In a nation wherein “In God We Trust” has become a mere creed on the money upon which it is printed, important moral issues such as child molestation, pegging, gay marriage, lesbianism, and bestiality, etc., are conspicuously absent from the discourse in many churches, mosques, synagogues, schools, homes, and mainstream media. Have our nation’s “religious leaders” gone into the closets vacated by lesbians and homosexuals? Thus, Victory In Christ Ensemble [VICE] is an unorthodox book club proffering an exposé of politics, religion, and sexuality from a Biblical perspective. For example, few high school history teachers or undergraduate professors dare to intimate that “Birth of a Nation” was propaganda promoting a bete noire sexual stereotype in order to obfuscate a forbidden way of life in Dixie. During this unique period in American History with sex farms for breeding slaves and breaking the buck, there were no state or federal laws prohibiting Southern planters from engaging in heterosexual and homosexual trysts with their “property”. Concomitantly, Southern aristocrats who traveled to Europe soon discovered that free black men engaged in marriage and other sexual relationships with white women. Thus, an untoward perception of black males was needed to insure that this reprehensible decadence did not gain traction in the South. Notwithstanding the social stigma and possible death sentence, still some Southern belles chose covert conjugal relationships with their slaves prior to the Civil War. Martha Hodes’ non-fictional White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth Century South gives readers a rare glimpse of miscegenation in Dixie. Immediately after the Civil War during Reconstruction and later during Jim Crow, is is possible, plausible, probable, or preposterous to think the incessant roasting and lynching of black men, replete with preserving his penis as a trophy, gave new meaning to “penis envy”?
Today, with more than a million convicted felons in our communities, VICE’s workshops affirm that there’s nothing new under the sun, apart from the newly privatized prison industrial complex. As these men reenter society, are they honest with their significant others or themselves regarding their sexual history? What are some of the untoward consequences of such duplicity, delusion and dishonesty? WE can’t fix it IF we can’t face it. Stated differently, VICE’s workshops candidly revisit how the strong vanquish the weak via imprisonment, rape, sodomy, torture, illiteracy, torture, hegemony, and genocide, etc. More than a century after the Emancipation Proclamation, have countless men within my identity group unwittingly replaced the Master’s whip with self-flagellation rather than self-affirmation? Are gambling, smoking, drinking, selling drugs, using drugs, dropping out of school, siring illegitimate children, domestic violence, and spreading AIDS among the lashes men of all races perpetually inflict upon their communities? Is such reprobate behavior a result of poverty, incarceration, racism, or other factors? Generally speaking, is there a direct correlation between religion and morality? Please read the blog post, “God’s Gym”, prior to proffering your analysis. Hopefully, convicted felons, college students, and other adults will study the Scriptures, VICE’s textbook, and related materials in order to connect the dots as we reason together in your communities or at our workshops. In this Age of Feminism and Fatherlessness, VICE especially challenges black males to “take up your bed and walk” out of Egypt in order to cross the Red Sea. Gentlemen, irreproachable conduct and holistic male bonding are inextricable from any man-child ever learning to protect and provide for his family in the Promised Land. Stated differently, brothers, WE can fix it IF we face it!
Homicide, illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, illegitimacy, and AIDS are among a plethora of maladies adversely impacting the African American community. Is this a coincidence, a government conspiracy, or our own fault via the desuetude of critical thinking? Explain. Unabashedly, I dare to challenge our Talented Tenth and Village Elders to explore this quandary via irreproachable intelligence vis-a-vis your emotions. Moreover, IF we intellectualize cause and effect, then we can discern rightly whether the African American community is cursed via racism, via Ham in the Bible, via having vacated and forsaken God’s commandments, or via a dearth of knowledge relevant to formal education? What incantations inoculate our kindred from Ethiopia, Haiti, Nigeria, Jamaica, et al., from these vices? For example, IF of our own volition we CHOOSE to sell drugs, drop out of school, steal, sag our pants, speak Ebonics, or maliciously shoot our kindred, etc., then is the culprit racism or self-hatred? If we truly want to draw water from the “well of success”, then why do we incessantly punch holes in the bottoms of our own buckets? Why do we allow our progeny to fill privatized prisons rather than to teach our sons reading comprehension, standard English, computer literacy, chess, critical thinking, and the SCRIPTURES prior to their twelfth birthday? Obviously, millions of African American fathers read below a ninth grade proficiency. Yet, rather than to rectify this statistic, we still regale in the victory of our favorite NFL or NBA team. In the context of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, can any uneducated mind read, comprehend, analyze, and finally synthesize that written information? Obviously, WE can’t fix it IF we can’t face it. Therefore, why don’t our churches, lodges, frats, temples, mosques, libraries, and other institutions sponsor Brain Bowls, Chess Clubs, and GED programs? Is this a coincidence, a government conspiracy, or our own fault via the desuetude of critical thinking? Explain. IF the score is 36 – 0 at half-time during the Super Bowl, then should the losing coach complain to the officials about his opponent’s offensive team or admonish his defensive team to stop the quarterback and running back? How could it ameliorate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness within the African American Village, IF our elders, pastors, politicians and other prominent men, held themselves accountable to irreproachable ethical [see God’s Gym: Workout #1] and intellectual standards? For example, is it possible, plausible, probable, or preposterous to think that only an exiguous number of African males [men from the Caribbean, the US, or any of the countries on the continent, Mother Africa] uphold Victory In Christ Ensemble’s subjective list of things devout Buddhists, Christians, Jews, and Muslims “should” do? IF God rewards our obedience and concomitantly punishes our disobedience to His statutes, covenants, and commandments, then when will we teach our sons how to break generational curses vis-à-vis following in our progenitors’ footsteps? Explain. Paraphrasing Willy Lynch, IF you enslave his mind, then a docile man becomes even more malleable. Ergo, IF our college presidents, preachers, and political “leaders” emphasize how unfair the system is — without holding us morally accountable for our own sins of omission and commission — then are they leading us through the Red Sea or leading us back to the Nile Plantation to resume building Pharaoh’s pyramids? I rest my case.