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The (R)evolution of Gospel: Defy StereoTypes

This week, NPR’s “STUDIO 360″ Radio Show, will air another feature of mine entitled, “Kim Burrell‘s New Gospel of Love.” In the segment, the singer talks about how many people, particularly Christians, should step back and re-evaluate the meaning of the word, “LOVE.” According to Kim Burrell, love is about being genuine, being authentic — not only to others but also to ourselves.

During the interview, we talked for over an hour about a number of things. Yes, there was some spectacular audio left on the cutting room floor — including private conversations she’s had with artists like Stevie Wonder, Harry Connick, Jr., Herbie Hancock, Brandy, Tyrese, and a host of others. She also talks rather candidly about her weight loss and issues regarding an outfit she wore during last year’s BET Honors event which featured a Whitney Houston tribute.

And surprisingly enough, Kim Burrell and I spoke about her views and opinions relating to equal rights for gays and lesbians.

So even if you don’t listen to or like gospel music, take a listen to this feature below. I’d love your feedback and comments as well as your stance on the word “love” and the notion of acceptance — both within and outside the boundaries of religion.

Many of us were probably raised a certain way with certain values and principles to live by. But as we continue to grow and begin to interact with people of different backgrounds, ethnicities, or even sexual orientations, I sincerely hope we’re able to expand our minds more on a personal level. If you’re a person who has the ability to ‘put yourself in the other person’s shoe,’ then I think you’ve already started the process of becoming one step closer to a more enhanced, culturally-diverse world of acceptance and understanding towards another human being.

Eddie Robinson with Gospel singer, Kim Burrell

The election of President Barack Obama has definitely silenced those nationwide who thought we would never see an African-American Commander-In-Chief in the White House. Perhaps this limited thinking of not having a Black U.S. President would have been considered radical five or ten years ago — definitely radical perhaps 50 years ago!

But now that we’re living in the 21st century, battling issues of same-sex marriage where people’s religious ideals and morals are at stake, would it be so radical to think that Christian men or women could open up their hearts and minds to actually love and accept someone who’s gay or lesbian? Is this act of love and acceptance really that radical?

When the bible states, “God is Love,” do you honestly think God would reject someone of His own creation?

That sense of rejection (from family members, Christians/Church leaders, etc.) is what hurts so many young gay children to this day as it relates to being victims of bullying and suicide. Even as a 29-year-old adult, I wanted to take my own life, so imagine what a young child could be thinking. Suicide is real. Being bullied is real.

Re-discover and meditate on the real truth about what LOVE really means to you.

Once again, thanks for reading my blog post and for your continued support.

By the way, more QUANTUM news to come as well! Subscribe to blog for future updates.

The Courage of a Real Man: Defy StereoTypes

This past week, HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” featured Welsh rugby legend, Gareth Thomas, the world’s first openly gay male athlete who’s actively playing in a professional team sport.

Gareth talks about how he desperately wanted to “look straight” and act tough — from flirting with hot girls to getting excited over an arrest for fighting. In addition to thoughts of suicide, he also goes on to explain how being closeted helped propel his rugby career:

“I was a demon on the field. People to me were just objects that I could take my frustration out on. If somebody gave me the ball I’d say, run over this guy. I had so much built up anger, so much built up frustration inside of me that, you know, I would have killed a guy if I could have. And that’s why my career went [up] so quick.”

Towards the end of the interview, Thomas says that if an American gay athlete would come out, he would leave a legacy far beyond his accomplishments of that sport.

Perhaps his story will encourage other professional athletes to kick open that closet door while they’re actively playing the sport.

You have to admit, Thomas has ‘balls’ — so to speak.

What he’s done in coming out to the world is really the ultimate test of a man. It’s what every MAN (gay, straight, or WHATEVER) must take note of: He looked fear dead in the eye and turned it into unwavering faith in himself and in his abilities as an athlete.

And by doing this, he’s opened the door for others to follow. Currently, no male athlete in a professional team sport within the United States has had the nerve to admit that he’s gay.

Thomas is a brave, true athlete who stands up for what he believes in. He’s an authentic representative of equal rights for all — not because he’s a gay rugby player, but because he has the courage to come out, while playing the sport.

What’s the reward? He receives his life back — there’s a sense of rebirth, a renewal.

Thomas is the definition of a real man — a man who would risk his entire career (or perhaps his life) and make a powerful step forward to be an example for others.

Thank you Gareth Thomas for refusing to hide… and choosing to live — truthfully.

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