As a pastor, anthropologist and more importantly a father, I take the lives of children seriously, mainly the two that God has trusted me with, Jamari and Jordan, whom I love dearly. I love to read, watch and study to stay up to date on culture and recently I caught an episode of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta; of the myriad of ‘reality’ TV shows that we’re flooded with on channels like VH1, MTV, and others, this particular episode really caught my eye and my heart because of the subject matter. If you’re not familiar with the series, the show basically takes you through the lives of hip-hop artist and their mates or former mates. It’s filled with arguing, fighting, bickering, sex, cursing, cheating and not much hip hop at all, but like most of these shows the debauchery displayed is what gains more viewers, but I don’t expect bible study from reality TV and I don’t watch it for that, I watch it because I know people at my church do (yes, I’m a realist and I know people watch these shows at MY church) and people that I want to share the gospel with watch it and consider some of the stars as role models and I can hold the cultures view of truth to the word of God and speak from a position of knowledge, but back to the point of this post.
This particular episode focused on a female rapper named Rasheeda, she’s an Atlanta-based rapper that’s been in the industry for over a decade. On this particular episode Rasheeda finds out that she’s pregnant and she tells her husband and his response was not what you expect from a father. His response was “It’s crazy, I don’t think the timings right….”, “I’m ready to have a break”, “That’s your fault, I told you, you should’ve kept taking your pills…”, “Am I pregnant? Did I tell you to stop taking pills?”. Referring to his child Kirk goes on the say in the confessional that “this (baby) is not joy, this (baby) is not pleasure, this is a set-back to me”. He says to Benzino (another person on the show) “she should be having an A-B right now, an abortion cuz I ain’t ready for it” and lastly the husband says to his wife in referring to her pregnancy “that I feel it was spiteful”.
Before I go in, let me state a few things: 1) I don’t expect holiness from a show like this, after all this is Love and Hip Hop and not Christian or family programming 2) While many of the shows stars claim Christ, scripture would make it obviously clear that many of them have a form of spirituality, but not biblically orthodox Christian faith (2 Tim. 3:5) 3) I see this as a show and I’m not sure if it’s reality or not, but since they present it as a reality show I will address this as real life because the events depicted on the show do occur in real life. 4) Mona Scott-Young, the shows producer isn’t the problem, Kirk isn’t the problem, Stevie J isn’t the problem, nor is any other person on the show the problem, sin is and at the core of humanities sin issue is a heart that’s hard to God and delights in what God hates and this show capitalizes off of humanities fallen state, but there’s is hope in Christ, we’ll get to that a little later.
I want to address Kirk here and Kirk since I don’t know you, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that I’m addressing the character Kirk from the show Love & Hip Hop. I don’t know your ‘real’ views on life, but I know what you said and I will address it as son of God, Husband, Father and Pastor. Kirk your character highlights the the manhood deficit we have in American culture today and what’s sad is you seem to embrace it as strength. When your wife tells you she’s pregnant out of all the things to say, you use terms and phrases “your fault”, “spiteful” and “bad timing”. Men take responsibility and don’t rely on “pulling out” as the basis for denying a child with their wife. Men aren’t perfect, but don’t celebrate imperfection by going to strippers and rejoicing in the idea of aborting their child. Men reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously and invest eternally and Kirk, your character has done none of the above. Kirk I want to encourage you to repent (turn from sin) and trust Christ and not murder your unborn child Kirk. I want to encourage you to reconcile with your wife and know that there’s grace for you and Rasheeda. I want you to man up and realize that you can be a man of God because God became a man and died or your sin Kirk so you don’t have to promote it (sin). Perhaps you don’t know that abortion in the black community claims more lives than Heart Disease, Cancer, Violent Crimes and AID’s combined, perhaps you don’t know that about 1876 black babies are aborted everyday, perhaps you don’t know that abortion has taken more than 13 million black lives in the last 30-years and perhaps you don’t know that babies are lives given by God (Psalm 127:3) and not a “set-back” as you said to your wife. Your unborn little boy or little girl needs you to be a man Kirk, imagine him or her pleading with you saying “give me a chance” like you got Kirk. Your daughter needs you to give her a chance to live, to experience her first steps, first words and perhaps impact the world Kirk. Don’t allow the selfishness of your perceived career to cause you to murder your child. I don’t know all the details of your marriage, but Rasheeda needs you to be a man Kirk, she needs you to say that we can make it through this. She doesn’t need you encouraging her to make her baby one of the over 1800 that are killed daily by black women at the hands of doctors and organizations like Planned Parenthood and others that primarily plague economically poor neighborhoods. Rasheeda needs you to to be a voice of hope and not a voice of blame, but perhaps you don’t care about that, I mean your character doesn’t care. Kirk there are viewers of this show that need you to stand for this unborn child, rather than giving another irresponsible man the green light to kill another baby, Kirk believe it or not, your child needs you and as a father to a father. Don’t back down, don’t give up and give your life to Christ.
Rasheeda, I don’t want to encourage you to be strong. In fact I want to encourage you to be weak and surrender to God’s strength, by giving your life to Him. I think being strong is why you think singing “Hit it from the Back” is cool being several weeks pregnant. Rasheeda rather than rapping “Hit it from the Back” I want you to know that was a man that carried a cross for you on his back. Being strong is nurturing your delusion that a successful rap career as a Boss B&*% is somehow empowering. Being strong is what causes many black women to operate in pride, rather than humble submission to God the Creator. You’re a victim of a weak man, but you’re also experiencing the results of selfish ambition and you have to own that sista. Rasheeda you’re in my prayers, I know in your mind you’re just trying to make it, but let me encourage you that no matter what Kirk does or doesn’t do, God loves you and if you submit to Him. Submit all of you, your body, your womb, your career, your lyrics and your soul, you will experience life. I do rejoice in your resolve to keep your child and my wife and I will be praying for you girl. We’re in a time when the most unsafe place for a black child, is the womb of a black woman. It hurts my heart to type this, but I’m glad that one more, by God’s grace will see the light of day. The life of your child is more important than your career and if you never go platinum, that’s cool, because if you surrender to God and raise children that love Him, I promise you that, that will mean a lot more than an album full of explicatives when you stand for God.
Again I know this happens everyday and some of you will rather spend more time talking about the fact that a pastor watched an episode rather than do something to save the lives of the unborn. To those critics, criticize me, I’ll be busy seeing how I can create a change in the narrative of my city. This isn’t a political issue, it’s an issue of life. When we had our first child, at three weeks we heard a heart beat. I didn’t hear an “inconvenience”, “set-back”, “spite” or “an issue” I heard the heart of beautiful little girl that loves dance, cheering and sports. I heard the heart beat of my little girl that I got to baptize at the age of seven. I heard the heart beat of my little princess that I took to the daddy daughter dance. I heard the heartbeat of a little girl that would take my heart as soon as I laid eyes on her, I didn’t hear a “set-back”. I heard the heart beat of beautiful little girl that has a joy-filled present and a bright future because she has life. Kirk, Rasheeda, Mona and the cast of Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta, you have millions of viewers, allow another voice to be heard at the very least. Allow people hear that abortion isn’t the only option. Out of everything that I’ve said I hope you all know that there is grace for you and at the foot of the cross you can change and I will continue to dedicate my life to praying for that change for all of you. I plead with you guys not as a pastor, but as a child of God and father. I don’t see any ‘love’ for the unborn on Love & Hip-Hop.