deitrick Haddon/Tonex twitter scandal broke. For years the gospel industry had made subtle references and caddy “humorous” comments about Tonex’s flamboyant gospel stage show. But there was nothing subtle about their reaction when Tonex decided to live in his own truth.
There are many anointed gay men and women working in the gospel music industry most are working under the African-American church’s hypocritical version of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. When Tonex courageously confirmed rumors about his sexuality on the Lexi Show I was perplexed at her reaction.
Instead of embracing the gospel artist for deciding to serve God in truth, she instead chose to capitalize on the publicity. Lexi disappointingly took the traditional bigoted stance of the African-American church. This was extremely perplexing since Lexi had no problem working with any gospel artist who could advance her own stalled singing career.
What was equally shocking was the gospel industry’s sudden and immediate alienation of Tonex. Artists who had promised him work (both on concert and on network television) suddenly reneged. Many of them were “Southern Christain Straight Men and Women” (code for married, BUT on the “DL”) and others (after the threat of being outed by the media) professed their absolution from their “gayness”. They loudly denouncing their former lifestyles and sang praise to their sudden heavenly cure with the same mouth that had willing enjoyed the forbidden fruit.
Through all this hypocriticy Tonex (now B. Slade) stayed above the fray. He just pressed on. When our article and interview originally aired we received an avalanche of hate mail. YouTube still gets weekly commits that quote scripture, degraded B. Slade and they pray he will find his way back to God and the church. What they fail to acknowledge is the church turn its back on him; and after talking to B. Slade it was clear he was still a child of God- a child to a loving and accepting God.
I republish this article today to let all of God’s children know to be proud of who you are. God loves you for all that you are, all that you do, and who ever you love. And to challenge you to question the hate mongers. When it comes to avid selfie photographers Reverend Eddie Long and Deitrick Haddon, or Donnie McClurklin (who was “de-gayed” by divine intervention) and let’s not forget gospel’s Grand Dames Shirley Ceasar (who has also dodged Sappho rumors of decades) you all will have to answer for your actions, words and deeds.
In the words of William Shakespeare, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”. In other words the louder they shout the more they probably have to hide. Stay strong and stay strong in who you are. God loves you!
Gospel Artist Makes Medical Discovery
Deitrick Haddon, gospel recording artist, songwriter and defender of the faith, has expanded his many gifts to include osteology. Recently Pastor Haddon excited the medical world with his discovery of a new human bone. Haddon has given a tentative name to his discovery pending confirmation from the medical community; he has named it “The Sissy Bone”.
In all fairness, in findings of this magnitude the object is usually named after the person whose diligence made the discovery possible, examples include; Hailey’s Comet, Pike’s Peak, the Hudson River. Removing all undue modesty Haddon should receive a similar acknowledgement, and since medical discoveries usually adopt ancient Latin sounding names we have decided to call his discovery the Haddonus Sissius Bona (Bona for short).
Pastor Haddon was so excited he decided to share his discovery with his followers on twitter. He also informed his follows that upon personal examination he was pride to announce he did not have a Bona in his entire body. In what could only be perceived as an act of further selfless modesty Haddon removed the message from twitter, probably waiting confirmation from the American Medical Association.
The location and exact number of bones in the Haddonus Sissius Bona has not yet been established. Doctors have deduced that the Haddonus Sissius Bona (Bona) it is probably located in the back. Since Haddon has announced he does not possess a Bona, if the location of the back is confirmed then this could possibly mean that the Reverend Deitrick Haddon just might be totally spineless.
Satire aside Haddon’s comments concerning the sexual orientation of fellow gospel artist Tonex is the same type of ignorance and intolerance that continues to stymie the African-American religious community. The disproportionately high rate of HIV/AIDS cases in the African-American community is evidence of the inability to effectively convene their greatest social resource- the church. Unfortunately, to the determent of the community, many (not all) churches had allowed the stigma and stereotypes to prevail; this is not to say there are not forward thinking leaders, but in the arena of public opinion they are the exception not the rule.
Not long ago one of gospel’s true legends, the Reverend James Cleveland was the victim of cruelty, and lack of Christian compassion by many of the very Bible Bigots that now publicly canonize him. In his hour of need he was ostracized, rebuked and had scripture quoted against him to justify the hate mongering. Even posthumously comments resounded ranging from “He deserved it” to “That was God’s way of punishing him”. It is clear that death did not bring absolution.
Many of the very saints who throw stones, now hide their hands; and many others raise their voices and reverently give praise with his words.
I don’t feel no ways tired,
I’ve come too far from where I started from.
Nobody told me that the road would be easy,
I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.
These saints can take comfort in the thought that Brother James is looking down from above the clouds; having been absolved by the highest of Judges he has also forgiven you. How quickly we forget.
If any good is to come out of the aforementioned recent events it is the fact we should to not lower our standards but broaden our horizons. If the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6:9 is iron clad, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind”, then why aren’t pastors and parishioners condemning the unwed mothers and their bastard children to hell? The idea and the language seem inappropriate today- step back fifty years and this was the mindset. Adulterers are also mentioned here but I haven’t seen any public stonings in church parking lots on YouTube.
In a similar manner why isn’t the church rallying behind I Timothy 2:11-15? “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet women shall be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with modesty.” This is another doctrine written for first century Christendom not the present church or today’s world. Too often churches hold on to some doctrine and dismiss others- this is blatant hypocrisy.
After the name-calling and self-grandiosity has subsided it should become the mission of the church to seriously challenge itself it embrace all of God’s children. To not be content with keeping pace with the times, but to set the pace the rest of humanity will follow. We hope that this is the next exciting discovery.
B Slade Interview part one