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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
plansmaker
Blue Skies Clear Ponds Chase Dragonflies Oh Yeah!
02:02 PM on 03/11/2012
They should asking tourists to buy tickets or donations....yes, that will work!!!
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PoundOFun
04:08 PM on 03/11/2012
The only reason they're allowing it is to get more money for the church. I love my black church, but nobody and I mean nobody can come to church every Sunday without bringing a wallet, a dish, your time...Its something to behold...they always want something.....always!!
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liliblu
07:55 AM on 03/13/2012
This is not true of all churches. My church collects an offering each week but if you don't want to or can't give you just pass the bucket. No one criticizes another member or visitor. The only exception to the one offering is the second Sunday offering. But that money is used for missions work. We've used that money to help pay for operations that members can't afford and to aid people in this country and around the world. Finally we end at about the same time each week. We don't spend all day in church.
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OooZzzzz
OooZzzzz
01:50 PM on 03/11/2012
Quote: ""Some of the tour operators really have made this whole thing about money," Kebe said. "It's created a problem. Because many of them are getting a lot of money from the tourists in order to get into a church. And there may be people in the church who are making a little money on the side."

MONEY.

There lies the problem beside the fact that tourists (foreign/domestic) are treating Black churches as a novelty act; casual stop along the tour route on Sunday morning no different that Chinatown/Central Park; get off the bus, go inside a Black church service no regard for the congregration/rules/protocol (improper dress/taking photos/talking/gazing/eating etc).

Majority churches don't have T.D. Jakes/Creflo Dollar thousand seats "mega church" aura/feel/capacity seen on TV and once having their fill, leave the church/back on the bus in awe of the congregation's dress/women's hats/choir/songs/way members physically praise Jesus/sermon especially when the preacher in the spirit.

Black churches aren't zoos where you /gawk/gaze for amazement. Tourists aren't seeking the Bible/God/salvation but an NY experience telling their family/friends once they're back to their daily lives.

It should be banned. Makes no sense; really pathetic/financially opportunistic for the tourist industry who didn't have the decency to discuss with churches the intentions of tourists and the touring company knowing they're in it only for the money.
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PoundOFun
04:10 PM on 03/11/2012
Look, my son and his wife tour NY at least once a year. We're from Ohio and he loves talking about visiting Harlem churches. Its a rich history that begs for the experience from outsiders. Now my son is black....is he any different from the whites that do the same exact thing? NO....and believe me, he leaves a ton of money in these churches when he visits.
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OooZzzzz
OooZzzzz
08:05 PM on 03/11/2012
You're right.

Your son is no different than Whites visiting but you're using the word "experience" and that he leaves money like he's some hero/they're some religious beggars wanting handouts (guessing that makes him feel really good inside like the people who aid hungry African children/adopt them) and that makes it totally wrong on all levels.

You don't/shoudn't go to a Black church (any church) just for the "experence" of it because that's not the purpose of churches; make it a "tourist map check mark attraction" stop along the route is really stupid/pathetic.

People in those churches are not side shows freaks.

They're real people and church service is their sacred time and place for deeply religious/serious God fearing people seeking & worshipping their God not to be disturbed during their time of worship; not being being gazed/gawked upon as some type of human NY souvenir piece you simply access to enlighten your guided tour experience.

You/your family want the rich history of a Black church? Become an insider and join one/become members. The rich history of Black churches no matter where in America, permeates throughout all of them; not just NY City.

Many in Ohio (if you haven't already) just don't do it for the experience but for what it truly there for/what it represents/what it can do for you/your family in your everyday lives.

SMH.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
amd02148
08:19 PM on 03/11/2012
PoundOFun anyone who attends is welcome, the problem comes when people come and go like it's a night club. Come when they get ready, leave whenever they like and have no problem disrupting anyone else. Treating it like it's a big party instead of a religious service.
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Blakjak572
Friends don't let friends blog drunk.
01:50 PM on 03/11/2012
Maybe the church show hold a choir show outside of regular worship hours.
02:20 PM on 03/11/2012
And sell tickets for it. Brilliant.
01:37 PM on 03/11/2012
What this article conveys to me is that the church wants too much control over the tourists. It seems perfectly fine for the tourists to leave their money, but not OK if the tourist only want to hear the choir and not the sermon. The church doesn't understand that most people love music and in particular Black gospel music (like me) but may have a different spiritual philosophy.

The bottom line: Allow the tourists to come and go as they please and enjoy their visit.
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hyaofcr
No laughing, no smiling & absolutely no having fun
01:43 PM on 03/11/2012
And the donations.
05:13 PM on 03/11/2012
@hyaofcr

Right!
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Blakjak572
Friends don't let friends blog drunk.
01:48 PM on 03/11/2012
What the article conveys to me is that too many people are treating a house of worship as a tourist attraction and being rude when the show is over. You go to concerts to hear music you go to church to hear the gospel.
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muadibe
We should all evolve.
02:19 PM on 03/11/2012
Did you miss the point in the article where they said these people wanted to go for the music? YOU may go to church to hear the gospel, but apparently there are others who do it for the music. Not sure how you see something wrong with that.
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zevonia
02:46 PM on 03/11/2012
I lived in Germany for 5 years and got to travel around Europe. Visiting churches is something tourists do over there because of the great beauty of the buildings. The churches get money from the tourists, which is always helpful. And even over there some tourists are not as respectful as they should be but throwing people out or keeping them from entering seems less than "chrisitan" if you catch my drift. After all everyone is supposed to be welcome in god's house.
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lateralus1983
Like a scrotum here it is in a nutshell.
12:57 PM on 03/11/2012
This seems like something a bunch of hipsters would do.
12:54 PM on 03/11/2012
Even if just for a moment, one soul could be blessed. What happened to come as you are? Could it be the congregants have forgotten why they assemble every Sunday? There's a lesson to be learned here. Maybe that's the blessing in it all.
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meanlady21
12:49 PM on 03/11/2012
Perhaps the church and members should start church an hour earlier and than lock the doors once church starts. Anybody late will not get in.
12:55 PM on 03/11/2012
Half the congregation would get locked out.
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meanlady21
11:42 PM on 03/11/2012
haha your right on that one.
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imanormalalien
and yes, it's a MGMT reference
12:45 PM on 03/11/2012
why don't they just expand the church?
01:54 PM on 03/11/2012
Why don't you go and gawk somewhere else. I want to tour your church too. I may find some soul there too.
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zevonia
02:47 PM on 03/11/2012
Not a very christian attitude, my friend. What would jesus do?
04:37 PM on 03/11/2012
@imanormalalien

The article states that the church needs money to fix damages and that there are a small number of regular congregants who attend the church who rudely respond to visitors. Therefore, why would they expand? If the tourists do not attend the church then they'll have less money, and maintain the status quo ante which is to remain the same: broke! lol

I am sure that other Black churches in NY with great gospel choirs would welcome them.
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imanormalalien
and yes, it's a MGMT reference
07:36 PM on 03/11/2012
What kind of Christians are they then, responding rudely to people who are just trying to experience the service? The pastor needs to address this ridiculousness to it's regular congregation, then. It's especially important since they need the money, but even if they didn't, it's just messed up for people to feel sour about it
12:43 PM on 03/11/2012
we can all use some soul
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ZenSufi
Sisters and Brothers of America!
03:13 PM on 03/11/2012
Especially North Korea. They want Seoul real bad.