I had really decided that I wasn't going to write anymore about Juanita Bynum after my earlier posts. Then my cousin sent me a link to Bynum's website and her new "mentorship" classes. My cousin wanted me to hear Prophetess Bynum's poor taste in humor in the form of a disparaging reference to "short bus people."
I left the site playing long enough to be stunned by Bynum's first advice to her mentees. Buy a name-brand pen, but not a Bic. A Bic, she reasoned, is common and you are too important, your name is too important to be written with a common pen. She continued by bragging that she has paid as much as $5000 for a pen that she uses only for special occasions, such as signing multi-million dollar deals.
This, I thought, is what really endangers Black Christianity. Too many of us actually believe that investing in a pen, or in the offering plate of a prophet(ess), or in playing the lottery number drawn from the pastor's sermon text is the key to unlocking our destiny and purpose. We risk our soul(s), sell our soul(s) for so little because our internal accounting systems are out of kilter. We have no idea what real value is.
In this way, there is very little difference between the "prosperity" propounded by media preachers and the bling-mentality of the underbelly of hip-hop. Both exploit the desperation and depression of their constituencies with promises that are addictive and elusive at the same time. Buy my CDs and videos and you can surmount the obstacles of your everyday living. And even if you can't move out of public housing, you can live vicariously through me. My bling is your bling.
It is true that we don't know what our lives are worth, but it's not because we are using a "common" Bic pen.We don't know what we're worth because we listen to people who think in dollars but no sense.