I wasn’t even going to give Dani Johnson another second of my time or energy after I appeared on her Facebook Live/ Radio show the other day, but God has put it on my heart to get my frustration off my chest and maybe help bless her heart along the way (in the real sense, not the Southern sense).
I saw a Facebook post on the Dani Johnson page the other day. I’ve been following her for a few months because I ghost blogged an article about her. Basically, she was a waitress who was drinking and snorting her life away after having been molested and turning terribly promiscuous. On the night she was going to kill herself, she jumped into the ocean and instead of dying, she heard a voice tell her basically not to. So she gets out of the water, goes back to her car (that she was living in) and starts selling some weight loss plan. Over the next 2 years, she becomes a millionaire.
There’s more to the story than that, but that is the gist. I found her to be fascinating. So I wanted to know more about her. So I followed her on facebook…
As is the case with most people who hit rock bottom and make it back up, they usually go one of two ways. They fall in love with a religion or they fall in love with money and forget all about God. She has gone the first way (or so she claims).
So I saw a post asking about having the sex talk with your kids. If you are a faithful reader of this blog, you know that I regularly talk about sex. It’s not taboo to me. I think it can beautiful. I think it can be fun. I also think it is a basic life necessity like oxygen and food. Those who err on the side of religion seem to feel like it is sacred and usually just meant to procreate more little religious people. I wish I felt that way. I don’t. But I love those who do. I think they are a special group of people.
HOWEVER… In the same way that I do not push my beliefs of thinking that all kids should be put on some form of birth control at puberty to ward off any stupid decision making nor do I try to make others feel like their perspective is wrong, I have found that those who adopt fundamental religious ideologies of any type are the first ones to throw the stones.
So I commented on the post how I’ve always been open and honest about sex with my kids because I didn’t want them making the same stupid mistakes I’ve made. I was asked to come on her show to talk about it. I’ve watched her shows before. I knew she was religious. But more than her religion, she is a businesswoman. An entrepreneur. Someone who sells you things so you can better yourself (if you follow all the time-consuming instructions and have all that will) and also make herself more millions (in the name of God).
What I didn’t realize is that I was about to become her main attraction. So I start telling her how I always talk to my kids about sex and encourage birth control even as a teenager. I didn’t think it was encouraging sex. I thought it was preparing them to not ruin their life. I do know that people are split on this subject. I don’t care. That’s always been my feeling and it always will. In an ideal world, of course, kids would wait, but they don’t so instead of being a grandmother at 42, I prefer safe sex because I know there is sex. So this lady goes on to tell me that her sons were all virgins when they married their virgin wives. And then she wanted to compare her whore-ish ways in the past to mine saying that she was sure that she had been with more men than I have. Like it was a contest.
Another thing that I find fascinating about religious folk is their ability to keep their past a secret until they find religion and then they want to constantly air their dirty laundry to the world (past not present dirty laundry) to show just how much they’ve changed and what an amazing and honorable person they’ve become. And at first as we were talking, I was getting pissed off and maybe even a little defensive, but then a wave of pity swept over me and I just felt sorry for her, because, on her own show she was preaching “what God wants” while being horrifically judgemental about how others live their lives. If it had been any other subject, I may have felt some kind of way about it. But it was parenting. And there’s not an expert, a religious fanatic, or any other person out there who could convince me (with hypnosis or any other tool) that I am not or have not been a fantastic mother.
I have raised kids with humility, strength, endurance, common sense, senses of humor, faith in themselves, faith in others, faith in a higher power, respect, kindness, bravery, intelligence… the list could go on for days. And I would put my kids’ morals and ethics to bat with any child who has grown up with fundamentalist religion and I guarantee when it comes down to the teachings of Jesus and being actionable, my kids will win every time. Because the only thing I’ve done great over the last 25 years is be a mother. So when she basically said I was a fuck up for not making my boys respect their bodies until they were lucky enough to find virgins to wed, I felt sorry for her.
I felt sorry for her religion (whatever it is). I felt sorry for her children. And I couldn’t continue to argue. I just relented and told her, “hmmm, I never thought of it that way. Maybe you’re right.” Because when it comes to people like her, they are always right and it’s no use. Plus, even though I’m a heathen, I can see things from other people’s perspectives and I can feel things. And I felt like she needed to be right. She needed to feel validated because she doesn’t have the gift of acceptance. Not of herself and not of others.
And I have run across this more than once which is the reason I don’t attend a church regularly. I have met some people who are active in church and they are the epitome of what their religion preaches and believes. They are accepting and loving just like Jesus. But they are also the exception to the rule. Most people who rely on religion to make themselves feel better and superior are usually the ones to cast the first stone. And like Dani, they usually think they live in shatterproof glass houses.
I’m not super religious. But I have unwavering faith and spirituality that could sit next to Buddha and Gandhi comfortably and I know what my God expects of me and so I quietly behave that way despite my heathenous actions. What I do and what I say never hurts anyone else nor leads them to feel uncertain or flawed, because we are all uncertain and flawed and the best thing we can do for one another is to embrace each other and with kindness share and teach each other from our own tender perspective.
If you want to watch the ridiculous video (if you can stomach it), you can check it out here. I start around the 25- 26-minute mark…