Behind the Curtain at TMM

300!

Another milestone for TMM! Today, we celebrate 300 broadcasts. And we WILL stop counting at some point, I am sure of that. But, for now, every show counts. It's like when you're a little kid and someone asks you how old you are, and you say Four and a HALF, and that half really means something to you. Not like when you're, say, 49. You're not going for any additional percentages there, are you?

Not that I'd know.

Thanks to Cheryl Corley for filling in while I took some needed R&R with family and took care of some stuff around the house. Not enough stuff, but some stuff — painting the kids' room, that kind of thing.

Some day, hopefully, I'll come back from being away and I'll report that I had tea with Oprah and Nelson Mandela or something like that, but right now — I won't lie — I can just say it was great taking the kids to the pool, and going out to dinner without looking at my watch because I have to get up at dawn ... and arguing with the electrician over whether I really need a new light over the table (asking him why can't he just fix the old one?). Those things actually float my boat (which might be pathetic, I don't know).

... Although I wouldn't mind that tea with Madiba either.

I hope you enjoyed today's program as much as I did. Sometimes you feel like you're doing the news and sometimes you feel like you're calling up a bunch of people you know and just checking in on them. That's how today's show felt to me — just checking on people ... like Armstrong Williams on his Obama dilemma as a black conservative, what will he do?; like the Rev. Ed Young on how he's doing out in Cedar Rapids after the floods; like the Barbershop guys on what else?

We did one newsy interview with Sarah Posner on her new book God's Profits and her examination of (some say she exposes) the Word of Faith movement, also known by some as the so-called Prosperity gospel. Here's my question:

If you are of another faith, or no faith, do you have a right to critique another group's worship style and political involvements? What if they they want to give their pastor a private plane? Is it your/our business? And why, or why not?

Some say these congregations are abusing their tax exempt status. Others say these are cultural disputes. Where should the line be drawn and how should it be drawn?

Have a good weekend. We're considering a number of leads for Monday — politics, more on the floods, and new fiction from Africa. All under consideration. We hope you'll join us.

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The barbershop talk got me hot today.

I find it highly annoying that we are still debating if the absent black father is a bigger or small problem. It astounds me that black folks continue to want to call out whites for their "wrongs" but calling other blacks out is beyond the pale. Of course race and legacies of discrimination have dogged poor black men in the inner cities and in the south but they have dogged women also. The same women who work everyday, who scrimp and save and figure out how to make a way outta no way.

After all, just because welfare won't allow a man to live in the house doesn't mean that you can't take care of your responsibilities and see your children while living outside of the house. Even custody isn't quite the rigged game against men that it used to be. Men are able to go into court to demand shared custody. There are even laws on the books that make the mother's attempts to limit a father access punishable. So come on now fellas!

Really! Each one of us knows someone with some baby daddy/momma drama.

Part of the truth of this situation is that it has become endemic for some inner city poor (and not so poor) women to say their kids don't need a dad and place roadblocks in the way of any sort of relationship. But it is also painfully true that there are quite a few unemployed young black men who decry that lack of employment who would NEVER even consider taking a job at a fast food restaurant to support their children. It is also true that there are both black men and women having children that they are neither financially or emotionally able to afford.

Should Senator Obama or anyone else steer clear of this topic because it makes the few of us purposeful bruthas feel bad? I don't think so.

What galls me most in the reactions to Sen. Obama's comments (comments by the way he has made many times in the past) is the lack of willingness on the part of so many talking heads to allow for any personal responsibility among the men being discussed.

With the leading cause of death for young black men between the ages of 18-30 being murder, with nearly 50 percent of black and hispanic children living in households without a father which is it? It is no problem at all? Is it all the "man?" Doesn't the individual have any personal responsibility, free will, or autonomy. Does being poor black or brown mean that you are relieved of any agency. Are women of color truly the only repository of the blame or damned faint praise for the situation many of them find themselves in.

Racism and sexism are at play in many areas of our society BUT children need to be raised and adored.

How are we ever going to fortify our young men to step up to the plate if we go all goofy every time someone dares speak the truth.

Given a choice most children would choose an unemployed, present, livin down the street daddy to an absent hardworking one any day of the week.

Sent by raul | 9:20 PM | 6-20-2008

Justin Peters speaks out on the WoF movement and is considered by some to be an expert on it... At http://www.justinpeters.org you can click on "demo" and see a presentation he gave to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on this... It is a brief overview of his seminar called, "A Call for Discernment." He spoke at my church and comes highly recommended by my pastor, Dr. John MacArthur.

Sent by cls | 5:25 PM | 6-21-2008

Concerning Sarah Posner's book: No one was given the mission of criticizing our fellow human beings. When you become a Christian, the first commandment given is, "Love one another!" Another commandment is to, "Pray for one another." It is the Holy Spirit's job to convict us. It is the Father that does the judging, and He is more than capable of discipling His children when they need it. It is our job to love one another, and pray for them. It is also our job to work on the things in our lives that need to line up with God's way of doing things!

Sent by Barbara Faucette | 9:24 PM | 6-21-2008

I believe that worship is a personal preference and that people should be free in whatever mannner they wish. Currently, due to the Obama controversy with Reverend Wright, now it is in vogue to say that Black churches preach "hate". Well, although most churches in the black community are very spirited, there are some very conservative ones that could care less about race or politics. I think it is very dangerous when people began to generalize.

Sent by Mizzday | 3:21 PM | 6-22-2008

Dear Miss Martin,
Topics for future consideration; Detroit Public Schools running a $200 Million dollar deficit.
Highland Park, Mi. The poorest city in the United States, shuttered library system for past 15 years.
No time here for environmental or political chit chat when you're looking for returnable cans

Sent by arshile | 9:39 PM | 6-22-2008

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