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"If they feel like they have to compete, you are not going to be interesting because you're not feeding his ego in the way it needs to be fed." Mark K.
Forston, son of a black preacher in Forest Park, Georgia, says some black women "put their pastor on this pedestal and have a large amount of faith in him because he is a living source of salvation." Sometimes women even focus their romantic feelings on the pastor, says Forston.
(CNN) -- Legs covered in skin-toned stockings, her skirt crisp to the knee, Patty Davis slips on the black heels she has shined for the day.
"Got to look good in the Lord's house," she says as she spritzes her neck with White Diamonds perfume and exits her black Lincoln Town Car.
"I am a male and I know that I will treat a woman well, but I have been rejected many times because I don't thump a bible with me everywhere that I go." All in the numbers One of biggest reasons black women are single, Cooper says, is because of a lack of black men in the church.
According to the PEW study, "African-American men are significantly more likely than women to be unaffiliated with any religion (16 percent vs. Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation." Watkins believes the social structure of the church keeps black men from attending.
Clinging to the gospel Cooper, a writer for the San Francisco Examiner, recently made claims on her blog Surviving that predominantly black protestant churches, such as African Methodists, Pentecostal, and certain denominations of Evangelical and Baptist churches are the main reason black women are single.
Cooper, who is black and says she is not strictly religious, argues that rigid beliefs constructed by the black church are blinding black women in their search for love.
"Black women are interpreting the scriptures too literally.
"The reason why black women who go to black churches are not married is because they are looking for certain values in a man," Weems says.
"It is not the church that keeps them single, but the simple fact that good values are lacking in some of our men." Choose or lose the church Cooper says her goal is to empower black women.
Boyce Watkins, a professor at Syracuse University and advocate for African-American issues, responded to Cooper's article online.
Though he applauded Cooper's courage to voice her opinion , he agreed -- and disagreed -- with her.
This is just limiting their dating pool." The traditional structure and dynamics of black churches, mostly led by black men, convey submissive attitudes to women, Cooper says, encouraging them to be patient -- instead of getting up and going after what they want.