Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sean Taylor, White Folk, and the Holy Saints

On Tuesday, the day of Sean Taylor’s death, I decided to listen to various chattering heads (mostly white men) jabber about Sean's past. And, for some reason they felt the need to spend a huge amount of time discussing the negative, and not the positive. While I am perfectly aware that telling the whole story is necessary to accurately project Sean’s reality/life, I still became uneasy by the unwarranted attention placed on the predicaments Taylor found himself in while living his short life.

Not one of these men mentioned what is MOST important in the case of Sean Taylor: THE PRESENT!!! So much focus was placed on his past in less than 12 hours from his death. It appeared to me that they were talking about a former cold blooded gangster. A Frank Lucas type, and not a man who recently decided to CHANGE. Something that so many of us have yet to do when in fact we NEED to.

At the time, all we knew was Sean was shot by a home invader. But yet, so many people were quick to associate the killing of Sean to his so called troubled past. Ridiculous and Judgmental! So what if the story is different! It still should not matter because Sean did what they do not want us to do: CHANGE FOR THE BETTER!

Sean's "misbehavior" was a reflection of what we all experience: IMMATURITY! He was ONLY 24, which means he was "in trouble" when he was 19, 20, and 21! I can think of several questionable and illegally activity that I was associated with as a wet behind the ears young adult. I wonder how I will be remembered?? Like Sean, I was a product of America’s adolescent community. We all know what that entails.

To top it off on this day of mourning for thousands of people, we had the holy saints tossing his death up as, "it was in God's plan". I am sorry, but this type of thinking is FOOLISH! It just is! So, I guess God allowed Sean to get shot down like an animal just so Sean could go home to heaven? Think about that crazy and asinine thought process. Unfortunately, this type of thinking is pervasive throughout Christian intellect. Actually, referring to it as intellect is incorrect. In my mind it is Christian self-induced ignorance.

Christian Education for the all too common Clueless Christian:

The biblical Paul had a HORRIBLE past full of transgressions. Moses did too!

Not too many of these biblically un-sound/un-educated Christians ever talk about the negative past of these so called prophets. And, why? Of course lack of knowledge is one of the reasons – but could it be because what Moses and Paul did in the present is all that mattered?

Sean's death for some reason has drastically affected me. I am so disturbed by this - and every killing of our black men. I am also tired of these men (mostly white) attempting to demonize us (black men) while we are alive and when we are dead - and I am definitely sick and tired of the holy rollers adding senseless acts of murder to God’s plan.

What say you?

Here is what Jason Whitlock and Michael Wilbon had to say:

Where is the grace for Sean Taylor?

After the funeral:

Written by Muata. Inspired by the following statement from Sean Taylor’s father:

“It is with deep regret that a young man had to come to his end so soon. Many of Sean’s fans loved him because of the way he played football. Many of his opponents feared him because of the way he approached the game. Others misunderstood him, many appreciated him and his family loved him. I can only hope and pray that Sean's life was not in vain, that it might touch others in a special way."

Friday, November 16, 2007

God, Rain, and Sonny

In 1971 I was diagnosed with the severely crippling and then death sentence, Meningitis. My grandmother, mother, and aunt were told to prepare for my death. I was given six months to live with this debilitating neurological damaging condition. Prior to the confident team of medical specialist condemning me and giving God’s blessings (the three women referenced) the verdict, my condition was a medical mystery. The family physician had no clue what was causing the high fevers and dangerous body tremors. He was dumbfounded by the little black infant who tried to swallow his tongue two to three times a week. I was his lost cause and a representation of his professional failure. He could not save me because of his limited knowledge of inflammation of the protective membranes covering the central nervous system. Therefore, my family had no other choice - but to rely heavily and solely on God answering their prayers.

The story of my medical tap dance with God’s only guarantee has become a story that my mother tells each and every Thanksgiving. She usually ends it with, “You were saved for something, so don’t make a fool out of God.” On the other hand, the specialists are probably still wondering: What in the hell?? Mary, Frankie, and Willie Jean are definitely not pondering this question. To do so means that they are questioning the spiritual power that they invested several nights of prayer in. Prayer, not a rain dance. Ya see, I did not die like the MD’s playing God thought I was going to. According to these three women, my life was spared because they petition God. They prayed, and their prayers were answered.

It remains to be seen if Georgia’s governor, Sonny Perdue and other religious Believers’ prayers for SIGNIFICANT rain will be answered just like the prayers that were offered up by those three women on Small Street back in Thomasville, North Carolina almost 36 years ago. Will it rain in abundance? Will the prayers that were unconstitutionally expressed on government property be received and answered by God Almighty? Or, will the state of Georgia and its residents end up importing water from other ‘rain blessed’ territories? From the fervidness of the numerous prayers I heard I am willing to wager that God will graciously send a shower or two. Or, will it be a climate change to produce the rain? Either way, the Believers will zealously credit the wet droppings of Mother Nature to Jesus. What a minute, I need to be clear here. The accolades should go to God, and not His son. Right? I interject this question to make a small point: No one KNOWS if there is a God up above the clouds answering prayers. We are in the dark on this one–but no one really wants to be forceful with their controversial beliefs in fear that they will be labeled an atheist. However, more of us should push the limits of reason, logic, and faith.

An earnest faith does dictate action to some degree. Thus the reason the young and old were meters away from Turner Field pleading with God. Faith does encourage the thoughts of believing: ALL can be conquered with God’s assistance. All you have to do is confess with thy mouth, and believe. This is what the scripture states. The scripture also reads, I, the LORD, am the one who sends storm clouds and showers of rain to make fields produce. So when the crops need rain, you should pray to me (Zachariah 10: 1). So it is true. God does demand that we pray for rain. The bible tells us so, so we believe. That bible is so informative, and insightful. Really?

To be insightful means an individual is a clear thinking and deeply perceptive person. He is an intelligent man who often times contemplate with a savvy understanding of reality. But, it is evident reality is relative for us humans. We see the world in differing and abstruse complexities. Different viewpoints that in most cases lead us to believing in convoluted concepts that cannot be substantiated. Therefore, we often times toss up our ignorance to ‘believing via faith’. This is what Sonny has decided to do. He believes it will rain enough now to save us. The rain for him is about to come. Return to earth like the Saving Son of Man plans to. Jesus and rain. How soon will they relieve us from the drought and from the world we have created?

The funny thing about a drought is it typically does not last forever. Rain does eventually come–but this time the rain will be welcomed unlike when I was a child: I hated rain. Also, when it comes, will it be the result of our conditional effort to communicate with God? I want to believe that the down pour (a needed 5 days worth) that will be in the forecast soon is NOT a consequence of a symbol of white and conservative authority disrespecting our once cherished constitution.

Do we really believe we have the power to move God to action? What does it mean if we have to pray for the one thing that produces and sustains life? Isn’t God aware Georgia needs a drenching of H20? If this God we pray to is omnipresence, why should we continue to ask Him for the critical things? If we sincerely believe that our ‘all about us’ prayers lights a fire under God’s behind we are in effect conveying to each other: We Are In Control, Not God. Also, is our New Testament God so sadistic that He will not respond to evils and natural disasters simply because we are not praying?

I conclude with this analysis and questions that have continuously been unanswered by priest and laypersons alike because of the one thing related to praying I am sure of: God only gets glorification for the answering of prayers we believe we selfishly need answering. The other prayer requests that go unaddressed by God are labeled: It was/is not in God’s plan. There we go again attempting to understand the un-understandable. How do we know that there is a plan in the first place? Our religious arrogance always seems to get in the way of the God-given logic we possess. This is not only pitiful, it is dangerous! So dangerous - we have for years made every attempt to alter and deify nature, but now we are asking God to bail us out once again. God ain’t stupid!

Written by Muata. Inspired by this: “Sonny prayed, and now it is going to rain.” Illogical??

One of several Exposing Christianity reviews:

“This book takes a practical down to earth approach from a black man's perspective of Christianity and how it has affected the history of an entire people. Critical issues regarding relationships, economy, and health can be identified within this read.”

To purchase the book: or

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Goin’ up Yonder to be with my Lord

Please listen to this pretty decent rendition of Goin’ Up Yonder before reading my sermonette that I plan to deliver one day with the hopes the congregation will get HAPPY. If you can find the original version please listen to it too. I wrote this preaching piece in 13 minutes while drinking Elijah Craig on the rocks with a splash of Coke Zero. Chill, God gave me the gift of writing- and if He has no problem with me getting liquored-up you need to be quiet! God is Good! And, by the way, your Jesus was a Wine-o (Luke 22:17). Laugh with me!

If you have never heard this soul-stirring gospel song while growing up at a funeral or even at a lengthy Sunday afternoon church service you definitely missed out on hearing a woman (I prefer a woman) sing a song like she really believed what she was lyrically sharing with the world.

The man who originally recorded this gospel track gives you the impression he believed he was, Goin’ up Yonder to be with his Lord when his judgment day arrived. Evidently, Bishop Walter Hawkins sang this all too popular song as if he understood that the words would seep of pain and struggle while believing God has given him grace and all that he needs to pass through this world. Yes, he was headed to God’s land: Heaven. He wanted to be with his Lord while confidently understanding that he was destined to be in a better place real soon. Yes, to be with his Lord! His faith in this contagious belief was moving; and it appeared he did not lack motivation to do right so he could see his God one day. Be with his Lord! And, when he was gone he wanted the people who would ask, ‘where is he’, to know that he walked through those Pearly Gates. Finally, at home. At peace. Up Yonder!

If you have not comprehended by now that I cherish this song despite my theological views: Heaven, There is no such Place you need to start reading again! I proudly wear this view/belief across my chest on t-shirts like I truly believe that God has not prepared a place for us to be with Him. Oh, how I wish sometimes that there is a physical place where God is in full control. Oh, how that would answer all my questions. Oh, how this belief alone would give me the comfort I need while watching the depressing news. News that reeks of disappointment and disturbance. It is this type of news that I wish my soul could shield considering part of my PEACE and HAPPINESS is attached to the world changing. I am, along with John Mayer, Waiting on the World to Change.

A wounded Saint talking to the Lord:

Lord, how I want you to be sitting on a throne waiting on me because like so many other people: I am tired. Tired of hoping you will intervene. Hoping you will not allow another travesty of justice to occur. How I want you, God, to show yourself so I can know for certain that you are true. I can’t wait for my death. No, death may take too long. I need to know now because I am preparing myself to be with you, My Lord. Praying that I will see my Savior Up Yonder. I just want to be with my Lord! You God, no one else, understands my heartache. The comfort of knowing that you will ease my pain is pleasing. Actually, it is satisfying - but I am, on so many difficult days, ready to be with You. With my Lord! Amen.

Can you imagine our slave ancestors or our hopeless bothers/sisters in Haiti not believing that there was/is a place Up Yonder? I can’t. They have/had to believe that there was/is a place Up Yonder. How else could/can they get by? How could/can they be at peace? They believed/believe to make it through. Up Yonder with God was/is a place of refuge because this world did/does not offer what was/is needed to be emotionally safe, spiritually healthy, and eternally happy for too many of us. Therefore, Goin’ Up Yonder was/is, not only a belief, it was/is a way of life: “Preparing myself to be with You, My Lord.”

Even if we don’t believe that there is a place Up Yonder as a result of our 21st century thinking or our understandable frustrations and spiritual conflicts, we should still be able to identify with psychological pain and wanting terribly to be removed and saved from desperation. For many of us this pain is unbearable so we are looking for a way out through our flowerily imaginations and wavering beliefs. Believing that there is a place we call heaven is okay with me. At times we need to know that there is a reprieve on the way, or Up Yonder.

Believe on, Believer!

So, Brian E. Payne finds nothing wrong with this woman singing her heart out on YouTube. Singing to convey a belief. That belief for her and numerous others: There is a better place called heaven. It is Up Yonder! And, those who make it Up Yonder will be with their Lord one day.

Lord I sound like a preacher. That’s okay. Grandma’s prediction was that I would be in a pulpit one day. Will you join my unsanctified church? Come on down to the alter…before it is too late!

Can you see me rocking back and forth? God was in my whiskey on this one!

Written by Reverend Dr. Brian E. Payne. LOL! Inspired by this: “If anybody ask you where I am going. You tell them that I am going Up Yonder.” You also tell them that the Believers will travel their way to heaven on the Rough Side of the Mountain (click on link below-scroll down to song tracks-click on the Windows Media icon for the song Rough Side of the Mountain). Another gospel classic!

Thanks to all of you who have pleaded with me to start back writing, not only sermons, but more “Christianity favorable” commentaries. Just don’t get too comfortable. I ain’t no preacher…yet, and I STILL find it too intellectually difficult to be a Believer…again. Just can’t see myself standing in “God’s pulpit” advising others on how to live according to scripture knowing that the scripture is erroneous – and when it takes whiskey to move me!

The challenging and controversial book, Exposing Christianity, My Way of Sharing an Alternative to the Church’s Truth is available on line:

Friday, November 02, 2007


Typically, when socially conscious people decide to participate in an effort to get the attention of the establishment, a justifiable reason has caused the ‘common’ folk to be frustratingly alarmed, oppressively upset, and/or emotionally heated. Usually, the heat from the insult committed upon these regular folk has reached an unbearable point. Almost like an extremely hot cup of coffee that puts a burn on one’s tongue. This type of burn temporarily affects taste buds. One is regulated to eating without tasting the sweetness of a Krispy Kreme donut while having to deal with an irritating tongue blister.

The circular shape of a donut is the symbol of African Americans’ attempts to tap the white man on his shoulder. We are constantly going in circles while never really causing him to respond in a way that indicates he is concerned or worried about our situation. As a result of us failing to successfully rattle the conscious of this man, blacks are forever proving to the world that we are defeated by the white man’s unconcerned posture. Giving us the reputation of being a nuisance just like that blister.

When will we learn that he does not care? He does not care that someone within our community has decided for us that we should not go see American Gangster, purchase lemon pepper wings, buy a bottle of expensive vodka, purchase a lottery ticket, buy a pack of Black and Milds, purchase the hottest hip-hop artist compact disc, or even buy another pair of shoes that we plan to wear with our Saturday night outfit. Come on! It is the first of the month! You know this is what we do! Well, those of us who are still connected to the hood know what’s up!

The infamous Blackout. Are you going without today? Did you put $10 in the gas tank on Thursday? What have you not done to confirm you will adhere to Warren Balentine’s mandate? Let me tell you what I have not done: I have not bought into an idea that does not have an official definition or an effectively communicated objective. I use the word objective because for quicker results one should understand that objectives are like milestones. It is a time for the planner or facilitator to evaluate his/her strategy. Whereas, with goals one should understand that goals are long term strategic steps. Now, ask yourself, what type of outcome/goal will come of this event that we are calling a Blackout? The rehearsed answer: ‘It will send a message to America that we are tired of the injustices.’ Well, being tired does not mean someone or something is going to change. With this simple understanding of the difference between an objective and a goal I humbly and non-narcissistically challenge you (those of you who have not cursed me and stopped reading) to ponder on this: “Nothing has really changed in America. If it has, why are we still marching, and singing the chorus of We Shall Overcome Some Day?” A 16 year old asked me this question on November 1, 2007.

Will that white man I mentioned above decide to treat us better? Will he finally hear us at 12 midnight? If we are not aware that the white man is already in the know of our complaints, we are drastically mistaken. Mr. White man is very knowledgeable of why we are dissatisfied – but he has proven to us that he does not give a damn! So, when we go without today he is just going to say to himself: ‘We have them where we want them. They are on the defensive. They are never in a proactive state of mind. We have defeated them.’

Sadly, I agree with whitey. He knows that Mookie will cop him some heroin from DJ on the corner of MLK Boulevard and Broad Street tonight. He knows that some weak black man posing as a pimp will trick-out his niece later tonight. He knows and believes we are responding to what he is ‘supposedly’ doing to us, and not responding to what we are doing to ourselves. With this state of affairs there is always a winner. An individual on top. And, we know it is not the drug dealer or the prostitute winning this battle. Those pale skin men and women are the defending champions.

The question remains to be, when will we learn? Some are saying we have learned since we are Blacking Out on November 2, 2007 with a united front. Interesting analysis considering that we have not become re-focused. We have not stopped and critiqued our situation in America collectively. No, we have not. What we have done is moved away from the unity we once had. We have been moving and moving so much so that we can’t even recognize ourselves anymore as a true united front to be reckoned with. We are what Mr. White man intended for us to be: Strangers in a foreign land.

Think about it, strangers are those people we avoid. We don’t talk to them. We don’t even acknowledge them. But, when it is time to come together we will. I recognize this. However, it is too bad that we are quicker to follow than lead. Leading and being in the forefront is when we are working to build our own communities. Spend in our communities. And, ultimately love our communities to the point we will be seen as a model for self sufficient economic development. It is amazing to me to me that we have lost the spirit of togetherness like we once had on Auburn Avenue. But yet, we are prepared today to Blackout the Auburn Avenues of America, and all because Mr. White man has done us wrong again. Shouldn’t we consider that he would have no method of crapping on us if we for once and for all: COMPLETELY SEPARATE FROM HIM in mind, spirit, and with our dollars? Notice that I did not say physically. The separation I am speaking of can be done. Just ask Farrakhan about the success he and the Nation of Islam have had after they decided to detach themselves from America’s racist grip.

I am cognizant of the fact that some will tag me as a hater. A downer of the cause. A sellout. That’s fine with me. I did offer up a workable solution. Solutions should be lasting, not temporary. Sacrificing on Just Got Paid day and then going to Macy’s tomorrow to pay the minimum balance on your Rewards Card is not indicative of a lasting and intelligent solution.

Written by Muata. Inspired by the cup of coffee I will buy from a black owned bistro and lounge this morning. Inspired by the fried fish I will buy from a black owned restaurant this evening. Inspired by my refusal to buy a bootleg copy of Denzel’s movie.

Please check out the book reviews of Exposing Christianity, My Way of Sharing an Alternative to the Church’s Truth at and Don't miss out on being challenged:

Jesus Was a Failure
Heaven: There is No Such Place
The Bible: God Wrote It-I Believe It-That's It?
Asking for Forgiveness: Is it the Perfect Way to get to Heaven?
God: A Figment of Your Imagination?