Jesus Does Not Approve of Your Reality Show Shenanigans5/22/2013
Now, that we've recovered from our Scandal hangovers ( Dad???!!!!! ), let's talk about new...
Now, that we've recovered from our Scandal hangovers (Dad???!!!!!), let's talk about new television foolywang that has left me verklempt and outdone to the point where I've decided to write...wait for it...an open letter. Yes, it's that serious. If Hov can do one on Cuba, I can write one on this hot mess waiting to happen.
What hot mess you ask? Oxygen, a network trying way too hard to out-ratchet VH1 (Uh, "Bad Girls Club" anyone? Remember the "All My Babies' Mamas" fiasco?) has decided to move forward with "Pastors of LA." Um, say what now? See, this is why we can't have nice things and advance as a people. Anywho, back to this letter.
Dear Bishop Noel Jones, Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Pastor Wayne Chaney, Bishop Ron Gibson, and Pastor Jay Haizlip:
I don't live in L.A. and have never visited your churches, but as a person of faith and regular church goer, I feel it's my Christian duty to tell you that diving into the messiness that is reality TV is a TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD idea.
Now, I know you're probably saying that I'm jumping to conclusions. I mean the press release announcing the show suggests an enlightening and revealing series:
"Pastors of L.A." will give viewers a candid and revealing look at six boldly different and world renowned mega-pastors in Southern California, who are willing to share diverse aspects of their lives, from their work in the community and with their parishioners to the very large and sometimes provocative lives they lead away from the pulpit.
That sounds all well and good, but I know you've watched a eality TV series or two. I've sampled more than my fair shame, and I can confidently say that no one comes off well on reality TV. NO ONE (except Tia and Tamera, maybe)! Even television producers realize that reality TV is code for coonery, so that's why they're trying to use Jedi mind tricks by referring to this as a "docu-series." Hopefully you see what they did there.
From my vantage point, people sign on to reality TV for a few main reasons: to make money, get famous, sell some kind of product, or revive a stalled career. That's what makes your choice to participate in "Pastors of LA" so baffling. You've got everything that NeNe lacked before she got on Real Housewives: money, fame and influence.
As a pastor, bishop, overseer, etc., your job is supposed to be bringing souls to Christ and helping them understand the word of God. How do the values of reality TV align with that? The goal of reality TV is magnify the cray cray and dysfunction to maximize the ratings. But you already knew that, right? I mean, have you seen "Basketball Wives"?
Also, you do realize that if this show is a success, your personal life will suffer, right? I mean, Bishop Jones, if you really want to have a successful relationship with LisaRaye "Diamond" "First Lady" McCoy, why put your business out there for the world to see? Reality couples generally don't do well under the harsh the "docu-series” spotlight. Isn't it enough that your congregation and all of LA will be up your business?
Deitrick Haddon, is this about promoting your music? Dude, there has to be a better way, one that won't require you to become a "character" to be more successful.
Can I be really real? Please put "Pastors of LA" out to pasture and concentrate on feeding your sheep. You guys are church leaders. You are held to a higher standard by people, you should hold yourself to a higher standard.
I don't know what your reasons are for doing this show or your intentions. But trust, whatever you're trying to do will be remixed into some mess that won't help you or your congregation and give more ammunition to people that give Christianity and pastors the side-eye. Don't be those people. Heck, encourage your fellow pastors not to be those people. Please!!!
Well, that's it. Hopefully you'll reconsider, but if not, you can't say I didn't warn ya.
Sincerely, respectfully and randomly,
Is Reality TV Changing Our Perception of Black Christian Women?
Deeper Than Reality TV: It's Not About a Rapper or His Babies Mamas
By day, Jemarion Jones (@TheRealJCarol on Twitter) is a detail-oriented communications professional for a major health care association in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Outside of her day job, she blogs at The New Randomness (http://thenewrandomness.blogspot.com/) and lends her social media expertise to nonprofit organizations.