Juanita Bynum – Beyond Your Control is In Your Control

bynum.jpgMy awareness of Juanita Bynum was non-existent until she was attacked at about 4:00 am this past week in an Atlanta airport hotel parking lot by her estranged husband Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III in a meeting that was intended to be one of reconciliation. According to police “they got into an argument and (in the parking lot) he turned around and began beating and choking her.” Police Officer Campbell reported that “he pushed her onto the ground and began to stomp on her.” Bynum, who was bruised around her neck and torso, met with authorities on August 23, 2007 to press charges. The story was reported in Newsday.com on August 26, 2007.

Amy Malone, a publicist for Bynum, said “she was not in a fight with her husband, but was attacked by him.” Weeks, also a Minister, founded Global Destiny Churches. Officer Campbell said police have obtained warrants against Weeks on aggravated assault and terrorist threat charges, both felonies.

Bynum, who preaches at New Bethel Ministries in Queens Village, often refers to herself as a “prophetess” and quoted as saying, “I am currently recovering from my injuries and resting well. There are so many great things happening for me in my future and so much to look forward to concerning my destiny, this too shall pass,” on her MySpace.com page.

Answers.com, in its listing of Ms Bynum reports that, “….In a time when sexuality permeates the culture, there is a woman who encourages women to find closure for previous relationships, live chaste, and be the kind of people they hope to attract. Using her own mistakes as a basis for her sermons, prophetess Juanita Bynum has dedicated herself to reaching others with a message from God, that offers healing and encouragement through suggesting celibacy for singles. Treading on territory where few women have ventured, Bynum has allowed herself to be God’s vessel, telling her colorful story to the masses, in hopes of saving souls from following the same dark paths she once walked.”

tweekslarge.jpgThis incident has certainly galvanized public opinion around the question of spousal abuse. What could possibly have motivated bishop Weeks, a man of God, to use the one method so repugnant to religious people of all faith is beyond understanding. Although his side of the story still needs to be forthcoming, violence is never a sufficient answer to resolving any argument. There is no excuse or justification for it, especially from a person who proposes to be “a man of God”.

Throughout history, “religious and righteous” people have used biblical references to justify violent means to obtain their goals. Whether it’s Islamic extremists who fly planes into buildings or bomb innocent civilians into oblivion, or Christian fundamentalists who use it as a justification to discriminate against other religious philosophies, or those of “unique sexual proclivities”. Violence is not acceptable, nor should it be tolerated by any aspect of society for any reason.

(Read and update on the Juanita Bynum story here)