Hey there, Pastor A.J. Aamir.
How’s your scalp doing? Is it blessed and highly favored? I sure hope so, because if the women are your church are going to be told to remove their weaves to attend your place of worship, you ought to withdraw every hair follicle on your head in return. Lead by example, you hairpiece-hating preacher man – emphasis on the "man" part, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Now, Pastor Hate The Weave, Not The Weave Wearer, as you explained to your leadership staff at Resurrecting Faith, “Our Black women are getting weaves trying to be something and someone they are not. Be real with yourself is all I’m saying.”
And you went on, telling AmericaPreachers.com: “Long hair, don’t care. What kind of mess is that? I don’t want my members so focused on what’s on their heads and not IN their heads. I lead a church where our members are struggling financially. I mean really struggling. Yet, a 26-year-old mother in my church has a $300 weave on her head. NO. I will not be quiet about this.”
So you don’t ever anticipate Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary, or any gospel act really to ever perform there, huh?
You have since acknowledged that you can’t legally prohibit women in your congregation – with an average age of 22 – from rocking their Indian Remy and Virgin Malaysia Silky Hair. You’ve also tried to give a little back story to your reductive point of view, explaining that you were raised in a strict household with Islamic parents. Fair enough, but at 39-years-old you must realize that is a new day and women should be able to rock whatever hairstyle as they damn well please.
Oops, forgive the language. A strict religious parent, too, raised me, but these days I’m practically a heathen so the profanity lives with me as furiously as prayer does. Can I get an amen? No? Fine, let’s move on.
While I do understand the impulse to become frustrated with people acting funny with whatever little money they have, there are better ways to articulate such grievances. Or you know, you could mind your damn business. Darn it, I cursed again. I’ll say three Hail Marys after this wraps.
You truly do need to be mindful of what you say to your parishioners, especially women, sir. After all, churches are built on the backs on women. They mainly fill the pews of any given religious institution, which of course keeps them open and help keep people like you employed. With that in mind, it’s quite disheartening to hear you condemn women on their aesthetic choices with such authority. You don’t know why every single woman dons a weave, and even if is true that in some cases their hairstyle might be a sign of insecurity, ask yourself what is the best way to help that person.
Hint, hint, saint: It’s not the sort of language you used.
I may not be the person most affected by this patriarchy, but I do stand with women as they deserve better than this. The same goes for your fellow Texan and patriarchal pollutant, Apostle Michael Canty of The Truth Ministries Holiness Church in Houston, who angered an entire wedding party when he refused to marry a bride and groom on their wedding day after deeming the bride’s dress as too “sexy.”
Listen up, you two. Beyoncé, Erykah Badu, Terry from En Vogue and I are not putting in all this work for the likes of y’all and Rick Perry to further soil Texas’ reputation with this sanctimonious sexism.
More importantly, this is all nothing but another reminder of how important it is to get women in leadership positions in every field imaginable. Interestingly enough, I recently met up with an old classmate who went to the seminary.
She was profiled on PBS’ Religion and Ethics News Weekly exclusive “Women in Theology and Ministry” and had this to say: “The leadership roles in church were typically held by men, and the women who did work in the church were either Sunday school teachers or they worked in the kitchen or they worked in the nursery. Very rarely was there a woman in the pulpit.”
You men folk continue to make it difficult for women, but God almighty, Pastor A.J. Aamir, do you all those like you show why that needs to change.
Michael Arceneaux is the author of the “The Weekly Read,” where tough love is served with just a touch of shade. Tweet him at @youngsinick.