By: Amanda Anderson

As the Editor in Chief of a publication that has readers all across the world, I don’t get too personal when writing articles. While it may seem noble, it’s the understanding that the entire staff has that the reader is the only person we run this magazine for. Week after week, we carefully select topics and pieces that we feel you will love, and we also try to create messages that will help women grow and enrich their own lives. That’s our job, and that’s what we have been doing since the very first issue of Urban Belle Magazine. We’re dedicated to the cause, and in love with our jobs. I wouldn’t trade in this position for a slot at any other magazine. But I’m sure you know that already, and realize this point by witnessing the growth of a publication that was started for the betterment of black women, by black women.

In the last week, my strength has been tested on a personal and spiritual level. Let me explain.

The scandal involving Bishop Eddie Long may serve for an interesting piece of gossip to most, but it’s a personal matter for me.

Eddie Long has been my pastor since I was 3 years old. I have been a member of New Birth since it was a small church on Snapfinger Road in Decatur, GA; and watched the church firsthand become one of the largest churches in the country, with a membership of over 25,000 members. It was an exciting time for a young girl to be at a church that drew in a large variety of believers.

Over the course of time, my pastor’s finances began to rub people the wrong way. People started to focus less and less on all the good things he was doing for people in the community, and started focusing more on his cars and jewelry instead. Why? Well in this country, wealth always outweighs one’s good deeds. And for some reason, most Christians believe it’s more Godly to be in debt and struggle, than be wealthy with the means to help others.

Fast forward to now, he’s been accused of having inappropriate sexual relationships with 4 young men, and my church’s reputation has been dragged in the mud. Now before you write me off as brainwashed and biased, understand that an intelligent person would read an entire article before assuming what an author’s point may be. So whether or not you keep reading is based off your intelligence. Stop here, or move forward to receive the point.

I won’t argue whether he’s guilty or not, because that’s what the jury will do. And after that, God will have the final say, and the ONLY opinion that matters. So this ain’t even that type of article.

Prior to this whole situation, I like many of you visited the urban gossip blogs daily. We all have our favorites, but we all can admit that the most interesting aspect of any of those sites is the comments that follow. In most cases, the comments are more juicy than the gossip itself.

We watch these commentators rip apart strangers, curse them for being in the Illuminati, and question their sexuality on a daily basis. It was entertaining, and as I thought at the moment, just a great way to pass the time. I didn’t know these people, so it didn’t impact me in any way. So I continued to support these sites regardless of the negativity.

But my how the tune is different when it’s someone you know and have loved since you were 3 plastered on the gossip blogs now, instead of people you will never know like Beyonce and Jay Z.

And oh how it hurts to watch strangers gossip about people you have grown to love, and make jokes on a situation that has your entire family stressed and concerned. Turns out, it wasn’t so funny this time around.

In this moment, I can now understand how any celebrity may feel, and now I connect with how their loved ones may feel to see the people that they love be torn to shreds daily on websites that are maintained for the purpose to encourage negativity.

There isn’t enough money in the world to mask this kind of pain.

Maybe this is what it had to take for someone like me to see these sites and their commentators for what they really are: mean spirited and miserable. Or perhaps I needed to be on the receiving end to realize that sites like those are part of the problem with the world now.

Here’s the truth:

Most people need someone to hate. They need someone to point fingers out, rip apart, humiliate, belittle, and tear to shreds in order to survive their own misery. While a small portion of us just want to be entertained in our boring cubicles, they can’t live without negativity. They need negativity like they need oxygen, and without it, they couldn’t survive. Gossip gives them life, even if it won’t be a long one, or one of substance. They’re too busy in other folks business to handle their own.

Think I’m being a tad bit dramatic?

Okay, how many happy and successful people do you know that are always negative and angry? How many do you know that even have the time to leave hate filled comments on urban gossip blogs?

Here’s an even better question:

What good does any of these websites bring to the black community or into the world?

And honestly, why on earth would someone who’s supposed to be trying become more like Christ come any where in inches to a site that bashes people on a daily bases? What’s Godly about that?

I’m not trying to throw shade, but last week made me realize a lot of things. These websites have been nothing but poison since they became popular a few years ago. I don’t walk away any smarter or wiser when I read the posts, nor do I feel as if my life has been enriched in any way. Life’s too short to dumb down just for the sake of having something to do to pass the time.

And contrary to what everyone else may feel, I am not, nor will I ever be one of those people that gets a kick out of kicking others when they are down. That ain’t me and that most certainly ain’t Urban Belle.

We will continue to uplift and inspire with each article that we publish. And we will only report on the facts like we have been doing since day one. I love people, regardless of shades and religious beliefs; and I don’t want to be responsible for encouraging hate and ignorance. Because when it’s all said and done, I have to explain everything I did on this earth and in my lifetime. And if I play my cards right, I’ve done more good things than bad things. Life ain’t always about us and our opinions or juicy gossip. Sometimes it’s just about being a tool for something bigger and better. What’s your contribution to the world? I surely hope it isn’t gossip, spreading lies, being malicious, or hating people you don’t even know. And if you’re a Christian, I hope you are striving to more Christ like daily. And that means loving people despite their flaws, and praying for people even if you don’t like what they do. God has mercy on us, but we can’t even show mercy to people on gossip blogs. Kind of hypocritical isn’t it?

Marinate on that.

But as for me, I am gladly giving up the gossip blogs. I only want positivity in my life, and this is the best way to start.

Peace and blessings.

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